Mary Deal writes suspense/thrillers, has a collection of zany short stories and nonfiction references for authors. She is an Eric Hoffer Book Award winner and Pushcart Prize nominee. A thriller and a writing reference were Finalists in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards. Her Suspense /thrillers have won a Bronze and a Silver in the Global Ebook Awards. She writes from her island home in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is a former Associate and Contributing Editor of a print magazine and columnist for the local newspaper on Kauai. Her website, http://www.writeanygenre.com, is a valuable resource for writers.
Describe your desk
Doc said “No more 15 hour days sitting at your PC. You’re exacerbating your back injury.” So with my move and downsizing, I purchased a stand up desk. Now I work vertical with a padded mat underfoot. This upright desk, as opposed to my former expansive L-shaped desk, offers little room for clutter and I must utilize a side table for my printer and reference books. I sometimes become animated when writing, working out the gestalt of my characters' dialogues and movements. It’s easier standing up. I feel on the verge of taking off, ready for anything. I even type faster. Most of all, my lumbar has stopped hurting.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a rural farm area, cut off from town. Dad worked sun up to sun down; Mom didn’t drive. As a child I had no access to libraries and such so didn’t read much As I grew older, I began to read a lot of the older writers like Hemingway and Steinbeck. They are only two I read among many, but it was Hemingway’s "The Old Man and the Sea" that influenced my first novel, "The Tropics." Yet, this nonconformist does not ascribe to a certain influential writing style. Writing a great story is my ultimate goal.
Once I had two stories ideas that simply wouldn’t jell. When I attended a class reunion in my childhood hometown area of California’s Sacramento River Delta, not only did I find a locale for a story, but the two plots crashed together into one big book that has won two major awards. That book is River Bones, which has a sequel out almost ready to go to paperback, with another sequel on the way. Though the setting changes in each sequel, the River Delta is home base for the characters.