Friday, January 4, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature- Mary Connealy

Today I welcome an authoress who has a gift for humor, a kind heart, 
and is my treasured friendMary. 

Enter to win an autographed copy of Out of Control by Mary Connealy see below.

I met Mary through ACFW and through my friends at the Writer's Alley.  She truly has a gift for writing romantic comedy. I laughed through the pages and couldn't wait to pick up another of her books.  

I asked Mary to share her writing journey with us. Here is what she wrote:

God Gives Seasons of Life

I am a big believer that God gives us seasons of life.

I couldn’t see it while I struggled to get published but now, looking back, I realize that God waited until exactly the right time in my life to let me be published.

I sat down to write a book, a full length novel, with the intent of getting it published, the year my baby, the youngest of four daughters, went to Kindergarten.

I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published. At the end of that ten years, I had twenty finished books on my computer. That is; twenty full length romance novels. I had other, shorter works, Middle Grade novels, short stories, children’s books, novellas, even a few poems and songs, in addition to the novels.

Mary Connealy and Mary Vee
at ACFW Conference
All that time I was writing along in what I think of as Mole-like Anonymity, I was seriously pursuing publication. It’s not like I was just patiently writing and expecting an editor to come to my door and say, “I’ve heard rumors of your greatness and I’ve been searching for you, please may I buy your book.”

It’s not like I would type up my story thinking with sublime confidence, “God will send my books to the right publisher at the right time.”

Oh no.

I was entering contests, querying agents, mailing partials into publishers, using my Writer’s Market Guide and my Romance Writers Report Magazine, to hunt down editors and agents and contest where ever I could find them.

Through all that writing and querying and rejection, I always got just enough encouragement to carry on. I was a finalist in a contest with the second book I wrote. I’d get a occasional request for a full followed by a ‘nice’ rejection.

I got some short plays published and made actual tidbits of money.

It all kept me going.

When I finally sold, my first book, Petticoat Ranch hit the shelves in February and my baby graduated from high school in May.

I worked so hard promoting Petticoat Ranch. I did book signings and gave talks in any place that would let me in. Bookstores, libraries, churches. I attended conferences and went to ICRS. I was crazy busy hustling around selling that book. I had no idea just how demanding it would be.

To me it was a light going on. The season of my life that I could devote to being a published author came when I had time to be a published author. I could give myself whole-heartedly to it without neglecting my children because they were grown.

I just couldn’t see this when I was struggling all those years. But I needed those years. I needed them to get my daughters raised and also to get a back list of books because, once Barbour Publishing bought my first book, they wanted more and more of them. I published nineteen books with Barbour in four years. Twelve full length novels, four Heartsong Presents shorter romances and three cozy mysteries. Of those nineteen books, eight were already written. I would never have been able to keep up that pace if I hadn’t had those years to write all those books. And it was really good for my career to be able to say YES every time Barbour asked for another book.

That was God’s plan. I try to remember that when I’m impatient with anything, not just writing. Wait on the Lord. Embrace and enjoy the season of life I’m walking through with Him.

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader's Choice finalist. She is the author of the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series: Out of Control, In Too Deep, Over the Edge, Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy and Sophie's Daughters Trilogy. Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters and two spectacular grandchildren.

To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Mary's book, Out of Control, leave a comment and become a follower of this site if you aren't already. Please also include your email address (username (at) yahoo (dot) com) so I can contact you if you are the winner. The winner will be selected by a third party,, and will be announced next week. U.S. residents only. 

Thank you Mary for joining us this weekend!

Reader, How has God show you the need to wait for the right season?


Patty said...

I love Mary's books! I most recently read the Sophie's Daughters trilogy.

As a never married 'older' single gal I trust that the Lord is waiting for just the right time to bring that special guy around=) I try not to stress about it, and just TRUST.

I am a follower.


Mary Vee Writer said...

Thanks for stopping by.

Trust is key. Hard to hold on like a cowboy hat in the middle of a rodeo, but doable.

Sure had fun seeing you here.

Anonymous said...

