The old proverb says 'birds of a feather stick together' and has been in use since at least the mid 16th century. In 1545 William Turner used a version of it in his papist satire The Rescuing of Romish Fox: 'Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together'.
So it is with writers and this month I'm pleased to welcome independent author, Mahrie G. Reid.
I'd actually known of Mahrie for a while, recognizing the name long before I met her. After reading her answers to my questions I now know her a lot better
1. When and why did you start writing? What is it about writing that satisfies you the most?
I started telling stories when I was seven or eight and by the time I was fourteen had been writing them down for a few years. My plots were quite fantastic. In one book, the twins inherit an island and old house from a great-aunt. Words were stock and trade in our house. Mom was a writer and Dad a preacher. The dictionary lived on the radiator beside the kitchen table. “Look it up,” Mom would say. It is like music. People with music in their souls play music, write music and listen to music. Word people write, read and tell stories. It is to me like air or food. I thrive when I write. I turn grumpy when I don’t.
2. What is one subject or genre you would never write about and why?
I’d never write horror stories. They frighten me and give me nightmares.
3. What was the best writing advice you ever had, and did it work?
Keep writing, no matter what. And yes, it did. I used writing in my work and for pleasure. Now I have three books published.
4. How did you feel when you held your first book in your hands?
I opened the package and gazed at it. With my one hand I stroked the cover. Then I laughed and hugged it. Excitement and satisfaction were what I felt.
5. Do you read your reviews? If so, how do you celebrate the good and get over the bad?
I don’t usually read my reviews. People either like my book or they don’t. I can’t control their tastes. I’ve received enough positive comments about my writing to know that there are people who like my stories. That’s good enough for me.
6. Have you ever judged any writing competitions? If you have, what about the process surprised you the most?
It has been years since I judged contests. However, what I remember is the lack of research people did before writing and submitting. Not the subject of the story, but the formats, the lengths of scenes and chapters, the use of various craft skills and those details that are so readily available.
1. What have you always wanted? Did you ever get it?
I always wanted a Jaguar car but never did get one and now think it impractical. But I still like them.
2. What keys on a keyboard do you not use? There is one called Alt Gr – I have no idea what it’s for so I never use it.
3. What is the most memorable class you’ve ever taken? I took the Dale Carnegie courses and later worked for the organization. The skills I learned have helped me in all areas of my life. The courses are not about public speaking. That is simply the tool they use to teach other life skills. Some of those skills saved my sanity more than once.
4. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Any day that I remember to choose happiness is a perfectly happy day. That contented feeling inside and a giggle just waiting to happen make moments perfect.
SPEED QUESTIONS: Have you ever:
1. Lied about your age? Yes
2. Danced naked in the rain? Yes
3. Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? Yes- when my kids were sick.
4. Won a contest? Once
5. Eaten ice cream straight from the carton? Of course
6. Locked yourself out of your house? Oh yes.*sigh*
7. Ridden a motorcycle? Oh, baby – I sure did.
8. Taken an enormous risk? Yes
9. Gotten lost in a strange city? Yes
10. Eaten a whole packet of cookies? Does an entire pan of Rice Crispy squares count?
11. Watched the stars at night? Yes
12. Worn odd socks? Yes
Thanks much, Mahrie! Loved to hear that someone else has danced naked in the rain. In my world, a pan of Rice Crispy squares definitely equals a whole packet of cookies. My DDH once made a batch of chocolate chip cookies - except instead of individual cookies he made one huge one in our cast iron frying pan. Need I say more? Tomorrow I'll have details of some of Mahrie's books.