To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as an author?
I am honored and thrilled to be here. Thank you so much! I’m married, 35 years and counting, to a wonderful man. He is the reason I became an author. I would read a book and say, ‘I could have written this book but better.’ My husband finally told me to just do it. I started off writing short stories and had a few of them published. Yes, I got paid for my stories! That gave me the courage to write a novel.
You seem to be very active in the writing community. How did you get involved in the different organizations you participate in?
I got involved with the special needs years ago. My heart has been with the community since I was in grammar school. Those who have read Brilliant Disguise will get a glimpse of how I got involved with the special needs. Yes, the school bus incident is loosely based on a true story. In high school, I was a teacher’s aide in a special needs class and I was a Sunday school teacher in the special needs class. Because of my work and my love for them, I was asked to be on the board of Rockdale Cares. I became member of Sisters in Crime about four years ago after we moved from my hometown and I retired early to write full time. I read a little blurb about Sisters in Crime in the local paper and decided to check them out. They welcomed me like a long lost sister. Great group of ladies and men!
I love the covers for your books. Who does your cover art? Do you design the general concept or give the cover artist free reign?
Thank you! The first two covers were designed by Jasmin Woodworth. The first and only covers designed by her. Brilliant Disguise won an Honorable Mention in the InD’tale Magazine Rone Cover Awards. Criminal Kind was designed by Michael James Canales and Sins of My Youth was designed by Theo Wasserberg. I give the designers a general concept, but with permission to go wild.
You wrote on your website that your first manuscript was tabled so you could work on the Charlie McClung series. How did you come up with the idea for Charlie’s story?
The storyline for Brilliant Disguise is based loosely on a true family situation. I got my inspiration for the other books from Tom Petty songs. The characters are my Frankenstein-like creations. They are based on people I know. I take a little bit of this person and a little bit of that person, and then stitch them together with my warped imagination.
You’ve now written and published four books in the series. What have you learned along the way? What advice would you give someone just starting out as an author?
I learned that I should have been marketing my books BEFORE I published the first one. I didn’t even have a website when the first one was released. So my advice would be, get a website and all your social media platforms in place, network with bloggers, readers, and reviewers before you release your book. You need to hit the ground running with your first release.
What can you tell us about your next book in the series? How will it carry the storyline forward?
The timeline for the next book, Flirting With Time, picks up two weeks after Sins of My Youth ends. Flirting With Time will reveal who is the paper heart stalker.
What have you read lately that really wowed you? What’s coming up next on your TBR?
I love The Davis Way Crime Capers by Gretchen Archer. They wow me and I’m looking forward to the next one in the series. I have so many books on my TBR list. This past year has been difficult and has left me with little time to read. The next one up is a book one of my readers sent to me, The Poacher’s Son by Paul Doiron.
Where can readers find out more about you or your work? On which sites are you most active?
I have a website, http://www.MaryAnneEdwards.com and an Amazon Author’s Page. I’m most active on Facebook and Twitter.
Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you’d like to share with our readers?
I love hearing from my readers and getting to know them. Drop me a line. I will answer your email. Also, I have a street team, Charlie’s Angels. My Angels are the best, very hard workers. They are my extended family, a tremendous support system.
Thank you so much for joining in on the Author Interview Series!
Thank you for having me! It’s been a pleasure.