Category Archives: Indie Interview

20 Questions with Mary Pat Hyland


1. Name: Mary Pat Hyland

2. How long have you been an indie writer? Since 2008

3. What formats do you publish in? Paperback & ebooks

4. What genres do you write in? Short stories, chick lit, suspense, humor, family saga

5. Are you on Twitter or Facebook? Both!



6. What’s your current book? In the Shadows of the Onion Domes, Collected Short Stories

7. How do you want your readers to feel after they’re read your book? This book is like a Whitman’s Sampler of my writing styles. I hope it will bring smiles, maybe a few tears, and leave you thinking.

8. What’s your next book about? It’s a humorous suspense novel that I’m currently writing as part of National Novel Writing Month.

9. What types of jobs have you had other than writing? Cook, journalist, art director, portrait artist, greenhouse assistant

10. What did it feel like when you were first published? Finally, a long-held dream came true.

11. What’s your go-to song when your writing muse needs to be recharged? “Coyote” by Joni Mitchell. Her writing is exquisite and I love the sense of being on a road trip somewhere through the strumming of the guitar chords and Jaco Pastorious’s beautiful bass notes.

12. What do you do when writer’s block strikes? Go for a walk. There’s something about the fresh air and change of scenery that helps re-charge the imagination.

13. What’s the best compliment your writing ever earned? That the reader kept thinking about the characters and what they were up to, months after reading the book (The House With the Wraparound Porch).

14. If you’re stranded on a desert island with a solar battery recharger, what would you be reading on your Kindle? I think I’d need something humorous. My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber.

15. If you could have dinner with three other writers, who would they be? Dorothy Parker, Eudora Welty and Frank McCourt. All dead, unfortunately, but if it were possible, the conversation would be anything but that.

16. What’s your blog and/or website address?



17. Cats or dogs?  Dogs. Border collies, to be specific

18. Cake or death? (To soothe the boisterous Eddie Izzard lobbyists…) Cake with thick chocolate frosting

19. What fictional character do you identify with most? Sybylla Melvyn in My Brilliant Career

20. What’s the closing line of your latest book? At that moment, knowing she was nearing the bridge between this world and the next herself, nothing else mattered but the fact that for the first time in six years, she felt fully alive.



NEW RELEASE: In the Shadows of the Onion Domes, Collected Short Stories by Mary Pat Hyland

PRICE: $2.99 / £1.92 / EUR 2,68

GENRE: Short Stories, Humor, Literary


By the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers in New York’s Southern Tier lies a verdant valley called the Triple Cities.

The shoe factories that originally drew thousands of immigrants from across Europe have long moved on.

What remains are the distinct ethnic flavors of a gritty community determined to overcome economic woes, adapt to the rapid changes in society and find true meaning in life.

Consider these eighteen stories as pages ripped from a sketchbook. Some are quick studies; others are more detailed portraits inspired by observed characters, whispered gossip, overheard conversations and the local lore of the residents whose neighborhoods are framed by the gilded Orthodox Church domes that span this valley.

You’ll find that each tale has its own tone: some are humorous or poignant, others are surprising and haunting.

About Mary Pat

Mary Pat Hyland is an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author and has published six novels and a collection of short stories. Her short stories have
appeared in the anthologies Seasons Readings and Lost Love Letters: An Indie Chicks Anthology. In 2013 the Arts Council of Yates County selected her as an Artist in Residence. She is a graduate of Syracuse University and has worked in the commercial/fine art, journalism, education and culinary fields. Mary Pat resides in upstate New York, the setting for her novels, and enjoys organic gardening, gourmet cooking, visiting the Finger Lakes and teaching the Irish language.




















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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in e-books, Indie Interview, Kindle, NOOK, What's New


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The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour.

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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in indie author, Indie Interview, What's New


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The Next Big Thing Blog Tour

Last week I was contacted by the wonderful and fabulous Donna Fasano and she invited me to join her in The Next Big Thing Blog Tour. Well, hell. With a name like that, how could I say no? The premise is actually quite easy. I interview myself and then post that interview here on my own blog for all of you to read 🙂 I then tag 5 others (or in my case only 4) and they do the same a week later. So, now instead of making you wait any longer, here is my interview of my most fabulous self!

What is the working title of your next book?

Crossing the Divide

Where did the idea come from for the book?

From the idea of what if. What if what we’ve always known to be true, isn’t.

What genre does your book fall under?

Mystery; Suspense; Thriller

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oh, wow. I’m only at the beginning of writing it, so I really haven’t given that much thought. 🙂

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

What if the image on the other side of the mirror is the real one?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-Published as an ebook sometime next year 🙂

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m currently working on that first draft right now! I’m writing it as I try to tackle NaNoWriMo!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Again, I don’t know. Alice in Wonderland would be the closest.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

My youngest son. He asked me why I haven’t written anything he would want to read (I normally write paranormal romance) and I’d been toying around with this idea of a parallel world and decided, why not.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well, of course because it’s one of my books! LOL I’d like to think people will pick up my book because they’re curious about what if too.

