Saturday, December 8, 2012

Nickie's Ten Questions to Mary Jane Clark

For the weekend, I'd like to post an interview I did with bestselling author Mary Jane Clark.

Here are my questions:

1) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

It wasn't until I was in my late thirties that I decided to try my hand at fiction writing.

2) Did anything in your youth prepare you for it?

As a kid, I always liked English, reading and history better than math and science. In college, I majored in journalism and political science, knowing that I wanted a career in broadcast journalism.

3) You did not immediately write novels. You started out a career as a reporter. When did you decide you wanted to create novels?
Actually, I started out as a desk assistant, an entry level job, at CBS News in New York. When my children were born, I went to a part time schedule. After my son was born with Fragile X Syndrome, the leading cause of inherited mental impairment, and my marriage dissolved, I needed to have a dream to focus on. That's when I started writing Do You Want to Know a Secret?
4) Your work for CBS gives you a good angle for the type of novel you write. Does this make the work easier?

I don't know if it makes the work any easier, but since my characters work at a fictional television news division, working in a real one helps me keep up to speed.
5) Did you find it difficult to find a publisher for your first novel?

Not really...once my agent sent it around, she sold it in two weeks. But it took almost six years for me to write, re-write and then finally get that agent.

6) Do you have an agent, or do you make your own deals?
have an agent.

7) How do you deal with criticism?

I do read reviews and readers' reaction e-mails. I don't love criticism, but I pay attention to it. After digesting the review, I try not to dwell on it.

8) Have you ever considered writing another type of novel?

9) What does the reading public mean to you?

The reading public means almost everything...because if nobody's reading, what's the point of writing? Maybe some people would write anyway, but I know I'm not one of them. Knowing that others are going to read what I write makes me strive to produce the best book I can.

10) Do you have favorite writers or books?

I'm a pretty eclectic reader. My favorite book, Gone With the Wind, is not a mystery or a suspense novel at all.

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