Mary Patrick was born in Sacramento, CA to a military family. She lived in faraway places such as Taiwan and Alaska. Today she lives in the Baltimore Washington metropolitan area. Mary is an avid reader. It wasn’t until her son wrote a book that she considered the possibility of becoming an author. Now with one book published, The House on Moss Swamp Road, she’s nearing the finish line of her second book, Veiled Horizons.
Seventeen-year-old Rachel must make a decision. Accept the future her parents and pastor have chosen for her, marriage to the popular Evangelical Evangelist Joshua Jenkins, or pursue her dreams of a medical career. Raised to believe girls are under the protective care of their fathers and then their husbands, will Rachel step out from under God’s umbrella of protection leaving her vulnerable in a sinful world to follow her heart’s desire.
Q. Where did the idea for your book come from?
This time the story is personal. I never imagined that I’d become ‘the black sheep.’ My mother will not leave me a forwarding address when she moves. She’s broke off I went in search of reasons as to how parents can turn their backs on their children. I also wanted to share that one can leave a cult, leave teachings that were drummed into their heads as little children and come out okay on the other side.
Q. Why do you write romance?
This is my first romance. I wanted to share that when the right person comes along, don’t let them go. My husband is my knight in shining armor. He’s the one who showed me there was a better way than the path I’d been on.
In my family’s eyes, I’m sure they thought I married someone who wasn’t Christian enough. It was brought to my attention that there are Christians and then there are the true Christians. My husband’s parents and siblings didn’t fit the mold. They drank, smoked, and had divorced.
Q. Is there anything which sets it apart from any other book in the genre?
Well, I have read a few romance novels, but by no means am I an expert. I imagine what sets this apart from other books is the strict beliefs of Rachel about sex. Kissing isn’t allowed until the wedding day. She dresses in conservative clothes so that her appearance doesn’t cause men at church to sin. So, there’s no pre-marital, Sorry, no steamy love scenes.
Nick, the hero, is an army veteran, dirt bike riding hero who is Rachel’s opposite. He drinks, has smoked weed in the past, and he’s not sure he believes in God. He definitely knows he doesn’t believe in Rachel’s.
Q. What, if any, were the challenges you faced writing your book?
Some of the beta readers had a hard time accepting this is written in the present. Also, since I’m a fantasy writer first, I researched and fought to stay as close to reality as possible. I wanted to bring in some mystery who-done-it elements, motocross adventure, and some rough and tumble bad boys to counter the heavier religious aspects.
Q. Tell us about your process, how do you get into a writing mindset?
I find that I have to get into a writing mindset quickly when time to write presents itself. I keep a running daydream playing in my head. I can’t afford to be in one spot, but find ways to write while a passenger in a car, waiting in line at the grocery store, or even taking a shower.
Q. What is the underlying theme of your book, if any?
My message is for women raised in strict religious backgrounds. Don’t let anyone tell you, if you’re a victim, that you’re to blame.
Q. Would you call your hero and/or heroine a typical romance hero and/or heroine?
I don’t think Rachel is typical because of her background and beliefs about sex
Why not? At one point she considers remaining single, which also means no physical relationships.
Q. What was your inspiration for your MC?
My inspiration came from several true stories of how parents turned their backs on their children and from my own life experience. If you want to understand where I’m coming from watch Kidnapped For Christ. It’s about a boy who admitted he was gay. One night strangers, allowed in his parents, came into his bedroom and whisked him away. He was sent to a boarding school to basically change him.
Q. What kind of research did you undertake when writing?
I read books on motocross riders and freestyle stunts, drugs, and lots of life stories of homeschooled children.
Q. What was your favourite part in writing this book?
What I liked best is that I was able to weave a lot of my husband’s and I’s stories into different characters.
Q. How can readers connect with You?
They can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank You for taking the time to chat to us about your writing and your book!