Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Where the Heart Lives" by Mara Purl {Author Interview/Giveaway}

Where the Heart Lives not only offers readers a rich array of cross-connecting storylines, but also an array of themes.


• Mystery Missing Person Investigation

Deputy Delmar Johnson—recently promoted to Senior Deputy, and still the only African-American member
of the Sheriff Department’s Special Problems Unit—tracks the missing journalist Christina Christian, a case
that’s beginning to fascinate him beyond all his other cases. The missing woman was scheduled to conduct
interviews in San Francisco, then in Tokyo, but has failed to show up. Del hopes against hope she’ll still turn
up, and his investigation brings him to the sumptuous Calvin estate where he meets oil baron Joseph Calvin,
who admits to dating Chris but claims to know nothing about her unexplained absence.

Interview with Author, Mara Purl:

1. What inspires you when you write?

I probably should answer that everything inspires me! I look at life through the lens of story (one of the reasons there’s a magnifying lens on the cover of my new novel!) Sometimes it’s a small element of human behaviour that might catch my attention, as when someone goes out of their way to be kind to a stranger. Sometimes it’s a huge life choice that inspires me---which is why my protagonist Miranda Jones gives up her life of privilege and her city-success to move to a small town and rediscover her authentic connection to nature, to her work, and to herself. What keeps me going with my writing each day is that I “hear” the hearts of my characters and know there’s something authentic in their stories that will help us unravel the mysterious entanglements of our own hearts. This brings a sense of progress and freedom to me, so I know it does this for my readers. We’re on the same path. I’m just walking a few steps ahead.

2. Do you have a favourite spot to write?

Creating a special zone of your own is, I believe, one of the important keys to opening a space for your own creative life. It can be a converted closet; it can be a spacious beautifully designed office or studio; it can be a public space---like a beach or a Starbucks---in which you carve your own private corner. Whatever it looks like, the space must be yours, you must “own” it, so that you can give yourself to the listening that will allow your creative work to flow. My favourite spots are: my office in Colorado; my office in Los Angeles; and a little beachside motel in Cambria, California where I’ve been going for years to write my novels.

3. Who is your favourite author(s)?

I’ll mention two authors who have influenced me tremendously. Jane Austen was the first author to really go inside the “heads” of fictional characters, revealing their inner thoughts. We’re now so used to this technique, we can’t imagine narrative voice without this element. She has inspired me to go inside the “hearts” of my characters, probing their intuitions and instincts, which often are so quiet, they themselves can barely hear them. Charles Dickens was the first to create serial story-telling in the context of the novel. He wrote installments that he performed before audiences, and later collected into his long, complex works like David Copperfield. I’ve done something similar, in that my story began as a radio drama with one hundred episodes, and I’m now adapting these original scripts into narrative voice and the novel structure.

4. What are you reading now?

I recently finished performing the audio book for Dark Lake by a favourite author of mine, Louise Gaylord. This is the fourth of her books that I’ve performed and love. I’ve finished Diana Gabaldon’s An Echo in the Bone and am impatiently waiting for her next volume. I’m just starting Linda Fairstein’s Killer Heat, part of her fabulous NY City D.A. crime series. And, as always, I’m reading lots of research material for my own next novel.

5. Any tips to new writers out there?

Many! In September I spoke at the Central Coast Writers Conference, and in October I spoke at the Women Writing the West Conference, so I love sharing insights with fellow writers. If I had to say just one thing to new writers, it would be to write. I know that sounds absurd . . . but there’s only one way to mastery, and that is practice. Put in the hours. Keep the flow going. Write details descriptions. Then step away from detail and write fast action. Then step away from action and write journal entries. Write and write in all kinds of ways. You’ll be priming the pump. And you’ll also be finding out whether or not it feels right to give so much of your time to the writing craft. It’s not for everyone! But if it’s for you, nothing else will challenge and satisfy you as writing will.

Learn more about Mara and her books on:

Purchase "Where the Heart Lives" on:
Barnes & Noble

Mara is offering a free short story "When Whales Watch" to our readers during "Where the Heart Lives" book tour. To claim your short story head over to Mara's Blog.  Also you can find a free song called "Save the Whales" that you can download HERE.

And one more thing from Mara...A Giveaway!

"And one more thing -- I'd love to do a special giveaway. Whoever sends the most beautiful postcard to me, I'll post it on Pinterest, and also be happy to send them a copy of the new hardcover. My postcard page is"

Disclosure: I received the above product(s) from the company in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. This review is brought to you by Charisma Media. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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