We’ve all had those days. The days when we are feeling like we need a shift, a change, something new. What if you were brave enough to explore that shift? What if you actually made a change and did what you wanted to? I would like to introduce you to Mary Weber: YA Author, mother, wife and resident of a sleepy little town on California’s Central Coast. Guess what she did? She shifted. Let’s read on:
Poppyseed: Welcome, Mary! So tell us, how you got into writing as a profession?
Mary Weber: "Hi there - thanks for having me! And let's see...About nine years ago I went through a season of pausing on life. Like, I sort of just internally sat down and stared out the window for a few months - at the autumn leaves, the sky, the roads leading home. I remember telling my husband, “I know who I am as a mom, wife, youth pastor, friend, but I can’t seem to find the rest of me.” During that time I began to write as a way to discover more of the woman in me and to explore her view of life and enjoy the beauty she sees in the souls of others. And then . . . I just never stopped. Four years later I was picked up by a publisher at HarperCollins after 36 months of writing and one year of agent rejections (87 to be exact) for a book I've never shown anyone since. I've now written five novels for Harper (the Storm Siren Trilogy - which is out, and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series - the first of which just came out!), and I have a sixth I haven't decided the concept on yet, that I'll begin writing in August.
PS: Congrats on the new book! So exciting to be talking to you right after its release. Can you tell us what a day in the life of Mary Weber is like?
MW: *laughs* Like most moms, it's pretty wrapped around kid schedules. I have an 11-year-old, 15-year-old, and a 17-year-old who's just finished her first year of college, and I also work with teens in my side job. So my day looks a lot like getting the younger two out the door to school, orthodontist appointments, practices, and their friends – or having a houseful of teens sprawled out across my kitchen and couches. In the between hours, I try to switch between whichever book is in the works, editing, phone calls with the publisher and publicists, and traveling to book events, school visits, and conferences.
PS: What about any advice would you give aspiring writers? Top three pieces of advice?
MW: (1) Read and write – even when you’re not in the mood, because it’s the only way we grow at it. (2) Join a critique group because they will help shape your stories. (3) Dig into your soul until you find your own story and voice—the one that’s scared of what people will think or tries to put on the grown-up shoes so no one will know you’re secretly insecure. Because we’re all insecure. But when you tap into the dreams and fears, and give that hidden self a voice? It’ll begin to sing. And that is where I believe our stories take on heart.
PS: While all of your books are in the Young Adult genre, they are very different. Where do you find inspiration for each book?
MW: People. Life. It’s heartbursts and heartbreaks. Beautiful prose. Being home in the country quiet or sharing an evening of wine and bonfires with friends. My children’s belly laughter. My husband’s goodness. The teens I work with. Injustice. And so much music.
PS: Why YA novels?
MW: The authenticity. There’s such a non-judgmental, raw honesty to the voice and characters that say, “I see your soul, and here’s mine, in the midst of life’s messy story. Let’s be friends.”
PS: You’re newest book hit shelves just a few weeks ago! Tell us a bit about “The Evaporation of Sofi Snow.”
MW: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is about a gamer girl, the brother she loves, and a playboy ambassador who may or may not know more than he’s saying about that beloved brother’s disappearance. Basically, it’s a fun, fast-paced geekfest for lovers of Ender’s Game, Taken, and The Hunger Games. I like stories that remind us of who we are as beautiful human beings while exploring rich topics. In Sofi, we examine today’s hot mess of a political climate, human trafficking, diversity, family relationships, and what would happen if an alien ice-planet suddenly appeared behind our moon.
PS: Watch Her Hustle is all about empowering women entrepreneurs such as yourself. Who would you say has empowered you?
MW: My mother. She is a powerhouse of wisdom, love, and so much creativity (she does everything from counseling and writing books, to designing websites and webinars, to keeping up on whatever the latest marketing trends are).
PS: Annnd just for the heck of it, what show do you love to binge watch on Netflix?
MW: Psych! Especially when I’m on deadline. It makes me laugh, love, and not think too hard after a long writing day. <3
PS: You heard it friends! Check out Psych on Netflix, read more, write even if you don’t feel like it and check out Mary Weber’s newest book “The Evaporation of Sofi Snow” available now. Oh! And be sure to follow Mary on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for more glimpses of her hustling. Until next time!