Mary Connealy’s interview

» Posted on Jul 10, 2008 in Blog | 29 comments

If you want to get a copy of Calico Canyon, enter the drawing this week. It will end next Tuesday evening for Mary’s book. Please leave a comment with your email address or email me at

1. What made you start writing?
I wrote my first novel when I was 12. I’ll no doubt have to answer for that when I stand before God on judgment day, heaven knows how bad it was.
I wrote my first novel when my youngest child went to kindergarten. I finally had the time but I know what specific event prompted me to start. My second oldest daughter (I’ve got four) was probably 10 or 11 and she wrote a book. A pretty good book really. I’m not telling you what it was about and of course it was too short but she told a good story. I’ve been wrangling with her for years to let me steal it. The brat. I thought, “If Wendy can do it, I can do it.” So I did. I’ve never sold that first book, but I sold the second…about twelve years later. 🙂

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
Ten long, lonely years!

3. How do you handle rejections?
I got really used to it. I grew a really tough hide and just knew if I really wanted to get published I was going to have to take it.

4. Why do you write?
You know, Margaret, I just write and write and write. It’s not what I do, so much as it’s who I am. I seriously can’t NOT write. It’s just my idea of fun. I think, if writing and reading (my other obsession) were beer, my family would hold an intervention.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
I’d be writing. Sorry. ☺

6. What are you working on right now?
Book Three in the Lassoed in Texas series comes out in February. I just turned in final revisions for it and have had my first glimpse of the cover. It’s cute.
I’ve got another book coming out next July which is also done and the book I’m working on right now is tentatively titled Cowboy Christmas. Yes, another western romance.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
I don’t mean to exactly but I suppose I do. Although I think the female characters are how I wish I was instead of how I really am. They’re so sassy and confrontational and brave. I am a peacemaker and completely non-confrontational. So I put into my characters all these qualities I admire.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
Calico Canyon – Lassoed in Texas Book #2 is a suspenseful, inspirational, historical western, romantic comedy. In Petticoat Ranch I talked about a man who’d never been around women, dropped into an all-girl world, so I decided to do the flip side of that story in Calico Canyon.
I took prissy, Miss Calhoun, the school marm, and shoved her, completely against her will, into an all-male world.
I’d a fish-out-of-water story. But despite Grace’s discomfort with men and Daniel’s commitment to never marry again and live like a wild animal with his sons, I still need the hero be heroic, the heroine be delightful and loveable. Not that easy when she doesn’t understand anything about his wild, ill-mannered boys, less about him and nothing about marriage.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. Keep cranking out finished books. Do NOT write one and then quit writing and spend five years trying to get it published. While you’re trying to get it published, write a new book. You get better with practice. All the contests, critique groups, online classes, all that is great and necessary but you can’t use those skills if you’re not writing yourself. I remember when I started Petticoat Ranch, staring at that blank computer screen and thinking, ‘Remember everything you know and use it’ Explosive beginning, limited backstory, all five senses, get the Point of View right.

10. How important is faith in your books?
Faith is essential to what I create. One of the reasons it took me so long to get a book published, (besides the fact that I was no good!) is that at the beginning what I wanted to write didn’t fit anywhere. The primary publisher of first time authors is Harlequin. They have a lot of lines these days, but that wasn’t always true. Except for Silhouette romances, which were really sweet, all the lines had profanity in them and a lot of fairly graphic bedroom scenes. This wasn’t something I was willing to write. So with the exception of Silhouette, my books didn’t fit anywhere. I still remember vividly reading that Harlequin was opening a line of Christian romances called Love Inspired. They did this because books like the Left Behind series proved there was a huge market for books that included people of faith. Christian fiction is the fastest growing area of any fiction and I was there, and ready, when that explosion occurred. I was writing, over a decade ago, for an area of fiction that hadn’t been born yet.

11. What themes do you like to write about?
I don’t know exactly how to answer that. I love children in books. I think they bring a scene to life with their twisted view of the world and blunt honesty.
I love really strong women. I love comedy.
Those aren’t themes really but that’s what I love to write.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
Right now I’m going through a book with my critique group called The Husband Tree and I haven’t read it for a while and it just makes me laugh out loud. This is my favorite heroine ever. Such a bad attitude.

