Mary K. Preston

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 Mary K. lives in South Florida, not far from the swamp and even closer to the beach. Unfortunately, she doesn’t go to the beach that often. She has more books than she has room for, and reads and re-reads compulsively. She enjoys making friends with musicians, going to local concerts, cooking delicious meals, and playing a little guitar. In her short professional life, she’s worked as an espresso artiste and a call center representative before finally being hired to spend her days writing. She loves words in all languages and has a list of foreign tongues to learn before she dies. She often wishes her fictional inventions were real people.

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Q: What time of day do you write?

A: I’ve written at all times of the day, but I generally have a much harder time writing earlier in the day. My most creative writing typically happens between the hours of 10pm and 2am.

Q: Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real people?

A: Some of the initial character design comes from real people, at least in terms of looks and sometimes gestures. It’s kind of funny because while I’m a total Chatty Cathy, I also really enjoy watching people. For the purposes of writing, though, I typically start out with a visual of someone I’ve seen, and match them to a personality idea I have in my mind for the developing story.

Q: Do you keep a notebook with you all the time in case idea pop into your mind?

A: I don’t, actually. My story ideas develop gradually, so I end up letting them sort of percolate through my mind until there are at least enough scenes to start seeing a general shape.

Q: What’s the most difficult part of writing?

A: To some degree, titles. I always come up with my titles either towards the end of writing the story, or after the story is already done. The really difficult moment is when I know where the story needs to end up, but I’m a good two or three scenes away from it and I’m not sure how the characters are going to get there.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer? When did you start writing?

A: I think I’ve wanted to be a writer for most of my life, although I can recall wanting to be a paleontologist when I was about five. It’s tricky to say when I started writing, because I was composing stories and even little speeches and things when I was quite young. But I remember that one day when I was about seven or eight my mother introduced me to a word processor. She had a heavy workload and a lot of stuff to do with all the kids, so she suggested that I use the word processor to tell my stories through, probably as a self-defense mechanism.

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