I had the pleasure of doing an interview with an amazing author of one of my favorite books. Mary E. Palmerin is the author of Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow and Secrets of a Broken Girl(novella). I am very excited that I get to do my very first interview with her. Enjoy!!
1. When and what was the best moment of your life?
What a great question Cecily! I can't pick just one, so I will give you two that are equally the best moments of my life. Those happened to be when I gave birth to both of my sons, now 1 1/2 and 4. I instantly felt the love before I gave birth while pregnant with them, feeling them live and grow inside of me, but the inklings that followed their birth, those tics after were as if time stopped and the world halted turning. The emotions coursing through me were indescribable. I can not put them into any amount of words to relate how incredible my heart and soul felt as soon as I laid eyes on them, heard their cries and when they were immediately placed on my bare chest. Their crying ceased when we were skin to skin. Both of those moments will forever be ingrained in my mind. Truly a spectacular, miraculous, amazing, and awe-consuming feeling. I never thought my life could be directly changed, but it was, twice over! I am blessed and my world revolves around my boys. Everything I work for, all the goals I try to attain and the dreams I continue to chase, I do all of that for them. If I can teach them anything in life it would be to follow your heart and chase your dreams because life is far too precious and short to live it otherwise. I hope to teach them kindness and love, humility, and compassion as well.
2. If you were granted three wishes what would they be?
Besides the typical answer of world peace, solving world hunger, and making evil people cease their hateful actions, I will give you three wishes that are dear to my heart. The first is making sure my children live a life of love, hope, humility, compassion, empathy, and understanding. If I succeed at molding my boys into two respectable young men, my life is complete. If I can be guaranteed that they will live their lives free of corruption and evil and make sure it is full of love and understanding that would be my main wish. Unfortunately, our world isn't free of evil or corruption. The second wish that I would want is justice. Justice for all things in the world that aren't fair. That is quite a broad wish, I know....but if you think about all the things in life that are unfair, all the events that happen to individuals in life, everything from loss to robbery of life, I wish for justice. I am a firm believer of karma...if I were to quote myself from my second novel, Everett Brown says "karma know no prejudice..." I believe that to be true. My third and final wish would be for all the Lyla Harper's in the world to see themselves as worthy and beautiful, because you are.
3. What is your favorite color and why?
It depends on my mood! If you were to ask the same question to someone who knows me well, they would probably was PINK. Yes, I know most of you are thinking that it is a typical girly answer, but I love the color because any time I see it, it always makes me smile. Pink is such a happy color! Furthermore, if you were to ask my tattoo artist, she would likely say red or black. Many of the 15 tattoos that I have present those colors somewhere in the piece! In addition to that, most of my wardrobe is black! I love black pumps, cute black tees, black yoga pants, and of course...a hot little black dress. I think every woman should have a sexy black dress.
4. I love your book and I hold Lyla close to my heart(hint my #1 book), how were you feeling emotionally while writing her story?
I will start out answering this question by telling you that when I decided to create her story, I had no intention of getting it published. I have always written because it is part of who I am. For as long as I can remember, I have been scribbling on notebook paper creating short fairy tales as a little girl, poetry through my teenage years, and various other pieces. I have kept every piece of work I created whether it was "good" or not. I do this because writing, for me, is an art and a way of self-expression. It is a creative outlet that I am extremely passionate about. People will love it, hate it, feel indifferent about it, and be moved by it. When I get into the mindset of writing, I try to live inside the character's mind. Lyla's story is extremely graphic and full of sorrow, but beneath all of that there is hope. That is a pretty amazing thing; a woman such as Lyla still having hope after everything she has endured. I created a tale that isn't typical. I am glad that I did because it is also real. Women have lived through situations like hers. I wanted to have a story centered on a woman that was wounded and fallen, but got back up, believed in herself, and found love...not just with a man and life partner, but love for herself again. I shed many tears while writing. Not just due to the ghastly details, but also out of frustration. There were times where I wanted to reach inside my story and shake her (Lyla) myself and say " Damn it! You are strong, lovable, worthy, independent, a survivor, and beautiful! See what others see!" So to put it in a nutshell for you, I felt a whirlwind of emotions while writing her tale. Similarly to how my readers felt while reading.
5. How are your fans going to react at the end of this series?
I hope that they feel like I told the entire story well and fully. I also hope that they feel like I have told it with enough detail and answered all the questions that they may have about all characters. I'm not even sure how I will feel when I am done! I've fallen in love with this series. It's been a huge part of my life for close to two years. I can tell you that I am not nearly ready to part with it! I also wish for my readers to look forward to other pieces of my work. If you were to ask my bets/friend, Rebecca Sherwin, she would probably tell you that I have writer's ADD. I have a hard time not writing about something if I have the idea swirling in my brain. I wrote my novella in two weeks while working on edits for book 2. I finally made myself put book3 on the back burner and focus solely on the novella and second novel! I think it will be a bittersweet feeling for me when I have completed this series of four novels and one prequel novella.
