Our interview today is with Mary C. Findley aka Sophronia Belle Lyon. Thank you Mary for being here today and for agreeing to do this interview.
Question: What do you think prepared you or qualifies you to write in your chosen genre?
Answer: I saw the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and realized that I had read and loved so many classic books that I could create my own literary dream team of crime fighters. I also read a lot of SciFi growing up and I love the fact that Steampunk is the perfect blend of the two. I love the Victorian era and clockwork gadgets that blend historical fiction and sci-fi. I also wanted to be true to the high moral tone and the faith that’s clearly presented in Victorian novels through courage, self-sacrifice, and helping and serving others. I also had a wonderful grandmother with an awe-inspiring Maiden name, Sophronia Belle Lyon, that I could use as a pen name for my Steampunk series. Family members have even said it is a wonderful tribute, and that I resemble her.
Question: Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?
Answer: Hubby and I have 3 grown children and we travel together full-time in a tractor trailer, throughout the 48 states and Canada.There are many distractions, but it does sometimes allow concentrated time to work on projects, especially when we take motel breaks.
Question: Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books — Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
Answer: Sometimes our daughter or hubby read the books. Our pastor read some as well. More recently author friends have been kind enough to read new books and point out needed changes. I self-edit, because I have been an editor, and I design the covers, because I have had access to lots of good advice and have experience in art and design work.
Question: Since you have several books out, tell us what you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on ebooks versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?
Answer: Twitter and our blog seem to have brought us the most notice. Being faithful to write posts and joining and participating in tweet groups helps. We also have a list of all our titles and links to our blogs and YouTube sites, where the books are linked to sales sites and where we have video trailers. We also have samples of our works available for free online, with information on the other works, which I think have helped point people to us.
Question: Have you done anything writing-related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
Answer: The followers and commenters on our blog have been very encouraging.
Question: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Answer: The ‘Pprentices, the Puppets, and the Pirates is the second book in the Alexander Legacy series. It is told from the point of view of Oliver Twist, who has grown up to be a steampunk inventor of airships and other wondrous gadgets. Oliver faces an evil Pinocchio and his Blue Fairy Mama, plus Long John Silver, who tries to force Oliver to help him find his missing daughter. The message of the book is the difference between how the world views rebirth and immortality, and the abuse of power and influence over other human beings.
Question: What is your current WIP.
Answer: I just finished Write for the King of Glory, a book about my writing and publishing experiences, and I hope to get some good feedback and reviews before officially launching it. I also keep thinking of things I could have added, so it may get longer, or lead to a book two.
Question: How many books do you have out?
Answer: 19 full-length or stand alone titles, plus samples and serial versions of longer works, for a total of 49 publications.
Question: What are your future projects?
Answer: Hubby and I are working together on a Homeschool Curriculum series beginning with Creation and continuing in modules to integrate History, Science, and Literature in a comprehensive way, with teacher and student editions and modules of Math and English Skills along the way.
Question: What is one thing that very few people know about you?
Answer: Most people do not know that I am one of six children, with parents who had at least as many children in their families — In other words, a great host of people are related to me in some way, but most of them I have not seen or spoken to since I was a teenager, if I ever met or saw them at all. My family is not close. I was happy to stumble across a couple of cousins on facebook.
Question: What is your favorite book?
Answer: Charles Dickens Tale of Two Cities in classics, and Richard Adams Watership Down in modern times.
Question: How should readers contact you?
Answer: Through our blogs: http://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com or http://gotyoucoveredproofingformattingcoverdesign.wordpress.com
Three of her most recent books:
The Alexander Legacy Steampunk Literary Tribute series, books One and Two by Sophronia Belle Lyon (Pen name for Mary C. Findley)
A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist
Illustrated Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist
The ‘Pprentice, the Puppets, and the Pirates
Reviews from Amazon and Goodreads
“…The inventions are fun, the characters memorable, the mystery engaging and the writing enjoyable. … Illustrated edition full of vintage images and neat little Victorian touches.”
“I even read it … walking to and from work. I kept smiling in disbelief when a new character … someone who I could never see in the company of the others … fall into place and join the company with perfect ease.”
“Cleverly written in Victorian era where characters’ lives cross paths … There the fun begins! … Had me chuckling throughout. The illustrations were great too … added extra flare.”
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Thank you so much, Russell! I appreciate the opportunity.
I enjoy getting to know more about Mary in interviews. I regularly enjoy her blog.