I first became fully aware of the seasons in my life about 25 years ago. Such a wonderful lesson. Blessings, Susan Fryman susanngarrylee at yahoo dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good to see you!

And, God opens our eyes to the blessings of the seasons when we are ready. Has happened to me countless times.

Janice said...

I can certainly relate to those seasons of life which are more distinct than just spring, summer, fall and winter. I seem to be in the learning and flipping through seed catalogs season of the writing life. How to plant this garden?

Thank you for sharing the background that encourages others to go forward in their journey. I am blessed for the reading of this blog.

Blessings back to you!

Mary Connealy said...

To me the trouble with seasons of life is, they are so hard to see when we're in the middle of them.
Wait on the Lord is probably the hardest lesson there is. (well, there are PLENTY of hard lessons, so who knows which is hardest)
But only looking back can I see that season I was passing through.

Mary Connealy said...

I want to add this, too.....

I know young mothers who are published. They can handle it. They have their own season of life (or maybe I was just a slow learner) so just because God gave me that time of being a mom and then afterward gave me a time to be published, doesn't mean it is WRONG for someone to do it a different way.

I have a friend who is published with four little ones, I think she's only got one in school so far and she's published multiple books.

I asked her to come be on my blog, Seekerville and pick a day close to her book releasing. She sort of smiled and said, "I'm not sure when they're releasing. I don't do blogs. I write the books, send them in and then forget them. I let my publisher do any marketing and selling. I'm busy writing the next book, that's the only thing I have time for is to write them."

That seemed really smart to me. And she keeps writing and getting new contracts so God bless her for having her priorities straight.

Mary Connealy said...

And Patty, thank you for the kind words about my books.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Walking through the seasons of life is like trudging through a lovely forest. We can't see the sky above the canopy, yet we know it is there. We can't see the holes beneath the leaves, yet we stumble. How blessed we are to have God walk with us to pick us up and speak soft encouraging words.

Vince said...

While I’ve heard Mary’s story before, it never fails to inspire. Anyone can brag about having 132 rejections. But having twenty full manuscripts, that’s paying your dues.

Now, I think the big problem with the ‘seasons of life’ is that they don’t come back again as they do in nature. I’d sure like to be in my Spring season once again.

I have Mary’s books but, if it is possible, I’d like a chance to win the time to read the one’s in my TBR pile. : ) Vince

Mary Vee Writer said...

So glad you came today. You are first on the list to receive the gift of time for reading a book. :)

It would be nice to have those favorite seasons of our life repeat again and again. Thank God for pictures and other forms of memory:)

It would be nice to have you back again. I look forward to future chats.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I think many of us find writing, publication, and marketing a time puzzle. Very few are blessed to leave the marketing to the publisher.

I am so thankful for the books you have written, they inspire and help me relax after a busy day. You are such a funny and witty writer and I am thankful for your writing ministry.

DebH said...

i love mary's books. i love the humor infused throughout them. i'm also encouraged by mary's story about her road to publication. it gives me hope. a very encouraging post.

nm8r67 at hotmail dot com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Deb!
No wonder you love her books. It is a great compliment for an author to hear their books have given hope. I love her humor as well. I end up finding the nearest family member and reading the humor passage to them...then walk away laughing and laughing.

God's blessings on you.

I hope to see you back again.

Mary Connealy said...

I can't give you the gift of time, but I guess I can (from the outside looking in mind you) tell you there are worse things in this world than being busy.
What's sadder than to have days and weeks stretching out ahead of you with nothing to do but read.
Enjoy the Hectic Life

Mary Connealy said...

DebH, the way I see those twenty books is, ARE YOU READY???
When you finally get your chance are you READY TO TAKE IT????
Get Ready. Be Ready. When that fateful days comes that someone wants your book will you be able to say, "Yes, I can have it for you tomorrow?" Or will you have to say, "I need three months or six months?"

Heather Marsten said...

I often joke that God has me on a fruit of the month club - the Fruit of the Spirit that he often sends me is patience. I want patience and I want it now. You are right, we need to remember that God has perfect timing for our lives. Thanks for this reminder.

