Exciting news! Drum roll, please! *~*~*~* As you all know, I fell in love with MaryLu Tyndall's book The Blue Enchantress. Well, it's now my pleasure to interview her here on my blog! Please welcome MaryLu Tyndall! *roaring applause*
As if that isn't exciting enough, by leaving a comment, your name will be put in a drawing to win a FREE, SIGNED copy of her book!
Here is a brief summary from Amazon.com of The Blue Enchantress:
Get swept away in a high-tide of romance and adventure from acclaimed author M. L. Tyndall. Trying to forget about a painful past, Hope Westcott plunges into Charles Towne society trying to find love and acceptance. Captain Nathaniel Mason is determined to build his shipping business and doesn't need a romantic entanglement especially with a woman like Hope. When Hope's adventure-seeking puts her freedom and her life in jeopardy, will Nathaniel turn his back or follow God's voice and sacrifice everything to save her?
Below is a beautiful review by Kathleen L. Maher:
The characters in The Blue Enchantress touched something deep inside of me. For example, the hero's well-intentioned rescue and the sense of frustration and regret he struggled with afterwards--it was so real to me as a Christian who has sometimes done "good" things in my own strength only to stew over them later.
MaryLu Tyndall portrayed the heroine with great courage as a writer, too, to delve into the duality of a woman obsessed with male attention, and yet, who had a sincere desire to minister to children. These were not cookie-cutter characters, but she made their struggles of real flesh and blood. It was so much more than a romance or an adventure, but it felt like an odyssey of the soul for two imperfect people made whole under God's touch.
I'm glad that Christian writers are beginning to branch out into flawed and complex characters, even if that means showing something less than Pleasantville along the way. This book showed God's power in such a lovely way, that I was pulled from the miry clay with the players and set on the rock of redemption.
Secular writing has nothing on MaryLu Tyndall's talent. We are privileged to have such an author pioneering in the inspirational market who can bring the message of the gospel in such a powerful way.
~Kathleen L. Maher, author
Thank you, Kathleen, for being willing to drop by and share your heartfelt words. I couldn't have said it better (as you know). That's why I asked you to do it. LOL. You can read more of Kathleen's reviews at Amazon.com.
MaryLu Tyndall, a Christy Award Finalist, and best-selling author of the Legacy of the King’s Pirates series is known for her adventurous historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but expose Christians to their full potential in Christ. For more information on MaryLu and her upcoming releases, please visit her website at MaryLu Tyndall or her blog at Cross and Cutlass.
Sandi: MaryLu, thank you so much for being willing to come for an interview on my blog. It's obvious your book has touched a number of readers. What made you decide to become a writer of Christian fiction?
MaryLu: God is such a HUGE part of my life that I cannot imagine writing a novel without including Him in a big way through all the pages. What I love most about writing for the Christian market is I believe I’m not just writing stories to entertain people, but I’m writing stories that inspire them. My ultimate goal through the stories God gives me is to enable people to see Him more clearly and to know Him in a deeper way.
Sandi: How long have you been writing? How did you get your start?
MaryLu: I never planned on becoming an author. I always loved to write and wrote several stories for fun while I was growing up, but it never seemed a very feasible or practical occupation! (LOL Still isn't probably!) About 6 years ago I got the strangest notion that I should write a story about a Christian Pirate. I thought I was crazy but the feeling wouldn't relent, so I finally obeyed and wrote my first novel, The Redemption. I wrote it during my lunch hours at work and at night after dinner. When I finished it, I had no idea what to do. I had never tried to get anything published before so that journey was quite an adventure, but I can honestly say that God was the One who opened all the doors to make that possible. He led me to ACFW and there I found out how to query an agent and look for publishers. One thing led to another and I had a contract in hand 6 months after I completed the manuscript. I know my story is very different from most. In my case, I took so long to come back to the Lord from my prodigal years and then so long to submit to Him, that by the time I started writing what He wanted me to write, He simply opened all the doors for me to get published. I now realize that's what God wanted me to do all along and He was just waiting for my sorry self to come back to Him! But there's a lesson for everyone in this. When it's God's time, it's God's time, and nothing can stop Him, not a bad market, or 800 rejection letters, or anyone's opinion. So, if you're trying to get published, make sure it's God's will and then trust Him.