13. What is your writing schedule like?
I write every spare moment all day. It’s what I love doing. I’m an insomniac so I write late into the night and I have downtime at work that I can use on blog interviews and other promotion efforts. I write all the time.

You can find news and a chance to sign up for a newsletter here:
I run with a crowd of authors offering writing advice here:
And share a blog with other western romance authors here:


  1. Hi, Margaret. Thanks for having me be a guest on your blog.

  2. Oh, Mary, I so enjoyed your blog at Petticoats and Pistols yesterday. It was extremely entertaining to hear your stories and the comments about MEN. I love your sense of humor, and I can’t wait to read Calico Canyon!

  3. Hey Mary,

    I’m just going to keep commenting on blogs you’re own until I win your new book. 🙂

    The Husband Tree sounds intriguing.

    Margaret, thanks for hosting Mary.


  4. I SO want this book – Mary’s books are such fun!


  5. Enter me in the drawing for the book. I would love to read one of yours. spowell01(at)bellsouth(dot)net

  6. Petticoat Ranch was sooo good. I got my whole family to read it! I can’t wait to rad this next one.


  7. Great interview…I’d love to win Mary’s book. Petticoat Ranch made me laugh out loud!


  8. Ohh good interview and I Loved Petticoat ranch so please enter me for the new book.

    highlandlovesong at yahoo dot com

  9. I really enjoyed reading the interview. Please enter me in the drawing for your book.


  10. Thanks for featuring, Mary, Margaret! She’s such a fun woman and wonderful author. For such a peace maker, Mary, you write spunk and sassy really well!

    eileenastels [at] rogers [dot] com

  11. Another fabulous interview, Mary! Thanks, Margaret, for featuring one of my favorite authors! Mary’s latest, Calico Canyon, is absolutely WONDERFUL — brimming with humor, fun, tension and keen spiritual insight. I loved it!


  12. I commented earlier and forgot to leave my e-mail address. I definitely want to be included in the drawing! 🙂

  13. Wow, it’s so nice to read all these kind words. And, except for Julie, I don’t believe I’ve got compromising photos of any of you.
    Are any of you from the ACFW book club? Because Julie and I are going head to head (well, okay maybe there are a few–15–other people in the race, for who will be the book club choice for September.

  14. i’ve read one book from Mary Connealy and am looking forward to reading her new one. please enter me in the contest.

  15. Well, I can’t imagine what it would be like to become involved in the lives of all those boys and dad! I don’t know if I could handle it. :o) Sounds like quite the adventure. Thanks for the writing advice as well.

    In Christ,
    Mimi B

    mnjesusfreak at gmail dot com

  16. Lovely interview. Mary keeps us laughing over at Seekerville so I’m sure her books are funny too.

    pwriter1 [at] yahoo

  17. I always enjoy reading Mary’s interviews. Her books are witty and excellent to read. Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

  18. Petticoat Ranch was so much fun. I can hardly wait to read Calico Canyon. And The Husband Tree sounds like a hoot! I’d love to win CC. Thanks for the interview – it was great!
    Kay C.

  19. This looks like a really fun book. I never had a chance (yet) to read the first book, but I have heard so many good things about it, and about Mary Connealy.


    chassan2 at hotmail . com

  20. Please enter me I really want to win this book.
    great interview.

  21. Oh, please enter me, I’ve been wanting to read this since I first saw it. Thanks!

  22. Great interview. Love the concept for the books!
    Please enter me!

  23. Wonderful interview and the book is so appealing. Thanks for this great giveaway.

  24. What a great review! Calico Canyon is an exceptional book which I would appreciate reading. Wonderful.

  25. Hi Margaret! Hi Mary…I just got a hold of Petticoat Junction from my mom who LOVED it and I can’t wait to get started!!! (Don’t enter me in the drawing. I’ll get my own copy 🙂


  26. I am so excited for Mary! I would love to win a copy of her new book.

  27. What a fun interview! Thanks to both of you ladies. Please enter me in the book drawing.

    Deborah M. Piccurelli

  28. Enjoyed this interview with Mary. Thank you for it, Margaret. Please enter me in the drawing for Calico Canyon.

  29. I have Petticoat Ranch and would love to be able to own this one also!

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