Mary Wagner

Mary Wagner
Location
Wisconsin, USA
Birthday
February 13
Bio
Former journalist, now criminal prosecutor, and award winning essayist and photographer, proves its never too late to make mid-course corrections! Vices include Belgian chocolate, Irish castles, great shoes, long clean shorelines, classic cartoons, big skies and Lee Child "Reacher" novels. Multiple degrees earned in the "school of life" include mother of four, former girl scout leader, truckstop waitress, cocktail waitress, office temp, judicial clerk, and radio talk show host. Latest essay collection, "Fabulous in Flats," just went live, preceded by "Running with Stilettos" and "Heck on Heels." Visit my website at www.runningwithstilettos.com

MY RECENT POSTS

DECEMBER 7, 2012 5:30PM

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

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I first heard about “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop” on a Facebook post from the Florida Writers Association page, when a young writer I’d recently met, Bitten Twice, asked if anyone was interested in participating. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it sounded like fun! Basically, it amounts to an Independent Authors game of tag, where authors who have recently published books or have “works in progress” answer questions about their projects and then link back to other authors who are talking about THEIR latest projects.

One author posts a blog, linking back to the writer who first extended the invitation, and then asks five other authors to participate, who each then link their blog posts to the person who invited THEM to play. It reminds me a bit of the “chain letters” we used to get as kids. Back when mail actually came in envelopes and was written on paper…

At any rate, I’d like to thank fellow author Bitten Twice for “tagging” me to participate and have this much fun.You can click on these links to find Bitten Twice’s blog, website, and books.

In this particular “hop” my fellow authors and I, each in our respective blogs, have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about our current “works in progress.”We hope you’ll enjoy the romp! Please feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS

1: What is the working title of your book?

The working title in my head is “Quantum of Evidence.”I think of it as that tipping point, that “eureka moment,” when the jumble of jumble of information that seems disconnected and random finally sparks and flares into that moment of truth that you can't deny. Although I’m entirely open to suggestions at this point.

2.Where did the idea come from for the book?

It first started bobbing to the surface when I went to a writers’ retreat held at The Clearing on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin’s Door County.I took a few steps out of my usual routine as a prosecutor and a mother to be surrounded by nature’s splendor and fresh air and sunshine for an entire week. And then I realized I had some dynamite elements for a suspense novel involving a prosecutor and mother who didn’t know that her stepson would have a dangerous link to a murder.

3.What genre does your book fall under?

This would definitely come under the heading of “suspense fiction.”

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

Well, for this particular book I’d pick the actress Stana Katic from the TV series Castle for the lead character, and Josh Lucas as her detective/love interest.Stana brings a brilliant competency to her detective role in the TV series, as well as an emotional distance that sometimes breaks, and that’s the complexity that I’m looking for here.

BUT speaking of movies…every once in a while I send out a wish list to the Fates, and hope that someone will pick up my first non-fiction book, Running with Stilettos, fictionalize it and turn it into a movie.I would just love to see Patricia Arquette play a younger, better looking version of me.And for the even younger boyfriend with the Harley and the black leather pants? Well, either Hugh Jackman or Aaron Eckhart would be perfect!Aaron did an absolutely splendid job as the pony-tailed biker/friend in the movie Erin Brockovich.

5.What is the one-sentence synopsis for your book?

After a runaway teenager is found buried in a shallow grave, prosecutor, single mom and former juvenile delinquent Maggie Delahunt discovers a link to her troubled stepson and the dangerous lengths that reinvention will take us.

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

I’m pretty sure I’m going to self-publish this one too. I have no patience for the length of time it takes for words to make it into print through traditional publishing channels. Had I waited for a traditional publisher to agree to pick up my first three books, Running with Stilettos, Heck on Heels, or Fabulous in Flats, I’d be short more than a dozen writing awards and an incredible amount of fun by now!

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

I’m embarrassed to admit that I started this book about six years ago…and then wrote the other three books instead. When asked why, I usually just explain that “life got in the way.” A lot of things were going on in my life for a few years that interfered with keeping a complicated train of thought going. So I’ve got my shoulder to the wheel again, and hope to have this book finished by the end of April, 2013.

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

I’m going to be so bold as to draw a tiny comparison to author William Kent Krueger’s first Cork O’Connor book, Iron Lake. Not because I plan to have my characters running around in the north woods and Indian reservations of Minnesota, but because his main character is so layered, and flawed, and still good to the core despite massive past mistakes.

9.Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Well, I love suspense fiction. A story has to have a puzzle to solve, and a villain to discover, in order to keep my interest to the final page. So it was a foregone conclusion that I would want to write a book like that. Further, though, I wanted to create a character with the complexities and nuance and contradictions that define us in real life.

10.What else about your book might pique your readers’ interest?

It was Leo Tolstoy who wrote that “happy families are all alike,” and everybody knows that unhappy families can be mined for an endless supply of screwed-up character development. Maggie, on the other hand, had that “happy family” thing going for her until her parents were killed by a drunk driver when she was thirteen.I wanted to explore how somebody who got thrown off the rails like that with no warning would deal with it and reinvent herself, and how it would affect her choices and relationships.As an adult, she’s obviously got a few parts missing on the “human connection” scale. On the other hand, she’s got a steel-trap mind, and a simmering impatience for incompetence and unfinished business.

www.runningwithstilettos.com

 

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I like it! I've seen your book, "Running with Stilettos," and loved the title. I'll have to go back and check it out. Never opened the cover to see that you were almost a local. Cool.