Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Mary Rundle – The first book I ever wrote was Dire Warning in 2017 and, much to my delight, it became an Amazon Best Seller. Readers loved it and I was on my way to chronicling the Blackwood Pack, seven brothers who are gay wolf shifters in search of their fated mates– stories about love at first sight with twists and turns, angst and humor, romance and adventure and, of course, happy endings.
Thanks so much, Mary, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: When did you begin to write?
Mary Rundle: I never wrote anything until I entered an online contest in March 2017 to write a few paragraphs based on a photo of a naked man hitchhiking. A story immediately came to me so I wrote down the first few paragraphs and submitted them. Much to my surprise, everybody wanted to know more about what happened and asked me to write the rest of the story. I figured, “Why not?”
JSC: So you have been writing a little more than a year. How many books have you
MR: I have finished and published five books. It’s a good pace for me and gives me a bit of time between each book to recover from the intensity of interacting with my characters.
JSC: Your books focus on male/male relationships. Why?
MR: In society, men who love men still face ostracism for who they are. Yet, that love, which I portray in my stories, is some of the strongest love around. And it has to be—because men who love men have to fight so hard and go through so much social rejection even when they are just holding hands walking down the street. That makes them the strongest men I have ever met. I want to show the strength of their love in my stories.
JSC: What trait do you have you consider vital to writing?
MR: Persistence—and the fact that I’m not afraid to fail at anything I try. I also never let anyone discourage me. History is full of stories about people in all fields who just kept plowing on in the face of great odds. As a matter of fact, that’s the mantra of most novels: A hero or heroine must overcome great obstacles to achieve a worthwhile goal. And here’s another: To get somewhere, you sometimes have to follow many paths that lead to nowhere. Paste both over your desk and you have a roadmap to both personal and professional success.
JSC: How long do you write each day?
MR: I write one chapter—about 2500 words, give or take—per day, period. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this bitch from the swift completion of her appointed word count. Sometimes, though, it’s not so swift but it gets done anyway.
JSC: Which song would best describe who you are?
MR: I Will Survive.
JSC: Who would you like to spend an evening with, and why?
MR: Ebenezer Scrooge. Because it would be a really great deal. I’d get to visit the present, past and future all in one night. It can’t get better than that. Even “buy one, get one free” can’t come close.
JSC: What are some of the most unusual jobs you have had?
MR: When I was a teenager, starting at 13, I worked a lot of different factory jobs during the summer. They were hot, grimy and tiring and it was enough to convince me that education was very important if you wanted a shot at the American Dream.
JSC: What don’t we know about you yet?
MR: I’m a hermit – no really! I am perfectly happy to be all by myself. For years, my husband has tried to get me to go on a cruise and the thought of being a prisoner on a ship with 3,000 other inmates for seven days doesn’t much appeal to me.
JSC: What are you working on now?
MR: Right now, I just finished Ghost Walker, my sixth book of the Blackwood pack series, and it’s about Zane and his Fated Mate. I’m shooting for a January 2019 publication date.
And now for Mary’s latest book: Shadow Voice:
The Blackwood Pack saga continues…
This is part of an on-going series and reading the previous titles is advised. Readers of the past books will enjoy meeting old friends once more as the pack does what it does best ̶ caring for each other.
Slate, one of the last Dire Wolves, has carved out a life which suits him fine—plenty of traveling to exotic locations and an abundance of one night stands to handle his needs. While he’s happy for his brother, who has found his Fated Mate, Slate isn’t interested in finding his—at least not for a long time. That is, until his body betrays him. Seeking his mother’s help—who is an Oracle—Slate pays a visit to the Blackwood Pack where he finds the Fates have once again, messed with his life.
Dakota, the chef for the Blackwood Pack, fell in love with cooking as a young child and ultimately the kitchen became a place of refuge for him. Suffering with a ‘curse’ through much of his childhood, he relied heavily on his mother’s help to deal with it. After the massacre of his mother and siblings by their greedy uncle, Dakota barely survives, but finally forges a life for himself, content to stay home and take care of the people he loves.
