Recently, I went to Louisville, KY to a convention called Imaginarium. I met a lot of great folks, and am going to be bringing you a LOT of interviews in the days to come over on Writer Groupie. Mary Ellen Quire was one of the attendees that I have the privilege of presenting to you here.
About Mary Ellen Quire
I became interested in writing when I took a creative writing class (way back in high school) but I didn’t actually start getting serious with it until 2002. Since I’ve worked as a veterinary technician for the past fifteen years and been the mother to four wonderful daughters, all of my writing time took place in the wee morning hours before other demands for my attention took over. Now, I’m up before the chickens to write out of sheer habit. In my “spare” time, I do a lot of reading, host a local book club, and enjoy a lot of Netflix marathons with my daughters. I enjoy a few outdoor activities like fishing and camping but haven’t done either of these in years.
My husband and I have lived in the same county all of our lives, both of us preferring the small town quiet over the hustle and bustle of large town or city life. We have two cats, a snake and a rat; all of them preventing us from becoming those whiney empty-nesters you hear so much about. LOL
About Mary Ellen’s work
I started out writing poetry, nothing substantial, just playing around with it over the years. When I finally got up the gumption to try and write a short story, I found that one turned into two, and then three and then four; why not try my hand at a novel? I wrote my first book, which is still in the recesses of my file cabinet waiting to see the light of day, and loved the challenge of it. In a novel, there is just so much space and time to work with as opposed to the compactness of a short story, so I decided to write another.
My first published book was Link Detonator, a time travel story with a new take on the fantasized ability. It was followed the next year with the second book, Detonator Time’s Up. Dark Deliverance came in 2010; my own tribute to the vampire and urban fantasy craze which has swept over the reading world. Sheldon’s Diary (an idea spurred from a Facebook blog I write) was released in 2015 and the second book in the series, Cheddar’s Diary, is in production now.
Between all of these, I have a few other projects in the works; a detective series (I’m nearly finished writing the second book) and a light-hearted story about a burnt out assassin. And like a lot of writers, there is a plethora of bits and pieces of projects that may or may not grow into something usable.
About her writing style
I focus a lot on my characters, which for me is the heart of any good story, so I really don’t stress a lot over the setting. I also try and avoid lengthy stretches of prose mainly because as a reader, I find it a bit tedious and as a writer, I find you can reveal too much. I love books which tease you along, slowly showing you the characters as you go, and that’s how I write. I do use a lot of dialogue between my characters because it’s active and helps the story to flow smoothly. And if I can’t stick a lot of sarcastic humor into it the mix, well, then I have accomplished nothing.
More from the author :
What do you find challenging about the writing life?
The writing life is not an easy path to take and there are many challenges to overcome in the chosen profession. The biggest challenge for me is trying to schedule my time appropriately. When you first start out, it’s all about writing the book. But then it’s published and writing time suddenly needs to be cut so that other matters like marketing and promotion can be addressed. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.
If you could write from any place on earth, where would you choose to write from?
I know a lot of authors would choose elaborate spots to write, but for me there’s no place like home, any other location would just provide one more distraction.
When asked to set goals, what do you see( for yourself or current WIP) in five years with your writing?
In five years, I hope to have the first two books of the detective series published and the third book completed. I’d love to see the assassin novel out there as well. I think it would really be a hit as a series. Sheldon’s Diary should be running on its fifth book and I’d love to see it really take off. But I think one of my biggest goals would be to travel around more for signings and conventions.
What are you reading right now?
I usually read several books at a time, which is some sort of crazy behavior I’ve taken on as a result of the amount of wonderful reading material out there (so many books, so little time) but at the moment I’m reading Stephen King’s Half Past Midnight, Charlotte Bronte’s novel Shirley, Dark Harvest by Karen Harper, and The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.
Who is your favorite author?
I actually have two, Stephen King and Jim Butcher.
Give a bit of advice to an aspiring author.
For any writer, I would say to read everything you can get your hands on whether it’s in the genre you write or not. There is just so much knowledge to be gained from doing so that I can’t stress it enough. And as always, never give up on your dream. The writing world runs on a speed which seems to crawl most of the time and everyone is rejected at some point or another, but don’t let that discourage you. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was good work of fiction.
Ever wonder what your cat has been up to while you’re away or sleeping cozily in your bed? Wonder no longer. All you have to do is find their diary, plop down on the couch, and read all about their secret adventures. Please be aware that you may have wished you took a sedative before you turned the first page.
Sheldon’s Diary Book Excerpt:
I’d like to tell you, diary, how I’ve come to be, but you don’t care anymore than I do so let’s just skip it. Today began like all of the others. The female human of the house (the old one, that is) got up way before the butt crack of dawn to pay homage to the boiling and bubbling contraption I’ve heard them call a kofee-pot. With a container of the hot stuff–I know it’s hot because I’ve stuck my nose in there when she went to the room with the huge porcelain water bowl, which is defiled by both humans multiple times daily–she sits down in front of the thing I’ve heard her call a kompooter. Noisy and bright, that’s all I can really say about the stupid thing. It has a flat thing in front it with buttons, called a kee-bored. I heard her call it that one time when she told the big, hairless on top male of the household the damn thing wasn’t working. I watched for a little while, while she made the buttons tap, then got bored. Who in the world can sit and watch that dribble for longer than a minute or two. Sure, she makes great faces when she taps but it’s just not enough to make me pull up and rug and study her for long.