What question do you most wish interviewers would ask but always fail to put forth? Here’s your chance to ask and answer it.
Since Where Are the Children was published in 1975, I cannot think of a single question I have not been asked.
I was reading a profile of you at Wikipedia which, if correct, notes an unorthodox thing you do when writing. Do you really send each chapter directly to your editor as you finish it rather than waiting until you finish the book? Why?
Yes, I do send about 25 pages at a time to my editor, Michael Korda, which works wonderfully well for both of us. It saves me a great deal of rewriting. Michael has an uncanny ability to make a suggestion that strengthens the book from the onset. As an example: Two Little Girls in Blue, which was a hardcover last year and just came out in paperback.
When Michael read the first 50 pages, he said, “Mary, you have got to have an authority figure to validate the telepathy between identical twins for the reader.” At that point I created Dr. Sylvia Harris – a pediatrician who only handles twins, and who has cared for the twins in the book since before they were born.
That profile also says your main character is usually a strong independent young woman. If true, why is that? Is that an intentional choice?
It is an intentional choice to have a strong independent woman. In almost all my books she is self-made in her job or profession. She recognizes the problem and solves it. It is the kind of woman I admire and I think today’s reader expects of me. The days of the "Perils of Pauline," when the Lone Ranger scoops the victim off the railroad tracks as the train is approaching, are over.
Finish this sentence – I still want to write a book in which….
I still want to write a book that is a generational saga. The only mystery will be is whether I will get to do it.
What are you working on next?
My next novel is, Wither Do you Wander, in which a young lawyer tries to find the brother who disappeared while a college student.