Name: Mary Anne Edwards
Books: The Charlie McClung Mystery Series
Genre: Clean Traditional Mystery (not cozies)
Background: Mary Anne and her husband live in Canton, GA with an ill-tempered Tuxedo cat named Gertrude. Mary Anne volunteers at MUST Ministries and is a library liaison for her local chapter of Friends of the Library.
When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer: In 2009, my sister was involved in a shooting. That was how the Charlie McClung Mystery Series began.
Do you write full-time? If not, do you have an outside job or other responsibilities? Yes, I write full-time, sort of. Once a week, I volunteer for a non-profit who help those who are financially and food insecure.
If you write fiction, where do you get your ideas for characters and plots? The first idea for my fiction series began with the tragic shooting of sister, fortunately she lived. The other plots originate from a combination of music lyrics, news stories, and the devious side of my brain. My characters are like Frankenstein, bits and pieces from people I observe.
For fiction writers, have you ever written yourself into a story? Some people who know my husband me and have read my books asks if the two main protagonists are us. Yes, they are, well, the wish-we-were versions.
If you write nonfiction, tell me about your projects. What subjects motivate you? I’m writing a cookbook inspired the Charlie McClung Mysteries. My fans wanted it.
What kind of research and preparation do you do before you write? The series is set during the 1980s, so I do a lot of research to ensure things did or didn’t exist during that time period. I have a team of subject matter experts, a forensic pathologist, FBI agent, retired chief of police, a doctor specializing in poisons, a nurse practitioner, and the internet. I want my stories as accurate as possible down to the weather and what the crime scene would look like.
What is your editing process? Do you hire an outside editor? I cannot self-edit. My husband does two edits. Then I send it to an outside editor.
How do you decide on your book covers? Do you outsource? I outsource my book covers. I give them the short description of the book, genre, and a few ideas, then they work their magic.
How did you come up with the title of your latest book? From song lyrics, mainly Tom Petty
What route did you take to get published? Describe your experience.: I spoke with indie/trad writers who steered me toward indie. It’s been an eye-opening adventure.
Have you ever tried to get an agent? If so, what steps did you take? Nope!
What kinds of things do you do to promote your book? Amazon ads, social media, paid promotions, blogs, and word of mouth
Have you ever had a book-signing event? Tell us about your experience. I’ve had successful ones and some embarrassingly duds.
Have you taken writing courses? Yes, lots of them
Do you belong to a writer’s group? If so, is it in-person or online? Tell us about your experience. I used to be a member of Sisters in Crime, in person group, which I enjoyed.
Are you in a book club? If so, tell us about it. Is it in-person or online? Friends or acquaintances? I’m a member of an in-person mystery book club with friends and neighbors.
Do you ask friends/family to read your WIP? Friends and fans
Name three unread books on your bookshelf. Dark Tide Rising, Evil Never Dies, and Tidewater Inn
What is the last book you read? Defending Jacob
How many pages do you think a book of fiction/nonfiction should be? I don’t care if the book holds my interest.
What is the riskiest or wildest thing you’ve ever done? I went sliding down the side of a dam like all the other kids were doing.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Having to plan my mother’s funeral
What advice can you give to new writers entering the writing and publishing arena? Save a lot of money for your writing expenses. Don’t worry about writing every day. Family comes first.
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30 thoughts on “Who’s That Indie Author? Mary Anne Edwards”
HI Barbara, its great to meet Mary Anne. Her sister’s shooting sounds awful. How nice to write full time.
Hi Robbie – yes that was sobering. It’s great that she found a way to turn her sister’s experience into something positive. Thank you for stopping by to meet Mary Anne!
Thank you for taking the time to read the interview. My sister lived and is thriving. It was a horrible experience not only for her but for the whole family. I hope you have a great weekend.
ThNk you, you too
I’m glad your sister is doing well!
Mary Anne, your indie writing/promotion experience mimics mine, sometimes with a steep learning curve. What stood out is your line, “The first idea for my fiction series began with the tragic shooting of sister, fortunately she lived.” How often heart-breaking experiences become the springboard for creativity.
Barbara, thanks so much for featuring this dedicated author. 😀
Thank you. Real life is a rich source of ideas.
Hi Marian – indie writing/promotion definitely has a steep learning curve and the only way to learn is to do it. You both have that admirable motivation. Thanks for stopping by!
A wonderful interview with a prolific writer. As I am about to embark on a self-publishing venture, this was interesting.
Congratulations! Thank you for your kind words. Please reach out to me if you want to pick my brain.
Thank you, Mary Anne, that is so kind of you.
Hi Darlene – I’m glad you enjoyed reading about Mary Anne and her writing career. She’s very motivated and I like her enthusiasm for her work. Thank you for stopping by!
Thanks for the great interview and introduction. So sorry to hear that her sister suffered such a horrible event.
Hi Lynette. You’re welcome and thank you for stopping by to meet Mary Anne. Such a horrible event in her life, but she was able to turn it into something positive. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Thank you! My sister is a joy. She doesn’t let the event define her.
Thanks for the interview! Her books sound very interesting, and it’s always good to hear about an author’s personal experience in writing.
Thank you, Ann for taking the time tor read about Mary Anne. I appreciate it! 🙂
Thank you for stopping by.
Good interview, Barbara. It’s nice to hear of a hard-working, successful indie author and how she goes about her process. 🙂
My thoughts exactly. Thank you Tim, for reading and commenting!
Thank you for your kind words.
Just saying what I think, Mary Anne. Took a lot of notes on your process. 🙂
I enjoy your interviews, Barbara. It’s interesting to meet writers I don’t know, and Mary Anne is no exception. I’ll be checking out her books! 😊
Thank you, Gwen. I’m glad you enjoyed reading about Mary Anne. Thank you for stopping by!
Thank you, Gwen. I hope you enjoy my books.
Hi, Barb – Thank you for introducing us to Mary Anne. How horrifying about her sister’s shooting. I let out a deep sigh of relief when I read that she lived.
I had the same reaction, Donna. Life events offer powerful inspiration for a writer. Thank you for stopping by 🙂
Thank you. My sister is enjoying life.
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