Today I am pleased to welcome author, Mary Alford to Interviews & Reviews. Mary is a USA Today bestselling author who loves giving her readers the unexpected, combining unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots that result in stories the reader can't put down. Her titles have been finalists for several awards, including the Daphne Du Maurier, the Beverly, the Maggie, and the Selah. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two cats and one dog. You can discover more about her at www.maryalford.net.
Today, Mary is talking to us about her upcoming release Among the Innocent and she is giving away one print copy in the U.S. and one eBook for those outside the U.S.
Mary, welcome to I & R!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think it was a natural transition for me. I loved to read and gravitated toward mystery and suspense. I devoured every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy book I could find, and then graduated to Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Then as a pre-teen, I tried my hand at writing my first book. It was terrible, but the spark to write was ignited and it never went out even though it was many years later before I was published.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Most of my books are set near the mountains because that’s my happy place. I love their majesty, and that they can contribute to the suspense of a story. And a lot of my books contain some of my personality in them. For instance, I’m a coffee drinker, so most of my stories have the hero and heroine drinking coffee, and I love animals. The heroine in AMONG THE INNOCENT has adopted a stray cat from behind the police station where she works. The cat’s name is Kitty.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
For me, information comes in many places. Whether it’s something I’ve read or heard about on TV, or simply taking a walk. I can see something unusual, and my brain starts creating a story almost immediately.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Hanging out with my husband is my most favorite thing to do. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing if we’re together. I do love to read, but find I have little time for it with my writing schedule. Those moments when I can read are precious. I also try my hand at crafting from time to time, and I love to play the piano and bake.
What's your favorite part about being a writer? Research? First Draft? Editing?
I’d say my favorite part is when the idea first comes to me, and I start formulating the story in my head. It’s so exciting getting to meet the characters for the first time and learning about their likes and dislikes. Their flaws. Then I throw them into a dangerous situation that seems impossible, but together we find a way out.
What do you think makes a good story?
I love stories that have lots of twists and turns and keep you guessing until the very end. But I think the most important aspect of a story is a satisfying ending where everything works out and it leaves you with a smile. That’s a good story.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Believe it or not, I wanted to work in an office. I didn’t have any specific type of business, I just wanted to work in an office environment answering phones and filing paperwork. After doing those things in the past, I can admit it wasn’t always as glamorous as I thought it would be growing up. Office work can be hard.
Tell us about AMONG THE INNOCENT.
AMONG THE INNOCENT is set in the Amish community of St. Ignatius, Montana, and features Leah Miller, a former girl whose entire family was murdered when she was sixteen years old. Leah left the faith and later became a police officer, but she never believed the man who was accused of killing her family was guilty. Now, the killer has returned and makes it clear he’s coming for her. Leah and the new chief of police, Dalton Cooper, must race against time to find the killer’s identity, and both soon learn they are connected to the case in ways neither suspected.
That sounds exciting! This book comes out on June 1st. If you would like one of the very first copies fill out the form below! One print copy will go to someone in the U.S. and an eBook will go to someone outside the U.S. This giveaway ends March 8, 2022. Winners will be notified here, on Facebook and through email. Failure to claim your giveaway within five days will result in another winner being chosen.
Congratulations to Marie Edwards and Linda Smith! You have both won a copy of Among the Innocent! Watch for our email.
When Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family's deaths.
As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can't help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah--and Dalton--when the full truth comes to light?
USA Today bestselling author Mary Alford keeps you guessing as two determined souls plumb the dark depths of the past in order to forge a brighter future--together.