An Interview with Mary O. Travers: Author
Sylvia: Hi Mary, it is such a pleasure to interview you. I enjoyed reading your book and looking forward to writing a review. Please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Mary: Thank you Sylvia. Well, in the first stage of my life I was “Susie Homemaker”. I loved it, learned a lot, and gave it my best. Although, time was in short supply in the early days, I still found time to do some writing. I wrote short stories and poetry. I am published in newspaper articles and anthologies.
Now, that all my children are grown and on their own, I am free to pursue my passion, writing novels. I have written several still seeking publications. The first one published is Her Mother’s Heart, a historical WWII fiction, released in September of 2011.
Her Mother’s Heart spans decades and generations to tell a unique love story. After my husband retired from Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in 2000 he accepted another position that sent us both abroad. We spent the next ten years making over 30 trips to Europe. My years of travel through France, England and Germany gave me the insight needed to compile a historical novel.
Sylvia: Very interesting travels, Mary. My husband and I plan to travel abroad once all the kids are grown and our ‘nest’ is empty. So, what inspired you to write your first book?
Mary: Her Mother’s Heart is not my first book, just my first published book. I have been writing all my life. Another manuscript, Undertow is edited professionally and ready to go. I also have three others in the works.
Her Mother’s Heart was a story line waiting for the proper setting. WWII provided that setting. The idea took root while traveling through Europe. I visited the United Kingdom, France and Germany with my husband while he traveled on business. I had ample time to research. I spent time reflecting on WWII as well as my characters while in London, Paris and Berlin. The War is closer in Europe. Evidence lingers on every street corner in Berlin. The Paris underground still holds the vibrations of the Paris Resistance. London is an erudite city with a complex history.
Sylvia: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Mary: I don’t write with messages in mind. I try to write ‘slice of life’. Life provides the messages. Anyone who reads the struggles of WWII can’t help but be moved. I hope my readers grasp the emotion and frustration of war. Her Mother’s Heart is historically accurate as well as a unique love story.
Sylvia: Interesting thought on ‘message.’ Do you have any advice for other writers?
Mary: I would advise other writers to get involved in the new world of publishing and exposure. With the internet, networking possibilities are available in a myriad of forms. There is something for everyone. Join Writers Groups, MeetUps, discussions, and all the new trends like Facebook and Twitter. Present a platform of yourself to editors and publishers as well as other contemporary writers. Changes are happening and every writers needs to be on the cutting edge if they intend to be known.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Mary: My book is a good read. It is a quick lesson in history and has enough intrigue to keep the pages turning. The dénouement is open to interpretation. The reader can decide about Spiritual intervention, synchronicity or mere circumstance. The story stands on its own. Already, many readers have requested a sequel, although that was never my intention.
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Mary: I tried finding a special place, something with a nice view and comfort. The truth; it doesn’t matter. Once I am in my head writing, I could be on the moon. I do cherish being quiet and undisturbed. As a mother of four grown-ups and 6 grandchildren, that rarely happens. So I adjust. My best writing comes early in the morning before the world wakes up.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word? (A power word is a word that has great effect to the person hearing or reading it. My power word is EMPOWER)
Mary: My Power Word would have to be perception and all its connotations such as insight, awareness, and as it applies to self-worth. I imagine how I want others to perceive me, and I contemplate how others will perceive my work. It gives me confidence.
Sylvia: Who do you think would most enjoy your book?
Mary: When I wrote Her Mother’s Heart, I expected that my target audience was going to be women. However, since the book is historically accurate and covers parts of the war, many men have enjoyed it as well. Some of my readers remarked that they especially enjoyed the travelogue part of the story since they had not personally experienced Europe.
Sylvia: How would you describe your writing style?
Mary: Real. … My characters are the meat of my writing. I never have an outline, just an idea. The characters take the story where they want it to go. The time frame in Her Mother’s Heart goes back and forth from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. I knew of no other way to tell the story. My readers remarked numerous times that they enjoyed that aspect of the book. It made it hard to put down.
Sylvia: Mary, it has been a pleasure. Where can my readers buy your book?
Mary: Thank you for the opportunity to have my novel exposed to a larger audience.