6. When writing Everett's character, who were you picturing?
Ah,! Such a difficult but great question. I have asked fellow authors and readers who they picture as him. I have gotten many responses, but I can not tell you a particular man that I see when writing about him or through him. I have a unique and sexy man in my mind that I see while writing. Six feet something, muscular (but definitely not ripped), a tiny amount of chest hair, the sexy "V" that goes down south :), dark brown mused hair, emerald sparkling green eyes, pink full lips, stubble on his face, strong (and talented) hands, and an aura of loveliness. He exists, right?
7. If you were to turn the book into a movie, who would you chose to play Lyla and Everett?
I love this question! I can not put a face to them, I know! I'm sorry! I will describe who I see when writing them. For Lyla, I see a five foot six woman with curves. She's a size twelve, and eventually learns to embrace her size, because she is freaking gorgeous! She has long curly black hair that rest about the backside that Everett adores so much :) she has tattoos that are described in detail in the first book and striking honey brown eye with thick black lashes. her lips are full and pink and her features slightly dark. She has olive toned skin, part of the Sicilian in her! And, of course, her belly is imperfectly perfect, part of her journey. Everett makes her see that she is gorgeous, scars and all! For Mr. Everett Brown, wow...I believe I described him in detail in the question above. So, let me as you Cecily, if you could pick an actress to play Lyla and an actor to play Everett, who would you pick?1
(Cecily) Well Mary I would have to be selfish and say I would pick myself to play to role of Lyla. (I know I am silly crazy) I am 5'3 but I can totally wear heels. I am Mexican/German but my skin is olive tone. I have kind of long hair, but hey they have extensions for that. As far as Everett well....Adam Levine from Maroon 5 minus all the tattoos. I would have to say we would make on hell of a couple as Lyla and Everett. (just saying and you asked)
8. Where and what do you see yourself doing ten years from now?
I will always be a mother first. I see myself carting around two busy rough and tumble boys to and from soccer practice and school during the day, attending their activities in the evening, completing all of the mom duties then of course, writing at night. I will always write, despite anything that occurs between now and then. It is part of me that I will never give up. You don't have to have money or anything special to write. You only have to have one thing and that is an imagination. What a writer chooses to do with their work is completely up to them whether that is writing for a traditional publishing company, writing and self-pub, or sharing on their blog. I respect every writer. I hope to continue to share stories that will touch people's heart in some way.
9. Who is the most inspirational person in your life?
This is a hard question! My life has been through many phases. I have had different people that have inspired me in one way or the other during my 26 years. One constant in my life is my mother. She is my best friend and loves me unconditionally through the proud moments and let downs. She is an amazing person and if I can be half the woman that she is, I would be content and proud. As a young girl, definitely my grandmother. I spent everyday of my life with her until her life ended on earth and started in Heaven. I always tell people that she was the closest person to a Saint. Truly a remarkable woman and I miss her every second. She taught me many things in the thirteen years that I shared with her. I hope that I make her proud. Then, there's my sister. Any woman that has a sister knows that there isn't anything to compare to. She's six years older than me, my best friend, protector, advice-giver, shoulder to cry on, and friend to laugh with. She is one of the strongest person that I know. My children inspire me to become a better person everyday, to enjoy the little things in life, and most importantly....love. My entire family inspires me. We are all extremely close and I have leaned on them at one time or another in my life, as they have also leaned on me. Then, there is the incredible women that I have met since releasing my book. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have become lifelong friends with a handful of women that inspire me. There's Becki and L, my betas who are more like sister. They have given me advice, hope, encouragement, and support during the chaotic process of book 2. Then there's my readers....you (Cecily), Kelly, Lauri, Blia, Olfa, and Paige. I am honored and blessed to share my work with you gals before publication. You've given me hope when I have felt like giving up and throwing in the towel (because let's face it, the publishing world is ruthless and raw...something I was not prepared for coming from nowhere, USA). I can not pick just one outlet for inspiration. It comes from many, including the small following of readers that I am lucky to have. I've heard stories from survivors that push me to continue telling the taboo story that I started. I'm eternally indebted to you all.
10. What is your favorite book and why?
Again, impossible to name one. So, I will tell you what my favorite is right now! I read Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain Reynard in two days. His series is beautiful and passionate. The fluidity and uniqueness of his tales is awesome. Definitely my favorites. I'm currently reading a story that I feel strongly about. I am beta reading for Rebecca Sherwin's second novel that she worked so tirelessly to create. The message is a strong one that many can relate to. A favorite of mine for sure:) I've read it chapter by chapter with her and now I am reading it complied together. I am falling in love with it harder than I did the first time. Truly an emotional read that is told with sensitivity and grace. I am honored to be a part of her journey as well.
Thank you, Cecily, for the opportunity for this interview. Mostly, thank you for your friendship, support, and belief in Lyla's story! Xoxoxo!!!!!