I’m sure you have all heard of MaryLu Tyndall! I mean, who hasn’t?! 🙂 Her stories are filled with such excitment and, of course, romance. How much though, do you know about MaryLu, apart from her website info? Personally, not much. Therefore I thought it a grand idea to interivew her around the time of her new release Elusive Hope. Wondering who MaryLu is? ……
A Christy Award finalist and best-selling author, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of tall ships and swashbuckling pirates during her childhood years on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Unfortunately, instead of pursuing that dream, she worked as a miserable, landlocked software engineer for fifteen years. Only by the grace and providence of God, did she decide to answer His call to write her first trilogy, Legacy of the King’s Pirates. Today, after publishing nearly a dozen books, she manages a home, husband, and six kids while battling three cats who have decided that her keyboard is the best place to sleep! She believes that without popcorn and chocolate, life would not be worth living, and her sole motivation in life is to bring others closer to God. For more information on MaryLu and her upcoming releases, please visit her website at http://www.marylutyndall.com/ or her blog at http://crossandcutlass.blogspot.com/ or you can find her on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#%21/pages/MaryLu-Tyndall-Swashbuckling-Romance/175344859169475
1. Since “Forsaken Dreams” is so far my favourite novel, what inspired you to write it? Similarly, what made you write “Surrender The Heart”, my other favourite novel?
I’m so glad you liked Forsaken Dreams!!! Thank you. My inspiration comes from many different places and it’s been different for each novel I’ve written. For Forsaken Dreams, it was one of my readers who mentioned the fascinating history to me at a book signing. I filed the information away and never did any research on it until a few years later. I couldn’t believe that thousands of Southerners actually fled the South after the American Civil War! Many of them went all the way to Brazil where they hoped to create a Southern Utopia. Fascinating! The more I studied it, the more interested I became in their stories, and the more certain characters began to form in my mind. Also, I’m a huge fan of the TV Show LOST, which offered additional inspiration. I began to ask myself, what if a group of Southerners fled to Brazil to start over, but all their lives were somehow tied to each other and what if they were each brought to Brazil for a specific reason that involved each of them working together? Anyway, that’s how it began.
Surrender the Heart began in much the same way. I was doing research on the War of 1812 and found it so fascinating, I knew I had to write about it. I loved the heroine, Marianne, in Surrender the Heart, because she’s not your typical model-gorgeous heroine, and because she started off hating the hero, and him hating her. It was a fun book to write.
2. You have clearly written many books. Which book was your favourite and why? Was there a favourite aspect that you enjoyed writing the most?
My very first book, The Redemption, will always be my favorite. I wrote it while I was working full time at IBM after hearing God tell me to write a story about a Christian Pirate. It was my first attempt to write a full length novel, and I had no pressure, no deadline, no expectations, nothing but pure unfettered joy in writing it! The characters were, and still are, so unique and dear to my heart: a once fierce pirate who became a Christian and struggles with his day to day walk, and a lady seeking the love of a father she never knew. There was so much there to work with, and I loved every minute of writing that story.
4. If you could meet any of your characters, who would it be?
I love all my characters! I already feel like I’ve met them, but I would have to say Charlisse in The Redemption. I modeled her and her life journey after my own, and I know we’d have a great time together!
5. You were given the opportunity to co-write a story with your favourite Christian author. Who would you pick?
Michelle Griep. She’s a new author but her style is so refreshing and exciting and witty. I know we would work well together.
6. Who is your favourite Christian author? What book(s) of theirs do you recommend?
Hmm. Can I pick more than one? Some of my favorite authors are: Julie Lessman (A Light in the Window) , Michelle Griep (A Heart Deceived), Laura Frantz (Courting Morrow Little), Lisa T. Bergren (River of Time series), Laurie Alice Eakes (Midwives series). You can’t go wrong with any of the books these authors have written!