Here are the fabulous authors I’ve tagged to tell you about their Next Big Thing!

Please, make sure you check them out next Wednesday!


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Indie Authors 20 Questions: Susan Ricci

For this post, I have a super special friend as my guest. I met Susan on Facebook, and I’m so happy I can call her a friend 🙂

Besides her fabulous new book just released today, she also has a short story collection available that is just as amazing!

1.) Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

Shucks, Melissa, do I have to? *wink*  I’m a wife, mom, grandma, and a writer with a dog hair fetish because I can’t keep up with housework when I’m on a roll with my stories.  Shoe freak, purse freak, can’t deal with coffee, can’t live without tea. Oh, and I smoke too much.  Hate to cook and I take shameless advantage of my hubby, who loves cooking.

2.) How long have you been writing? 

As is the case with most writers I know, I’ve been at the keys or an old Underwood, since I was 10 and read Gone With the Wind.

3.) Do you have a preferred genre that you read? Is it the same as what you write? 

I like all genres, except the extremely far-fetched.  This has either been my blessing or my curse regarding me finishing my work, because I just can’t resist a compelling read!  The book I’m publishing now is Contemporary Fiction.

4.) What is the title of your book and where can it be found?

Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems will be available on Amazon, September 17, 2012, though I’m not sure if I’m doing KDP Select yet.  If I go strictly with Amazon and not KDP, I plan on broadcasting it on all the online stores, including B&N, Mobe. (and Dick…)

5.) Describe your novel in 15 words or less.

Learning to make prehistoric baggage work for you in romantic relationships, while conquering mid-life adolescence.

6.) Where did the inspiration for your story come from?

Real life coupled with a very strange and vivid imagination.

7.) How long did it take you to complete this novel from concept to published?

Eighteen months.  Give or take a few days.

8.) When you sit down to write, how does that process go? Do you outline or just let it evolve? 

When ideas grab me, I write them on post-its, in my checkbook register, in a journal by the bed in the middle of the night.  Then I just go from there. The sequel for the Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems title came to me in a dream a few months back—more late night post-its!

9.) Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with? 

Seeking the perfect word to fit a paragraph/scene during revisions, self-discipline to keep me focused since I’m distractible, and those sorts of things.  It’s called BYOWED or being your own worst enemy disorder.  Kind of like that BOHICA thing, people used to laugh about…

10.) Are there any aspects that you simply glide through? 

NONE!  I don’t know any successful author gliding through any aspect of writing, do you? I guess there must be some, though.

11.) What sets your book apart from others in the same genre? 

Mine is set apart from others like it, because it is about mid-life adolescence, a disorder recently discovered by experts, and told from the heart!

12.) What is the location of your story setting and why did you choose that place/time? 

My prehistoric mind chose the location for me, along with the histories that brought me to present day.

13.) Your main characters, tell me about them. What is their back story? How did they find themselves where they are now? 

My primary characters are both twice divorced and have misgivings about beginning anew.  They’ve also had similar experiences via cyberspace dating, but emotionally, they both want the same kind of relationship. They just don’t know enough about each other just yet, to know for sure!  I assure you they do, though sometimes they take the hard way around it.

14.) I’d like to know more about your book. Tell me all about it.

It’s fabulous!

15.) What do you want readers to take from your writings? 

Never give up! Move forward and embrace life’s greatest gift:  Share yourself with another, even if there’s more mistakes.   There is life after divorce, even after a second one, and learn from your memory cemetery.  Get through your mid-life adolescence and forge ahead.

16.) Are more books to follow or is this a stand alone? 

There’s a sequel framing out via post-its and my brain, but I’m not sure if I’m going to revise another book I already have in the works or share the sequel yet.  Decisions, decisions!  I’d like to know more about what my readers want, once Dinosaurs and Cherry Stems goes live, so I will leave that up to them!  What do YOU want, readers?
17.) Where can readers find you?

My website is:, Contact me on twitter @susanjeanricci. I will have an Amazon page as of September 17 and I’m in process of creating a Facebook Fan page.  (I also have a cell phone if anyone is interested in phoning me…)

18.) What are 3 random things about yourself that readers might like to know.  

I’m not a quitter, bad reviews don’t scare me, (but they do make my innards curl).  I don’t thrive on chocolate…sorry!  And my husband told me to say I’m very talented, when I asked him what else to say…

19.) What do you do in your down time? For fun. 

I play with my sweet Lab, Emma, go on wine tastings while traveling, visit my grandchildren, and I LOVE football, specifically, the NY Giants!

20.) How about letting me have a sneak peek at chapter one?


