Thursday, October 14, 2010

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Mary Oldham !

Today I want to introduce great friend and great author, Mary Oldham.

Mary - a Golden Heart Finalist - and I met in Orlando at the 2010 RWA Conference and became fast friends. I've had the pleasure of reading an excerpt of her work and am here to tell you, this is one talented lady! But I really don't have to tell you - check out her beautiful website, , and take a look at this multi-award winning author's work for yourself.
Then come on back and get to know Mary a little better:)

Take it away, Mary!
Why did you start writing?

What started as a way to journal my feelings after a bad marriage and resulting divorce turned into a rough draft for The Voice of Reason.  At some point I stopped writing about my personal feelings and started writing about a woman plotting to kill her ex-husband.  It kind of scared me at the time, but it was quite therapeutic!  The story was badly written, but it got my mind thinking in a new way, like an author.  I was very intrigued with the idea of a good girl raised in a loving family, who marries this wonderful man, but then discovers the marriage is a fa├žade for something sinister.  I couldn’t get this one simple idea out of my head:  How far would you go to survive?

When I finished the rough draft, I put The Voice of Reason on the shelf and decided I’d never be a writer.  But in January 2008, I wrote several short stories.  I found that I had really missed escaping into the world of writing.  I expanded five of the short stories into series contemporary manuscripts.  Last spring, I picked up my old friend The Voice of Reason and rewrote the entire thing.  The ten year break gave me a good amount of perspective and I think I’m finally happy with it.

What genre do you write?

I write romantic suspense and series contemporary.  I would love to write single title, but series contemporary is a good way to get a lot of inventory in the pipeline.  At 50,000 words if the story isn’t what agents and editors are looking for, I know I will have another story for them to look at fairly quickly.  I also have a bit of a dark side, a little touch of the Dean Koontz or Stephen King that craves a great love story with something dark thrown in for fun.

Tell us about your 2010 Golden Heart Finalist manuscript, Laura Takes a Lover.

I like to write about women who want it all, but aren’t sure which pathway in life to take.  Because no matter what direction we choose, the grass will always appear greener in someone else’s yard. 

Laura is a heroine who is about to live a modern day fairytale, but doesn’t know it.  She discovers she can’t have children at the same time her husband has an affair, which leads to a divorce.  Then she meets Adam.  Not only is he younger, he’s good looking, very attracted to Laura and quite capable of getting her pregnant! 

Laura has to lose something she perceived to be good before she can value getting something that is great.


Mary Oldham – Bio

Ten years as a Media Consultant for The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon.
My career in advertising and outside sales has encompassed nineteen years. At any one time I have five or more stories swimming in my head asking to be written into novels.
Since January 2008, I’ve written six novels, finaled in ten contests, taking first place in three of them, as I continue to work full time. I rework a story until it's right, even if that means rewriting the entire manuscript.

For more information about my stories, please visit:


  1. Great story Mary! What is it about unhappy marriages that gets us writing? My first attempt at a short story was at the end of my marriage.

    Women who want it all but don't know how to get there. Kind of the theme for my generation...


  2. Interesting post - and congratulations on your successes.

  3. Hi Mary,
    Great interview. You've written how many books in two years? Good Grief.

    Best of luck with placing them.


  4. Hi Lynn, P.L and Barb!

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Lynn: I bet many of has have similar stories or much better stories than mine. Now that would be an intersting Blog!

    P.L.: Thank you!

    Barb H: Trust me, I'm really only happy with a couple of the manuscripts, but I keep trudging along...rewrite after rewrite! uggg...

    Happy Friday!


  5. Mary - Congrats on reigning supreme in the contest circuit! I have a feeling when one of these gems hits, the flood gates will open ...

    The dizzying pace of your writing is truly inspirational, especially since it looks like you have a busy, full-time career. Can you comment a bit on how your organize your writing time?

    Thanks! - Meredith

  6. Mary,
    What a fabulous interview! I *know* that sale is coming for you soon. Setting aside your contest wins, with six books under your belt, you are more than ready to take on being published. I'm here cheering you on in the Mary Oldham book aisle!

  7. Delilah,

    I have to say THANK YOU, not just for the GREAT comments and WONDERFUL support, you also once said that people write for a reason. It really resonated with me!



  8. Awesome interview! I cannot wait to delve into your books! Gimme gimme


  9. Hi Meredith!

    I would have to say, sometimes I have a little problem with balance.

    It helps that I'm single. I don't have the responsibilities that many of my writer friends have. (I fear if I meet a really great man, my writing will suffer, but I'm willing to take that risk!)

    I've always had an overactive imagination, which at times, I've worried about! Now, I know it was just a form of plotting, but I admit, I'm a pantser!

    My secret I think for writing is discipline. I'm hardest on myself and I like deadlines. I set a deadline and I meet it, because I don't want to let myself down. The month I turned 40, (February 2009) I wrote an entire manuscript, because I wanted to do it as a present to myself. I then had to get physical therapy for tendonitis caused from typing!

    Finding balance is a daily struggle!!!

    :) Mary

  10. Mary, I loved when you wrote in your blog, "Laura has to lose something she perceived to be good before she can value getting something that is great." I love this kind of idea/theme!
    And I'm with Barb: You've written how many books?! Wow, that is discipline. You are an inspiration for me to make the most of my time sitting in front of my computer. More words written, less fooling around ;-)

  11. Hi Jacqui!

    I think the big question is: HOW MUCH TIME DO I SPEND REWRITING? answer: HOURS!!!!

    And when do you stop the rewriting? I try to trust myself inner voice the most. I was told by contest judges and a couple of agents that Laura Takes a Lover, a story about a divorced woman, would never fly. It was my Golden Heart book and yes, she is still divorced! I'm thankful I didn't change the storyline! It might never sell, but getting the GH nod was worth it!

    Hope you're doing well!



  12. Hi Mary! You really do inspire me to be more disciplined. And I agree with whoever said, with all your award winning stories, it's just a matter of time until you get "the call".
    Thanks so much for being my guest!

  13. Jennifer,

    Thank YOU for having faith in me! I really appreciate your support. :)

    And thank you for this opportunity. I love your site! It is interactive and fun! I will definitely check in every Monday for my Man Candy!

    I'll also be checking to see when I can pre-order my copy of Rafe's Redemption!!! (I'll have to get you to autograph it at National!)

    BIG HUGS at YOU!


  14. Congrats on being a GH finalist. I enjoyed your post. Sorry we didn't meet up at national. It was my first, and a little overwhelming. I write series contemporary as well. The length suits me. Good luck with your future books!

  15. Great Post Mary. My first manuscript was about how I left my first husband, too, so I understand completely! I just kept writing, because it was therapy. Before I knew it, I had 140,000 words of the worst writing. By I've also re-written it and it's down to 102,000. Would love to talk more!
    Congrats on being a GH finalist.