Mary Deal is the author of four novels: The Tropics, an adventure/suspense trilogy, The Ka, a paranormal Egyptian suspense, River Bones, a thriller, Down to the Needle, also a thriller. The Tropics has been republished as an eBook titled “Legacy of the Tropics.” Her nonfiction eBook is Write it Right-Tips for Authors, Vol. I. The novel, River Bones, has won two major awards. She is now writing the first sequel. Her short story The Last This I Do was nominated for the coveted Pushcart Prize. She is also putting together a collection of short stories and flash fiction.
As an active member of Book Town Mary Deal's Group Articles on Writing has 37 members and is also an oil painter and photographer with an online gallery: www.marydealfineart.com. She hopes one day to see some of her art on book covers or even books of her own.
Mary is Associate and Contributing Editor of Mississippi Crow magazine. She is also a newspaper columnist.
GBB: What was the inspiration for you to write this story? What was your motivation to complete it? Were there defining moments that helped you along the way?
Kay Sullivan Lynch, the only female sibling in the Sullivan family, lost her husband, Mike in an auto crash as the preceding book in the series (All's Fair In Love And Law) opened. Prior to her career as a mother and homemaker, Kay was a decorated homicide detective - as much a "Sullivan Boy" as any of her brothers. We originally planned to end the series with Book 4. But Kay haunted us to tell her story as a working single mother and young widow.
GBB: Many writers do research or construct outlines before writing a story, take us through the process you used before you started writing.
As team writers we brainstorm story line concepts, character profiles and story arcs verbally - usually during long walks. Once a plot gels we construct a scene/chapter outline. Then we divide writing responsibility evenly, alternating chapters.
GBB: How did you come up with the title?
We have no idea how...it just seems to happen.
GBB: Tell our readers what the setting or backdrop is for your novel.
This is a contemporary novel beginning in late fall into Christmas in Chicago. Scenes are primarily set downtown, but Kay, the heroine, lives in the western suburbs with her kids.
GBB: Without giving too much away, can you give us some background on the major characters? Do you have a favorite character?
Kay Sullivan Lynch, reinstated to the Chicago Police Department after two years as a widowed mom of four, not only plans to excel on the force, but to show her brothers—who opposed her return to “the job”—that she’s up to the challenge.
Captain Flynn Dowd, battling demons of his own, empathizes with Kay’s struggles—but Sidewalk Santas collecting for the hungry are dropping dead all over Chicago. No apparent motive, no identifiable MO.
The Santa Slayer is cunning, covert and seemingly above the law.
The collective Sullivan family is a character in this last book. Pat's favorite character in the series is Joe Sullivan and Kathie’s favorite is Bobbie Leighton Sullivan.
GBB: Can you give us a brief summary of your book?
It’s up to Kay and Flynn to stop the "Santa Slayer." As they race against time to stop the killer, Kay’s grief-deadened senses awaken to Flynn's overwhelming sexual magnetism. But when he becomes more than just her partner, will her kids' opposition force her to choose between motherhood and her man?
GBB: Do you have a favorite part or chapter?
The killer enjoys musing in rhyme. Our favorite stanzas are, "Hurry kid or your list won't be read. Santa can't read it if Santa is dead." The publisher's cover artist liked it so much she insisted on tagging it on the cover.
GBB: Are there any anecdotal stories pertaining to writing this story that you would like to share?
We had the distinct pleasure of working with Editor, Joelle Walker, on all five books in this series. She acquired the first book and officially made us soon-to-be-first-time published authors in January 2008. Her support, wisdom, expertise and unwavering faith in us inspired us to write increasingly better books. Her friendship is a treasure. We dedicated In The St. Nick Of Time to her in love and gratitude. About a month after we finished edits and approved the galley, Joelle left the publisher, The Wild Rose Press. We finished in "the nick of time."
GBB: With all the new genres out there today, what categories and sub category would you say your novel falls into?
This is a Romance genre novel, sub-genre Suspense.
GBB: On a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the most difficult) what is the reading level of your novel?
GBB: What well known author would you compare your writing style to?
Hmmm. That's difficult since there aren't many team writers to compare with our voice. But we have received better or identical review ratings as Mary Higgins Clark, Diane Mott Davidson and yes, Nora Roberts.
GBB: Other than your current novel what other books short stories etc. have you written?
The Sullivan Boys Series: Against Doctors Orders, Beyond The Code Of Conduct, Capturing Karma, All's Fair In Love And Law, In The St. Nick Of Time. Inspirational Romance novels: Jewel Of The Adriatic, Rose Of The Adriatic. Inspirational novellas, Gospa Journeys 1-3, Left At The Altar, Just The Way You Are (releases 7/29), and Resurrected Love (coming in late 2011). And Contemporary Romance novel, Past, Present And Forever.
GBB: Are you working on any new projects?
Yes, we are working on a women's fiction novel.
GBB: Is there a sequel or a prequel for In The St. Nick Of Time somewhere out there in the future?
Not in the near future. But we do have some ideas for the next generation of Sullivan Boys.
GBB: Do you have any media or book signing appearances coming in the near future?
We haven't scheduled anything this year yet, but we’ll keep you posted. We'll definitely sign at The Romantic Times Book Lovers Conference in Chicago in 2012.
GBB: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans or potentially new fans?
Heartfelt thanks for buying our books!
Thank you for your time. We wish you much success with your novel.
Thank you for spending time with us.
Global Book Blast Interview: Mary DealBooktown Mayor
The BookTown Team consists of the Mayor and his Deputy Mayor. We do our best to bring the best, new and evolving information where the indie publishing world is concerned. If you want to write a guest article contact us at BookTownUSA@gmail.com.