Sandi: How did things change once you became a published author? Did you lose friends? Make friends? How did it affect your family?
MaryLu: My life got really really busy! LOL. In the past five years, I’ve written seven novels! Consequently I haven’t been able to spend as much time as I’d like with family and friends. I haven’t lost any friends but I don’t see them very often. My family has been very supportive and understanding of the long hours I spend on the computer. They are excited for me, and that helps a lot.
Sandi: What inspired you to write about pirates?
MaryLu: I’ve always had a weird obsession with pirates. Not sure why. My mother thought I’d gone crazy. And I’m fascinated with those tall ships of old! The age of sail was such an adventurous time in the world’s history. The concept of a pirate novel started with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies which were quite popular at the time. I fell in love with the movies, of course, and the strangest idea occurred to me. Why not write a story about a Christian pirate? What a dichotomy! Of course I think that’s why I actually got my first contract. It was such a uniquely weird idea.
Sandi: How do you know so much about ships from this particular era? Do you like to sail yourself?
MaryLu: I love to travel on sailing ships, but I’ve never learned to sail myself. Tall ships are a sort of hobby for me. I have several books on them and how they work and how to sail them. I’ve also been on several historic replicas of tall ships. I recently toured the HMS Rose which is the same ship they used in the movie Master and Commander.
Sandi: I noticed in your first book of this series, The Red Siren, you mentioned a Dutch flag on a ship called the Flying Dragon (love the name, by the way). You described this flag as being orange, white and blue. I commend you for your excellent research. Having lived in Holland for thirteen years, I know the flag is now red, white and blue. My father-in-law (who is Dutch and currently living in Holland) and I are amazed that you knew the correct colors for the Dutch flag of that era. This leads me to ask, how do you do your research? Where do you find your information about ships, flags, etc?
MaryLu: Good question. I’m glad you noticed that tiny detail because if I remember correctly I spent nearly an hour or so looking that up! I have several books on the Age of Sail and different types of sailing ships and flags. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look.
Sandi: Where do you spend your time writing? Do you have a favorite place to write? A favorite time of day?
MaryLu: I have a really cool office which used to be my eldest daughter’s bedroom (she has moved out). I have my desk, computers, tons of books, paintings of the sea and tall ships and lots of other cool stuff around me for inspiration. Morning is my best time to write, although on a good day, I’ll spend the entire day at it if my creative juices are flowing.
Sandi: What book are you working on now?
MaryLu: I just finished the third book in the Charles Towne Belles series, The Raven Saint, to be released in January. Here’s a quick blurb. Grace Westcott has piously served God her whole life. Captain Rafe Dubois cannot pass up the opportunity to earn more gold toward the hospital he’s building for the poor by kidnapping Admiral Westcott’s youngest daughter. But when the missionary and the mercenary meet, it’s full-sail-ahead into tumultuous waters! Find out what happens when a bitter mercenary who’s sworn off God falls in love with a pious woman determined to change him.
Next I'm starting on a new series entitled Surrender to Destiny which is set during the War of 1812 in Baltimore
Sandi: Your next book sounds exciting! I can't wait to get my hands on it. What do you see in your future as an author? Do you have concrete ideas for more books you'd like to write on down the line, or do you plan out a book only after you've decided to write one?
MaryLu: I hope the Lord allows me to continue writing, but that’s up to Him. I have a few ideas rattling around in my head for future books but they are just general concepts. I normally don’t plot out a book ahead of time. I’m more of a create as I write kind of author.
Sandi: Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing a bit about yourself, not to mention, being willing to share your work with us by giving away a free signed copy of The Blue Enchantress.
MaryLu: Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Sandi!
On the right, you'll notice a list of MaryLu's books in the Charles Towne Belles series. If you'd like to be put in the drawing to win a FREE, SIGNED copy of MaryLu Tyndall's book, The Blue Enchantress, please leave a comment with your email address typed out like so: sandirog7 [at]aol [dot] com, and let us hear from you! On Friday I will announce the winner!