Saturday, November 9, 2013

Interview with YA Author Mary Hamilton

Howdy y'all! I decided to host a meet-n-greet for you today with a new friend of mine, Mary Hamilton. I'll get y'all started with a few questions of my own, but feel free to ask any more you can think of in the comments below. (Trust me, you won't regret leaving a comment--hint, hint. :) )

So, Mary, tell us a little about yourself.
I became a stay-at-home mom about 27 years ago and raised three of the best kids around, two boys and a girl. I started to pursue writing for profit at that time but gave it up when the kids quit taking naps, because I could never find a regular time to write when I wasn’t falling asleep. But as soon as my youngest started school, I took up writing again, particularly fiction. My dream was always to write a novel.

How did you get into writing YA?
I had no intention of writing for kids. I wanted to write for the adult audience and the first draft of my book was written for adults. I got involved in a local critique group about the time I was starting my first rewrites and after a few chapters, they convinced me it was better aimed at young teens, or tweens. The rewriting went much smoother after I accepted that. Although, judging by the number of adults who say the book has pulled them in and kept their interest, I must still be writing for adults just a teeny bit.

What is your book about?
Thirteen-yr. old Brady is dropped off at summer camp with the news he can’t come home. His mom doesn’t want him living with her anymore. Making matters worse is the camp bully who targets him with cruel taunts and teasing. Brady struggles to figure out what he did wrong. If he can’t change Mom’s mind by the end of the week, he’ll have to live with his workaholic dad, the guy who left when Brady was 7.

How did you come up with the idea for the book?
I grew up at a camp where my dad was director. So when I started thinking about writing a novel, I knew I wanted a camp setting. Then, when my kids were in jr. high and high school, we saw the devastating effects of divorce and remarriage in the lives of their friends. I brought the two ideas together by writing about kids who come to Bible camp with all their “baggage” from home. At camp, they learn how deeply God cares about what they’re going through, and develop a better perspective and coping skills for the issues they face at home.

The book is aimed at tweens, but you say adults are enjoying it. Why do you think that’s true?
For one thing, I think many adults have good memories of their own camp experiences, whether it’s Bible camp or scout camp or whatever. Most people say the story makes them feel like they’re right back there at camp. Another reason I believe adults enjoy it is because it appeals to our parenting instinct. We feel sorry for Brady and wish we could protect him, put our arms around him and assure him everything will be okay.

Hear No Evil is Book 1 of the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. What’s in store for the next books?
The next books will each take one of the characters from Hear No Evil and focus on them. I’m working on Book 2 right now, which focuses on Taylor, the bully. Book 3 will star Brady’s buddy, Steven, who is blind but never lets that stop him.

Where can people find your book, and how can they connect with you?
Hear No Evil is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and can be ordered through Christian bookstores if they don’t carry it on the shelf. It will be available in paperback, e-book, and audiobook.

I’d love to hear from readers on my website or Facebook. You can also check out my Pinterest page for pictures of my characters.

Okay, one last question: Do you have any other creative outlets besides writing?
I love knitting, mainly sweaters and afghans. I find great inspiration for creativity in nature and enjoy being outside as much as possible. And once in a great while, I play piano but only for my own enjoyment.

Ooo, I'd love to hear you play. Well, I think that's all the questions I have for now. Thanks so much, Mary, for dropping by and filling us in on your new release. Does anyone else have questions for Mary?

***Important: One lucky commenter today will win a copy of Mary's new release, so be sure to include your contact email with your comment(s) if you want to be entered in the drawing. The winner will be announced after 8 pm / 7 pm CST.***


  1. Thanks Crystal! It was fun being here today.

  2. So glad you had the time to drop by. :)

  3. Wow,
    This story will pack a punch right where some kids most need it, I'm thinking. Hope their parents read it too. ';)

    Would love to win a copy - are we exempt as blog contributors? Best of everything to you Mary. This sounds spectacular!

    1. Thank you, Joy! I too hope the parents read it.

    2. I'm sure it'll make a mark on any who read it. :)

  4. I enjoyed Mary's interview and am intrigued by Brady's story. HEAR NO EVIL sounds like a great book! Wishing you much success with this release, Mary!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

    1. Britney, Thanks for stopping by and for your interest in the book!

    2. Glad we could peak your interest, Britney. :) Glad you could stop by as well. :)

  5. Mary, I enjoyed sitting with you last month and hearing your plans for the next books in the series. Hugs!

    bgmacmanus at gmail dot com

  6. Congratulations to Bethany Macmanus on winning "Hear No Evil"!!!! Enjoy! =D

  7. Oh my! I'm so excited! Thank you, Crystal and Mary.

    1. You're so welcome. :) Come back to see us.