Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Interview: Inspirational Romance Author, Mary Manners

Joining us today is inspirational romance author, Mary Manners. Born in Chicago, she knew she wanted write early in life. We'll talk to Mary about her upcoming release, White Rose Publishing, and what's up next.

Thank you for visiting The Book Connection, Mary. It's wonderful to have you here. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in Chicago, Illinois, the second of five children. I knew she wanted to write from a very early age. Most of my earliest childhood memories are centered around writing (or ‘pretending’ to write). I attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and received a teaching degree in Special Education. I moved to East Tennessee following my college graduation and have taught middle-school students for the past 25 years. I continued to write and enter contests (and my sweet daughter offered to kiss the envelope of each submission for good luck). I am married to Tim, the most supportive and patient man on the face of the earth. I have one daughter, Danni, and two sons named Tyler and Brad, who are both serving in the air force.

When did you begin writing?

I began writing at birth :). No, really, my earliest memories are of writing (or ‘scribbling’ as it was in the beginning). It has always been a passion of mine—like breathing.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I love to get up super-early when the rest of the world is sleeping. My best writing is done then, and by eight o’clock when everyone is just beginning to wake, I feel like I still have a full day ahead of me—and I do. My favorite day is when I can wake up in the dark and write until dark that evening without any distractions. It rarely happens, but when it does it’s so sweet.

What is this book about?

Tender Mercies is the second-chance love story of Lexi Taylor and Cooper Jackson. Cooper was a star quarterback for the University of Tennessee before her went on to a lucrative NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He and Lexi dated while childhood friends and dated through college. They planned to marry…until the lure of the NFL swept Cooper away. Lexi runs a youth center called Thursday’s child, and she hosts an online dating auction to raise funds for the program. When she’s matched with Cooper, who’s returned home following a career-threatening injury, the door is open to their reconciliation. But what Cooper doesn’t know is that Lexi’s been carrying a terrible secret since the day he left.

I won’t tell you the secret…you’ll have to read the book to find out :)

What inspired you to write it?

My husband absolutely loves football, and Tennessee tradition runs deep here in the Knoxville area. I wanted to combine football and a love story and see what happened. I really like the result!

Who is your biggest supporter?

Oh…definitely my husband and kids. Just a few weeks before I got ‘the email’ my daughter said—out of the blue as we were driving home from school one afternoon—“Mama, I know you’re gonna get published soon.” Wow, that just warmed my heart and made my whole week!

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

I don’t have an agent. I work directly with my editor at White Rose Publishing, Nicola Martinez. Nicola, by the way, is positively wonderful. I cannot imagine working for a kinder, more business-savvy person.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

It was…all of the above and then some. I run marathons, and I truly believe the long-distance training has served me well on my pursuit to publication. It took a long, long time and billions of words and countless rejections, but I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing. God’s timing is perfect, and I’m truly a testament to that. All the hard work has paid off, and I’m a worlds better writer today that I was when I began the journey.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

My books are all available through: White Rose Publishing
Barnes and Noble
As well as numerous other Christian Romance sites.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes, I can be found at or on the author page at I love to hear from my readers, and will be glad to mail information on upcoming releases to anyone who signs up on my contact page. Also, autographed print copies of my books can be ordered through my website.

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

I do not have a trailer for Mended Heart but there is one for Tender Mercies. You can find it on White Rose Publishing’s homepage or YouTube. There will be one for my upcoming release, Light The Fire. Watch for it on Youtube. Check my website for updates and further information.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

My advice is simple—WRITE WRITE WRITE and believe in yourself. Don’t quit. That’s it.

What is up next for you?

Oh…a lot. I have a Dollar Download, Brenna’s Choice, due out in February, and a novel, Light The Fire releasing in the spring. I also have another novel, a Dollar Download, a Free Read and a four book series in the works, so readers should check my website and the White Rose Publishing website often for updates.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I’d like to say thanks to everyone who’s visited today and taken the time to get to know a bit about me and my books. I appreciate you!

Thanks for spending time with us today, Mary. We wish you continued success.


Mary Manners said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by on this cold and snowy day! What a great opportunity to curl up with a good book.

Stay warm and enjoy!

JoAnn said...

This was a great story that I didn't want to put down! Lexi, the heroine in this story, has such a warm heart and special presence throughout the plot. Even in her relationship with her nephew, whom she is raising in her sisters absence, was a testimony to who she was and how she strived to live her life for the Lord without judging others.

If only it was as easy to forgive herself for a past mistake! Cooper's arrival to town makes her address the issues this mistake has caused, and is still affecting her, to this very day.

This is a wonderful 'second-chances' plot that has faith, redemption, and loved masterfully weaved within its pages. Once again, Ms. Manners has written a novel that will stay with me for a long time.

Carolynn Carey said...

Sounds like a wonderful story, Mary. And the cover is beautiful. Congrats!

Marianne Evans said...

Mary, you're such a gifted writer, and I'm delighted by the way God is blessing your efforts! Keep up the great work, and can't wait for what's next! God bless!

Delia Latham said...

Great interview! Your daughters sweet kisses must be working - it sounds like you're up to your ears in manuscripts right now! :D

Mary Manners said...

Oh, JoAnn...thank you for the wonderful review. I am so glad you enjoyed Tender Mercies, and thank you for taking the time to let others know.

I appreciate you! God bless.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone. This does sound like a great read.

Mary, glad to have you with us today. We're snowbound and not going much of anywhere.


Mary Manners said...

Thank you for stopping by, Carolyn. Yes, doesn't my editor at White Rose Publishing, Nicola Martinez, do beautiful cover art? She's truly gifted.

Mary Manners said...


You are so sweet! It's a blessing to know my White Rose friends are such wonderful encouragers. I appreciate each and every one of you!

Mary Manners said...


Yes, my daughter and I get a laugh out of the 'kisses'...she has been kissing padded envelopes for nearly a decade. The people at the post office got a kick out of it but they were (and still are) great encouragers.

Mary Manners said...


Thank you for hosting me! We are snowbound here, as well (but nothing to the extent the East Coast is slated to get). I have not seen my students since the Tuesday before Christmas.

Stay warm and safe!

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm dying to know what that secret is!

By the way, I love your profile picture.

Morgan Mandel

Mary Manners said...

Hey Morgan,

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you're in an area of the country that's NOT getting hammered by snow!

The secret will be revealed on Friday:)

Thanks for the compliment on my picture. My husband snapped it before I got my first contract, and told me it would be my author photo...what a sweetie he is!