Time for an Author Spotlight. Today, Mary E. Sutton, is with us today to promote her latest novel, Storm Clouds: Hero's Sword vol. 2
Eighth-grader Jaycee Hiller is beginning to fear she only imagined her trip to Mallory. But when a rainy afternoon leaves her with hours of playing Hero's Sword, her favorite video game, she finds herself drawn back into the game - literally.
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Welcome Mary, thank you for being with us. Please do tell, what inspired you to write this book?
I guess a little of my own memories of middle-school, as well as seeing my daughter. Middle-school is such a turbulent time for kids. They're often trying to find their "place" in a new social pecking order and dealing with physical changes of adolescence. I wanted to write a story that told them, "It's okay to be you. Find your place and claim it. Don't change just because 'they' say you aren't cool or whatever."
Did you listen to specific songs while writing?
Sometimes, yes. If I'm writing a fight scene, I might pop in the soundtrack from Pirates of the Caribbean to get in the mood. Or if I'm feeling a little sluggish, I'll find some really high-energy rock. A scene in the school cafeteria might need some of my daughter's pop. But sometimes the music is distracting, so I work in the quiet (well, as quiet as the house gets with two kids).
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Just write! Find the story that won't let go and write it. A little bit every day if you can. The only way you'll get better is to sit down in the chair and write. Don't worry that it's not brilliant. I wrote some really horrible stories when I was 13. But you keep working on it. And while you're writing, keep reading, in as many genres as you can (even if it's not something you usually enjoy). Take notes on what worked for you and what didn't. Exposure to other writing through reading is going to help you with your own writing.
What are you working on now -- or would you rather surprise us?
Oh, I don't mind sharing. Of course, I'm working on the final polish to the third book in the Hero's Sword series, called Wedding Bells. I'm not sure when that will be released, this summer maybe? And then I have book 4 to start drafting. That one's titled Lightening Strike. I also write crime fiction under the name Liz Milliron. I'm just finishing a Rex Stout/Nero Wolfe inspired novella for a contest and I have some new short story ideas for my Laurel Highlands Mysteries series, a police procedural, percolating - the first in that series should be published this summer. So lots to keep me busy!
Thanks so much for the opportunity. These were great questions!
Thank you for being with us Mary, and good luck on all your future projects.