Being an author of fiction has been a wonderful and sometimes frustrating pursuit in my life. On any given day my emotions may swing from overjoyed to overly discouraged and back again. After hours of tweaking a chapter I sometimes sit back, tap my chin and think, “I can’t believe I wrote that!” only to find myself moments later scratching my head and wondering how the next chapter’s dialogue came to sound like it was written by a tongue-tied chipmunk.
Humility and cringe-worthy moments are common pieces of my writing puzzle. But it’s the satisfaction after editing and re-editing a book that keeps me moving forward. The final version, the one that the editor accepts and loves.
I have four published novels and I can honestly say writing is tough. Storylines often sway in unexpected directions and new character personality traits pop up when I least expect. Heroines and heroes may turn into a villains and vice-versa. A plot can thicken or end up going nowhere. Like planting a seedling, a story sprouts, grows and produces a creation that is far more complex than where it started. Often very different than what I expected.
And, of course, even the most crafted, fascinating stories may receive a rejection from a publisher, editor, or agent, a disheartening, yet growing experience that most published authors have endured. Tough skin, open mindedness to critiques, and willingness to edit accordingly is essential in a writer’s journey. Also, it is critical that an author write to the expectations of the genre they are targeting. READ what you write. Trying to find your own niche can be difficult, especially as a new author.
Like most writers, my stories are crafted out of passion, determination, and love. I learned that I must see the plot through my characters eyes. Feel their emotions, frustration and pain. Bring out their insecurities and show their faith. And mostly bring them to the brink of despair before rescuing them. I want the reader to sense how we live, feel, and experience: chaos, absurdity, humility, sadness, beauty, love… And if I bring tears to my own eyes as I read through my stories, I’ve done my job.
Life is about fiction, from folks rewriting their own memories to daydreaming about their hopes and dreams. Fiction gives a writer a chance to rewrite mistakes and sorrows or find forever love. Threads of truth blend within my fiction stories. Although frustrating at times, the passion to write burns within a fiction writer’s soul. And like food for my soul, I can’t imagine how I could not write.
Mary Annslee Urban grew up watching old-time romance movies, which she attributes to her passion for sweet romance, true love, and happy endings. A daydreamer at heart, Mary began her writing journey when the youngest of her five children started school. For several years she worked as a freelance writer for newspapers in her community and has written for magazines and online publications.
Shadows of the Past, Mary’s first book with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, will be released sometime in the summer of 2014.
Raised in the foothills of Arizona, she survived temperature shock when she and her husband moved to Western Pennsylvania before settling in North Carolina. Aside from writing, Mary works as a Registered Nurse part-time in the Behavioral Health field. She is a member of ACFW, and is currently vice-president of Carolina Christian Writers. She has two published novels with White Rose Publishing, Tapestry of Trust and She Came to See the Snow~A Colorado Christmas Romance. Another book, In Love’s Defense, Write Integrity Press, will be released in September, 2013. Mary writes under Mary Annslee Urban and Annslee Urban.
When she isn’t writing, Mary enjoys cooking, traveling to faraway places, spending time with grandbabies and all things chocolate! You can visit Mary on Facebook or at maryurban.blogspot.com.
To purchase Tapestry of Trust: http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/tapestry-of-trust