Thursday, July 16, 2009

Interview with MaryLu Tyndall

I am very excited to have my mentor and very good friend MaryLu Tyndall with me today. MaryLu is the reason I continued to pursue writing. She has been an inspiration, an encourager, a critiquer, a guidance counselor, a shoulder to cry on, the list could go on and on! The woman is a saint when it comes to patience. Make sure to leave a comment. We will be having a drawing for a free copy of MaryLu's The Blue Enchantress. Give your email addy so I can contact you if your the winner.

M.L. Tyndall, a Christy Award Finalist, and best-selling author of the Legacy of the King's Pirates series is known for her adventurous historical romances filled with deep spiritual themes. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years before testing the waters as a writer. MaryLu currently writes full time and makes her home on the California coast with her husband, six kids, and four cats.

1) Where are you right now (LV, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth. Yikes! I'm in my office at home. We converted one of our kids' bedrooms into my writing office. And I'm wearing shorts and a T-shirt with flipflops. Thank goodness I didn't start these questions early in the morning.

2) Who's your one biggest fan/supporter of your writing? (Besides me of course!) ;-) My mother! LOL. But seriously, my family is very supportive and I also have several writing friends who love my writing and are very encouraging.

3) What made you love pirates? What? Doesn't everyone love pirates? Humm. Well, I suppose it's partly my love of the sea and my fascination with tall ships mixed with the wee bit of the rebel in my heart.

4) How hard was it coming up with a way to write a Christian pirate series? Not too hard! It's fiction, after all. But, seriously, as I was researching pirates I learned that some pirates could be considered "legal" if they obtained special articles from the government called letters of marque that gave them authority to attack ships of an opposing nation. That way I could make my hero both a pirate and a Christian without breaking any rules. Well, maybe a few. :-)

5) Are you or any close family members in the characters personalities? Yes, all of them! As a writer, I don't think we can help but incorporate all the great personalities that surround us on a daily basis into the characters we create. So, if you don't want to be in one of my books, you'd better stay away from me!

6) Can you tell us a little about your writing journey? When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Did anyone inspire you to write? When you started, how long before you got published, what you found difficult, what you love, what you dislike, etc. I always loved to write. I started several different novels throughout my life and even had a poem published in my high school yearbook. But I never considered I had a chance to become published. It wasn't until six years ago that I felt a very strong leading from God to write a story about a Christian pirate. I hadn't written anything in years because my life had become very busy with work, husband, and kids. But the Lord suddenly freed up some of my time so I started writing. When I finished, one thing led to another and God kept opening doors for me until I got my first contract just months later for that book and two more to follow! What I find most difficult about the writing business, whether you're published or not is the competition, the harsh reviews or critiques, and the rejections. Do not get into this business if you have a tender heart that is easily hurt. You won't survive. I love the writing process, creating characters and a storyline and a theme and then entering that world and making everything work out the way I want.

7) If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why? Who and why in what's children's book? Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice because who wouldn't want to live out that dream with Mr. Darcy? And Lucy in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis because she experienced so many fantastic adventures and got to meet the Lion of Judah.

8) When and how did you come to know the Lord? Long story, but I'll try and give you the short version. I was raised in church but because of family issues and my own stupidity,it didn't stick. I spent most of my adult life away from God doing all the wrong things and trying to make my own happiness. By age 35, I had made quite a mess of my life. Divorce, rebellious teens, a job I hated and an alcohol problem sufficed to send me plunging into a deep depression. I sought help from a self-help psychology book, but to my surprise, the author challenged me to read through the Bible cover to cover. So I did. And somewhere in Ezekiel in the prophecies about Israel I realized God was real. His Spirit feel upon me instantly and I sank to m knees, repented, and haven't been the same since!

9) Is there any person who has been a strong influence in your Christian walk? Yes, Derek Prince. He's gone to be with the Lord now, but his teachings have helped me to grow so much in my understanding of God and the scriptures.

10) What does it feel like to see your books in stores all over the United States and to know you can google your name and pull up thousands of results? It humbles me. I know that sounds weird, but this is all God. Without Him, I am nothing.

