Wednesday, November 23, 2016

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Mary L. Ball

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?

Kathryn, it’s great to be on your blog. I’m a multi-published author and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. I reside in the heart of North Carolina. When I’m not working on a story, I like to reading, fish and singing with hubby at church functions.

I didn’t start writing until I quit working in administration to keep my grandson full time. When he was a baby I began writing Christian articles and from there branched into fiction.    


     How do you schedule your writing time? When do you                                write?

Just like many I have a busy life. I have parents in a nursing facility. I tend to their laundry needs and other situations. I keep my grandson when my daughter is working, I’m an associate pastor’s wife and we have a singing ministry. 
I don’t have the luxury of being able to close the door to my home office and write every day for 5 hours. But I enjoy crafting stories so I keep at it as often as I can. I’m a morning person so early mornings is my best time. I work on my writing until about 9:30 then most days I’ll go to the nursing home. Later, after I’ve prepared dinner I’ll try to get a couple hours of writing in before I retire for the night.              
    
      How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or                         some other method of getting your words down? 

      I prefer my desktop and in the mornings I use that. In the         
      afternoons or evenings it is usually my laptop. If it’s nice        
      weather out I’ll go on my porch and write.    

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite 
part about writing?

My favorite part of creating a story is having full control over the outcome of my characters’ lives. My least liked part of the writing process is the necessary evil in writing, the many edits and proof reads.    

     How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you        to write your book? 

     For most of my novels I have a clear answer to that question and can      go back to the hour the idea flourished or the day that I felt a nudge        from the Lord.              
     
     However, the complete story of “Sparks of Love” was different.              I knew I wanted to write about a character that felt the Lord                  had turned away from her and she’d lost faith, but the plot of the               story was a process that developed as I worked on the character’s                      situation. Most of my novels take about  four to six months to finish        the first draft.      
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    What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

    I post to Facebook on groups that fit my genre. I use twitter and               have a few regular sites that I often buy ads on. Promoting  takes so         much time away from writing and it’s a struggle to find time to do it         all.       

   What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

   I have a non-fiction in the works, “Moments with God’s Word,” soon to    be released. My current fiction work in progress is called “Awaiting          Tomorrow.” It is at a halfway stage.

   And yes, I have another release. J A novella titled “A Love Valley          Christmas” it is part of Prism Book Group’s Christmas Cowboy line      coming out sometime in Nov. 2016.            

   Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

   I have a fiction story tugging at my heart about pearl diving. It’s                resting in my mind until I can complete my other projects.  

   What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but                               doesn't believe he/she has enough talent? 

   Writing is a learning process. Anyone who wants to write and can form       an understanding paragraph can tune their writing skills, and develop what they need to become a published author.   

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A Question for Me:


Kathryn, It doesn’t take a published author long to learn that       writing and marketing the book goes hand in hand. How do you juggle promoting and still have time to write? 


    Balancing marketing is tough, but I have found that if I give time every day to both, then I never feel as if I am writing and not marketing or marketing and not writing. Most days, I have from morning to late afternoon to work on my writing, and so I try to put aside at least a couple of hours of marketing per day and a bit more writing. It really depends on the day. The important thing is to be flexible; not all writers have the same amount of time to spend at marketing or writing, so make time for what works for you. 


   Another thing I have done to balance marketing and writing, is to have my marketing information in one place. I used to have emails, social media, contact names and so forth, all over my desk and in a messy binder. As of 2012, I created a book called, "Marketing Your Book on a Budget," that is updated and re-released every January. In this book I offer writers links to getting book reviews; even how to create book trailers on the cheap. You can find the book here.



   Thanks!


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To learn more about Mary:




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