I bring you big news. Some of you might know if you follow her blog, but we both thought it needed more exploration and I personally find my guest fascinating. And she’s not only a fabulous and imaginative writer, but a great and supportive friend.
Martie Preller is the author behind Mary Meddlemore and her books. Martie, from South Africa, is a well known award-winning children’s author and has kindly agreed to visit my blog today and talk to us about a few things.
First of all, why did you decide to publish your recent stories under the name Mary Meddlemore? I know Mary is a very important character in Forever After: A Dimensional Love Story but I’m sure quite a few readers will be intrigued.
Thank you for having me, Olga! Well, actually I did not decide to publish under Mary’s name … she decided that! J All my previous books, except my second writing manual, were published by local publishers – mostly in Afrikaans, so self-publishing was a new venture and all Mary’s books are in English, thus I wanted to keep my two careers apart.
And now, the typical question for all authors, how did you start writing? And more important, what kept you and keeps you going?
I quickly turned into a manic reader as a child. When I was halfway in Grade 1 (I was only 6), our family went overseas (England and the Netherlands) for a year so that my father could do research for his doctorate. We went by ship (it was a looooong time ago) and my parents took some books for me to read. I finished them while still on the ship, and as there weren’t any Afrikaans books available, of course, I started reading English. In the Netherlands, where we stayed most of the time, I started reading Dutch. I had to read!
At school I liked writing essays etc and teachers started telling me that I had a lot of talent, but I never could imagine myself as a writer. In those days we still wrote proper letters to friends and family and I loved writing them and everybody kept on telling me I should try my hand at writing, but I didn’t know where to start … Perhaps I was scared that they were just being nice … Then I started writing sketches for the radio .. (loooong time ago!) and short stories for magazines and they were accepted … so I thought well, maybe I could write … but still not sure and perhaps afraid to be rejected and all those fears we have and then a friend who was a in charge of a college ordered me to write a play they could produce and I was cornered … because they were waiting for the play and I could not disappoint them … so the play was written, it went down very well and they won the competition and I was in heaven. I sent off a manuscript to a publisher and it was accepted and I was a permanent resident in heaven J and then the plug was out and the stories started rushing out …
What kept me going was the ecstasy of discovering new stories and writing them down as well as I could. There was no greater joy – it was even better than reading! When I write I start off with a scene that I can see happening: e.g. someone running away as in ‘Entering’. I want to know why she is running away and I follow her (as an unseen spectator) and look and listen and write and so the story unfolds …
I’m very pleased that people kept insisting because I think you’re a born storyteller.
I know bits about it, but can you tell us about your previous published work?
My 37 th book has just been published and number 38 is coming in November. Mostly books for children of all ages and young adults. If you can get a child to read, he or she will be a reader for life. I thought it would be nice to help to get new generations reading.
Very true. Some people take it up later in life, but reading and book for many people is a life-long love affair.
And of course, can you tell us about your books: In the Reign of the Ilev, Forever After: A Dimensional Love Story and The Seventh Sheep? And especially your new book, the marvelous Entering?
‘The Seventh Sheep’ is a reworking of some of the scripts for a TV-series, that unfortunately went down the drain when our public broadcaster went into a financial … ehm … slowdown. It is available as a FREE book (in PDF-format) on my blog.
Both ‘In the Reign of the Ilev’ and ‘Entering’ are translated reworkings of locally published books. Mary got hold of them and added ‘Forever-After – A Dimensional Love Story’, because she has a plan for mankind … Mary and I are at the moment busy with the sequel to Forever After. She says what the world needs is some story … BLOOD .. (no vampires or zombies … mankind is strange enough already … )
Martie and Mary have many other projects, but if you want to know more about them, you’ll better check the links to their wonderful blog, author page and also webpage (although if you don’t speak Afrikaans you’ll need Google translate or another web translator. I have tried and it’s not too bad…)
Amazon author page:
http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Meddlemore/e/B009IAJQ26 (all her books can be found here)
Martie’s webpage (in Afrikaans)
http://martieprellerauthor.wordpress.com/ (need Google translate)
Thanks for visiting and talking to us and I hope you’ll visit again with your new works. It’s been great having you!
And thank you all for reading. If you’ve enjoyed, please like, comment, share and of course, CLICK!