11) If you could live in any time period when and where would that be and why? The Age of Sail, of course! The 16th - 18th centuries. I love tall ships and I love the adventure and excitement of discovering new worlds and interesting cultures. To me, it was a time when people sought freedom from tyranny in new lands and longed to worship God without the restrictions of organized religion. There was an innocence and freshness about that time period.

12) You have been one of my biggest inspirations. What kind of advice can you give other unpublished writers? Thank you for the compliment! I know how hard it is to get published. At times it can be extremely frustrating and very discouraging. The best advice I can give you is to stay close to God, make sure He is leading you down this path, and then keep going, keep learning the craft, keep entering contests, keep getting critiques, keep submitting your work, until God tells you otherwise. Don't make it your goal to get published. Make it your goal to please God.

13) If you could change one thing in this industry what would it be? That it wouldn't be so tied up with money and sales figures, and be more about spreading the Word of God through great stories.

14) If you could visit any place in the world where would you go and why? Israel. I would love to walk where Jesus walked and see the Holy land that God loves so much.

15) If you could meet any person alive or dead who would that be and why? (excluding the Lord because we would all choose Him;-) ) The next best person would be the Apostle John so I could ask him all about Jesus.

16) If the Lord told you that you were allowed to bring one material thing with you to heaven, what would that be? (Material being not a person) That's a tough one because I'm really not tied to any material thing here on earth. I would have to say my photo albums of my kids growing up.

17) If the Lord came down today and asked you what the last good deed you did for someone was, what would that be? I gave a book of McDonald coupons to a homeless person.

MaryLu, thanks again for working me into your busy schedule and doing this interview with me. And thank you for being you!

Please leave a comment and let us know if you enjoyed the interview. It is an encouragement to both the author and myself. THANKS!


  1. what a wonderful interview, Debbie Lynne and Mary Lu! My heart was moved with #13. I have been thinking about how to more effectively minister lately, and the Lord showed me how powerful story is--it lets people's guard down and allows them to receive like no other venue. God bless you--your heart is obviously in the right place.

    Kathy Maher

  2. Excellent interview! The questions and answers give such a wonderful glimpse into the real author! I always love to hear about the author's journey and was encouraged by the fact that she didn't write for a long period of time, then felt the call to pick it up again.
    I haven't read any of her books and would love a chance to win this one.

  3. Oh my if you haven't read MaryLu's books you are in for a treat! I've read them all and they are terrific. Like I said I'm her biggest fan! :-)

  4. Wonderful interview of MaryLu, and if I don't win I must buy her latest book. And I'm taking MaryLu's advice to pray and see if God wants me to continue to pursue publication. It definately is a calling. Thank you both,for sharing your faith and heart in this interview.

  5. Great interview! Love the questions and very informative. I'll be on the lookout for MaryLu's books, I've heard of her, but never read any.

    Thanks for the info!


  6. Grumbles at losing biggest fan status. ;-)

    Seriously, thanks for posting this terrific interview, ladies.

  7. Thanks for having me on your blog, Debbie! And thanks ladies for your comments..

  8. Loved the interview, and one thing led to another & I finished the page! Also loved the navy pics & your precious pet, Cali. I almost cried too!

    Anyhow, MaryLu's book sounds fantastic. I'd love to win it!

  9. Mary Lu,
    I didn't realize how late in life you received your "God Call," and gave your life to Him. You are a beautiful picture of His grace at work. Bet when you were at your low point, you wouldn't have figured on being a published writer! Isn't God soooo good?
    Thanks for the interview, Debbie Lynne, and for your honesty and heart for God, MaryLu.

  10. Thank you so much for being open and honest, MaryLu. You're an inspiration! xxx

  11. I'm very excited to read The Blue Enchantress! An ARC just arrived from Barbour yesterday, and I did a happy little jump. I always know when I pick up one of your books that it's going to be a few hours well spent. Great to get this brain-picking interview too! =)

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this all inspiring inerview. It is always so exciting to hear someone else share their Love and Faith in Jesus Christ. What a Great Interview. May God continue to bless you Mary Lu, and you Debbie for your Wonderful Blog:o)

  13. Great article. Especially liked MaryLu's answer to question 12. I'm in the process of trying to find an agent for my inspiration historical romance and I'm trying very hard not to get discouraged. The comment, "Don't make it your goal to get published. Make it your goal to please God," was a lovely reminder of why I'm writing in the first place.