Questions for Mary
Where were you born?
What schools did you attend?
Elgin Elementary, Weyburn Junior High, Weyburn Comprehensive High School
What kind of kid were you?
I was the youngest of six girls in our family; so yes- I was the “baby” of the family. My Dad was truly frustrated that each time my mom delivered, she came home with another girl. He wanted a son so badly! My sisters all treated me special, as I was their cute little sister; all that is except my sister Lesley who always referred to me as her “ugly little stepsister”. I wonder if she will end up as one of the characters in my books?
As a young girl growing up in such a big family, I was always trying to escape and play outdoors with my friends: building forts in the trees of the high school or playing street hockey.
In school, I was a sensitive and conscientious student. My teachers always treated me special because I tried to do my best at all times; I was definitely a “teacher pleaser”.
Where did you get your idea for writing Frenchie’s Best Friend?
My son ET and his partner Kelsey are working in the doggie business. ET does some grooming and sells dog food, while Kelsey is managing a Doggie Day Care. They love their French Bulldog, Bert and always have stories to share about him or from their work. I also dog sat Cecile for five days last summer (my son Adrien’s dog) and fell under her spell with her adorable little ways. I started out trying to talk my son ET into writing a Dog Groomer Blog and when he didn’t do it, the story just started to emerge.
What was hard about writing Frenchie’s Best Friend?
The story is written in the voice of a boy in Grade Eight. Sometimes when I was writing the dialogue, I had to keep asking myself whether that was the way Ethan (the main character) and his friends would talk to one another. Of course, being a mother and also a principal of students in that age group; helped me to make the conversations flow and be authentic using their age-appropriate expression.
What was most rewarding for you while writing Frenchie’s Best Friend?
I am usually a well-planned person and before I write, I have a story plan and know where the story is going to lead me. As the book evolved, the ending came together and resolved itself in a special and surprising finish; one that I had not foreseen or anticipated. It amazed me how much I lived in the story while I was writing it. Even when I wasn’t in front of my computer, but walking or gardening, I was immersed in the story; problem solving and having internal conversations. It was a new level of focus for me!
Did you have fun while you wrote your book?
You know, I expected to enjoy the process of writing a novel, but I don’t think I assumed it would be a “fun” experience. In actuality, I had such a good time with Ethan and his Grandma Sis’s covert scheming and all of the chaotic and crazy predicaments that Ethan got himself into, I constantly found myself chuckling aloud while I wrote. I think it was fun for me to see that I could write in such a way that I’m sure my readers will experience their own “belly” laughs.