I am thrilled to be able to present to you an interview with Mara Byrne, heroine of Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. For those of you who have not yet read the book, don’t worry, no spoilers here! Just a glimpse into who Mara is and what motivates her. If any of you have questions you would like to ask, please feel free to contact me and I will be glad to relay the questions to her. Thank you and enjoy!
Question: Mara, what was it like growing up in Persimmon Hollow, Arkansas?
Answer: Persimmon Hollow is a beautiful place. It’s green and lush and on Spring mornings you can smell the honeysuckle in the air. It was and still is a rural farming community. Everybody knows everybody. We were like one big family. We would always pitch in and help whenever help was needed, whether it was during planting season and harvest time. Sundays were special, everyone would attend church in the mornings and after the services we would have “dinner on the ground”. People were mostly poor, but we were rich in other ways.
Question: What was it like growing up with 6 brothers?
Answer: A challenge! My brothers are very special to me. They watched over me, most of the time. There were times when we would fight and Papa would scold them for fighting with me, since I was a “girl”. It always made me mad when he wouldn’t treat me like the boys. I understand why he protected me, it was just his nature. I think I grew up tougher and more independent. My father was a good, decent, hardworking man and all my brothers are just like him.
Question: Did you always want to be a writer?
Answer: I always loved telling stories and my brothers were the perfect audience. We didn’t have television when I was young and that’s how we entertained ourselves. Sometimes we would act the stories out too. I wrote short stories when I was growing up and then as an adult I concentrated on novels.
Question: What is your favorite book?
Answer: Oh, gosh, that’s a hard one! You know I really have so many books that I love that it’s hard to pick just one. If a book keeps me captivated and transports me to another time and place than I love it, it’s served it’s purpose.
Question: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you absolutely have to have to survive? Besides food, water and shelter, of course.
Answer: My laptop with and a wireless connection. Does that count as one or two? We’ll say one. My pillow. I have a certain pillow that I can’t sleep without. My photo albums. Pictures of my friends and loved one give me inspiration.
Question: When do you do your best writing? Morning or Evening?
Answer: I like to write in the morning. My mind seems to be sharper in the morning. I dream practically every night and I sometimes use my dreams as ideas or solutions to problems in my books. I find that I can remember my dreams better in the mornings. I like to leave my evenings free for reading or watching movies and just spending time with my friends.
Question: Speaking of friends, you and Alex Strange have grown very close haven’t you?
Answer: Yes, we have.
Question: Care to elaborate?
Answer: No, not at this time. (A huge smile appeared on Mara’s face at this point. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.)
Question: Which actor curls your toes?
Answer: Oh, good question! I love Robert Redford’s beautiful hair and Steve McQueen’s bad boy persona. I adore Paul Newman’s blue eyes. But, in 1976, the summer before my senor year in high school a movie came out with a relatively unknown actor who absolutely melted my heart with his rugged good looks and velvety voice. The actor’s name is Sam Elliot and the movie was Lifeguard. My best friend and I saw the movie together and afterward we were hopelessly in love. I can’t tell you anything about the movie’s plot or any of the other characters, just that Sam Elliot was in it. He still is a very sexy man.
Question: What was your most embarrassing moment?
Answer: I’ve had so many! But I think the most embarrassing moment for me was happened about 10 years ago. Now, you have to realize that I’m not a graceful person. I can walk across the floor and trip over thin air! But this was particularly bad because . . . well let me just tell the
I was asked to speak at a writer’s conference and the day of my workshop it had come a downpour and there were puddles everywhere. You couldn’t walk without going through one. Well, I thought I’d be smart and try to jump over a puddle instead of walking around. When I landed on the other side, my feet flew out from underneath me and I landed flat on my rump. Instead of jumping up immediately I sit there in the puddle. I looked around to see if anyone had seen me and at least twenty faces were staring at me. I smiled and waved. I led the workshop with a towel wrapped around by behind. I got more great feedback from that workshop then any other I’ve ever done. I don’t know if it was really that good or the attendee just felt sorry for me. I guess you could say things were easier once I got my feet wet, or in this case my behind.
Question: If you could tell the readers of Let Sleeping Dogs Lie one thing, what would it be?
Answer: Thank you and stay tuned.
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