Today the author’s spotlight is author Mary Ellis.
Mary Ellis grew up near an Amish settlement and fell in love with their agrarian lifestyle. She has now written eight novels set in their peaceful communities. When she’s not writing she enjoys gardening, bicycling, swimming and traveling with her college sweetheart, her husband of many years. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught middle school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate–a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. Her debut Christian book, A Widow’s Hope, was a finalist for the 2010 ACFW Carol Awards.
What is your writing schedule like?
I try to write everyday except Sundays. I usually take care of email and blog postings first, then I start a scene usually long-hand on a yellow legal tablet. This allows me to write on the deck, in the backyard, at the beach (in my fondest dreams!) or just about anywhere. Once I’ve got the scene firmly in mind, I start typing it on my laptop and keep going until the scene is done. I write around 5000 words per week, which makes me not the faster writer…but remember the tale about the tortoise. I take around six months to complete a novel.
How do you research your books?
Considering I live a little over an hour from Ohio’s Amish Country, I relish a day or weekend trip down to attend livestock auctions, sample authentic cooking, tour farms and homes, and interview Old Amish friends and acquaintances. But the research for A Marriage for Meghan, was the easiest…and most enjoyable yet, because I’m a former teacher, same as my heroine. An Amish teacher must have a gift for patience with children, but remember her education stopped after the eighth grade. Opening day would be intimidating, considering she’s only a few years older than her students.
What do you want readers take away from this book?
The lesson I hope readers will take away from A Marriage for Meghan is that you must have faith in yourself, besides faith in God, in order to succeed. Set your sights on your dream, work hard, and never give up on yourself. Like my fictional Meghan Yost, you will be surprised by what you can accomplish.
What is your favorite Scripture?
My favorite Bible meditation comes from Colossians 3:13 NLT You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Could we have a blurb of your latest book?
Meghan Yost is eager to prove to her father, the bishop, that she’s mature enough to teach school by herself. But just as she gains confidence, a troubled student challenges her authority and an enthusiastic suitor challenges her patience. How can Meghan outgrow her nickname of “little goose” if she can’t stand on her own two feet? When a series of apparent hate crimes sweep through the district, the sheriff calls in the FBI, and Special Agent Thomas Mast arrives carrying a secret he’s hidden for years. Will he come to terms with the past and regain his relationship with God before his career hardened his heart? With more on her plate than one girl can handle, Meghan sets out to help with the investigation. Thomas works closely with the bishop, who hopes the criminals will be arrested before Meghan finds herself in love with the most inappropriate of suitors—an Englischer.
How can readers contact you?
I would love to hear from readers on my blog-site: www.maryeellis.wordpress.com or on my Facebook page: