The following article published Weds. 9-27-06 in my hometown newspaper, the River News-Herald & Isleton Journal, along with a big 4x4 1/2 inch photo taken at my book signing.
Local Author Shares Success Tips
Article by Shaundra Major, Staff Writer
Published author Mary Deal spoke to an enthusiastic audience of book lovers about her new novel “Ka” and the ups and downs of making a name for oneself in the literary world on Saturday Sept. 23, inside the Rio Vista library.
Attendees who came to hear the former Walnut Grove resident talk about her book received a free impromptu lecture about the creative writing process and how to write a book and get published. Deal drew from her own experience to highlight how much determination one needs if they want to give writing a try.
For her novel “Ka,” Deal put in four years of research, spent countless hours in the library and immersed herself in Egyptian culture to write a novel about the life of an Egyptian high priestess and the adventures of magic, mystery, and unrequited love.
“I didn’t know anything about Egyptian history before I wrote this book,” said Deal, who later explained a vision as the origin of her novel. “It cam from a dream. I don’t know where the scenes came from but I saw people. I didn’t have names for them but when I woke up, the final chapter of the book was already in my head.”
The four years of research led her to read 3,500 years of Egyptian dynasties, their names and customs, and most importantly-how they loved.
As she researched her topic, Deal would later develop character names and personalities for her novel she described as a thriller. *** But Deal felt it more important to take would be authors step-by-step into the publishing process.
“It’s a hard business and if you want to be published you have to bend because there are so many writers out there…you have to give them a killer synopsis,” she said.
Deal had to divide an equal amount of time learning her craft as a creative writer and learning about the business of selling books and getting published.
Deal said she began her writing career without any knowledge t all about publishers, agents or printing presses and that it was all through trial and error that she was able to successfully become a published author.
Deal said if authors do not have the finances to pay thousands for professional editors, it is important to develop a network of editors who will not sugarcoat mistakes.
Bill Robinson said he began critiquing Deal‘s short stories through a Website called Zoetrope, an online resource for writers. The two have corresponded over the Internet for several years and met for the first time at Deal’s book signing.
Deal wrote her first three novellas called “The Tropics,” in 2000. Deal currently lives in Kapa`a, Hawaii and is presently writing another historical fantasy set in the Hawaiian Islands.
*** MY NOTE: I did not say "The Ka" was a thriller. Reporter got it mixed up with my two next books, which are thrillers.