CAFE: A gathering place. A place of refreshment.

Thirsty for the latest releases in Christian fiction? Ready for a peek into the world of publishing and writing conferences? Hungry for spiritual and real-life nourishment? Pull up a seat; you're in the right place, and I'm so glad you've stopped by.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Interview with Mary DeMuth and chance to win her new book, DAISY CHAIN

It's quite an honor for me to have my friend and wonderful author, Mary DeMuth, on my blog today! She's in the midst of "release" mania with her newest novel, Daisy Chain, but has agreed to answer a few questions.

At the bottom of the post, you will find out how you can win a copy of Daisy Chain.
So, let's welcome Mary.

Thank you, Mary, for coming to the Cafe, and congratulations on Daisy Chain. I've been waiting forever it seems for it to come out. Ready for some questions?

How long have you been writing? And how long after you began writing before you were published?

Since 1992. I was first published in a magazine ten years later.

That's some serious writing. What did you do to hone your craft along the way?

I read a lot of craft books, networked with other writers, went to conferences, listened to critique and wrote miles and miles of sentences.

What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a seat-of-the-pants writer?

Definitely a seat of the pants writer. My editor would like me to be a plotter. But I’m getting better at developing the plot as I write.

Plotting is tough for me, too, but you write character-driven novels. How do you develop characters? Charts? Interviews? Or do you just start writing?

I just start writing. As I do, the characters form.

Where did you get the idea for the Defiance, Texas series?

I had a friend who had a difficult story. He grew up in a Christian home. His father was in leadership in the Christian community. From the outside, all looked perfect. But behind closed doors, life was very, very hard. I wanted to expose that kind of abuse. That’s why the idea of family secrets plays heavily into all three books.

I didn't know the seed for your story came from a real experience. You have a growing reputation for awe-inspiring prose and taking the reader on a journey through deep, sometimes scary places. Does Daisy Chain continue in this tradition?

Wow, those are high words. I hope Daisy Chain keeps the reader on those journeys because redemption is much more beautiful in the midst of darkness. That’s my own personal testimony, so it can’t help but leak out on the page.

You are one of the most transparent writers I know. What do you want the reader to gain from reading Daisy Chain? Is there a particular take away you have in mind?

My hope is that folks will see the need to share their family secrets in order to be set free. I also want people to see that the Body of Christ is probably much different looking than they first thought. Some appear holy. Others, in distressing disguises, actually are.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

BOC, Butt on chair. You can’t improve if you don’t write.

The worst?

Write what you know. While I agree on certain levels, I wouldn’t have written any of my novels if this were the case. I’m not a native Southerner by any stretch. I spent most of my life in Seattle. So setting my novels in the South was not something I instinctively knew. But I love that they are set there.

I have an affinity for Southern novels. Now, let's get serious. Coffee? Tea? Sparkling mineral water? Or . . .

Pellegrino, all the way.

Daisy Chain is the first of three Defiance, Texas books. When will the other two books be released?

A Slow Burn releases in October.
Defiance (working title) should release May 2010.

I also have a memoir releasing called Thin Places next January.

You've been very busy writing. And yet, you maintain several blogs—and have launched a new one in conjunction with Daisy Chain. Tell us a bit about that.

I’m too busy! Yes, the newest blog is called My Family Secrets. You can see it here: It’s a place for folks to share their family secrets anonymously.

I also help writers at Wanna Be Published and you can read my personal blog here.

It’s your turn. Any closing thoughts or exciting news you’d like to share?

Just that writing is an amazing privilege, but the journey is very difficult and painful and wonderful and gritty. It takes more tenacity than you think you have. But it’s worth the sweat.

Wise words, Mary. Thanks so much for being my guest. I’ve loved having you and wish you all God’s best with this exciting new book and the blog project.

Carla here with a daisy of a contest. I'm giving away two copies of Daisy Chain. Please leave a comment with your contact information to be included in the drawing. Contest closes at noon on March 14. Mary is an amazing writer. You may also purchase the book here and read many rave reviews about the book.


Mary DeMuth said...

Thanks for hosting me here, Carla! And congrats on the sale of your book.

Money Honey said...

Mary, you are an inspiration! I can hardly wait to get caught up in your imaginary world...

Marta said...

This looks really good. I'd love to have my name put in "the hat" to win it.


Jo said...

This sounds great. Add me to the contest please.


carla stewart said...

Welcome, everyone.
Mary, thanks for the congrats. I'm really excited about Daisy Chain and pray good things are already happening because of your writing.
Money Honey, Marta, and Jo, your names are in the hat. You'll love this book.

Cheryl Barker said...

Hi Carla, I'd love to be included in the drawing, too. Thanks!

ckbarker at gmail dot com

Carole said...

I have heard many glowing comments about the quality of Mary's writing and am looking forward to a slower time when I can relax and enjoy one of her books.

I love southern fiction, as well as family themes. Thanks for the interview and chance to win a copy of Daisy Chain.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Keever Kids said...

Look forward to reading Daisy Chains, would love to win a copy to pass around with friends!

Elaine said...

Thanks for the interview with Mary. I am so excited about reading Daisy Chain. Hope to win. My blog is or you can email me at

carla stewart said...

Thanks Cheryl, Carole, KeeverKids, and Elaine for stopping by. Your names are in the drawing. Gee, I wish I had a book for every one of you :-)

Sandee61 said...

I so enjoyed your interview of this new-to-me author. I'd love to read Mary's book, please enter me in your giveaway. Thank you!



Koala Bear Writer said...

These books sound fascinating, and I love the cover! I like Mary's BOC advice. :) Please enter me for the draw! bway[underscore]writer[at]yahoo[dot]ca