Mary books

Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Story Behind The Story

This is another very special day in my writing journey. Book One in my Great Southland series is an e-book and available now for download on American websites like Amazon and!

When I wrote Faith in the Great Southland, I never dreamt that one day it would not only be a paperback, included with the next three books in a four-in-one volume Barbour called Australian Outback but also become my first e-book released this very day on American websites.

It makes me look back over 13 years now to that time I first started writing Faith in the Great Southland for the Heartsong Presents inspirational romance book club. It was a few words on a very rare phone call to the Barbour editor in Ohio to even make me consider writing an historical book.

I can’t even remember now why I had to ring him that time in the mid-‘90s – something authors should never really do to busy editors. He had already given me contracts for five contemporary manuscripts with Barbour. What I do remember is for some reason he mentioned he was receiving only one historical to five contemporary manuscripts. This could be a potential problem as two contemporary and two historical Heartsong Present novels were released every month.

Without thinking, I said jokingly something like, “Perhaps I should try writing one” – something that had never entered my mind before. To my utter astonishment I received a letter from him offering me a contract on a proposal. At that particular stage I was writing still for Harlequin Mills and Boon medical romance line and trying to finish my third contemporary book in my Search series. I still think I was wise to refuse that offer and replied,”...I think I would like to see how I go on a new area of writing first. I may take you up on that offer later if it still holds.”

I followed that by mentioning some ideas about setting the historical in South Australia and included, “No convicts were sent to Adelaide...” Well that brought the response that being an Australian historical readers would expect convicts! What I already knew about the early history of South Australia from my two family association published books was not enough. When I eventually was able to start serious preparation for the manuscript, this meant I had to do far more research of the state of convicts here in the mid-nineteenth century. This time period was important because I wanted to include information from my own family’s ancestors who arrived in South Australia in 1938. Convict transportation to the eastern states had already ceased.

While I thoroughly enjoyed writing Faith in the Great Southland, it took me much longer to write than any other manuscript until then. I discovered non-fiction historical books were just too fascinating and needed to discipline myself too many times to stop reading them and write my own novel. Trying to include sufficient, accurate historical background as well as faith elements and romance was also a greater challenge than for my contemporaries. Need I mention the fourth in this series, Great Southland Gold to date has been my last smaller manuscript? I have been told by Truly Yours Digital Edition that my other Great Southland books will also be released as e-books in the next six months or so.

But how I wrote my current Baragula series manuscripts which are twice as long as the ones for Heartsong Presents is another “story behind the story”.

It would be wonderful to hear from anyone who has downloaded this e-book edition.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


I’ve just had the delight again of spending a week at the Poatina Faith and Arts programme. Click HERE to read about the programme offered. There were seven different electives this year. For the second time I was privileged to be the leader for the Creative Writing - Fiction elective. About eighty very creative folk of all ages shared a very busy programme. As well as several hours each day in our chosen elective, there were very special worship, teaching and personal sharing times as well.

The village of Poatina has a very interesting history. It began in 1950 as the accommodation site for the workers on the hydro-electricity projects many years ago. When it was no longer needed the whole village was eventually sold to the Christian organisation, Fusion Australia, in 1995. Do check out all about it by clicking HERE

This was my view of the Western Mountain Tiers from my bedroom window this year. It was unusually hot for the first few days and the smoke haze from fires to the south and north of us almost hid the mountains. Thankfully there were none of the ferocious fires in our immediate area that caused such devastation in other parts of Tasmania. However, then one day it even snowed not that far from us and the wind had the bite of winter once more - but that is Tasmanian weather!

  Music elective lead us in a special worship song
they had been developing in their elective.
 Usually we had guitars, saxophone, drums
and great freedom in worship "styles".

Three of the glass furnaces inside the new Arts centre building.  
We enjoyed a glass blowing demonstration during one session and a tour of the rest of the huge building still under construction for various other expressions of art.

Two writers pause for the camera
Later we organise the group photo

Will I go again next year? Most certainly if I am able to - and there is need once more for this elective. A week away in early January may not always be possible. All this fabulous week is done by volunteers - who still need to help pay for their accommodation and food. This year Omega Writers were able to sponsor me with a donation of money which was really tremendous!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

ACRBA A Simple Mistake

7 – 11 January
is introducing

(Even Before Publishing - a Division of Wombat Books -1 April 2012)

Andrea Grigg
About the Author:
Andrea Grigg grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, but has lived most of her life in Australia. She lives with her husband on Queensland's Gold Coast, where they have raised their three adult children – two daughters and a son. If she isn't teaching ten-year-olds, being a domestic executive or socialising, Andrea can be found in her cave, writing stories.

Short Book Description:
When Nick and Lainey meet again after 10 years so much has changed. Nick is now a famous celebrity and Lainey is the girl he left behind. As a member of a highly successful band and with an emerging acting career Nick can have any girl he wants. Now he wants Lainey back.
They had been so close when growing up, but after Nick left to seek fame and fortune, Lainey had never heard from him again. Now she has moved on from what she felt for Nick as a teenager. Or has she?
After discovering what kept them apart for so long, they tentatively rekindle their past romance. The feelings are just as strong as before but can Lainey accept Nick's lack of faith? And can their new relationship survive Lainey's secret?
Genre: Contemporary Fiction 

Mary says:

I was very privileged to read one of the first manuscript drafts for this first novel by Andrea. When I eventually read the published book I realised how hard she has worked honing her writing ability to give us a really great read. This book could very easily have a spin off and I do hope one day it will be the “right” time for her to write it. I actually asked her what she is currently working on and she shared the following:

Andrea says:

As far as my next book is concerned, I've tentatively entitled it 'No Angel'. Hope to have it finished in a few months time. Sorry but it's not the sequel to 'A Simple Mistake' but that one is definitely cooking so it could well be the next one I'll complete.

'No Angel' is about a stunningly beautiful young lady, who runs into trouble just because she is in fact so beautiful. Women are threatened by her, men are attracted to her and she just doesn't get a fair go - in Christian circles as well as anywhere else. She imposes a man-ban on herself the same day she runs into Daniel, an equally attractive Christian doctor who has issues of his own

Mary says:

Sounds like another intriguing story, Andrea. I personally look forward very much to seeing another Andrea Grigg Inspirational Romance available on bookshelves - and also as an e-book too -as this one is.