Thursday, 16 February 2012

Author Interview: Mary Pauline Lowry

This is the first ever post on a new feature called 'The 5 Questions' where I ask authors 5 of the same questions about their new book.

Today, I have Mary Pauline Lowry, author of The Earthquake Machine, to answer a few questions about her new book. 

1) How did you come up with the idea for The Earthquake Machine?

Luckily for me, I have amazing and sweet parents who are nothing like Rhonda's parents in The Earthquake Machine. But my mom did take me to Mexico a lot when I was a little girl. Somehow just by writing, I came up with the idea of a 14 year old girl named Rhonda who runs away while on river rafting trip in Big Bend National Park. She swims across the Rio Grande River to Mexico and travels all the way to the state of Oaxaca. I wanted to write a novel about a brave and brazen young American girl experiencing Mexico for the first time.

2) What did you enjoy writing most about in the book?

In the book there is a group of Mexican women bandits who dress up like men in order to rob people. They know in a machismo culture they won’t be taken seriously as criminals unless people think they are men. It was really fun and delightful to write about female outlaws.

3) Describe the book in a sentence.

The book tells the story of an American girl who runs away to Mexico and “passes” as a Mexican boy while she searches for her family’s gardener who has been deported.

4) What advice would you give to future writers - both writing and publishing wise?

First I would urge writers to set a time to write every day. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time at first. Even 15 minutes will do. I would also encourage young writers to NEVER show their work to anyone they don’t trust completely to be encouraging. This is crucial in the early stages of writing.

The publishing industry is changing so rapidly—with the advent of ebooks and the success of self-published authors—that the advice I would give writers now regarding publication is TOTALLY different than the advice I would have given five years ago. I’ll have to quote the author SETH GODIN who says that now that it’s possible to self-publish and have your books widely accessible to readers through the internet, “only you can say no to yourself.”

Five or ten years ago, agents and editors could “say no” to an author and the author would have no other options. Those days are over now.

5) What are you working on next?

I have written another novel that hasn’t been released yet called THE GODS OF FIRE that is based on my personal experiences as a forest firefighter. The book has been optioned for film. I wrote the script and there is a director attached to the project. But I’m working on a small script revision so that the script can go out to actors. It’s super fun!

Thank you to Mary!

Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. Due to no fault of her sweet parents, at 15 she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way.

THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE is being published on 1st March 2012. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Rebecca, for featuring Mary Pauline Lowry on your blog. It always fun to read about how she develops the ideas for her writing (she has some short stories on amazon and they are great). I read The Earthquake Machine and LOVED it! I'm a huge fan!!!


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