Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Author Spotlight: Meet Mary Hagen

I had the opportunity to sit down with the lovely author Mary Hagen and ask her a few questions and see what it is that makes the writing part of her brain tick. Grab a snack and sit back to learn a bit more about this fabulous author.

The Interview

When did you start writing?
Echo of Love
I wrote my first short story in ninth grade and won second place in a school contest. That was the last fiction writing I did for years as I concentrated on nonfiction and doing articles for a local paper. I don't know what possessed me to write the first contemporary novel, Echo of Love, that I sold to Avalon Books. Seeing my book in print was such a motivation to write more. I love western American history so I wrote Secret to Hold and Day of Reckoning, cozy historical romances that take place in Wyoming Territory and first published by Desert Breeze Publishing. World War II and what the Nazi party did to six million Jews and seven million others considered undesirables interested me. I still don't understand the Nazi mindset at that time, but I wrote a cozy mystery about the time period, Forbidden Love, published by Soul Mate. Hand Prints on the Wall was my first mystery located in San Rafael Swell, Utah, an area I love to hike and explore information about the Fremont Indians. My last two books, Murder in Stopover and Death in Stopover are cozy mysteries that I decided to Indie publish. I'll see how that works out. 

What genres do you write?
I sort of answered that above - cozy contemporaries, historical romance, and contemporary mysteries. 

Who do you imagine you are telling the story to as you write? 
I'm usually completely involved in writing the story and have never imagined telling someone the story.

What's your latest book about? 
I'm currently writing a western historical romance. My heroine is the daughter of slave owners who during reconstruction lose their plantation. Her mother dies, her brother was killed, and only her father survives plus a childhood slave who is still with them but free, of course. To recoup his losses, her father takes the two girls with him to a gold mining camp in Colorado. The ex-slave leaves them much to her father's disappointment. My heroine's father is murdered over a claim dispute. My heroine, Phoebe, to survive, becomes a laundress. She is determined to get out of Gold Dust, the mining town, and saves part of her earnings but the money is stolen. Devastated, she accepts an offer to marry an engineer, the second son of an English earl who wants to avoid an arranged marriage made by his family in England. They agree he will pay her $1000 as soon as his intended is married to someone else. It's her way out of Gold Dust with her new husband, James. He is sent to Wyoming Territory to check on his family's investment in a ranch. They meet James's cousin, George, on the way to Wyoming and trouble begins between the three. Who will win Phoebe's hand? Will she remain with James? Will George thrust a dagger into James's plans?
I'm on the last chapter and sort of stalled.

Which authors inspire you?

Jane Austen
I have so many favorite authors it's hard to answer. I love Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and the Bronte Sisters are great favorites. Steven Ambrose and David McClough are favorite nonfiction western historians of mine. I like Sandra Carey Cody's cozy mysteries, Nevada Barr's national park mysteries, Anne Perry's Victorian England Mysteries, Donnell Ann Bell's contemporary mysteries to mention a few. I can't leave out Agatha Christie. I could list several other favorite authors but I need to stop.  When I do read a book, I want the historical facts to be accurate and the mysteries plausible. 

What's your favorite book?

I have three: Undaunted Courage by Steven Ambrose, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

What's your snack and/or drink of choice when writing?
I don't snack or drink while I'm writing so I don't have a favorite.

Thank you for having me on your blog. 

Author Bio:

Mary Hagen
Mary Hagen writes western historical romances and contemporary suspense.

She grew up on her parents ranch in southeastern Wyoming. History of the west surrounded her and she spent days searching Native American sites, riding the trails, and looking forl burried treasure.

Today, she lives on a fish farm not far from the Wyoming border. In her spare time, she hikes, climbs, snow shoes, skis and writes books.

Find her at www.maryhagenauthorromance.com


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