1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Mary: I live in a house that used to be an art gallery on the Texas Gulf Coast with my husband, three kids, and a plethora of creatures, some of which could be considered pets.
2) Could you tell us a bit about Shattered Souls?
Mary: Shattered Souls is a young adult ghost story about a girl who can hear dead people. The full description of the book can be found HERE!
3) What was the inspiration for writing Shattered Souls?
Mary: I knew I wanted to write a ghost story. I also knew I wanted it to include an historical disaster that would produce a lot of unresolved dead guys. I toyed with the San Francisco Fire, the Civil War, World War II, but then, a high school student of mine told me she was reading a book for English that she hated. Trying to help her out, I offered to read it with her, like a buddy. She agreed, and I read Isaac’s Storm. It was amazing. I’d learned about the Great Storm of 1900 in high school, but the book made it real for me. I had my disaster. My enthusiasm for the Isaac’s Storm made it more tolerable for my student, but I’m still not sure she ever fell in love with it.
4) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing Shattered Souls?
Mary: All authors write from personal experience to some extent, I believe, but no; I’ve never seen a ghost. I did set the book in my hometown, so in that regard, it is based on personal experience.
5) Was Lenzi's character based on anyone or was she a purely made up character? What is she like?
Mary: She’s named after one of my students, but she’s a purely made up character. I’ve been told by my friends that she reminds them of me in her speech patterns and sense of humor. I’ll take that as a compliment?
6) What was your inspiration in the cover art for Shattered Souls?
Mary: Because I was published by a large, traditional house, I had no control whatsoever over the cover. That’s probably a good thing, because Penguin did a far better job than I could have dreamed of doing myself. The cover is not only haunting and beautiful, it represents the book to a tee. The main character’s name in her past lives is Rose, so the fact she is shattering into rose petals on the cover is fantastic.
7) Who is your favorite character in the book? And why?
Mary: Alden is my favorite character. In fact, the original draft was in third person, with half of the story told from his point of view.
8) Do you write to music? If so, what is your favorite?
Mary: Yes and no. I write my rough draft to music, but do all my edits in complete silence. A complete playlist with quotes from the novel can be found HERE!
9) What do you plan on doing in the future?
Mary: I plan to keep writing books! Right now I’m working on a modern Gothic based on Edgar Allan Poe’s last poem, “Annabel Lee.” It’s scheduled for release Summer 2013 by Penguin USA.
10) What are you reading right now?
Mary: A biography of Edgar Allan Poe called Everything Poe.
Thank you, Stephanie, for having me on your blog today. I enjoyed the interview.
Where you can find Mary:
Where to find Shattered Souls:
A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries. Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.