Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Words with... Mary Campagna Findley

Thanks to Mary Campagna Findley for this interview and book giveaway


A free copy of Benny and the Bank Robber goes to the first lucky reader to post a comment!

What is your day job or are you lucky enough to write for a living?
I ride with my husband in his semi full-time, and between load searches and trip paperwork, I do the writing, editing, researching, cover designing and uploading thing. :-)

What books have you written so far?
We have 12 titles – 2 non-fiction, 3 adult historical romance, 3 youth/young/adult historical adventure, and one Sci-Fi. That includes 2 illustrated versions, one series and one teacher-student set of curriculum. The titles are: Antidisestablishmentarianism (with Illustrated version), Biblical Studies (teacher and student editions), Send a White Rose, The Baron of Larcondale, Vienta, Benny and the Bank Robber, BBR2: Doctor Dad, Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion (with ‘illuminated’ version in the style of a medieval manuscript), and The Space Empire Saga.

What works in progress do you have?
A steampunk fantasy/Sci-Fi mystery with my favourite literary characters, a non-fiction work so far called The Conflict of the Ages, a fantasy/allegory about persecution and the spreading of the Word of God, and a sequel to the Baron of Larcondale.

How long did it take you to write your book/s?
They have been in the works, mostly, for over 20 years. Editing, finalising, cover design and uploads and correction about 2 years.

Do you write linear, or jump back and forth? Do you plan or write by the seat of your pants?
I jump back and forth. I read too many epic sagas, which start in the middle of things. After I'm into a book a ways I realise I've left out stuff the reader needs to know and have to go back.
- that’s just like me!

Why do you write?
I have to. Stories bursting out in every direction, with the purpose of communicating God's truth in ways that don't scare people away as much as face-to face teaching can.

How long have you been writing?
Since kindergarten or thereabouts; first in drawing pictures with stories behind them, then writing the stories out.

Where and when do you write? ­ Do you have set times?
Used to be early morning or late night. Now squeezed in here and there.

Which character from your books do you like most / are most like?
I like Hamilton Jessup from Vienta the most, I think, but I don't really write about myself in my characters. I want to be determined and busy, and helpful like they are.

What/who inspired you to write and still inspires you?
My husband made it possible for me to really write when he bought our first computer, a Coleco Adam. I stink at typing, and word processors are a gift from him and God. And my husband still inspires me with his never-say-die determination to do right and get stuff done.

What do you think is the ideal recipe for a good novel or story?
I start with characters who won't let go of me, and stick with who they are and what happens to them. I don't have a lot of description or ‘setting a scene’. Detailed description bores me in other books, so I leave it out of mine. I like mysteries of the Columbo type, not so much ‘whodunnit’ but ‘how we gonna catch 'em and put 'em away for it?’.

Have you ever based a character on someone from real life?
My husband, the guy who never quits and never compromises, no matter what it costs.

Fave things: animal? food? drink? film? colour? band? song?
Animal: hunting dogs or snow leopards.
Food: pork chops.
Drink: lemonade.
Film: One Night With the King.
Colour: emerald green (my birthstone).
Band: Ummm... does the Canadian Brass count as a band?
Song: How Great Thou Art for church, You Fill Up My Senses (John Denver) otherwise.

You’re walking in the forest and you bump into an alien librarian from Mars. He wants five book recommendations from you…
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
Antidisestablishmentarianism by Michael and Mary Findley
Vienta by Mary C. Findley
Holy Bible, New American Standard Version

Who is your favourite character from any book and why?
Sidney Carton from Tale of Two Cities. He didn't start out so good, but boy did he end well. 

Who is your hero / heroine?
In my books, Hamilton Jessup (see above) and Mayra from the Baron of Larcondale.

Which book do you wish you had written?
Tale of Two Cities.

Which three authors would you like to take to the pub?
Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott. 

Are you published or self-published? What is your experience?
Self-published all the way. Made the rounds of traditional for a number of years, got a little good advice and no nibbles; went with Amazon and Smashwords. We get to write what we want, we have the skills and background to make them clean and sharp, and we ARE publishers.

How do you find the marketing experience? Any advice for other writers?
Still working on marketing. So much to learn. Find super friends like those on Indie Writers Unite and learn all you can from their tips, plus bless them for their help and support.

Do you have a blog? What do you blog about?
‘Elk Jerky for the Soul’ is about our books, tough stuff in the Word of God, issues, e-reader technology and tips for getting books out, everything we believe is important.

What other hobbies do you have?
Reading, handicrafts, collecting swords and knives, drawing.

What would you like to achieve in the next five years?
Achieve some knowledge and success in marketing our works, and add to them. 

If you won the Lotto or a major publishing contract, what would you do with that dosh?
I would love to see our books in print, but winning cash would be better than a publishing contract because I still don't like people telling me what to say and how to say it. I would use the money for print books and marketing, and help some worthy causes like our daughter with her school bills and people persecuted for the cause of Christ. 

Complete this story in 100 words or less…

There was once a wee worm called Fred…
Who hadn't an eye in his head
He still could move earth
And stave off a dearth
By enriching the soil to grow bread
(rrgghh. You asked for it. :-))

What question do you wish I’d asked and, of course, what is the answer?
"Do you have anything special for the Christmas Season?"
Benny and the Bank Robber 2: Doctor Dad is second in a Youth/YA historical adventure series. It includes a Christmas ending about the cost of trying to convince family and friends that Jesus came to Earth with nothing to be the Prince of Peace., our blog, has our books linked down the right side to the Amazon and Smashwords sites. 


  1. Nice interview, Vickie and Mary. May you have great success with your writing.

  2. Thank you so much, Vickie!

  3. You're welcome! And congratulations Greta - you won a book. Happy reading! :)

  4. Mary, I just read the interview and thoroughly enjoyed it. What a lifestyle, I admire you. Keep up the good work, may God bless you all, and stay safe! All the best for the future,
    thanks for a wonderful interview, Vickie,
    Uta Burke


Thanks for commenting :)