MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but open people's eyes to their God-given potential. MaryLu is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.
The following is a March 2013 interview with MaryLu.
First of all, thanks so much for having me! I grew up on the shores of Southern Florida, so I suppose you could have called me a beach bum back then. I loved to snorkel and swim and lie on the sand and dream of tall ships and pirates and swashbuckling heroes. Somehow, I ended up all the way on the other side of the country in California (which has equally gorgeous beaches by the way—just not as warm. Brrrr). I’m a wife, mother of 6, ex-software engineer (yes, I thought that was weird, too) and lover of God, popcorn, cats, and chocolate.
2. How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?
I always loved to write! I wrote short stories and poems in elementary school and even attempted a novel in high school. Finished it too! But I never felt confident enough to try and get it published. I wrote a few more novels while I attended college, got married and had a bevy of kids! The weird thing is, I never once considered trying to get published. Writing was more of a hobby. Then one year I truly felt God telling me to write a Christian pirate story. I know it sounds like I should have been locked in an asylum…and at the time I was tempted to put myself on meds just to stop those voices! But I obeyed. I wrote the book, thinking that would be it. But then God kept leading me here and leading me there until I found myself with an agent and a contract! And The Redemption was born! Believe me, getting published normally doesn’t happen this way so I know this was a total God-thing.
There are so many different types of Christian Fiction out there these days. I’m not simply talking about genres like romance or suspense or mystery, but I’m referring to styles of writing and storylines that span from very sweet Amish stories to somewhat bloody military suspense. There are books that hardly mention God and others that carry a strong spiritual message. Each one has a unique audience God wants to reach. However, I would say the main thing that sets Christian Fiction apart from Secular Fiction is that you can trust that when you pick up a Christian book, you aren’t going to find any graphic sex, violence, or foul language. And let’s face it, there’s plenty of that out there in the secular market, and it seems to be increasing daily. A Christian fiction book is one you would feel comfortable allowing your kids to read. Whether you’re a Christian or not, that surely brings a great deal of comfort to many parents.
Like any author, I hope they love my stories! I want them to get swept away in the adventure and romance and intrigue. I want them to feel like they’ve made new friends with my characters and have been on a grand adventure right beside them. But most of all, it is my prayer that the message in my books will bring my readers closer to God. That’s why I write!
5. What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why?
There’s nothing like getting an email from a reader who says that because of my book, she or he, gave their life to God! I’ve gotten a few of those and they always bring me to tears. I also love the notes that say how my book changed a person’s way of thinking, or reminded them of a truth they’d long forgotten, or got them reading their Bible again after years of neglect. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that! I still can’t believe God can use little ole me and my books to reach His hand of love out to others! Amazing.
Deepened it tremendously. For a number of reasons. One, without leaning minute by minute on God, I could not write like I do. He gives me the stories and the skill and we work together. I’m always talking to Him, always asking Him things. It’s super neat. Secondly, I’ve become stronger in spiritual warfare. I always know when a book I’m writing will impact people because I will get a ton of opposition on it. Interruptions in writing, criticisms, harsh reviews, health issues, family issues.. anything to get me discouraged or distracted. Grrrr. And lastly, even if I think I know a spiritual truth well enough to incorporate it into one of my stories, while I’m actually writing the book and walking step by step with the character, God always reveals new and deeper knowledge to me along the way. So, I’m also being blessed by my own books. Weird, huh?
Raise Godly children who love God and make an impact in this world for His Kingdom, and who become more and more like Jesus every day. Huge goals, I know! But I like to shoot for the top.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to garden, watch movies, and oil paint!! But I rarely have time for painting anymore.
Veil of Pearls
[Purchase: Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle]
My current trilogy, Escape to Paradise, is based on an actual historical event few people have ever heard of. After the American Civil War, several hundred thousand Southerners fled their homeland for greener shores elsewhere. Defeated, war-weary, disillusioned, they couldn’t bear to live under harsh Northern rule so they set sail in the hopes of recreating their Southern way of life somewhere else. Forsaken Dreams, book 1 in my Escape to Paradise trilogy, follows a group of such people as they head from Charleston, South Carolina to Brazil, where they forge a living out of the untamed jungle. Books 2 and 3 follow their struggles, their victories, as well as the romances which form among the colonists. Though I kept the stories as factual as I could, the series takes a supernatural turn which I believe readers will find interesting. I pitched the series as a cross between the TV show LOST and Gone with the Wind.
Forsaken Dreams (Escape to Paradise #1)
[Purchase: Amazon.com | Amazon Kindle]
10. What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead?
Mermaids, pirates, slave-traders, Revolutionary privateers! I have a ton of ideas swimming around in my head!
11. What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?
Hello down under! Or is that just for Australia? Either way, both countries are on my MUST VISIT list. I hear it’s gorgeous there with plenty of warm beaches just like I love! Maybe someday I’ll come for a book signing (whilst I sit on the beach, of course!)
12. Do you have any parting words?
Thanks for having me! Great questions! I had fun answering them. Thanks to anyone who made it down this far! I love hearing from my readers, so go to my website and drop me a line sometime. In the meantime, God Bless you!
Connect with MaryLu Tyndall online: Website // Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest
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