Today, I am pleased to welcome author Mary L. Hamilton to Interviews & Reviews! Mary has written three books for young teens and two adult mysteries. She finds inspiration for her novels in real-life situations, and her stories feature characters who struggle in various aspects of faith. When not writing, Mary enjoys reading, knitting, playing with her dog, and quiet evenings at home with her husband. They have three grown children and two cute grandsons. You can find out more about Mary's books through her website at https://maryhamiltonbooks.com/.
Today, Mary is going to talk to us about her latest book, Dead Air. And she is giving away an ebook copy to one lucky winner!
Mary, welcome to I & R!
How many books have you written?
This is my fifth novel. I started out writing a three-book series for young teens called The Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. It was inspired by my own background growing up at a youth camp. But I’d always wanted to write for adults. So, when that series was finished, I transitioned to adult mysteries. Dead Air: A Waco Mystery is my second stand-alone mystery.
What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
I find getting the story down as a rough draft is the hardest. There’s something about that cold writing that I find difficult. I’m not a pantser who can just sit down and let the ideas flow. Generally, for me, getting those story ideas to come out is like pulling teeth. And I’m talking wisdom teeth.
I can relate! What inspired you to write this book?
The idea for Dead Air came to me after the mass shooting in Las Vegas years ago. We’ve since learned a lot more about the type of people who commit these horrific crimes. But at the time, family members of the shooters were usually taken by surprise as much as the general public. I saw so much sympathy for the victims and their families. But the parents and families, and friends of the shooters were often ostracized and made to feel guilty, even though they, too, were shocked at what happened. I wondered, what if someone that everyone considered a great guy were suspected of something like a mass shooting?
Which character in Dead Air do you like the most?
I like Bryce, the 18-yr. old son. He had a close relationship with his dad and struggled to accept what had happened. It doesn’t mesh with the character his dad always exhibited and taught. In his grief, he makes some bad decisions but eventually lives up to the ideals his dad set for him.
How were you saved?
I was privileged to grow up in a Christian home, so I don’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross. But as a high school freshman, I read The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and was amazed at how God was involved in the lives of these gang members in New York City. I remember thinking, if God can do things like that in the lives of people like that, imagine what He could do in my life.
It was at that point that God became real to me. I understood he wanted to be involved in my life on a daily basis, and because Jesus rose from the dead, he was still alive and active in the lives of people who give him access to their life.
What authors have inspired you?
Jan Karon’s Mitford Series hooked me from the start. I love her characters and how they interact. I definitely aspire to write like her.
I also admire Charles Martin. He approaches the ordinary in extraordinary ways, and I find myself stopping to savor his descriptions and insights.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Walk my dog. (laughing) Since writing is such a sedentary activity, I decided a couple of years ago that I needed a dog to encourage me to get up and move. She takes her purpose way more seriously than I intended. It really feels like anytime I’m not writing, I’m walking the dog. But I keep telling myself it’s good for my health. I do manage to read, and in the winter, I enjoy knitting. And I now have two little grandsons to keep me busy as well.
You sound like you have a very full life. Thank you for sharing with us today, Mary.
And now, Dear Readers, if you would like to win an ebook copy of Mary's book, Dead Air, just fill out the form below! This giveaway will end Monday, December 5, 2022. Winners will be announced here, via email and through our Facebook Page.
Congratulations to Marcia Laycock!