Thursday, July 11, 2013

Blog Tour: Review & Interview The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers

Please welcome author Mary Ann Rivers who joins us today as she promotes her debut novella, The Story Guy.  Enjoy our interview with her after my thoughts on the book. Also make sure to check out her giveaway at the end of the post!!

Author: Mary Ann Rivers
Publisher: Loveswept
Date of publication: July 2013

Carrie West is happy with her life . . . isn’t she? But when she sees this provocative online ad, the thirty-something librarian can’t help but be tempted. After all, the photo of the anonymous poster is far too attractive to ignore. And when Wednesday finally arrives, it brings a first kiss that’s hotter than any she’s ever imagined. Brian Newburgh is an attorney, but there’s more to his life . . . that he won't share with Carrie. Determined to have more than just Wednesdays, Carrie embarks on a quest to learn Brian’s story, certain that he will be worth the cost. But is she ready to gamble her heart on a man who just might be The One . . . even though she has no idea how their love story will end?
My thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed The Story Guy.  I really knew nothing about it going into the book.  I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the story was a unique and well written.  I just wish it had been longer as I usually do with novellas I enjoy.  I wanted to see what happened next with Carrie and Brian.

Carrie answers a personal ad to meet a man in the park on Wednesdays to spend the time kissing only.  When she meets Brian for the first time, the kiss turns into something more than either of them expected.  The problem is that Brian has an obligation that doesn't leave him much time for himself.  Once the obligation is revealed, you can't help but feel so badly for Brian.  It's hard to see someone sacrifice so much of themselves and never take anything in return. I was really rooting for him. The ending for me was bittersweet and I found myself tearing up.  This is definitely a good debut and one worth checking out!

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Mary Ann: I actually cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn’t reading and writing stories. I wrote poems, little books, plays, movies. I was always thinking of stories, and I was always trying to get my friends and cousins to act out the stories in my head. 

I will confess though, that the ember that started to glow, deep down inside of me, the one that even if I banked it, it would always come back to life, was lit just the way Carrie’s was, in THE STORY GUY. I was in a library, deep in some pocket of the stacks, reading Wilson Rawls, and for the first time, a book made me cry, and I couldn’t believe it was possible. I couldn’t believe that something someone made with words could get inside of you and make you feel like that, even though I was so addicted to stories and story-making I would walk down the street with my nose in a book. I cried and cried in that little library nook and I felt it, the burn to do that, to make people feel something with the stories that I told them.

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Mary Ann: Ideas are the thing I have no trouble with. I collect ideas, I wonder about ideas, I make lists of them, and then throw away the lists, and think of ideas that I believe are better. Mostly, they come to me at night, when I’m trying to sleep, looking up into the dark room. It’s my favorite time of day, actually, and it’s when the best ideas come to me—usually in the form of a heroine.

Also, ideas come from people, from working with them, serving them when they are my patients, making friends with them, loving them, being interested in them. I write very realistic books, and so I pay a lot of attention to reality, happily.

Life is just so very interesting. Ideas are inevitable.

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Mary Ann: Late this fall I will appear in a holiday anthology with another novella. There are still reveals that are Loveswept’s to make about the anthology but, oh, readers are going to be so happy, and thrilled, and excited. I think it’s really special. I feel honored to appear with the other authors—so honored! I have a Christmas story for that anthology and there is a way the story is a variation of a few of the threads and themes of THE STORY GUY—what we see and don’t see, what choices we make for ourselves and love, what loss means in our lives, and of course, an extremely strong and smart heroine and the man who is fascinated by her.

January I debut with my first novel—it is a standalone, but will be followed by other books with interconnected characters. THE STORY GUY, the holiday anthology story, and my upcoming contemporary series share the same setting—a large, Midwest, rustbelt town. The series’ characters are siblings in a working class family—the Burnsides. I love this family, and in the first book the heroine is one of the middle sisters. I will leak ONE spoiler—Carrie has a little walk on.

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Mary Ann: Anne of Green Gables. I was so fascinated by her as a child. We both had difficult childhoods, and she found this home, on this beautiful island, and yet she never tried to forget all the things that had been so hard for her, all the ways she had been mistreated, it was a part of her. She let it be a part of her. Even as she loved her adopted family and her friends, even as she came of age and found herself, she let herself grieve for what she had lost.

She was just so tenaciously herself. It wasn’t always easy to be Anne. She could be awkward and strange and burdened by her own bigness. She just kept claiming it though. Over and over. She claimed herself, stood up for herself. Owned her place in the world.

She lost, too. She lost love, and friends, she lost her first child. Tremendous grief. But she was so in love with the world, and what was in it.

Both my husband and I are brunettes, and I had a little red-headed boy. Even though I know better, and that he has red hair because both my husband and I carry the red hair allele in our genes, I like to think it’s because of Anne, and what she taught me was possible about giving over to a belief that life is beautiful. My son’s red hair was that message, maybe. Just a little. In a magical Anne-girl sort of way.

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Mary Ann: A bonobo. For reasons. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.

Connect with Mary Ann:  Website  |  Twitter |  Facebook

1 comment:

Kim said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I keep hearing good things about this novella.