Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet Mary Hamilton

Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.
I write contemporary coming of age novels that are aimed at 10-15 year olds. They’re set at a Christian youth camp and feature mostly male characters who are dealing with family and peer relationships.

How would you label the overall mood of your stories?
I’d call them heart-warming and hopeful, with a bit of adventurous thrown in for good measure.

What is the name of your latest book?
My latest book is Speak No Evil. It’s the second book in the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series.

What is the theme of your story and how did you come to it?
One theme of Speak No Evil is to look deeper than the outer appearance. Taylor, a 15 yr. old boy has a reputation for being a bully. But that tough outer shell protects a hurting, insecure heart. The one person who believes in him is his sister, whose adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. It’s not until someone else sees the good in his heart, and believes in him in spite of overwhelming evidence, that he recognizes what his need for God to cleanse him and give him a new start.

A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?
I’m working on the third book in the series, titled See No Evil. It’s an interesting title because the main character is a 17 yr. old young man who is blind.

Describe your writing space.
I write in several places. I have a desk and comfortable chair in an upstairs bedroom where I go when I really need to concentrate and not be distracted. But I occasionally write at the dining room table, standing up at the kitchen counter, or sitting out on my patio.

Do you work a "day job?" Is there a secret/technique you’ve found that helps with balancing the writing and working life?
I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for almost 28 years. My kids are grown now so I don’t have the tug of war between family and work. But I find writing on deadline very stressful because I’m a slow writer. I’m looking forward to completing the Rustic Knoll series so I can have a life again. At least until the next idea strikes!

Do you blog? If so, leave us the address.
I don’t blog regularly, but I do have one on my website:

Now the fun stuff... :)

On a dream research trip, where would you go? What would you ask to see/experience first?
This has nothing to do with what I’m writing now, but I would go to the British Isles and explore every part of them. I’ve always been fascinated by castles, so that’s what I’d initially want to experience.

When you read, do you prefer paperback, e-book, or audio? Why?
I’m not much for audio books, although I did enjoy one I received as a trial. I like e-books when I’m reading for fun, but for instructional books or authors whose writing style I really enjoy, I prefer paperback so I can underline and mark spots I want to remember.

Author bio.
Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, hosting small group Bible studies and pancake suppers. One summer, she even volunteered as a camp counselor for a week—and decided once was enough.
When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.

Book blurb.
Having his younger sister at camp was a pain, but Taylor Dixon never expected the pain would go so deep.
At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving racecars when he’s older. Only his younger sister, Marissa, believes in his dreams, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. Dad won’t let Taylor get his license unless he stays out of trouble, and predicts he’s heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother.
Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp, expecting softball, swimming and sermons. Then he discovers a classic Mustang in the camp’s machine shed, and the owner’s invitation to help restore it fuels his dream of driving race cars. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the ensuing war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens to destroy both the car and his dreams for the future.
Will Taylor fulfill Dad’s prediction?
Or will the message of the old Mustang’s engine set him free from the prison he built himself?
To view a book trailer go to:

Which of these things can readers can do to help spread the word about this book?
Word of mouth, reviews,
Blog posts,
Tweets/Facebook posts,
Like the author's Facebook page, follow on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads,
If you win/buy a copy, post a pic with the book,
Repin book quotes or cover art from the author on,
Recommend to a library or book club, or start one with this book.
All of these are great suggestions. I’d add one more: if your church has a library, or your kids attend a private school, buy this book and donate it. Thank you!
You can connect with me here:

Thanks Mary!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Trying Fan Fiction

It started with a necklace.

Actually, it started with a book... Okay, it started way before that, but for the sake of brevity--it started with a necklace.

I wanted the replica of Jonathan Tarquinias' ivory horse head necklace, and I wanted it bad. (Why? Read Chasing the Lion to find out.)

So when I saw author Nancy Kimball wearing one in a photo, I asked where I could purchase one of these necklaces. She said "Nuh-uh, girl, you're going to have to work for it." Haha! No, not really--she's a sweet lady. But she did mention she was giving away one of the necklaces in her upcoming fanfic contest.

Write fan fiction?
What? It'd be way too hard. There's no way I could get into the characters' heads enough to be believable. After all, these people came out of someone else's head, not mine. I'd fail epically, then be laughed permanently out of Wannabe Writer Land.

But, aaaaggghhh, I wanted that necklace! So I decided to try.

I reread half the book (Which was a pleasure--since picking up the quill, I seldom get to reread books I love. This gave me the perfect excuse.). I steeped myself in the provided backstory. Researched Roman vases and looked up words in Latin. Wrote a horrible draft that was WAY too short. Revised. Revised again. Edited. And WOAH, word count overflow. Trim trim trim. Snagged a proofread. Sent the entry. Whew!

Waiting thoughts: Prolly won't even final. Nancy's writing's amazing. I know she has lots of writer friends, and if they write half as good as she does, I won't have a chance. At least I'll have fun reading the winning entry and seeing how other writers represent Nancy's characters.

So I mosey over to:!fanfic/caot

What in the world?!

Is that my face? Is that MY entry???


I'm a little woozy over this news and the lack of my usual Sunday nap, so this post may read like an 8-year-old's diary, but I wanted to share my first fanfic experience with y'all. Fanfiction-ing was fun! 

Now I'm off to listen to the audiobook, narrated by Joseph Narducci--y'all, he is SO Jonathan.

BTW, Chasing the Lion is only $3.99 on Kindle as of 8.10.14!