Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I'm sure some of this will be 'old news' to some people as I have done several of these interviews. Really just updating here. My official Biography:
Mary Elizabeth Fricke has lived her entire life within five miles of the Missouri River. She and her husband of 37 years have lived 34 of those years on a farm that has been consistently owned and operated by his family for five generations. They have two grown sons married to wonderful women and two beautiful grandchildren.
A graduate of the Writer's Institute of America and a member of the Heartland Writers Guild, she has published a number of articles in various forums and magazines, as well as Dino, Godzilla and the Pigs, My Life on Our Missouri Hog Farm. She is also a prolific ghostwriter.
Her stories, based in rural mid-western areas, concern the unique but quickly vanishing way of life on the family farm as well as other mysterious intricacies that evolve life from generation to generation. Romance is her preferred genre.
Previously published in the Birds the Peril Series:
Pigeon in a Snare (Lisa’s story)
Roses for the Sparrow (Jani’s story)
Plight of the Wren (Susie’s story)
Robin Unaware (Stephanie’s story)
Sept. 3, 2017: Demise of Innocence (Sweet Pea I)
Oct. 7, 2017: Time to Deceive (Sweet Pea II)
Nov. 30, 2017: The Price of Passion (Sweet Pea III)
‘Sweet Pea’ Gift Set (Books I, II, III) was published Feb. 2018
All are available from Amazon Kindle Select
The only connection between The Sweet Pea Trilogy and the Birds in Peril Series is their central Missouri location. All characters and most places are fiction.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Sweet Pea Gift Set. When I published Sweet Pea as a Trilogy last fall, I felt it was too long to publish under one cover. So I published the story as 3 separate books. After the first of the year, 2018, I changed my mind and republished all 3 stories under one title. All are still available through Amazon e-books, whatever my readers prefer.
I actually began writing Sweet Pea in 1976 when all of the nostalgia habits, trends were In Style . I didn't change them over the years even though I rewrote, rewrote and rewrote the entire story. It, in a simple nut shell, is a story of growing up and living during the 1960's-70's and 80's. It is the story of one woman's love for two men and how her relationships with them, as well as other family members and friends, shaped her life. As the story begins, the primary character has been hit with a news bombshell she does not want to hear. The news (from a distant family member) causes her to rethink her life and how she has come to be where she is in this point in time. She is joined by her best friend and husband while the 3 voice their memories as well.
Official Sweet Pea Promo Blurb: Description of the Sweet Pea Trilogy: To one man she gave her virginity; to another, she gave her heart. One, she would mourn. With the other, she would share life's triumph and turmoil. With both, she would endure times of love, and passion and complete happiness as well as times of despair, confusion, and sorrow. One day at a time—each day, building unforgettable memories.
Sweet Pea spans from the late 1960's into 2009. Set in rural Missouri, it is a story for those who remember the profound cultural changes and historical events that took place in the later part of the 20th Century. It is is a nostalgic story of growing up; of forging lifelong friendships and loyalty within family that supports every life event, good or bad. It is a story of love that binds a man and a woman despite all odds. It is also a story of obsessive hatred and how such hatred destroys not only the innocent but those who hate.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I'm a night owl. Is that unusual? I write as things invade my brain. The thoughts that don't let go, the mind scenes that continue to haunt me, are the ones that usually evolve into stories
What authors, or books have influenced you?
My reading habits are eclectic. Erma Bombeck is a favorite because of her ability to poke fun at herself while still pointing out the important things in life. Romance is probably my most read genre. Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss is my favorite book of all time. I follow authors like Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Kerrilyn Kenyon, Newt Gingrich, Kim Harrison and John Bowers. Lately, I've been reading more first time or little-known authors just to give them the boost I also need. We INDIES have to stick together, you know. Actually, some of the Indie published books I've read are far better than well-known author's works.
What are you working on now?
Presently I'm in the rough draft stage of books #5 Wise, Bold Eagle and #6 Bluebird of Happiness of my Birds In Peril Series. The stories are so linked, I'm working on the two of them together. And, I honestly have no idea how long it will be before I publish them. Early in 2016, I experienced a profound/life-changing health scare and for months afterward, I fell deep into a dark, writers' block. When 'my muse returned' it drove me to once again rewrite and publish Sweet Pea. And then, I needed a breather to come down from the drive to publish Sweet Pea. Most likely, only another writer will understand this. It is a peril of authors. To write, write, write, endlessly, is nearly impossible and even the best achievements take a lot of the author. We all need time away from 'the muse'…that stubborn drive that decides when, where, and what we write. Anyway, as my muse decides to behave itself, I'm working on the final two books of my Birds in Peril Series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I believe websites such as these are the best place to advertise books. Awesome Authors got me started on doing these bios and advertising my work through them. Over time, I've joined several writers groups on Facebook, Goodreads, and so on. In addition to helping to advertise my work, these websites also create ways I can contact, share and discuss the writing life and dilemmas with other writers/published authors.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Just do it. No one can take those words out of your head and place them on paper or computer page but yourself. The first draft is always the most difficult. After that draft is written, the rest is just improving what already is.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Finish it! Advice given to me many years ago from a well-known romance writer who was successfully doing/publishing like I wanted to.
What are you reading now?
I'm beta reading for good friend/authors who have yet to publish their stories so I won't name them.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Finish the Bird Series
What is your favorite book of all time?
Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I have collected and read most, or all, of Mrs. Woodiwiss's historical romances. She had a knack for bringing the reader into her heart rendering stories as if we were bystanders/watchers of a time long ago
Author Websites and Profiles
Mary Elizabeth Fricke Website
Mary Elizabeth Fricke Amazon Profile
Mary Elizabeth Fricke Author Profile on Book Daily