Our guest author today is Mary Horner, author of “Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing”.
Those leaving a comment on my blog about Mary’s interview will be entered in a book giveaway of “Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing.” I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday March 13.
Not only is Mary a talented writer and teacher, she is also a wonderful friend. So without further hesitation – Mary Horner.
Question – I understand you’re an award winning journalist who teaches communications at St. Charles Community College in St. Peters, and St. Louis Community College in Wildwood, Missouri. What compelled you to become a teacher?
I was a writer first, but I believe that most writers are teachers by the nature of the work. It seemed like a natural progression, and teaching has helped me understand the importance of knowing your audience, and that there are many different perspectives. What I consider a simple statement may have different meanings to different people. I try to be as clear as possible, but it’s always a challenge. Teaching has helped me learn how to defend my decisions and work, and keeps me on my toes. There’s nothing like immediate reactions.
Question – When did you first fall in love with writing?
In the sixth grade, when I won first place in an essay contest sponsored by the St. Charles City-County Library District titled “What the library means to me.” My (better-at-math) friend won second place, so it gave me a sense that writing was a valuable skill. I attended the awards ceremony and had to read it out loud to a group that went beyond my classmates, including grown-ups and everything! Heady stuff for a sixth grader!
Question – What inspired you to write Strengthen Your Non-fiction Writing? What would you like readers to take away from your book?
I actually started writing it as advice to a friend who needed to write an article, and I kept thinking of more and more information! I think that’s why it has a casual, friendly tone that makes it easy to read. I wanted it be the opposite of the books that make writing sound harder than it has to be.
What I’d like them to take away from the book the idea that although I believe writing is both an art and a craft, there are many ways to improve your writing using simple techniques. I wanted this to be a resource that readers could use immediately to solve some of their writing dilemmas.
Question – What advice do you have for new writers?
Never give up. Your writing has value in ways you may not yet realize.
Question – Mary, we all know you’re a wonderful teacher and a published author, but what great novel do you have in the works?
I’m working on a book I wrote several years ago about a young woman’s fight to save a historic mansion. The story as I’ve written it seems disjointed, so I’m trying to make it the protagonist’s story without going off on tangents. I have a tendency to tell everyone’s back story.
Question – And finally, as Anne Lamott once said in her book “bird’ by bird” (I ask this in all my authors interviews), it’s important to have a moral position in life. What is your moral position?
There is no “they.” There’s only “us.”
Wow! Great interview Mary. Thank you for sharing.
You can learn more about Mary on her blog writRteachR where she discusses all things editorial, including writing, publishing, authors and books. Also, follow the publishing process for “Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing,” a new book by Mary Horner.
Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing is on facebook!
The winner of the book giveaway “Strengthen your Nonfiction Writing” is Kim.
Kim I’ll be emailing you to confirm your win.
Mary will need your physical address to mail the book.
Congratulations and thanks for commenting!