Monday, November 2, 2015

Ageless Barriers: Interview with Mary Carpenter



Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Mary Carpenter author of Mary and the Marauding Indians
Hi Mary Aunty( hope you remember out deal),
For the readers: Since it is uncomfortable to call someone my Grandmother's age by her name, I took permission to call her aunt.

Q        Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Mary :         I went to college and became an ordained Christian minister of the United Methodist Church. I served as a pastor for 20 years in Kansas. Then my health turned very bad and I had to stop. I moved from Kansas back to the southern United States where I was raised. When I had time on my hands, I stopped writing sermons and started writing stories.
Q        Why did you write Historical Fictions?
Mary:          I write historical fiction to honor those who went before us. The struggles they endured paved the way so that we could have comfort. I want to remember them and their stories.

Q        Tell me about your books
Mary:            All of my fiction books are historically based on real incidents. I read newspapers, diaries, official testimonies and letters from the time period and then write the stories based on what people said happened. I also write nonfiction books. I have book on turmeric and its medicinal value coming out next month. It is based on scientific journals of 2014 and 2015 and the newest advances in medical research.
Q        In reality, was there a practice of becoming a Mail Order Bride
Mary:          Yes, mail order brides were very popular in the late 1800s because of the lack of women in the West. The conditions were harsh during the Frontier times. Men led the path to the West and then women followed.
Q        Tell me about Mary Thompson
Mary:          The Mary Thompson in my book was loosely based on my great grandmother. She was born   under similar circumstances but did not become a mail order bride. She was strong and worked very hard to raise her family with little money.
Q        Is there any relation between you protagonist and the original Mary Thompson who lived in Dodge City at that time?
Mary:          Any resemblance between my Mary and that Mary is coincidence. Mary is a popular name and so is Thompson.
Q        Did you do any research?
Mary:          Yes, I read congressional testimony regarding the Northern Cheyenne and their treatment by the Army and US government. I read the account of Col. Lewis and his death in the Army records and books. I read the journals of the settlers during the Indian Wars. The story of Mary hiding in the barn was a true account. This was in a letter to the US government asking for reimbursement for the cows and horses. I also read accounts of Dodge City and the Col. Lewis story about pulling the soldiers out of jail and building the Long Branch Saloon.
Q        Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Mary:          Yes, but I read so much history that the ideas are always there. The problem I have is moving them from my mind to the paper. I read and write for 4 hours every day. Sometimes I just make notes on what I read, other times I write on my stories.
Q        Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
Mary:          I read all the time. Faye and Jonathan Kellerman, Janet Evanovitch, C.S. Lewis, Tex Sample, Louis L'Amour, John Grisham, Robin Cook, Tom Clancey, Lewis Grizzard, Jude Devereaux, and hundreds of others are my favorites. I rarely meet a book I don't like.
Q        How are you publishing this book and why?
(*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
Mary:          This is independently published through CreateSpace. I wasn't sure I could do this. This is my first full length novel, and it is still short.
Q        How do you market your books?
Mary:          I buy advertising on Google Adwords and Facebook.
Q        Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
Mary:          no, I wish there was.
Q        What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Mary:          Good reviews are awesome. Since I am a beginner they encourage me to keep working. Bad reviews can be very hurtful. If the bad review lists why the person didn't like the book that is more helpful, but to say a book is a waste of time to read is not. I think we can all learn from every book or written material, even cereal boxes. So reading anything is not a waste of time, in my opinion.
Q        Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
Mary:          I bought ads on Facebook and did a free book giveaway on my short story Maggie and the Stubborn Swede and Mary and the Marauding Indians. I gave away about 2,000 copies in the two events. I am part of the KDP program that tracks the pages read. So far, over 8,000 pages have been read. I think that is really good for a new author. I have only sold 50 copies so far, but I think that will improve as I launch more titles.
Q        Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Mary:          Abraham Lincoln, as he had so much to deal with when our country was divided.
Q        Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Mary:          I have several more books in the works. Katy and the Wolf at the Door will be out this month. I am also writing Missy and the Contraband Camp, due out at the beginning of December. In January I will release Suzanna and the Exodusters. In February I have planned Joe and the Buffalo Hunters. All of these books are semi-biographical, based on real events but they are created characters.
Q        How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Website: http://www.marycriswellcarpenter.com
Blog: http://www.marycriswellcarpenter.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marycriswellcarpenterhistoricalromance/
Twitter:  @mjccnevertool8
Lnkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/maryccarpenterauthor
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/purplemem/
Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Criswell-Carpenter/e/B0153OZ868/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
Smashwords:
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0153BY5BU/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016UTSVUU/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14417134.Mary_Criswell_Carpenter
Q        Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Mary:          Thank you for the candid review. It was very helpful for me as I try to improve my writing skills. I have written academically for more than twenty years but fiction is a different genre. I must practice and study to write an interesting and honest book.