A long-hidden secret, rejection of a mate, acceptance of rare gifts, and a brutal kidnapping are just some of the obstacles Dakota and Slate must battle together to save their relationship. As the pack rallies around them, both must learn to trust the other before they can find the happiness that the Fates have ordained for them…
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Oracle looked at her son—her wild, fearless, fun-loving, trouble-making son—with pride. Here was a man who put the less fortunate before himself. Smiling, Oracle thanked the Fates for giving her Slate. He was her miracle pup. She nearly died giving birth to his brother and Maximus was adamant about not having another child. But she persisted, assuring her mate she would be fine. It was a gamble because the Fates were silent about the matter. In the end, everything was okay and Slate was born without any problems.
Now, her youngest and last son was ready to move on with life but was finding every excuse not to take the next step. Contemplating what she could say, Oracle almost missed Slate’s comment.
“This isn’t the only reason I came, I also wanted to see Kieran.”
Narrowing her eyes, she examined her son’s expression and his body language, trying to find the reason behind that statement. She knew her son and the pending High Council deposition wasn’t why he wanted to see Kieran—so after seeing him squirm, she confirmed her suspicion. “Kieran is the Fated Mate of Logan, Jackson’s twin brother. He was not meant for you.”
“Mom, I know that—now. I’m not going to interfere with Fated Mates, don’t worry. It’s just that I thought…well never mind, it doesn’t matter now. Look, the main reason I came to see you was if you knew of a way I could end my toirchigh early. I just don’t have time to go looking for my Fated Mate right now and I was hoping you could help me.”
Releasing Slate’s hands, she sat back and studied him. The wrinkles of exhaustion around his eyes, the deep worry lines creasing his forehead and the tightness around his mouth spoke of a shifter that clearly needed something more in his life than just work. “I will have to do some research to see if it is even possible. Maybe Mystia can help. That is all I can do right now.”
Smiling at the possibility of some relief, Slate said, “Mom, that’s great. I’ll be here for a few days. I want to hand over the grant work to Carson. I think he’s ready and it would lift a big burden off me. If he runs into any problems, he could ask Dad or Steel to help him.”
“That is a wonderful idea. I think Carson will do a very good job.”
“I’m hoping.” Then he asked quietly, “Oh, mom, will you keep this to yourself? I’m just not ready for the world to know right now.”
Oracle rose, leaned over and gave her son a gentle kiss on the forehead. “Other than your father and Mystia, both of whom will be able to help me research it, I will not say a word.”
“Thanks. I just can’t deal with my brother ragging me right now.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Nothing. I was just thinking about all the teasing you did to him when he was in his toirchigh.”
Groaning, Slate said, “Don’t remind me. I’m surprised he didn’t beat me up. I owe him for that.”
Laughing softly, Oracle said, “Your brother loves you and only wants the best for you. You know as well as I do, if you told him, he would do everything in his power to help you find your Fated Mate.”
“Yeah, I know that, Mom. I guess that’s part of why I don’t want him to know right now. I’m still trying to get used to the idea of being mated,” Slate said, running his hands through his hair. “For some strange reason, I thought it would be years before this happens.”
“Slate, sweetie, it may indeed be years before you find your Fated Mate. Steel went through a number of toirchighs before he found Jackson.”
“Yeah. I remember but I don’t want it hanging over my head that long. The Fates want me to have Dire Wolf pups so I figure I should get on with it.”
“Slate, a Fated Mate is a gift—not something to ‘get on with’.”
“Sorry, that wasn’t what I meant.”
“Then what did you mean?”
The first book I ever wrote was Dire Warning in 2017 and, much to my delight, it became an Amazon Best Seller. Readers loved it and I was on my way to chronicling the Blackwood Pack, seven brothers who are gay wolf shifters in search of their fated mates– stories about love at first sight with twists and turns, angst and humor, romance and adventure and, of course, happy endings.
Now, five books later, Shadow Voice, another Best Seller, has just been released to critical acclaim. I love the M/M paranormal genre because it gives my imagination a lot of territory in which to roam. My mind can really run wild and come up with some amazing stuff when it doesn’t have to stay inside the box.
Stories come to me as if they were being channeled by my characters, all of whom I love (except for a few villains). They are eager to recount their lives, loves and adventures and are not inhibited when it comes to revealing steamy details.
My readers tell me they feel like they’re a member of the pack as the stories unfold. As if they’re right there in the middle of the action. Others tell me it’s like watching a fast-paced movie.
I currently live in the Northeast and love the beautiful change of seasons, my husband, and our quirky calico cat, though not necessarily in that order. I’m always happy to hear from my readers and can be reached through Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, or my website.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/171112140176036