I want to welcome Mary to the first annual Autumn Blog Tour for unpublished authors and self published writers. In her own words, “Mary DeSantis (DeSantisM) is an –ism—enough said.” Originally from a small city in northeast Massachusetts, Mary now lives (temporarily) in North Carolina. After getting her B.A. in Psychology from Merrimack College, she decided she was done reading and writing research articles for a while and applied to/was accepted for Seton Hill University’s MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program. When she’s not writing, Mary reads (a lot), makes references to Disney movies, hangs with her decidedly writer friends, and/or belts Broadway music at the top of her lungs.
Connecting: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blog/website URL http://outofthelockbox.blogspot.com
Facebook author page – https://www.facebook.com/desantismauthor
Twitter – @desantismt
Book Title (s) (tentative) BY THE FIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON
This is from Chapter 14. Vern and her co-workers (also known as “the team”) walked into what they thought was a harmless meeting only to be attacked by a rather large wolf.
The front door of the apartment exploded inward. Dust and wood chips flew in every direction, clogging my nose. I coughed and waved my hand, trying to fan the debris away. My heart pounded hard enough to break my ribs. Was it more wolves? Were we trapped?
“In.” Hanson charged through the foyer and into the kitchen with Markus on his heels. Both held glowing wands.
“Hanson?” I started after the warlocks. “Markus? Warr—”
A jet of light flew from the kitchen. A second later, Rhonda, still the giant wolf, bolted through the doorway and straight for me.
I shrieked and half-lunged, half-fell to the side. What the…? But I didn’t have time to think. Rhonda sprang at me again.
Someone grabbed my arm and flung me into the living room. All that good advice about falling, like curling into a ball, vacated my mind. I landed on my stomach inches from a glass-topped coffee table. The breath whooshed from my lungs, and I struggled to my hands and knees.
Hanson stood where I had a moment ago. He dodged Rhonda’s attack, spun, and drew up short. “Vern, down!”
I obeyed. A red jet of light flew past me toward Rhonda. She swerved, and the light shattered a picture of the Empire State Building. Glass shards fell around me like sharpened rain. A second jet of light followed. I curled into a ball in case of more broken glass, but this one struck Rhonda square in the chest.
And nothing happened.
“Lycanthrope,” Hanson said. “I—Vern, look out!”
Adrenalin spiked through my blood. Rhonda came for me again. I scrambled for all I was worth and missed becoming wolf chow by an inch. Rhonda’s leg brushed my arm, and a flying leap took me out of range. I slammed into the wall and collapsed between an armchair and a couch. Mother Nature, I was trapped.
Rhonda scrabbled around and launched for me again, jaws wide, claws out.
I threw a useless arm up and squeezed my eyes shut. There was nowhere to go, and all I could do was wait for the strike.
I asked Mary what draws her to the genre she’s chosen. She said, “I’ve always had a soft spot for fantasy because I hate researching. (just kidding) I love escaping, and fantasy is the ultimate escape. Magic, mythical creatures, epic battles, or even just our own world with a twist—it’s all awesome.” She talked about how she gets from start to finish with her work. She said, “Typically I start with one scene in mind and write to get to that scene. After about 20k words, I realize I need something resembling a plot outline and go back and think through the story. Then I start writing again. I write linear, and I often think of things to add to earlier chapters while writing later chapters. So I go back and put them in, and really, it’s a giant mess that somehow ends up being a novel.”
The character discussion went like this: “‘K, Vern, move over. You’re a spotlight hog.’ This line would most likely be spoken by Vern’s office mate, Chuck…the metrosexual cactus. He was a welcome-to-the-office gift from Vern’s boss/best friend, Inspector Warren Gazeban, and he loves driving Vern up a wall. And yes, he’s the little guy in the fan art—thanks, Amy, for drawing him!”
Balancing time? “It’s pretty simple. Write, think about writing, panic about writing, rinse and repeat. Really? I tend to have more creative juice in the afternoon/evening, so I try to write then. Sometimes it hits in the morning, and when it does, I take full advantage. The middle of the day is my away-from-the-computer time.”
Authors that inspire her: “My fellow Unteachables from Seton Hill University’s MFA program—you guys rock! My local writing groupies, collectively known as Write Club. (I’d talk about it, but the first rule of Write Club….) In terms of writers I don’t know in person, Terry Goodkind was the first fantasy author I read and probably the reason I love fantasy so much. More recently Shanna Swendson, Kevin Hearne (who gives an inspiring lecture if I ever heard one), Lish McBride, and Brandon Sanderson. I love their work, and when I go into the I’m-terrible-at-writing phase that seems to be unavoidable, I remember how much I love reading and that I want to spread the love.”
I asked about other projects in the works: “That MFA program I’m in. It has a thesis. A thesis that is trying to kill me, but a thesis none the less. It’s an epic fantasy tentatively titled SAVING EDALYA, headed up by Jayleen Rothwell (daughter of Edalya’s Royal Guard Captain). What’s it about? (So glad you asked.) Answer—it’s a story about lies and secrets, spies and deception, princes and soldiers, and swords and dark magic. If I had to give two quotes to sum it up, they would be ‘Two may keep a secret if both stay alive’ and ‘power corrupts, the potential of power corrupts absolutely.’ A little different? Hopefully the book is too. ”
The question was asked of Mary, “How many years have you been writing? How did you decide you wanted to be a writer?” She answered by saying, “I like to say I’ve been writing since I was old enough to know how and that I’ve been writing well since I started the MFA (so about a year and a half). I think I always knew I wanted to write, but it hit me in summer 2011. One morning about two months after I got my B.A. in Psychology, I woke up and said (to no one in particular) ‘I want to be a writer.’ (I may have said ‘I want to write,’ but it’s all the same for our purposes). So I found Seton Hill’s program, applied, and now I’ll say something witty about the rest being history.”
Her one wish: “I kind of want my thesis to be made into a movie. Corny and extremely optimistic maybe, but I just think Jayleen would come alive on the big screen.”
I asked Mary how she finds ideas for her work. She said, ” I sit down and wait for them to hit me. K, I don’t actually do that, but that’s how it feels sometimes. I’m an only child, and my thesis was born out of an alternate version of one of my favorite childhood movies I’d act out in my basement. (I was a strange child.) MOON—it’s the TV show NCIS with magic. Really, it’s more complicated than that, but that’s how I think of it.
I have noticed a tendency for stories to crop up around magic systems. I have an idea for a power to give my characters, and then I think that power is too cool not to write a story about. So I start thinking, and a story pops into my head.”
I asked, “What is the most important thing you want people to know about you and your work?” She replied, “I write to entertain. I don’t write to teach lessons (though that may happen). I don’t write for everyone. Pleasing everyone is impossible. I write to hopefully give the people who want my type of story a good read.”
Thanks so much for joining us!