Intense emotion, leading to prose or poetry, cannot be described in any other fashion…

Chapter One:  Moral Ineptitude

I’ve been rendered a dinosaur, a relic…

I’m sitting in the theater where my grandson’s rehearsing his spring band concert and darling hubby just texted me, “We should separate.”

“Oh, Glen, that’s so you,” I whisper.  In the twenty years I’ve known him, Glen always finds a way to sneak out the back door.


It’s not his motive that’s the shocker.  I knew exactly how he operated.  Marrying him was not my wisest move, and we’ve been communicating via sarcasm since our first wedding anniversary three years ago.  Arguments evolved, too–how we spend our down time, his and my adult kids’ snafus, even our new bedspread, for Christ’s sake.

He had his picture taken without me the last time we traveled, six months ago (using the word vacationed implies an enjoyable event).  I later found his photo posted on a social network he joined.  In the relationship section, he’d written it’s complicated.

Uh huh.

I’ve even kept my mouth shut about the way we’ve been stagnant as a couple, thinking it would be better for both of us to let the situation ride for a while.


Several weeks ago, Ella Stuart, a woman I know socially, phoned and inadvertently cleared up those rumors I’d been hearing about hubby’s slick trespassing.

“We thought you and Glen might like to join us for a house party we’re having next Friday night,” she’d said.  “It’s been a long time since we’ve all gotten together.”

I was confused.  Ella’s husband, Bill, and Glen are tight, childhood friends and they’d gone to an attorney seminar together just the week before.  I thought for sure, since they’re so close, Glen must’ve told him our marriage was in the morgue.

“Didn’t Glen tell Bill at that seminar last week about our personal situation?  That our marriage is not going so great?” I ask.

“Wow, I’m sorry to hear that.  I didn’t know and I don’t think Bill knows either because he didn’t mention it.  As a matter of fact, he hasn’t seen Glen since last winter.  I had a hell of a time tracking your phone number and finally called information.  The last number Glen gave Bill, well, something’s not right about it.  I tried calling it several times, and some woman kept answering, but when I asked for you or Glen, she’d hang up.”

“What’s the number?”

Ella gave me the number, and as I copy it I’m thinking, you bet your ass something’s not right, because I don’t recognize this.

“Glen told me he went to a seminar last week with Bill, the one in New York when they stayed over,” I said again.  “Are you saying Bill didn’t go?”

“Yes, that’s what I’m saying.  Bill has been home after work every night the past month.  He hasn’t gone to any over night seminars in a long time.”


“What about that baseball game they went to last month?” I ask.  “It’s hard for me to believe Glen didn’t say anything to Bill about us.  I’ve never seen a man love to gossip more than he does.”  I try to laugh, but the noise coming out of me sounds more like ARRGH.

Ella sighed.  “I’m sorry, but Bill hasn’t been to any ball games this season, either, Cindy.  Bill hasn’t seen Glen since the winter.”

“Are you absolutely sure?”  The pleading in my voice makes me almost as sick as this conversation.

“Yes, I’m really sure.  Again, I’m sorry.”  Click.

I lean over my desk to put the phone back in the charger, but my hand trembles and it drops.

I bury my face in my hands.  Yep, not only am I a dinosaur, I’m a throwaway…and so humiliated I have those cramps people get when they’re in urgent need of the bathroom, but there’s no time.  Glen will be home soon and I want to call the woman who kept hanging up on Ella.

When she hangs up on me, I’m not a bit surprised.

What transpired afterward is muzzy, but what remains with me is the sudden crash at the window during Glen’s lively denials after I confront him.

Diverted from our shouting match, we’d hurried over and saw a bird, lying in the garden below.  Even as we watched, it soon gathered its wits and flew away.

As we withdrew to our separate regions in the house, my self-esteem questioned:  How many slams into the window of surprises do I need before I fly this marital coop?

I once heard about some celebrity who sent his wife a fax saying he wanted to divorce, but texting such a message is un-fucking-believable, even for Glen.  My hands flex with the urge to choke him as I recall how he kept checking his cell during my mother’s wake last spring.

Take deep breaths, I tell myself.  Focus on the stage and Jesse’s drum solo.

The pounding drums mimic my heartbeat, but I know until this rehearsal is over and Jesse’s safely home, I must stay calm.  There’s forty miles of driving on a freeway loaded with wild weekenders to cope with, and it’s a definite my grandson’s going to want to stop and eat since it’s past lunchtime, and we always do that anyway.

I pinch my fingers on the bridge of my nose to keep the angry tears at bay.  I want to text him back, continue the battle, but the situation will only escalate if I do, because Glen never loses his wars.

Instead of retreating, I text him anyway, and ask if we can talk about this when I get home.

He responds he’s busy for the rest of the weekend, and won’t be there.

Christ, today’s only Saturday.  What’s supposed to happen on Monday, when we have to go to work in the same office?

Where he’s my boss…


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