I have loved this entire series, but this third book...well, it was my favorite of all. I am amazed at how Marylu transformed a character so realistically from one I wanted to throttle to one I rooted for. And the twists and turns this one took...so good!
Marylu has been gracious enough to stop by and answer some questions. Take a moment to read the interview, then get over to amazon.com and pick up a copy of The Restitution.
Welcome to On The Write Path. The readers of this blog know what a big fan I am of your work. I’m thrilled to have you stop by for a chat.
Thank you so much! ’Tis a grand pleasure to be here.
Congratulations on being named a Christy Award Finalist. Can you tell us a little about that experience?
First of all, I had no idea my publisher had submitted The Redemption for the Christy’s so it came as quite a shock when I was a final in the romance category. In fact stunned would be a better word. Going to the award ceremony was a big thrill for me. I felt like I as at the Oscars, surrounded by so many famous authors that I admired greatly. It was overwhelming. I had an absolute blast and I praise God for the opportunity.
I understand you were at the ICRS this summer. What were your impressions, and what, as an author, were your responsibilities?
I was only at the ICRS for the Christy Awards. I couldn’t stay any longer due to family obligations, but I did attend the prior year, and I’m telling you it was fabulous! I had more fun walking the floor, looking at all the great Christian merchandise that hadn’t even hit the market yet. Then, of course, all the authors signing free books! It was like heaven. As a new author last year, my publisher set up a book signing with three other authors—my very first one. I was petrified but it went great.
How do you balance the day-to-day, real-world demands on your time with the demands of writing fiction?
God first, family second, then my writing. It has to be that way, or my life will not be God honoring. When I’m not in the middle of a divine interruption, or dealing with a family issue, or doing laundry, cleaning, or cooking, I’m in my writing room, pounding the keys with my eyes closed as I envision a great sea battle in my head. It is amazing how much you can get done if you just grab every extra minute God gives you—and always pray before you start.
How has your family responded to your writing career?
Shocked would be the best word to describe it! You see I didn’t really try to write anything for publication until just three years ago, so I think they were as shocked as I was when my first novel got accepted. Now, they are just happy for me, proud in some ways, I suppose, but it’s been great for some of my family members—particular those who aren’t following the Lord right now—to see how He has worked miracle after miracle in my life.
I love your website. www.mltyndall.com Your author-voice is so evident in every aspect of the site. As a former software engineer, did you design it yourself?
As much as I’d love to take credit for it, no I didn’t. I wanted a really special site with cannons firing..etc, so I needed a professional. My software career was more of coding programs—very boring stuff, not web design. By the way, I highly recommend Stone Creek Media, the company who did the design.
What has been the reader reaction to The Restitution? Were they disappointed in not reading more of Charlisse and Merrick?
I have gotten a ton of mail from people who want to see more of Charlisse and Merrick! I never would have guessed what a big impact my characters would have made. Yet, at the same time, they tell me they loved The Restitution, some even more than the other two books. Now, I guess I need to write a sequel that involves Charlisse, Merrick, Kent, and Isabel!
Reviews, positive and negative, are a part of the writing business. How do you handle the highs of a complimentary review, and how do you deal with the lows of a less than stellar review?
This has definitely been one of the hardest parts of being an author. There will always be some people who for one reason or another, don’t like my writing, my stories, or my characters. I received one review on The Restitution that brought me to tears. On the flip side, a good review can cause me to get puffed up as well. What I’ve finally learned to do is give the glory to God whenever I get a great review, and try to find one thing I can improve in my writing when I get a bad one.
You must’ve done a terrific amount of research for The Legacy of the King’s Pirates series. What were some of your most helpful resources, and how much of what we see on “Pirates of the Caribbean” is authentic?
Books, books and more books. I read all I could about pirates until I felt like I was one! (Much to my family’s terror) I posted a list of the best ones on my website under Pirates for those who are interested. Plus I used the internet quite a bit—filled with great pirate information, and I watched movies. The Hornblower series, Master and Commander..etc… Love those tall ships!
Surprisingly, much of what you see in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies is factual—all except the curses and the fish people and the goddess of the sea and all that weird stuff.
Speaking of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” I couldn’t help but think when your initial pirate book The Redemption came out, how terrific God’s timing was. Tell us how you came to be writing a pirate series at a time when American pop culture would be clamoring for all things pirate.
That was a total God thing! And His timing is always perfect. When I began The Redemption, the first pirate movie had just come out. I had no intention of getting it published. I had some free time and God put on my heart to write. By the time The Redemption hit the market, the 2nd pirate movie was out, and now book 3, The Restitution has been released just two months after the 3rd movie. That kind of timing doesn’t come about unless God’s finger is upon it.
What project(s) do you have coming up? Will there be more books in this series, or are you branching out into something new?
I’m currently writing a novel, The Falcon and the Sparrow, set in London 1803 during the beginning of the Napoleonic wars. It’s an adventurous romance about a French spy and an Admiral in the British Navy. It will be released in September ’08. After that, I’m contracted for another three book series set in Charleston, SC in the early 1700’s—more tall ships, handsome captains, fearless heroines, and grand adventures upon the sea.
Any parting words for the aspiring novelists who drop by here?
Read. Read bestsellers, read novels that have won awards, read novels that you absolutely fell in love with and then pick them apart. Why did they win? Why do you love them? Is it the characters? The emotions? The plot? The scenery? The language? Is it they way you felt when you read it? Why did it make you feel that way? The best way to become a great writer is to figure out what makes a great book so great.
Thank you, Marylu, for visiting On the Write Path. And for all of you who haven’t read her books yet: Get Thee to Amazon.com post haste!
Thanks so much for having me! God bless you all!