Thanks MaryLu for visiting us.
I’ve been married for 17 years to a wonderful man. Between us, we have six children, now aged 18-28. We live in Northern California, about an hour from the beach and four hours from the Sierras, but if I had my way, I’d move back to Florida where I grew up. I love the tropical climate and the warm beaches there. Nothing beats it! My whole family still lives there, so I travel back often. During my childhood, playing on the shimmering sand and swimming in those turquoise waters, I often dreamt of tall ships, adventures, and pirates and created stories in my head that would one day become my first published books: The Legacy of the King’s Pirates series.
2. How did you know you wanted to be a writer, have you always had the desire or did it come later?
I’ve always had the desire to write. Even as a small child, I would make up stories and write them down. I once had a poem published in my High School yearbook. I always excelled in English class and wrote two novels before I was twenty. But I never thought I could ever get published. It was more of a hobby. Then throughout my twenties and thirties while I was going to college, getting married, working, and raising a family, I put my writing aside for awhile, but I never lost the urge to write and often plotted adventurous stories in my head as I lay on my pillow at night. I guess when God plants a dream in you, it never goes away.
3. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
An artist. I love to oil paint! Before writing took up all my time, I used to spend many hours in front of a canvas or taking painting classes at the local college.
4. What was you motivation for writing The Falcon and the Sparrow?
I simply adore the time period (see below) but the main reason I wrote the story was that I wanted to reveal through the heroine that no matter how frightened you feel, no matter how worthless you feel, if you follow God with all your heart, He will give you whatever strength you need and He will use you in powerful ways you never dreamed of. In each of my books, I like to incorporate a strong, underlying, spiritual theme.
5. How do you come up with the characters for your books and are they modeled on people you know?
All my characters are made up of bits and pieces of people I know, or have known, or characters I see on TV or movies, and even a little bit of myself too. We are all such complex beings with so many facets to our personalities. What I try and do is pick a certain personality type, give that person a history, goals, motivations, hurts, and rejections, and a few odd quirks along the way. In other words, I make them as human as I can with all of our frailties, blunderings, hopes, desires, strengths and weaknesses, but I also make them lovable because like us all, they are struggling to be better people.
6. I love the era this book is set in reminds me so much of the TV series Hornblower and The Scarlet Pimpernel. I love the references to Napoleon also. Do you have a personal interest in this era?
My great aunt tells me I’m related to Napoleon! I’m supposed to be descended from one of his many mistresses. Certainly not a heritage to be proud of, but I guess it’s always made me interested in the man. And by the way, I am short, and I often have stomach problems. Humm. But I find the late 18th century, early 19th century a fascinating time period. It was the great age of the Sail when Britain was mistress of the sea with all her hundreds of tall warships. A very romantic and adventurous time, but also a very volatile time period with much unrest in Europe as well as in America as she struggled to become a new nation.
7. I also was fascinated to see you include John Newton in this book. I have recently read Once Blind by Kay Strom and his story really spoke to me, his part in this book was perfect for the setting. What brought about his inclusion in The Falcon and the Sparrow?
John Newton is one of my personal heroes. I can relate to him and his past so deeply. Like Mr. Newton, I was lost, running away from God for many years, and I did many things I regret. Amazing Grace is one of those songs that I can’t sing without crying. So, when I was formulating the storyline for Falcon and the Sparrow and discovered it was the same year in which John Newton was in London, I couldn’t help but slip him in there as my heroine, Dominique’s, spiritual adviser.
8. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects and will we see more books in this series (I hope so)?
Currently, I’m working on a trilogy entitled The Charles Towne Belles about three sisters who are daughters of a British Admiral living in Charleston, South Carolina in 1718. The first book, The Red Siren, (due to be released in Feb ’09) is about a young lady who becomes a pirate by night in order to acquire enough wealth to save her sisters from unwanted marriages. The problem arises when she falls in love with the British Navy Captain who is hunting her down.
9. How can readers find you on the web?
My website is: http://www.mltyndall.com
My blog is: http://crossandcutlass.blogspot.com/
10. Do you have any final thoughts for us?
Just want to thank you if you’ve made it down this far! And I hope you’ll consider reading one of my books. They aren’t your typical Historical Romances. They are packed full with adventure and suspense, miracles, and a deep spiritual theme.
Finally thank you so much for agreeing to this interview and sharing your time with us. I look forward to reading more novels by you.
Thanks so much, Jenny. It’s been my pleasure!
My review can be found here