HM at HVC dot RR dot COM

Mary Vee Writer said...

You are so funny. I love that, "fruit of the month club." I will remember that one and work harder to focus on my fruit each day.

Love yah!

Mary Connealy said...

Heather, the Fruit of the Month club somehow speaks to the rumors of me being a fruit cake.

but that's all just RUMORS. There is no truth to it. Trust me, my husband has had me tested!!!!

Tonja S. said...

My 12 year old daughter and I love Mary's books -- she expecially loved the "petticoats" series!!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you for signing up to be a follower!

I love sharing books with my daughter as well. Isn't it fun to quote some funny line at a random time? The two of you break out laughing and everyone around looks at you with a weird look.

I love those moments.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Tonja, thank you. Hearing a mom and daughter are both reading one of my books. I just love thinking it works across generations.

Unknown said...

I just love Ms. Mary's books! The books are always a must read for me :)


I am a follower!

Mary Vee Writer said...

So nice to see you again. And so happy you like Mary's books.
You are entered in the book drawing:)

Shopgirl said...

I've only read one other book of Mary's so far, but look forward to reading the rest! I follow thru email. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mary Connealy said...

Thank you so much Samantha. I'm getting kinda weepy here!

Mary Connealy said...

Veronica, my 24th book just released. Book #25 in February is the beginning of a new three book series called Trouble in Texas, book #1 is Swept Away.
And I just signed with my publisher, Bethany House, for six more books, plus I've got three novellas coming in the next year or so.
I can keep you busy for a LONG LONG TIME!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mary Vee, I am a follower of your blod, and a subscriber. I have not read any of Mary Cinnely's book but would like to win this one! Thanks!
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Of course i remember you. So happy to have you join us again. We sure enjoyed seeing you around the virtual fireside today.

You definitely are in the drawing for the book!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Veronica,
I almost missed your comment, it was snuggled in between others I had read.

I'm so glad you came and saw Mary Connealy today. You are definitely in the book drawing.

Hope to see you again! And brrr..our house door just opened. Think I'll put on more virtual cocoa. Ready for a cup?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Mary Vee, What a lovely site and thanks for sharing Mary Connealy's story.

Mary C. you never cease to amaze me. And you're so right in the fact we don't see those "seasons of life" until we can look back. sigh

Like Vince, I already have all of Mary's books since she is one of my favorite authors, but if you find a way to give Vince more time, I'll take some of that also. smile

Mary Vee Writer said...

I didn't know you just signed with Bethany for six more books!
We are the beneficiaries :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Welcome. So glad you could come today.

Yes, Mary has been awesome this weekend.

I hope to see you back here again for future guests.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Mary's books and her stories are some of my favorite ever. I love how she keeps her characters in trouble. ;) Don't enter me, because I already have this wonderful book!

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Maxie, thanks for stopping in. Give my books a try win or lose. Go to your local library and get them so you don't have to pay.
And, if your library doesn't have them, ask to get them though interlibrary loan that is either free or maybe a dollar or two in most libraries.
Or, you could try and get your library to buy one of my books.
I recommend a lot of screaming. Maybe fall to the floor and kick, hold your breath. Oh, and make sure and call the TV Station first.

And spell my name right.

And pretend like it was your own idea!

Mary Connealy said...

It was so great to see you in Dallas!
Thanks so much for reading my books.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good grief, with the double "n" and single "l" in your name Maxie has to spell your last name right to the TV station. Yikes!
This would be fun to see.

Anonymous said...

Mary Connealy, I am so sorry for botching up your name. I really did know how to spell it. LOL Forgot to edit for my mistakes in typing, which are many. Mostly learned since I've had my computer. Never had typing until Jr. or SR. year when I was in school. Well, I married in my 10th grade year, then got pregnant first thing, and, had to move to Texas for my asthma, so was the end of my school. So, forgive me please. LOL Maxie

Mary Vee Writer said...

Oh, Maxie, we all make typos.
Mary and I just glad you came and read what God did for her.
Congratulations on winning Mary's book!

Looking forward to seeing you again.