In this interview, we talk to Mary about her writing habits, her thoughts on the future of paranormal romance, and we also learn about her unnatural love for actor Tony Danza.
And be sure to read all the way through the interview to learn how you can download one of Mary's books for free!
Tell us about yourself.
I live in Michigan with my husband and three adorable children. I enjoy reading, writing, vegetarian cooking and telling my children fantastic stories about wombats.
I also write contemporary romance under the name Tuesday Embers.
Can you tell us a couple of random fun facts about you that we wouldn’t otherwise know?
I’m a Harry Potter nerd, complete with dressing up like Luna Lovegood to go see each new movie when it came out. I have a healthy addiction to Harney and Sons Cinnamon Spice Tea, and an unhealthy fear of whales.
What advice would you give a novice writer to get them off on the right track when publishing romance?
Write every day, even if it’s only a few sentences. As far as romance goes, don’t be afraid to capitalize on the imperfect moments. So many books spend their times focusing on the hair blowing out in the breeze, the toned musculature and the quintessential kiss.
Sometimes the slipping on a banana peel moments add just as much to the story arc as the Fabio swoons.
Are you a goals-oriented kind of author? If so, what kind of goals have you set for yourself for the next year? The next five?
I’m a goal-centric writer. I post my goals on my corkboard, and consult it often. I set weekly to-do lists, monthly do-or-die goals, six-month projections, and year-long (more abstract) plans.
I have page count goals, monthly fiscal goals, admin goals, and goals dealing with future projections. Sexy, right? I’m fantastic at dorking up my muse.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula, or character maps?
For my folklore books, I study the different creatures, and see if anything pops out at me. Then I find myself a main character I could talk about for half a dozen books, and surround her with people I’ve known, or wish I’d known.
My stories are character-driven and the plot forms from there, usually on the fly. I start with a basic outline (usually no more than half a page), a glossary of characters and creatures, and set my characters down in the middle of an emotional tornado to see what shakes out.
Tell us a bit about your writing day. How much time do you spend researching, writing and promoting? What has to happen for you to feel you’ve had a successful writing day?
I write for at least three hours every day, more if I get the extra time. I prefer to write in the morning, the earlier the better. My research is spent mostly before I write word one, and by the time I’m finished making my notes, I’m itching to start the story.
I tend to budget one month to write the first draft of each book, and I like to write the entire series in one go. So depending on how long the series is, it might take me 2/3 of a year to write out the entire 9 books in the series.
To have a successful writing day, I need to have a connection with my main character, laugh her laugh, fear her monsters, and fall down her cliffs.
What, in your opinion, is going to go out of favor in the romance reader world over the next year? What do you think will be the next “big thing”?
Oh, jeez. Your guess is as good as mine. My crystal ball thinks that stepbrother romances are on their way out. In my humble opinion (which could be wrong), the shock factor isn’t totally sustainable.
The next big thing? If I had my way, it would be romance smut featuring Tony Danza, or Vin Diesel, with a side of Robert Pattinson. I would read the crap out of any fanfiction featuring Tony Danza.
And now for the silly… given the choice, which of your characters would you become, and why?
Oh, Lucy from the Undraland series, no doubt. Her sense of humor can get her through anything, which is an admirable quality. Also, I’ve got the burning loins for both Jens and Foss.
What’s coming down the pike for Mary E. Twomey? When can we expect to see it released to the world?
Terraway is in the middle of releasing one book a month until all 8 parts are released. As a reader, I’m not a fan of waiting for the next juicy book to come out, so I try to respect that. Tempt is book 4 in the Terraway series, which is based in Filipino folklore, and will launch January 26th.
Can you share an excerpt of your upcoming book, or recently released one?
This is an excerpt from Torture, book 3 in the Terraway series:
Von climbed back under the blankets, rolling atop me to cover my body with his. “You were starved and locked in a dungeon. It’s quite alright to feel a bit turned around. You should always tell me what you want.” He nipped at my lips, my cheeks, and finally planted a kiss on my nose. Our eyes met with heat that felt laced with too many layers of things neither of us were ready to put words to just yet.
“I can tell you’ll have handsome old man wrinkles when gray hair creeps in on you. If this Reaper-Omen bond holds true, I might just be around to get to see that magnificence firsthand.”
Von suddenly sobered, looking at me with a stern expression. “No.” His eyes bored into me, appearing to be sifting through too many responses to my simple compliment. “I’m temporary, November. It’s important you don’t forget that.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’ve resisted the transition thus far, but one day, something or other will prove to be too much. Make no mistake, it’s in my nature. I will turn someday.” He swallowed the lump in his throat. His gold eye and his blue were filled with regret. “I won’t grow to be an old man with wrinkles. Best enjoy the look of me now.”
I gripped his hands tight, willing my stubborn nature to instill itself into him. “Not if I have anything to say about it. You’re not temporary, Von. You’re permanent. We’re permanent. I need you to believe that. I need you to keep trying.” I blinked up at him, scared of the words that tumbled out of me so easily. “I need you.”
Many thanks to Tuesday for taking the time to do our interview!
As promise, you can download Mary's Undraland, book one of a 9-part series based in Scandinavian folklore, which is available for free from Amazon. Just click this link to go to the book's Amazon page to download!