About Mary Grand:
Hi, I am Mary Grand. I was born in Cardiff and have retained a deep love for my Welsh roots . Beautiful places such as the Cambrian Mountains and Gower Peninsula provide the settings for my novels. I qualified as a teacher in Winchester and taught in London. I then trained as a Teacher of the Deaf in Oxford, and taught in Croydon and Hastings.
I now live on the beautiful Isle of Wight with my husband, where I walk my cocker spaniel Pepper(in all weathers!) and write. I have two grown up children.
‘Free to Be Tegan’ is my debut novel. It is to be the first of a series of novels set in Wales. The second will be set on the spectacular Gower Peninsula.
What inspires you to write?
My inspiration for writing ‘Free to Be Tegan’ came from growing up in a psychologically damaging High Demand Group. I wanted to share how this had affected me and particularly talk about my recovery from the damaging effects of such an upbringing. I visited the stunning Cambrian Mountains in Wales and this was the perfect setting for the story. It was important to me that the subject matter be accessable and readable. I created a fictious cult which included some of the practises and teaching of the group I had been in. There are elements of romance and mystery which I feel enrich the story.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process starts with the characters.Then I do a lot of background work developing in my mind the character, their situation, thinking about what has happened to them and what they want to achieve in the story. I initially write my outline on paper, with rough chapter guildlines. This shows me where the story is going and also enables me to spot where the story may be weak or lose purpose. The outline changes as I write and I do many, many redrafts of my story plan as I go along! Then I start writing on my laptop.The redrafting goes on and on until I am satisfied.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
The central characters become very important to me. I try to live them, for example when I am out with my dog I try to imagine how this would be for them. If I can’t imagine what they would be thinking about, how they would be feeling, I know I don’t know them well enough yet!
What advice would you give other writers?
My main piece of advice is to write about charaters and situations you really care about. You will be with these people in their world for a long time.There is a lot of pressure to focus on your audience, to think what people in the genre want to read. While of course you want to be writing about things people want to read, one of the best bit of advice I read was ‘write as if no one is reading’. As someone who probably is too aware of what people think I found this very freeing.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I started by buying the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and wrote to a number of agents and publishers that were accepting manuscripts. I had a lot of lovely responses but no one was able to take it. I decided to self publish on Amazon using KDP. Initially I just published on Kindle and then in paperback through Createspace. It had been exciting and really positive. I am up to thirty three reviews now. It is a lot of work to keep marketing your novel, to keep it visable ,but if you really care about your novel and want it to be read I would highly recommend this path.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that the whole model for publishing is changing. Publishers and agents seem to be inundated with material and prefer to chose work that is by established, recognised authors. As far as I can see self publishing is set to grow,may even become the norm. Publishers and agents may well end up choosing this as a way of seeing which authors are doing well and then approach them.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Woman’s Literary Fiction, psychological biography, romance.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Link To Mary Grand Page On Amazon
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.