An Interview with Mary Firmin: Author
Sylvia: Hi Mary, it is such a pleasure to interview you. Please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Mary: Hello Sylvia. I was born in England, spent many years in Canada, and taught dancing at an Arthur Murray Studio in Toronto for several years. When I moved to Florida in the U.S., I owned an Arthur Murray Franchise. My love of sailing and water sports began in Florida. Eventually, I moved to Santa Monica, California where I married and raised three children. I began a career selling real estate on the expensive West side of Los Angeles which includes Santa Monica, Venice, Malibu, and Marina Del Rey. I rose to Vice-President and manager of the Residential Division of this large company. My interest in writing began in the nineties and I began attending classes at UCLA and joined a Writer’s Group in Westwood which nurtured several beginners who are now published writers.
During my second marriage my husband and I owned a power boat and belonged to a Southern California yacht club and spent many weekends in Catalina, along with endless cruises up and down the coast. When we moved to Rancho Mirage in the Desert near Palm Springs, I wrote a Society Column in a local paper for some years. My husband passed away in June and it was a terrible shock. He had purchased a publishing package for me at I Universe for Christmas last year and the project kicked into gear right after his passing. It was almost as if he knew that I would need something to keep me going during this very sad time. The book, though self published, has received incredible reviews from Kirkus, Blue ink and a five star review from ForeWord Clarion Reviews.
Sylvia: What inspired you to write your first book?
Mary: My first book was called, Voodoo Fire. I was fascinated with Haiti during the terrible disruptions in the eighties and nineties, so I wrote a fiction novel using the back drop of the atrocities during Baby Doc Duvalier’s reign. I have always been attracted to the exotic so this book allowed me to stretch my imagination. I still have it in a drawer along with a screenplay, Rhumba, which I wrote with a friend.
Mary: I think the only real message in this book is that friendship and love between good girlfriends is so important during times of trouble. All four of the women in my book had relationship problems in different stages of decay and they still were able to rise above it all. Their choices were not that great but they had fun, until the murders encroached on their lives and everything changed.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Mary: I have met many famous writers, especially during my tenure as President of the Palm Springs Writers Guild, and every one of them said, “Keep Writing.” I just read a quote by Somerset Maugh. “There are three tricks to writing and nobody knows what they are.” So, “Keep Writing.”
Sylvia: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Mary: I’m afraid I am just beginning on my journey of selling books, and there are lots of good How to Books, and many wonderful tips out there on LinkedIn and Facebook. I have hired a PR person who is going to send out 3000 Press Releases in the next couple of days. To help me untangle the mysteries of the internet I have hired Stormi Johnson of Lightning Productions. We are also sending a mailing to 500 Mystery Bookstores. I am also developing a video Book Trailer. There is an awful lot of help out there; I think you just have to connect.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Mary: My book, DEADLY PLEASURES, is a fun, casual read with a little romance, some deviant sex, and a serial killer. What more could anyone want? It completely twists the stereotypes of cheating men and empowers my female characters to do something they would never dream they could do – hire a time-share Boytoy. They are unaware their selection is a prime suspect in a series of gruesome Bondage Murders. The idea creates some interesting reading since the investigation takes you through L.A’s secret sex parties, bondage parlors, and the extravagant yachts and homes of the Rich and Famous.
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Mary: I moved my computer to my bedroom when my husband passed away and I can look out to the pool and the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains in the distance. I love the words lush and exotic. It gives you immediate feelings of atmosphere, place, and even activates your sense of smell.
Sylvia: How did you come up with your idea for this novel?
Mary: Most people ask you, where did you get your idea? Years ago, I heard of four men who hired a prostitute and sent her up in an apartment so they could share the expenses and her favors. At first, I planned weaving the murder mystery around the four men and their hooker but then I realized it would be so much more interesting and forbidden for four women to the same thing. And the idea progressed from there.
Sylvia: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Mary: Yes, I do. If you love a book, mine or anyone else’s, go into Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com, and give that person a good review. The author has worked for years to bring the book into fruition and it is like music to his or her ears if the reader gives them a good review. I hope you enjoy my book, Deadly Pleasures. At present I am working on number two of a Deadly Trilogy, called Deadly Secrets. It takes place in a Desert Golf and Tennis Club. So friends and fellow members, beware. And you too, Wendy!
Sylvia: Mary, thank you! Please share your contact information:
Mary: Sure, its been my pleasure!