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Home > Author > Mary A Shafer
Mary A Shafer

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Member Since: Sep, 2009

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  Mary A Shafer           

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Author, speaker, teacher, animal lover, weather weenie, certified SkyWarn storm spotter

Background Information

I used to believe writers wrote because they wanted to educate others, or because they were seeking some searing truth hidden to those who don't take the time to explore a subject beneath its surface. And indeed, that may be an honest ideal.

But now that I've claimed the writer's mantle myself, I realize that -- at least for myself -- the core motivation is much less noble. I've discovered that I write to better understand the world around me, and my place in it. I suspect that's also at the core of all great writing, whether the authors realize it or not. The very best stories are -- as we all learn in our earliest writing courses -- an exploration of the universalities of the human condition. They reveal some facet of the characters or the subject, and in reflection, of the reader.

When I research nonfiction, it helps me see the way things really are. When I write about true-life subjects, it requires that I face the less-pleasant aspects of the human condition along with the heroism, leadership and inspiration we all seek in ourselves and others. When I write fiction, it allows me to salve some of the wounds inflicted by those nonfiction truths on my own soul. But I also hope that by creating characters of depth and interest, I can put them in situations and let them interact in a way that allows readers to gain insight into some part of their own lives.

I always intend my books to inform, enlighten, and maybe entertain readers. But in my deepest writer's heart, I hope that some part of my work -- especially my fiction -- will rise above all that.

When they finish one of my books and lay it down, I want to have taken readers on a journey that leaves them changed in some way, preferably for the better. I want them to look at the world in a new way, for the light to appear different to them. If only for a brief while, I want them to walk through their lives seeing with new eyes, hearing with new ears, feeling with new hearts.


1995 - Best Book in One or Two Colors, Mid America Publishers Association, for "Rural America: A Pictorial Folk Memory" (Willow Creek Press)
2006 - Notable Book of 2006: Reference, Writers Notes Magazine, for "Devastation on the Delaware: Stories and Images of the Deadly Flood of 1955" (Word Forge Books).
2006 - Finalist: US History and Nature Writing categories,, for "Devastation on the Delaware: Stories and Images of the Deadly Flood of 1955" (Word Forge Books).
2008 – Cool Book of the Day, Dan Jamal’s Cool Book website, for "Devastation on the Delaware: Stories and Images of the Deadly Flood of 1955" (Word Forge Books).

Additional Information

Newest book: "Almost Perfect: Disabled Pets and the People Who Love Them" from Enspirio House, an imprint of Word Forge Books. Blog:

Contact Information

PO Box 97 
Ferndale PA 18921   USA
Contact Author: Mary A Shafer

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