Mary Paine

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     Books and horses have been among Mary's great loves from an early age. As a child she would arrive at the local library with grocery bags to haul home all the books she wanted to read that week. She would then balance her time between reading and hanging out at the local barn with her similarly horse-crazy friends. Thus, it was only natural that she chose the world of horse show jumping as the setting for her books, including her current release Never Trust a Matchmaking Witch, which combines her love of horses with the fascinating world of magic.
     Mary is enthusiastically working on Never Trust a Matchmaking Witch's sequel, Never Steal from a Leprechaun, which is filled with magic, comedy and of course, romance.
     Mary earned a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from Georgetown University and a Master's degree in Epidemiology from Yale University. She has held senior management positions in the public health and medical communications industries. Her career has spanned work in clinical trials research, medical writing, editing, and informatics.
     Mary lives in the Midwest with her husband and three children. It's a wild and crazy household full of love, laughter and plenty of material for stories.


Q: Tell us how you came to combine fantasy, romance, and an equestrian setting in Never Trust a Matchmaking Witch.

A: I am a huge fan of fantasy romance and I've been a horseperson most of my life. The writing really comes alive when I write what I love. I particularly enjoy writing fantasy in settings people encounter every day. It makes it so much fun when you image the world of witchcraft could exist right around you, especially when that fantasy world is filled with love and laughter as it is in Never Trust a Matchmaking Witch.

Q: What are you working on right now?

A: I'm currently working on a sequel to Never Trust a Matchmaking Witch, titled Never Steal from a Leprechaun. In the sequel, my fun-loving group of witches are matchmaking again.
    This time they've gathered at a castle in southwestern England owned by one of the group and they have a plan. Eamonn, a prankster who's part leprechaun, asks his niece to join them at the castle. Enter a reformed jewel thief (think Indiana Jones) and our favorite matchmakers are off and running. While he's trying to steal a rare jewel and she's trying to keep him from finding out about magic, the group keeps throwing the pair together in some hilarious, sizzling adventures.

Q: What is your writing process like? Where do you get most of your ideas from? What's the hardest part of writing for you?

A: I wrote my first book without an extensive plan. The ideas just flowed. As my setting was the Grand Prix horse show circuit, I didn't need to do extensive research. I rode in hunters and equitation for years and one of my trainers rode on the Grand Prix circuit, so I had lots of material from my own life experiences from which to draw.
    For Never Trust a Matchmaking Witch, I did much more research and plotting before starting to write the manuscript. It's vital with a fantasy story that the magical world underpinning the writing be thoroughly developed down to the smallest detail. There is so much background that never finds its way into the books, but it needs to be a complete world in my mind to make it real for my readers.

Q: Have you always been a writer? Do you have or have you had another career? If so, how did you make the transition/how do you keep your careers separate?

A: My training is in public health, and I did medical research when I first graduated from school, but I always gravitated toward writing. I built a career in medical communications and informatics, which is the use of information systems in health care, but I always dreamed of writing fiction.
    My chance finally came when I was on bed rest with a twin pregnancy and could type away all day long! Not long after the twins were born I sold that first book and have been creating stories and characters I love ever since.

Q: What's your writing schedule like?

A: I would love to say I have an organized writing schedule, but with young children my writing works around their schedules. I've learned to be very productive at five in the morning!

Q: What keeps you writing your stories every day?

A: Once I have a story brewing in my head I can't wait to get it on paper! Besides, much as I love my wonderful, busy household, it's very nice for Mommy to have the balance of disappearing into the worlds I create in my books.

Q: What would you like for readers to know about you?

A: I am having such a wonderful time writing fiction. I hope readers will have a fantastic time with my characters and their stories.
    I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to contact me and visit my website. Enter my monthly contest for books from some of my favorite authors!

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