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Exclusive Interview with

Mary Elizabeth Fricke

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When did you start writing?

I was making up stories before I knew how to write them down. In school, I always excelled in classes where I could write assignments on paper. It's not that I began writing at any certain time. It's that writing is a vital part of me.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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What makes writing your passion?

Writing is how I express myself, whether it be through a list, a memoir or journal, or a letter. Writing is how I communicate. I'm firmly convinced that if I cease to write, I will cease to breathe.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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How long have you been writing?

all of my life

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

Absolute Euphoria. My autobiography, Dino, Godzilla and the Pigs, published in 1993 during the 500-year flood, still stands on a pedestal all its own.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

My characters are eclectic. The only connection between any of them is that I keep my stories family and rural oriented.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

Fight it. Don't give up. I've just come out of something like a seven-year slump. Serious physical problems and medical issues made keeping a clear mind and the ability to concentrate extremely difficult.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

Just do it. No one else can take those words, that fantastic story out of your head or write them on paper the way you will. So just sit yourself down and do it. Doesn't matter if you write in long-hand, short-hand, computer, tablet, or Greek. You can edit the whole thing later after you have it all out of your head and on paper or computer screen.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Slow down a bit. Don't expect so much so fast. Writing is easy but publishing is a long, winding road with a lot of ditches and drawbacks. Take the criticism with a grain of salt and keep improving as you learn.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

Yes, I read them. I've been lucky that most of my reviews are good. I take the bad ones like I do anything else someone says that's negative toward me. Sometimes I wonder if that person read the book or if they understood what I wrote.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

Pleased. Sometimes really flattered and humble

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

I write about the rural area I grew up and have lived my life in. When I was a child family farms were everywhere. Sadly, that life has begun to diminish. As the farms have grown larger, the family presence has grown smaller. I'd like to try to preserve some of the innocence, nostalgia that was basic in the rural world I grew up in.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

none apply to this

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

The book cover is very important. I have chosen not to read books with covers I didn't like. So, I try to have covers that are a direct reflection of the story in the book. In every story in the Birds in Peril Series, the primary character is compared to the bird in the title. In Pigeon in a Snare, Lex nicknamed Lisa 'Pigeon'. Robin Unaware has a gazebo where there is a robin's nest in a conspicuous questionable place. I really love the red shadowing of the cover of Robin because it creates a kind of mysterious, even dangerous aura for the little robin hopping around on the ground, a scenario reflected in the story. In the Sweet Pea Trilogy, the primary character has a double glider where she weighs her thoughts and her life. Thus, the double glider on the front cover of each story.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

Either way works well for me.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

Shy. Flattered. Sometimes shocked and flustered

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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Who is your favorite author? Why?

I have several favorites. I follow Sandra Brown and Kim Harrison. I collected all of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss's novels. Her Ashes in the Wind is my favorite historical novel. John Bowers writes the best futuristic science fiction ever. And, I hold deep admiration for Erma Bombeck's ability to poke fun at herself while carrying profound messages about the important things in life. But they are only the top of a very long and very eclectic list of favorites.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

I have rewritten a couple of them. Shattered Image was created in the 1980s. When I rewrote and published it, I left the 80's theme. I cannot tell you how many times I rewrote Sweet Pea over a 20-year period. Sometimes now, I think I could write it again with the basic 60's, 70's 80's setting, but take the characters in another, completely different direction.

Mary Elizabeth Fricke
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If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

None. I'm not interested in writing any other kind of anything.