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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spotlight on Young Adult Author, Mary Waibel

Happy Mother's Day to our Mama readers! We are excited to spend some time this fine day getting to know Lightning Quick Reads author and a mother herself, Mary Waibel. Thanks for joining us, Mary and a happy Mother's Day to you. Tell us a little about you, please.

Mary: I’m a romantic at heart, and can constantly be found with my nose in my Kindle, tablet, or an actual book. I enjoy reading to escape the real world, but I always try to choose stories with a happy-ever-after or happy-for-now ending. As with everything, there are exceptions to this rule!

I live in upstate New York with my wonderful husband, hockey/lacrosse player son, and two cats. We love hanging out on the deck (in nice weather) while gaming with friends. In the fall and winter I’m usually at an ice rink, cheering on my son and his team. In the spring, I switch gears and sit outside (in all kinds of weather) for lacrosse. And in the summer, I look forward to escaping the daily grind and travelling with my family on camping trips all over the states.


LQR: If you had to pick only one moment that spurred you to write professionally, what moment is the most defining/inciting?

Mary: I’d been playing with a few stories for awhile (mostly retellings of adventures from our D&D campaigns) when I stumbled upon Lisa Shearin’s blog, where she talked about how she got her agent and how she plotted the book series I was currently reading. That blog made me realize that I could try and pursue this myself. So I did.

LQR: Very cool. Does the majority of your work focus around or within a single theme? If so, what is it?

Mary: I’ve never intentionally written with a theme in mind (I don’t count twisting fairy tales as a theme ;-) ) but it’s been pointed out by several readers how my books contain strong female characters.

In fact, my first book, QUEST OF THE HART, is a reverse Sleeping Beauty where the prince is the one under the sleep spell, and the princess has to go on the quest to wake him. I never looked at it as, “Oh, I’ve got to write a story about a strong female character.” I just wanted to change things up with a familiar tale, and the first thing that came to mind was to switch the roles J

LQR: Tell us about your newest release.

Mary: My newest release is Faery Marked. It’s a contemporary fantasy with faeries and magic. Not enough information? How about the blurb:

When Callie Rycroft wakes to find purple flames flickering on the ceiling, she believes she’s still dreaming. But soon she’s forced to accept that she has magic―a special magic that grants her entrance into the Faery Realm.

For centuries humans have been banned from Faery, but dangerous times call for dangerous measures. Declared Champion by the Faery Queen, Callie is assigned a Guardian, and tasked with finding the Cordial―a magical elixir needed to keep the portal to the Faery realm a secret from humans.

The upside? Reece Michaels, the boy she's been crushing on for years, is her Guardian. Callie hopes that, by spending time with Reece, he'll start to see her as more than just his best friend's sister.

The downside? She's in a race not only against time, but against another Champion, and a rogue Guardian―a Guardian who stands to threaten her developing relationship with Reece.

Magic, mistaken identities, and hidden agendas are the least of Callie's worries when she learns that the Cordial requires a sacrifice. Will Callie be willing to risk everything―even Reece―to complete her task as Champion? Or will she let the portal open, and doom both realms?

LQR: What is one of your favorite authorial moments from your career so far?

Mary: My niece has declared herself my biggest fan, so in addition to making her two of the necklaces from my book covers (you can find pictures here: http://waibelworld.blogspot.com/2014/05/jewelry-la-valendria-series.html), I named and modeled a book character after her. Her reaction when she opened the book at Christmas and saw not only the dedication page, but the character, was priceless.

LQR: That’s really sweet, Mary. Now, can you share with us a five year and ten year goal for your writing career.

Mary: Wow! That’s a hard one. In the next five years, I hope to finish both the Princess of Valendria series (there’s at least one more book there) and the Faery series (I’m thinking two books here, but we’ll see how book two goes!). I’ve had requests for Rand’s story (one of the prince’s from THE MYSTERY PRINCE), so that will be in the works, too.

I’m also hoping to release several novellas for The Boyfriend series (a YA romantic comedy series I’m currently developing), as well as another fantasy trilogy in a new world, and maybe an adult romance trilogy.

I’ve been toying with a couple ideas for some serials too, but I’m not sure on those yet. The ideas are all there, it’s just using my time wisely and not being distracted by new shiny ideas.

LQR: Yes, those shiny things are distracting. I wondered, do you write what you read? Watch? What are your favorite television shows and movies?

Mary: I do read YA, however not as much as I read adult books. And I watch a wide variety of TV shows. My son and I are working our way through HAWAII 5-0, while hubby and I just started watching HALT AND CATCH FIRE. And the three of us are watching DAREDEVIL with our neighbor. Wow- it looks like all we do is watch TV, but it’s not true. We usually watch while eating meals, or after a long day at work/school. As for favorites, I enjoy mysteries, crime series, and paranormal (Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Teen Wolf are some of my faves!). For movies, give me an action flick and I’m good to go.

LQR: If you had one week away from any and all responsibility what would you want to spend your time doing?

Mary: Spend time with my family and friends, and read. Those seem to be the things that I drop most often when I’m busy (along with housework, but seriously, who ever died and said they wished they’d mopped the floor more often?)

LQR: Anything else you’d like to add?

Mary: In addition to my day job, my family, and my writing, I also work as an editor at BookFish Books, a small press with a focus on MG and YA books (and a few NA as well).

LQR: Where can readers find you online?

Mary: