"It's impossible to discourage the real writers; they don't give a damn what you say." Sinclair Lewis

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Chat With Mary Ann Cherry

When did you begin writing, and why?

I remember writing a short story in third grade and being disappointed with my efforts after hearing a marvelous story written by a friend being read aloud.

It was a normal thing to do in my family. My mother, father, and one brother all wrote prolifically.

What have you written (books, short stories, articles, etc.)?

I scribbled poetry for a college newspaper in years past, and more recently have organized articles and news for several art groups via newsletters and websites.

Which of the novels you’ve written are your favorite, and why?

I have not yet completed my Death on Canvas mystery but am enjoying the process and my characters are now my friends.

Who are your favorite authors?

Robert Parker, Julia Spencer Fleming

What is your favorite genre to read?

I enjoy a well-crafted science fiction novel and mystery or thriller.

What is your obligation to yourself as a writer?

To refuse to settle for tossed together scenarios, weak plots and uninteresting settings is my goal. Of course, this goal necessitates a mountain of rewrites.

Who is your favorite hero?

My son, Dan, is my hero. I believe he was a better man at the early age of sixteen than most men are at maturity. He is now serving in Afghanistan.

Who is your favorite heroine?

My daughter, Jennifer, is the strongest person I know. She never compromises her beliefs, whether moral or religious, and is always there for those who need her. Jennifer is a fourth grade teacher, a Sunday school teacher, and mother of two. Whenever I hear the song, “Did you Ever know that You’re my hero?”, I think of her and wonder how I managed to raise such a person.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

Write every day. I don’t but should.

Which of your books was the hardest to write?

I believe the current book, my first, is the only answer to this question.

What is the hardest part of the creative process for you?

It is always hard to find a large block of time, so small chunks have to do.

Do you write by an outline? If not, what is your method?

No. I think it would make my writing too stiff. Much of my writing just seems to be stream of consciousness, in that it flows rather than has to be yanked from jumbled thoughts.

Do you have set hours in the day to write?

I write in the morning.

Writing is tough. What makes you keep coming back?

Writing is, in essence, painting with words, and I am a painter. The desire to create “something from nothing”, as one does when painting, has become an innate part of who I am. Once the creative process is started there is a burning urge to finish.


  1. Good Interview Mary Ann. Robert B. Parker is also one of my favorite authors. I like his style of lots of dialogue with very little narrative prose. He basically lets his characters and their actions tell the story. His books, in my opinion, are the closest thing in written storytelling to watching a movie.

  2. I'll be looking forward to "Death on Canvas" in published form. I particularly like who named as your hero and heroine. BTW, you are a fantastic artist!

  3. Mary Ann, love your interview! I suspect Jennifer learned how to be the wonderful young woman she is from her mother. She took the best parts and added them to her own sweet personality. :}

    Your paintings come alive on canvas. It's the same with your writing. Your story is rich in colorful detail and depth! As your artwork, you will have success in your writing.