Today I turn my blog over to author Mary S. Palmer, a multi-published author whose most recent release is To Catch A Fish (co-authored with David Wilton). Enjoy! ~ S.G. Rogers
I started writing when I was five years old in Mobile, Alabama. I remember walking up and down my block and going to each of the twenty houses to sell my news sheet to any neighbor who’d give me a nickel. Remembering this later, I was reminded of the similar sequence on Andy Griffith when Opie did much the same thing and I wondered if I’d embarrassed my parents as he did.
It took a long time to progress to essays and poetry, but I kept trying. When a publisher in New Orleans gave me an assignment to write a biography of Governor George Wallace, I was thrilled. But I came back down to earth when, after six months of research, the company went out of business. That didn’t stop me. Another publisher showed interest and I kept researching, making many trips to Montgomery and even to Maryland to talk to people in Laurel, where Wallace was shot and paralyzed, including his doctor, and hospital administrators. I also interviewed Wallace and seven other governors of different states.
The second publisher ended up not taking the book. Two New York agents tried, but didn’t sell it. I ended up returning to college and using the book KEEP ON KEEPING ON: THE STORY OF GEORGE WALLACE as my Master’s Thesis for a degree in English. As it turned out, I was the first person at the University of Alabama to complete that degree with a Concentration in Creative Writing.
I continued writing but I like to switch genres. My first published book, coauthored with Elizabeth Coffman, Ph.D., was a collection of essays, short stories, and the history of Mobile. Congressman Sonny Callahan wrote the Foreword. It is entitled:
MemoraMOBILEia: Alabama Gulf Coast Potpourri. I also coauthored False Gods (fiction about a corrupt TV evangelist) with Dr. Coffman. My coauthor on The Callings (true crime) was Loretta Theriot and I coauthored a biography of James McEnery entitled Quest for Forgiveness.
My most recent book is an e-book by Musa Publishing called To Catch a Fish (novel about friendships and philosophy, plus the sanctity of the sea) coauthored with David V. Wilton.
When a fisherman is accused of murder, Alabama’s first black lieutenant governor may give up his career to defend his friend.
Davey Simpson, a fisherman, is charged with the murder of a powerful Alabama politician’s son. His childhood friend, Ben Johnson, an attorney, has to decide whether to resign as the first black lieutenant governor of Alabama in order to take Davey’s case.
While in the Mobile County Jail awaiting trial, Davey has a unique way of surviving confinement. Since he can’t endure living in the present, he lives in the past, recalling memories of his two childhood friends—his lost love, Pokey, and his best friend, Ben.
Those memories allow Davey to escape the unbearable loneliness of incarceration.
Davey’s plight causes childhood friends, separated by time and space, to reunite and renew their relationships. Unexpected twists reveal the many complications involved in the case and in Davey’s life.
Musa Publishing has also published Time Will Tell, a science fiction book about aliens who use an earthling to help them integrate back into society to share knowledge of cures for fatal diseases despite enemies from their planet trying to stop them.
Reporter Mona Stewart finds herself in another world of warring factions and one of them holds the key to immortality and cures for fatal diseases.
In the inner space of outer space, an earthling, reporter Mona Stewart, discovers that living almost forever in idleness, and without challenges, is much worse than having too much to do. The only reprieve from boredom for the Svarians is outwitting the Aliens.
I currently teach English at Faulkner State Community College in Fairhope, Alabama and at Faulkner University in Mobile. I have taught creative writing, too. I love to travel and I have been very fortunate to have visited all fifty of the United States and every continent except Antarctica. Most of the time, I come home with a story that I use in a book.
For me, the easiest thing is to find a topic to write about. I also like plot development. Even in fiction, I do a lot of research. If I write about a particular place, whether I use the real name or not, I like it to be authentic–have the plants it really has, or the same lighting or furnishings, for example.
The hardest? Making sure it has complete unity from beginning to end, showing not telling, not repeating words or phrases and using all of the senses.
The most rewarding thing about writing is not just having it published, it’s when someone is as excited about reading it as I was about writing it. Most of all, it’s thrilling to have a reader discuss the characters and the plot with me after they’ve read the book. That’s what makes the labor of writing worthwhile.
~ Mary S. Palmer
To learn more about Mary S. Palmer, visit her blog!
See the Mobile Arts Council Artist Directory page for Mary HERE
To Catch a Fish is available at Musa Publishing (in all formats). Coming soon to Amazon and BN.com!