I’m so excited to have Mary Hamilton on the blog today. AND….I’ll be giving away a copy of her new book! Just leave a comment and tell me if you went to camp when you were young!
Mary writes books for tweens called the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. Rustic Knoll–where kids bring their baggage to camp and learn how to carry it.
For many young people, summer camp is the place where they experienced the reality of God and His son, Jesus Christ. Among all the swimming and cabin pranks and other activities, camp can be a transformational event in the life of teens. Whether you’ve been to camp, or have always wanted to go, The Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series will take you there, entertain and inspire you.
You can visit her website at http://www.maryhamiltonbooks.com
I asked Mary some questions.
Your name: Is this a pen name? If so, is there any particular reason you write under a pen name?
Mary Hamilton is my real name. But it’s a very common name so I include my middle initial as the name I write under.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up at a camp much like the setting for my Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. I started out writing non-fiction for Christian periodicals, and also wrote one play before trying my hand at fiction. I’m a graduate of Long Ridge Writers’ Group courses and a member of ACFW. And in my spare time, I enjoy knitting and being outdoors, especially watching sunsets.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. I kept journals as a teen and wrote lots of letters to friends and a favorite cousin. I didn’t start writing for publication until 1987 when I became a stay-at-home mom. Friends had encouraged me to try to get published so I took a correspondence course and that led to some article sales.
What does your writing journey look like?
My journey, as I said, started with non-fiction. But my ultimate goal was always to write a novel, because that’s what I most enjoyed reading. With three young children, though, I didn’t have the concentration necessary to write a novel, and once they outgrew naps, I couldn’t find a regular time to write when I wasn’t falling asleep. So I gave up writing until the youngest was in school, then took a couple more courses and focused on writing a novel. That first novel took me about 7 years to write.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
I am one of the few whose first novel was published. I attended an ACFW conference and found an agent who was interested in the story. After another six months of revising and editing, I sent it to him, and several months later he responded with a contract. Nearly a year later, he’d had little success finding a major publisher willing to take it on. I committed it to the Lord and was willing to move on, but that’s when I met the editor of HopeSprings Books and she loved it. So, I’d guess it took a couple years from the time I finished writing it to the time it was published.
How do you market your work?
I’m learning that marketing is simply building relationships with people who might be interested in my books. For me, that’s kids in upper elementary and junior high, their parents and even grandparents because they’re the ones who buy the books. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but I also keep several books on hand. When I meet someone who fits my target audience, if they enjoy reading, I’ll offer them the first book free and suggest that if they like it, the rest can be found on Amazon.
What is the name of your latest book, and how would you summarize it in less than 20 words?
In my latest book, See No Evil, a blind teenager struggles with pornography and guilt over his indulgence playing a part in the death of his father.
How can people contact you?
Blog details: https://www.maryhamiltonbooks.com/blog
Facebook page: https:/www.facebook.com/maryhamiltonbooks
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7132127.Mary_L_Hamilton
Twitter details: https://www.twitter.com/MHamiltonAuthor
Your G+ page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MaryHamiltonAuthor/posts
If you have any questions for Mary, please leave them in the comment section. And don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the contest! Ends Monday evening at 7 CDST