Name Mary Wine also writing as Dawn Ryder
Where are you from- Sunny California.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have two young adult sons, one amazing husband who still puts up with me, and a parrot who runs my house.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Dawn Ryder, my naughty inner child has been writing more books lately. The Unbroken Hero’s saga has been tons of fun to write. The first one is ‘Dangerous to Know’ and ‘Dare You to Run’ is set to release at the end of August. ‘Rock Steady’ release in June and it is a great summer read if you want a break from intrigue. Just a hot romance without the guns. Under my Mary Wine name, I have been working on my Highland Brides. The first was ‘Highland Spitefire’, which released in Feb 2016. It will be followed by ‘Highland Vixen’, ‘Highland Hellion’, and ‘Highland Flame’. I’m finishing up the last of these titles this month.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have a dim memory of starting a book in High school. Carried it around with me. But life happened, the family came, and I didn’t pick up my pen again until my kids were past that stage of needing constant attention. It was about 12 years ago, a story got lodged in my brain, I sat down at an old computer that had been discarded because it lacked the memory to play the current games and I began what would become ‘Dream Shadow’. Since then, I’ve been writing and working on the craft of being a Word Smith.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I sold Dream Shadow in 2004, I think that was when I realized I’d achieved something. Mind you, finishing that book was a real challenge. It taught me so much about how much work goes into a book. It truly was a humbling experience and in the end, a very satisfying one when I finished it in spite of self-doubt.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My character Grace from ‘Dream Shadow’. She was so clear in my imagination, I needed to write the story.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Chase my tail? LOL! Seriously, my stories are very real. I see the scenes.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title I come up with is almost never the one the book releases under. The Highland Brides are actually my titles, along with ‘Dare you to Run’. But I don’t mind. This is where a great marketing team really needs to be part of the decision. It’s really hard to connect with readers. The title is super important to this.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Strength and choice. I’m talking about strength of mind. All of my women are strong and they make a choice to be happy. You get up everyday and you have a choice, right there in the morning, are you going to smile at the challenges or whimper? It’s hard, it isn’t fair, and I believe you can get out there and get your slice of heaven if you set your mind to a positive setting.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
They are all works of fiction. My historical books are set in documented time frames but the people are fiction.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Hummm….that’s tough. I recall picking up ‘Gone With the Wind’ in middle school and loving the fact that it was really long. My first romance book was ‘So Speaks the Heart’ by Johanna Lindsey. Discovered it in the local super market and realized that this was the type of book for me! I want to write them, my parents weren’t thrilled. Recently, I reread some of the classics….’To Kill a Mocking Bird’, ‘Of Mice and Men’ and about five books into that list I realized why I stopped reading those sort of titles…they are depressing! Give me back my romance please!
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Sylvia Day at the moment. Her Crossfire books captivate me.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Kimberly Rocha- She rocks.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It is my career. It’s hard but this is what I love.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would not publish under Mary Wine, my real name. I have discovered that there are some very judgmental people out there who seem to think their disapproval entitles them to be mean and nasty.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I grew up in an era of no portable entertainment devices. I recall that magical time when VCR’s became available and suddenly, you could rent a movie and watch it whenever you wanted! Oh the thrill of it…seriously. My family also camped a lot. We spent weekends at parks, outside. I would tell stories to my young brother and make them up in my head to amuse me. Writing them down was a natural progression.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Today I will dive back into ‘Highland Flame’. My Highland Brides all have something that makes them get marry, in this case, the heroine was turned out in her shift when her husband got drunk and gambled away everything and ended up being beat to death by his playing companions….
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Always. The craft of constructing a good story is one I hope I never lose the respect for.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
That is up to the Publisher.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finishing. I never want to let my ‘thought baby’ go.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn so many things….I think the most important is…Quitters Never Win. So I get back in there and finish that book.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
No idea really. I tend to binge watch between books. So whatever I am watching is my current obsession.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
If it’s what you want…do it. Close that excuse bag and make it happen. This is true with anything. Goals can be achieved but you have to apply self-discipline to it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you!!! I am nothing without you. An email excites me like you can’t imagine, and the idea that someone enjoyed my little world….well that sets me over the moon.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I think the first one I picked up on my own was ‘The cat ate my Gym suit’. My mom is a librarian. So, I went to the library with her a lot and was free to read.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Stepping on the scale makes me cry…lol! I’m a nerd, I love historical costumes and own more corsets than bras. The UPS guy is used to coming to my door to finds me in chemise, corset, knickers, and hose. I laugh at wiener dog races and cry when I realize that healthy eating does not include donuts.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Present- Queen Elizabeth the second. She’s seen so much in her life, I think it would be fascinating to have tea with her.
Past- John Lennon.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
No headstone. No grave. Save the money for the living, scatter my ashes and I’ll move on to the next adventure.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I binge watch between books. At the moment, it’s BBC Three Musketeers. In non-fiction…’A Taste of History’. It’s a cooking show.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music-
I love sweets. Cookies, cake, frosting….Purple/green….Music, that is a wide field. I have everything from ‘Hotel California’ to ‘Def Leopard’ to ‘Globus’ on my playlists.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?