Sunday, August 8, 2010
Interview of Author Mary McCall
Please Note: Mary is running a contest from her website from August 7, 2010 to September 6, 2010 and the grandprize is a Nook! http://www.marymccall.net
Latest Book: Highland Treasure
Buy Link: http://www.eternalpress.biz
In the beginning, God said, Let there be light…
Several thousand years later, after many eons of famine, pestilence, war, and police actions (that we all know were wars the government couldn’t sell us on), God the Father said, “The world needs more righteous humor and romance. Let Mary McCall be born.”
God the Son said, “Dad, it’s my turn. Let her words bring joy and inspiration to the masses. I am placing a pencil in her hand.”
God the Holy Ghost chuckled. “I’m topping both of you. I’m inspiring the invention of the internet to spread spam, email jokes, time-draining games, and otherwise confuse the masses. And in that world, all authors, including Mary, will have to promote their books. Who’s got humor now?”
Thus, on a cold December 31 four minutes before midnight in the Texas Panhandle on Reese Air Force Base near Lubbock, Mary was born to Robert Duncan McCall and Minnie Stone Fulcher McCall. Lt. McCall wiped his brow and grinned at his wife. “Thank goodness you timed that well. She’s a tax deduction for the whole year.”
After that, she cost her parents tons of money. She began with crayons on the walls, furniture and floors. Her parents saw that wasn’t good and surrounded her with lots of butcher paper. By the time she turned three, she was a reporter. She told her parent about her brother breaking the glass on the coffee table, about her younger sister painting the bathroom with shaving cream, and about her older sister ironing her hair. Her parents saw that wasn’t good and explained the difference between being a reporter and being a snitch.
Onward Mary grew until she was quite verbose. She wrote poems, book reports, research papers, satires and just about anything she could think of. Since she was using paper and pencils/pens, her parents saw this as good. Unfortunately, Mary didn’t like French. So when her high school French teacher gave her an A for paper on the Eiffel Tower that she didn’t write, she took the A and kept her mouth shut. Over the years, Mary spent many hours in the confessional.
Eventually, Mary wrote for nurses, business people, hospitals, doctors, psychology professionals, spiritual people and just about anyone else who wanted to read her words. This landed her for a time in Who’s Who in Nursing and Who’s Who in Business Professionals. Everyone kept telling her that she should write fiction, because she had a storytelling flair to her non-fiction, making it easy to read.
An avid reader, she finally decided to try her hand at it. When her serial-killer who ritualistically terminated his victims according to the Passion of Christ turned into a romance, Mary decided she wasn’t going to be the author of the next Cherry Ames nurse-detective series and she would write historical romances instead.
Once she wanted to write a TV series about her dating life called, Mary Fills a Monastery, but Will & Grace came out the same year. She decided the timing wasn’t right and got a new dog.
In addition to writing, Mary loves to read old Latin manuscripts, learn new trivial historical facts, and sing. While she likes to sing melody, God’s humor extended to her larynx, and she’s a true contralto. She can also sing Ole’ Man River in the original key, so go figure. Her favorite music is Ambrosian and Gregorian Chant and early polyphony. Her favorite composers are Palestrina, Mozart, Fr. Fredrick Faber, Billy Joel, and Elton John. Oh, and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. She never writes a love scene without The Phantom of the Opera playing in the background. Her favorite cyber playground is the Julie Garwood Bulletin Board with like-minded wenches.
Mary’s favorite all time author: Simon (aka: Peter): no last name. He was a Jewish fisherman but ended up in Rome.
Mary’s professional writing memberships include: Romance Writers of America; River City Romance Writers; Hearts through History Romance Writers; Celtic Heats Romance Writers; Faith, Hope & Love RWA, Inc.; Electronic and Small Press Authors Network; Savvy Authors, Inc.; Sisters in Crime, Inc.; and Malice in Memphis.
Q: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
A: I put on my glasses and read the letter a second time. Then I e-mailed a friend for contract advice and went out for a full-course Steak dinner with friends.
Q: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
A: Definitely, the hardest was the scene in which the heroine describes her mother’s death to her grandfather. I cried when I wrote it. I’ve taken care of so many abuse survivors that I wanted to write about one who not only survived but also learned how to trust again. Catharsis is one of the major needs of many abuse survivors. They need to share the story. For my heroine, it’s also a matter of revenge. She calls it “giving him my memory,” because her grandfather, to keep her mother away from an enemy clansman, married her off to a Norman baron who abused both the mother and the heroine. In fact, I named her Hope, because that’s one thing every abuse victim needs.
Q: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
A: I love my hero and Heroine, but here’s a surprise. It’s probably my heroine’s horse, Diable. He sets up a jealous rivalry with the hero until the hero goes off and raiding and brings back a mare for Diable.
Q: If one of your books became a movie, which celebrity would you like to star as one of your hero?
A: This may not be so farfetched. I spent two hours on the phone with a producer talking about my current work-in-progress after one of my beta-readers shared the Legend and Prologue with him of Highland Legacy with him.
It’s based on research from the Vatican archives regarding the mission of Luturius Draco Arturius (aka: Luther Pendragon. Interestingly, He earned the Draco nickname for his love of using Greek Fire in battle) and the mission that took him from the Roman Empire into Wales and eventually landed his descendants in the Scottish Highlands. When I learned that Clan MacArthur, one of the oldest clans, claimed to be descended from the real King Arthur… Well, a story was born. What can I say? I’m a writer. It’s a Constantine meets Braveheart meets King Author meets Indiana Jones, hero and heroine save the world kind of romance. What I was planning as a 3rd in a series romance with a minor romance among sidekicks is now a 4-book series and the sidekicks get their own book. If I had to pick someone to play the hero, I’d want an unknown with the voice of Sean Connery, the body of Adrian Paul, and the face in my dreams.
