Please join me in welcoming Mary Alford to my blog today. Her newest book, Framed for Murder, is now available, and it sounds fantastic!
Mary Alford was inspired to become a writer after reading romantic suspense greats Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Soon creating characters and throwing them into dangerous situations that test their faith came naturally for Mary. In 2012 Mary entered the Speed Dating contest hosted by Love Inspired Suspense and later received “the call”. In addition to writing for Love Inspired Suspense, Mary also writes Christian romance and sweet romance. Being a published author has been a dream come true for Mary.
Framed for helping her partner smuggle guns—and then murdering him—CIA agent Liz Ramirez must find the evidence that will prove her innocence…before she's caught or killed. So when her squad's leader attempts to bring her in for questioning, she knows her future depends on convincing Aaron Foster to go rogue and help her. On the run from the rest of her team and the gun dealers who are convinced she knows the location of their missing weapons, Liz risks losing the proof that would clear her name. But will eluding her pursuers—and trying not to fall for the handsome commander—prove to be fatal?
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
MA: I’d say I realized I wanted to be a writer when I was a pre-teen. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to read just about anything I could get my hands on. As a child, I discovered Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys and was hooked on suspense. As a preteen, I found Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt and knew in my heart of hearts that romantic suspense was what I wanted to write.
I wrote my first book as a pre-teen, but didn’t really pursue writing seriously until about fourteen years ago. During that time period though, I fine-tuned my writing and found myself drawn to inspirational romantic suspense. Then, in 2012, I entered the Speed Dating contest hosted by Love Inspired Suspense and later received “the call” that I’d sold Forgotten Past, my first LIS book. I truly felt like a writer for the first time and it was a dream come true. It’s still hard to believe at times.
Fear and danger are integral parts of your books. Imagination or experience?
MA: Imagination and probably too much time reading suspense books and watching ID TV. The fear and danger my characters face is the same challenges we as human’s deal with on a much lesser scale. We may not be facing a killer bent on ending our lives, but we each have things we’re afraid of and keep us awake at night. Our own set of monsters so to speak.
Are you an outliner or pantser?
MA: Pantser. I’ve tried being the outliner type, but I just don’t operate that way.
Do you have any favorite author(s) who have inspired you?
MA: Along with Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt, I love inspirational romantic suspense authors such as Susan Sleeman and Shirlee McCoy. These women are great at weaving suspense, inspiration and an amazing love story into each of their books.
Where do you get your ideas?
MA: Most of my ideas start from something I’ve seen or read about. From there, the story begins to take fruition in my head. I let it simmer for a while until I’ve got a good outline worked out in my mind and then I grab my laptop and start writing. The idea for Deadly Memories and Rocky Mountain Pursuit came from my love of spy stories. I can’t get enough of espionage stories. I think it’s the danger, the drama, the intrigue attached to espionage that makes it so appealing to me. These people risk their lives daily to keep our country safe.
You write in Christian genres. What is the spiritual takeaway for your books? Is there a recurring theme?
MA: I think in all my books the spiritual takeaway is that no matter what we’re facing in life, no matter how dark the world around us may seem, we are never alone. God is right there with us through it all.
What are you working on now?
MA: I currently finishing up the Scorpion Team series with two more books that will be released in 2018.
Okay, just for fun. Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
MA: Hum, well, I’d say that my hubby and I used to raise Emus and Ostriches. I still can’t believe we did that. That I’m trying to teach myself the guitar, (It’s going very slowly…), and I’d love to do some gold panning on my next trip to Colorado. Oh, and I’d also love to write a children’s book one day.
What are your other interests besides writing?
MA: Music. I love playing the piano and as I’ve said, I’m learning the guitar very slowly. I also love gardening. I want to learn to make quilts as well. I also love doing crafts with my three granddaughters. They are very inspiring.
Thank you for joining us, Mary! Congratulations on your new release!