3QQ is an ongoing blog feature in which we ask authors who are joining Nora for an upcoming Turn the Page Bookstore signing some questions about their current release, upcoming books and anything else that strikes our fancy.
TTP’s next event is this Saturday, September 14 from noon-2 pm. Joining Nora are the other authors who contributed to the Mirror, Mirror anthology — all of whom are good pals.
Today we’re chatting with Mary Kay McComas, a long time Nora pal. Mary Kay spent the first part of her career writing Loveswepts for Bantam. She’s been a frequent contributor to the JD Robb anthologies with novellas that take the overall theme and tweak it to Mary Kay’s point of view. Her first two books from William Morrow/Harper Collins Pub
have garnered positive reviews and she’s hard at work on her next book.
Oh, and her math skills go in some interesting directions. Read on!
1. The stories in Mirror, Mirror are loosely connected by a fairy tale theme. You chose to retell The Little Match Girl — what drew you to that story?
Actually, I’ve always thought that particular Hans Christian Andersen tale was pretty grim –hardly the sort of story I’d tell my children before bed. I’ve never liked it. So when I saw it on a list of potential fairy tales I curled my lip at it and moved on. Until I remembered that the Brothers Grimm also wrote a story about a little orphaned girl, poor and homeless, who kind-heartedly gives away what little she has to those even less fortunate and ends up naked, starving and freezing in the woods. Then, as she clings desperately to her last ray of hope, a bright star passes overhead and rains down a great fortune to repay her selflessness. Yes, okay, another dark story but it has a more upbeat ending … and a moral!
Also, as it happened, I had just read about the Once in a Civilization comet ISON that is due to appear around Christmas time of 2013. It’s predicted to be 15 times brighter than a full moon and in some places visible to the naked eye in daylight — it seemed like a sure fit for the magic in my story.
And there you have my 6 – 4 + 7 – 2 + 4 = 10 process for storytelling. My tale is a mix of The Little Matchstick Girl and The Star Money and my fascination with ISON, The Christmas Comet.
2. Could you share a little of the story of “The Christmas Comet?”
Sure. Natalie was a child of the streets until she was adopted by a family who gave her love and taught her that any kindness given to others would be returned to her 10 fold. She’s caught in the giving phase of this theory, and while there is peace in her soul and joy in her heart, her tangible returns are exactly nil and she’s dug herself into a financial and legal pit that’s about to cave in on her. There’s an adorable policeman who watches over her while she tends to the indigent and a happy ending that’s more Grimm than Andersen, so to speak.
3. What are you writing now?
Presently, I’m working on a third novel set in the same town as my last two stories — What Happened to Hannah and Something About Sophie. So far I have a title, Don’t Ask Alice, and that’s about it. All I have to do now is figure out what not to ask her. So here I am again 3 + 5 – 4 ….
And even if you can’t make it to the signing, you can order books now and the marvelous Turn the Page staff will have the authors sign the books before the event is over.