7. Judging a book by its cover is something I am really guilty of! Can you tell us a little about the inspiration of the cover for “Forsaken Dreams”? (To be honest, it is what drew me to the book)
I don’t have much say in the covers of my books, but my publisher does ask me for ideas. They don’t always follow them but I do get a chance to at least offer them my opinion. For Forsaken Dreams, I definitely wanted a ship on the cover since the majority of the story takes place on a ship. I also wanted it to have a mysterious, suspenseful feel to it, a sense of the unknown. The story contains a weird mist that overtakes the ship, so I asked if they could incorporate that on the cover. And of course I gave them a description of the heroine. I think they did a GREAT job! And the other covers in the series are just as gorgeous.
8. How do you overcome your writer’s block?
Prayer, long walks, watching good movies, just getting away from the story for a while. Oddly, I usually have breakthroughs in sticky points of my plots while I’m soaking in the bathtub!
9. How do you go about developing your characters, in particular “Forsaken Dreams”?
I have a very extensive character chart which I force myself to fill out listing all the character’s qualities: Personality type, fears, likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams, intelligence level, education, appearance, quirks, etc… I also create a very in-depth background from birth onward and list all the things that happened to them to make them the way they are. Before I start writing, I often spend much more time on character development than plot. I have several books on personality type that I use as reference which list different types of people and the characteristics of those people, but I only use it as a springboard because not everyone fits into a mold. Forsaken Dreams was a bit more challenging because I had so many major characters whose lives all impacted the others. I spent weeks creating each one and figuring out all the little details of their pasts and personalities.
10. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why? And likewise, what language would you love to learn?
Israel and Hebrew. I know, weird choice. But I’m dying to get over to the Holy Land and see where Jesus walked and talked and performed His miracles. We owe the Jewish people a huge debt. They brought us the Bible and Jesus, and because of their rejection of Him, we gentiles have had a chance to be saved.
11. As a child, what was your dream aspiration?
I wanted to be an astronaut! Yup. I did! I even wrote to NASA and asked them what courses I should take and what I should study in college. Guess what they told me? They didn’t accept women in the program. Can you believe it?? That was back in the 70s, so times have definitely changed. I also wanted to be a Park Ranger. J Love the outdoors and animals!
12. Besides writing, what other hobbies do you have?
Honestly, writing and marketing my books takes up most of my time! However, I do like to garden and I love aquariums. I’m hoping to set up a salt-water aquarium one of these days but right now I have only a fresh water one. I also love to read and go for long walks.
13. What exciting insight are you able to inform us about regarding “Elusive Hope”, and perhapes any other books in the series?
This series is like none I’ve ever written. If you’ve read my other books, you know they are all filled with lots of romance and adventure, but my Escape to Paradise series has an additional element I hope readers will find intriguing. There’s a supernatural plotline that involves ancient temples and strange visions and unexplained happenings. There are lots of things going on behind the scenes as the colonists realize they’ve each been brought to Brazil for a purpose.
Yet alongside this supernatural aspect, I think readers will find Elusive Hope to be just plain fun! The dynamics between the heroine, a spoiled Southern Belle, and the hero, a rough and tumble conman are sure to cause some sparks!
14. What is your favourite food?
I love most ALL Food. LOL. But I would have to say anything with cheese on it. However pasta, shellfish, popcorn, cake with whipped cream frosting, and chocolate all top the list too!
15. Do you or have you got any pets? Do you have a favourite animal?
I’m the neighborhood cat lady. We normally take in any stray who wanders into our yard. In fact, I think word is out among cats in our city that they can get free food, a soft bed, and lots of pets in our house. But honestly, I love all animals. Well, maybe not alligators or snakes or tarantulas, but most every animal!
16. ‘What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given’?
In life in general or in writing?
In life: Put God first and then trust Him. He is Faithful
In Writing: Turn off the voices of the world and write what God puts on your heart. Don’t try to write like so-and-so famous author. Don’t write what you think might sell. Write what you are hearing from God, the story burning on your heart. God will take care of the rest.
Thanks so much for the time you took in answering these questions MaryLu. I for one am very excited to read your latest release Elusive Hope!