Featured Interview With Mary Elizabeth Fricke
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I’m a farm girl having lived all of my life within five miles of the Missouri River. My husband and I own and operate a cattle/grain farm that has been in his family for five generations. We have two grown sons married to wonderful girls and two beautiful grandchildren.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I have been writing ‘stuff’ for as long as I can remember. I remember thinking up stories from early childhood while I road my bike or played. Problem with those stories is that they were never written down. These days I tend to write everything and anything to prevent myself from forgetting the important things.
My mother is responsible for my passion with reading. She read to me as I grew up. We shared countless books through the years, especially historical romances. My sons tell me one of their fondest memories of ‘Grandma’ is the way she read to them. She would characterize the voices, speaking like Huck Fin and many other characters of the stories she read. That loving memory of my mother is one I cherish with my sons.
Mom was delighted when she discovered I wanted to write and she encouraged me to do so. Mom was a published poet; although she never collected a penny for the poems she wrote, she had several printed in magazines or anthologies. Once she even won an award for one of her poems. That plaque hung on her living room wall. Mom wrote to provide enjoyment for others. And indeed, we spent many an hour laughing over her whimsical rhymes. That is something that has stuck with me in my own writing. Writing for money is good…if you can do it. Most of us don’t make enough to support ourselves as writers. First and foremost, one must to write to inform or to entertain. I rather enjoy trying to entertain people….just like my mom did.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favorite novel of all time is Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I tend to read romance of all kinds, historical, contemporary, paranormal, science fiction, etc. But Ashes in the Wind tops them all because of Mrs. Woodiwiss’s talent for drawing a reader into her story as if the reader is watching, feeling, what the characters are experiencing. Another favorite author is Erma Bombeck. Mrs. Bombeck’s talent for poking fun at herself and the common things in life while stressing what is most important was phenomenal.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My recent publications surround a series collectively titled ‘Birds in Peril’
Description: Five women met, fell in love with and married men who aided the arrest and subsequent imprisonment of Sheldon Humsler. Even though the events that disrupted their lives, did not necessarily involve Humsler, they certainly invoked the conviction that one day Humsler would find a way to enact his revenge. All of these women and the men they married are in some way closely connected to Humsler’s arch enemies, Benton Cromwell, T.J. Harvester and Thad Hunt. Because of Humsler, Benton Cromwell’s life and livelihood has become so precarious he now lives as an invalid on borrowed time. However, his friends, T.J. Harvester and Thad Hunt continue to grow in family and in deed. Both are well loved by many. The time is near when a final confrontation with Humsler must occur. Humsler has an accomplice…someone closely connected to Hunt…but who could that possibly be?
Previously published in this Birds in Peril Series:
Pigeon in a Snare (Lisa’s story) He was her knight in shining armor. She was his lost love—the one girl with whom life might have been worth sharing—if another had not told lies deliberately intended to separate them. Now her life is in serious danger. Can he save her? Is their lost love worth the blood and tears it will take to salvage not only themselves but their families and their businesses─ and rekindle the love they lost?
Roses for the Sparrow (Jani’s story) It was bad enough that her best friend/employer took off on an extended honeymoon leaving Jani to oversee the building of their new business alone. But in strolls this tall, dark, handsome contractor who makes it clear he intends to become the center of Jani’s attention. Why is he the one who continually finds long stemmed roses on her car or at her door? What kind of admirer leaves expensive roses to freeze on windshields or be trampled on the floor? Some girls have all the luck- or maybe that’s no luck at all. How often does a girl have two stalkers after her at the same time?
Plight of the Wren (Susie’s story) Susie Wrener’s life became front page news when her abusive husband put her in the hospital and sent himself to jail. Three years later, life has returned to mundane, while Susie struggles to maintain a peaceful loving home for her two children as a single mom. Then she meets Ted Harvester and wins the lottery in the same week…
Robin Unaware (Stephanie’s story) is the most recently published, Jan 2016. Life is constant change, sometimes planned, sometimes instant and devastating. For Stephanie Harvester-Garrett, life takes an abrupt curve when her husband is killed in a car accident. The dream of living a peaceful country life is interrupted by unexpected ghosts of the past, and hatred spawned in the name of love.
#5 titled Wise, Bold Eagle is Sylvia’s story. Sylvia Pentherst is the fifth woman to marry into the Hunt-Harvester-Cromwell group. A widow in her mid-fifties, she survived years of hardship caring for her invalid husband and raising her three sons. Her seemingly settled life takes a turn toward unpredictable when she leaves the comfort of managing County Hospital Housekeeping for the chaos of opening and maintaining two novelty shops along with Lisa, Jani, Susie and Stephanie. Is it really possible to find that second chance at love with Thad Hunt?
Wise, Bold Eagle is slated to be published in 2017
At present, I am working to finish a story that has been with me for many years. Sweet Pea
“To one man she gave her virginity; to another she gave her heart. One, she would mourn. With the other, she would share life’s triumph and turmoil. With both she would endure times of love, and passion and complete happiness as well as times of despair, confusion, and sorrow. One day at a time—each day, building unforgettable memories. ”
Set in rural Missouri, Sweet Pea, it is a story for those who remember the profound cultural changes and historical events that took place in the later part of the 20th Century. It is especially written for those with rural backgrounds, who understand the continual mental and physical effort it takes to maintain a family farm (then and now). Sweet Pea is a nostalgic story of growing up; of forging lifelong friendships and loyalty within family that supports every life event, good or bad. It is a story of love that binds a man and a woman despite all odds. It is also a story of obsessive hatred and how such hatred destroys not only the innocent, but those who hate.
Sweet Pea is slated to be published before Wise, Bold Eagle.
The first four ebooks of the Birds in Peril Series are available now from Amazon.com
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