Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Catching Up With Mary Burton

Hi Mary!  Thank you for taking the time to be here with us today at Love Romances and More!

Let’s start with an easy one--how long have you been writing?

I started writing in the early 1990s.  I really got serious about a daily commitment to writing when my youngest child came along.  I wrote during the kids daily naps.

What inspired you to pick up the pen (or sit down at the computer) one day and create characters that capture the imagination? 

The characters had been in my head for years.  I was always imagining stories.  Finally, I just decided it was time to sit down and see if I could make some of the characters into a book.

Most people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. What’s your take on this?

That makes me laugh.  My days are very ordinary.  I'm up early (in part because  my cat refuses to sleep late) and then I'm off to the gym.  It's home to walk the dogs, grab a quick breakfast and then into my office.  I set daily page goals and stay in that office until they are done.  The one break I take is to walk the dogs.  And then afternoons are spent working on marketing.  

What is the most glamorous thing you’ve done as an author?

There have been some cocktail parties at  RWA national that were really special.  Signing books and meeting fans is always a real treat.  I also received a lifetime Achievement Award from Washington Romance Writers a couple of years ago and that was very special.

Your latest book, NO ESCAPE you take readers into the mind of not only a serial killer, but how he, for lack of a better way of looking at it, tries to build a legacy where his crimes will continue to be committed.  Did you use any particular technique to try to develop that kind of mindset? 

My killers don't see themselves as bad people.  They want to be remembered, they want what they see as justice, or they want to be accepted.  Granted the way they go about earning all these things is wrong and terrible but the emotions are fairly universal.

I read THE SEVENTH VICTIM before reading NO ESCAPE and aside from not being able to put it down because it was such an intense read, I also couldn’t sleep with the light out.  When you stopped writing for the day, were you able to close your eyes and sleep like a baby? Or did the story keep running through your mind? 

When I'm finished with my daily pages I put the story aside.  It might be cooking on the back burner so to speak but I don't dwell on it.  As an aside, my family loves scary movies but I can't watch them.  When the kids flip on a scary movie, I vanish.

You moved Jo Granger from working in the police building to a private office.  Was there something in particular that prompted that decision? 

In my mind Jo always worked for both the police and the private practice.  She had a strong sense of civic duty and liked working on the more challenging cases in the Rangers office.

Are we going to see Santos’s story in the future? 

Oh, I love Santos.  I haven't told his story yet but one day he will get his story. 

Fifty years from now, will Brody and Jo be together? 

You bet!  They one hundred percent committed to each other and to their marriage.
If you could be a character in any of your books who would it be and why? 

I really like Jo.  She's smart, funny and kind and she can climb the rock wall at the gym.  I've never climbed a rock wall and think that would be fun (and scary).

Looking over the past year, what has been the best moment for you in your writing career? 

There have been a lot of great moments.  But honestly what continues to be the best moment is when a story comes together.  Sometimes when I sit down to write the pieces don't all fit and it can drive me nuts.  Then I'll hear something or see something and the pieces just fall into place.  Those are the moments that keep me typing.

What do you enjoy doing with your spare time, your non-writing time? 

I love hiking.  In fact I just went on a great hike along the James River just yesterday.  I bake.  Nothing makes me happier than to pull out the pots and pans in the kitchen and create something.  I also have a couple of minature dachshunds, Buddy and Bella, who keep me pretty busy.

If you could invite any famous person, dead or alive, for lunch, who would it be and what would you eat?

You’ve gotten the call, a Hollywood producer is going to bring the NO ESACPE to the big screen.  Who do you cast in the major roles? 

I like Jessica Chastain for the role of Jo Granger and Liev Schreiber as Brody Winchester. 

And….they want  you to play a cameo – who will you be?  

I always get a kick out of movies with an author's cameo.  The author is usually the guy at the front desk in the police station or just walking by as the main characters talk.  That would be me.  You would have to really be watching close to catch Mary Burton's cameo.

What are you working on now? Can you tell us a little about it? 

My next romantic suspense will be out in April 2014 and it will be called YOUR'RE NOT SAFE.  It's the third in my Texas series and set on a vineyard in Texas Hill Country.  I'm now working on my next romantic suspense.  No title yet but its set in Nashville, TN and features a homicide detective and a forensic artist.  The pieces of this story are really starting to fall into place and I'm having great fun.

Is there anything you’d like to add? 

Thanks for having me!!

Thank you for taking some time with us today!

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