Q: Do you eat comfort food when writing? If so, what food inspires your imagination?
A: I tend to go the other way. I forget to eat, because I get too wrapped up in the story. This has become a real problem since I have both malabsorption syndrome and reactive hypoglycemia. When I do eat, the one thing that sparks ideas is prime cut steaks.
Q: What is your favorite romance book that you’ve read?
A: This is a hard one to narrow down. 1st favorite is Joan of Arc by Mark Twain; second favorite is Les Miserable by Victor Hugo; 3rd Favorite is The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss; and , 4th favorite is Ransom by Julie Garwood. My favs span time.
Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Blog: Chats Through Time: http://marymccall.wordpress.com
Can a gifted soul find peace when her freedom is stolen?
The Legend: A great druid priest once bestowed a gift upon the ancestors of Clan MacKay. In each generation a girl-child would be born who possesses keen intuition, the ability to draw pain, sense illness and stalkers, walk and converse with wild creature. She lives with abandon, loses herself in passion to her mate, and bears complete loyalty to those she loves. Wherever she is born, destiny returns the Gifted to the Highlands for only there can she find her soul mate. With powers of her own, the priest’s wife added a flaw to all the women of the clan: Mischief.
Leonce MacPherson became chieftain after an unknown Norman slaughtered his father and clansmen. For two years he’s raided Northumbria seeking vengeance while a dream woman promises the return of his great sword, stolen in the massacre.
After escaping an abusive father, Lady Hope Nevilles, unknowingly the Gifted MacKay of her generation, has lived with animals for friends in wild Northumbria. She longs to flee to her mother’s native Highlands and find a place away from capture and torture.
When her father steals Leonce’s son, Hope takes that as a sign to journey to the Highlands. She returns the boy and the great sword to Leonce, who recognizes her as his dream siren. He tricks her into marriage, but she has vowed to kill herself rather than submit to any man. Can she learn to trust? Will her father's sin haunt her future? When she learns the truth of her ancestry and gifted spirit from a clan enemy, will Leonce accept the news, or will distrust and jealousy doom their fragile union?
Entering the darkened cave, Leonce heard a stalking, feline trill. He turned in time to catch Hope, who launched into his arms and wrapped her legs around his waist. Grabbing his head with both hands, she captured his mouth in a savage kiss. Just as he overcame his shock and sucked on her sweet-tasting tongue, she pulled back, bit his lip, and licked the spot. “What say you, MacPherson? Want to end this cursed feud now or suffer longer?”
Before he could answer, she sucked his lower lip in the place she’d nipped and dragged him back into another hot, wet mingling of mouths. He tightened his hold. Growling low in his throat, he plunged his tongue into her mouth and feasted on her heady nectar. When her breathing quickened, he broke the kiss. She issued that carnal little growl that drove him wild as she tried to reclaim her prize.
He held her back. “Mayhap The MacPherson is of a mind to let The MacFury suffer and not end this feud until he knows what provoked it.”
Hope chuckled and tightened her legs around his waist. “The Roarin’ MacPherson broke his promise to take his mate while keeping her off her feet.”
“Ah, so she baited her lion and lured him into her den to have her way with him. But the lion is king, and he’ll master his mate.” Leonce grinned. “Mayhap he’ll make her beg.”
Leonce pawed one hand from her waist over her back and under her softly rounded bottom. Slipping his fingers into her tender folds, he massaged her sensitive flesh. Sapphire eyes shimmered with flames of desire. A strangled moan left her. Her head fell back, and she arched against him.
“You’re hot and wet, MacFury, and yearning for a mating. You want to beg me?”
She pressed her feet against his buttocks. “Nay, MacPherson. ’Tis you who will beg, because your loin is bloody well throbbing and aching for the mating too.”
Damn! As she caressed the words “bloody well throbbing,” his release drew near. Removing his hand from her slick heat, he shifted her weight and hitched his plaid aside. Then he gripped her bottom and lowered her until his shaft nestled at her feminine passage. With a wicked leer, he kneaded her rump on both cheeks. A whimper caught in her throat, and she bit her lower lip. Her eyes, molten with craving, refused to plead.
“Have we an agreement, MacFury - the mating ends the feuding?”
“Aye, MacPherson.” Her lips curved into a lusty grin. “As long as you keep me off my feet.”
Possessiveness claimed him. “Then ’tis finished, Lady MacPherson.”
Firming his grip, he imbedded himself inside her with one powerful lunge. Urgency enveloped them. Their joining erupted into a primitive mating of savage passions. She met his thrusts with raw need, trying to control their rhythm. He held her fast and exalted in his supremacy as she surrendered to his dominance. Her body convulsed around him, and her low moan of ecstasy filled the cave. He plunged deeply within her, effecting his own release.
The lion’s conquering roar echoed through the hills.
Leonce gazed at Hope’s enraptured expression as the currents flowing through her receded. At the moment of her climax, she let go and yelled, “Catch me, Leonce.”
Now he held her waist, still filling her as she was suspended before him with eyes closed, head thrown back and arms flung wide.
Good God! She had given her whole self to him. Trusted him completely. He knew to the very moment when she had given him her love, but this was so much more. This was her spirit. This young woman, who had suffered so much and feared she could never trust, had put her absolute faith in him. He cherished this gift and reaffirmed his vow to keep her forever safe.