Crossroads Giveaway Winner & Author Interview with Mary Ting

The winner of the Crossroads signed book and crystal heart necklace giveaway is Sierra (#82)! She has already confirmed her prize, so congratulations to her!

If you didn't win, then get ready for another round! Because I have TWO more giveaways starting today which will be posted soon!

And again, a big thank you to Mary for offering these prizes for a giveaway!

A few weeks ago Mary also did an author interview with me; thank you so much for joining me at Esther's Ever After, Mary! She is such a friendly woman, and I love the thoughtful answers she gave to my questions. There's also a tidbit about a Crossroads sequel... ;)

How are you and Claudia similar?

I have to confess. Claudia is very much like me. I was na├»ve and very sheltered growing up. It’s not so much that my parents sheltered me; I think I did it to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I was very social and had many friends, but I liked staying home rather than going out. Just like Claudia, I was always grateful and thankful for everything and still am.

You’ve said before that parts of Crossroads are based off of your dreams. Can you tell us which parts specifically are inspired by your dreams and life?

Chapter one is where I first started writing my story. It was easy to put it on paper because I was basically writing out my dream. The only part that I made up was Michael. Too bad I really didn’t dream about him…lol!!! Even though there was someone telling me to go back, no name was mentioned in my dream, only a bright light. I was pretty sure, she was female. Also, chapter two was based on my real dream. The part where I enter a room thinking that it was a classroom, but it looked more like a church. My friend gave me one last hug and she lifted a heavy burden off my chest. I don’t remember if she said anything to me, but she did give me a hug and then she let go.

This is one part that confused me- why are there two Claudia Emersons?

There are two Claudia Emerson because when I started writing this story, I basically started writing what happened to me in high school. I had a friend who had the same name as me. We attended the same Catholic church. We looked alike: same height, same hair style, and people would get us confused. She did know a lot more about fashion and boys. She also passed away the way Patty describes it on the phone, expect it was prom. She was the prom queen and her date was the prom king. No matter how long it has been, when someone you care about leave this world, you never forget them. The pain may lessen, but the memories are forever. Because this story is part of me, I didn’t take it out. I figure if there were questions, I could explain.

Besides Michael, who’s your favourite angel from Crossroads?

That would have to be Davin. I had so much fun writing about him. He is sweet, funny, and very friendly. Davin is also someone I knew who passed away. He was what you can say, everyone’s best friend. He also passed away in a tragic car accident. So in memory of my dear friend, I named this character after him.

Will there be a sequel?

YES!!! I had so many positive feedbacks and the readers are asking for more. Also, I had so much fun writing about these characters, they’ve become part of my life.

If so, can you tell us any hints about it?

Everybody is wondering about Austin. He will play a bigger role and as there will be more angels on earth.

Do you have the rest of the story planned out already or are you going to let it “write itself” so to speak?

I have somewhat planned out, but I like to start from chapter one. When I can’t decide which way to go, I take a break. I think in the shower, while I’m cooking, driving, and even when I’m sleeping…lol!!! Writing book one was easy because it was what I experienced: new car, first job, attending church, camping, falling in love and my dreams. Book two will be a bit challenging because there are more characters involved. The last few chapters are the hardest for me...how to end the story.

What was the hardest part about self-publishing a book?

The hardest part is that you basically have to do everything yourself. I was lucky to have had several wonderful friends who help me organize and edit. They were not professionals, but they did a great job. Being traditionally published now helps with reaching medias that only will accept traditionally published books; it will also be edited by professionals.

Do you have any tips for writers?

I sure do. First draft, getting it all down. Write down everything that you can think of, even if it doesn’t make sense because you can go back and delete. Then write details. Third, emotions-gotta have the emotions. Place yourself inside the character’s mind. What is that character thinking and feeling. You can never be too young or too old to write. If you are inspired to write, do it! Never in my wildest dream did I ever thought that I would publish a book… and here I am! Same thing can happen to anyone if you just believe. :)

What’s the most important thing you want readers to take away from Crossroads?

I give subtle hints about lessons in life. I started writing when my grandmother passed away. It was a way for me to heal her passing. Gamma is inspired by my grandmother. I had many emails letting me know how this book has touched them in a special way because they’ve lost their loved ones or how chapter two had happened to them too. I hope that this book helps them heal as it did for me. There are many readers who have lost loved ones. There are no words that can ever comfort them. But knowing that our loved ones are somewhere, whether we want to call this place Heaven or not, and that they are happy and at peace, can give us great comfort. Also, I’m going to sound like a parent, but… don’t forget to call and visit your parents and grandparents. Sometimes we get so busy with our lives that we tend to forget to call or visit. You may one day wish you had done it more often.

You can hear more from Mary on her Facebook page, following her on Twitter, reading her blog, following her reviews on Goodreads, or visiting her website


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