Book Launch–with Pictures!

Last Friday, Passport to Murder, the second book in my Prof. Prather Mystery series, launched. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since book one was published. The time has flown by. Immersed in the world of Copper Bluff, I’ve been living the dream I’ve had since I was a young girl: to write.

The crazy thing is I didn’t feel as if I had permission to write until I had a writing contract. Someone says you can write, so now you do. If only writers didn’t need permission, I wonder how many others would come forward. How many, like the women of Tillie Olsen’s Silences, remain unheard? Olsen reminds us, “We must not speak of women writers in our century […] without speaking also of the invisible, the as-innately-capable; the born to wrong circumstances—diminished, excluded, foundered, silenced” (39).

Fortunately, I never quit writing. I toyed around with one piece of writing or another (novels, short stories, children’s books) but always in the wee hours of the morning or at night or around the kids’ schedule. It came dead last, if and when I had time. Still, I persisted (admission: I’ve been wanting to write that line for a long time). Some days, I wish I’d been as persistent about publication as writing, for publishing my work has given me a second education. It has taught me so much about writing, reading, and even friendship. It’s hard to imagine how my views on all three could change within a year, but they have and drastically.

I no longer put writing last. Next to raising my children, it’s the most important thing I do every day. Though I still preface
most of my interactions with my teaching experience, I’m getting better at saying I’m a writer. I’m learning new things about my craft and the mystery genre. And I’m becoming a better friend to those people who have supported me in ways I never expected. Without them, the hard days would be that much harder, and I’m so grateful to have them in my life.

Looking back on this time, I can’t wait to see what the next year brings. I hope it brings new readers, for they have taught me much also. They have taught me to see my work through a new lens, theirs, and brought to the writing desk one thing I’ve never had before: an audience. I hope they continue this journey with me, a road we travel uniquely together.



  1. Sharon Engberg on September 23, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    What a great blog! I enjoyed reading so much!

    • Mary Angela on September 24, 2017 at 12:31 pm

      Thank you, Sharon. I appreciate it!

  2. Cindy Kapfer on September 24, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    It was great meeting you yesterday. I look forward to reading the books and getting more when you publish them. I started the first one.

    • Mary Angela on September 24, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      Thank you for coming yesterday, Cindy! I am so grateful for my readers. Please keep in touch!

  3. Sandy Hamman on September 24, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    It was great meeting you in person yesterday. I started reading “An Act of Murder” as soon as I got home from the bookstore. It’s rare that I let a brand new book wiggle its way to the front of the line ahead of so many books that have been patiently waiting their turn for years. I haven’t regretted it though. I am on chapter six, and I have to say that I just love your writing style. Everything flows beautifully, I feel like I’m right there in the book with the characters, and the conversations are so natural. Those are three things I truly love in any book. This is a page-turner!

    • Mary Angela on September 24, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Sandy! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book. It was wonderful to meet you and Phil in person. I hope to see your upcoming presentation on Gitchie Girl in November at Prairie West library.

  4. Jane Healy on September 25, 2017 at 12:13 am

    Looking forward to spending more time with Professor Prather. Congratulations on the new book!

    • Mary Angela on September 25, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Thank you, Jane. I appreciate it and am looking forward to my library visit on October 12. See you then!

  5. Samantha Engberg on October 7, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Great pictures! You have a beautiful family Mary. See you at the library October 12th! 🙂

    • Mary Angela on October 7, 2017 at 9:07 am

      Thank you, Samantha! I’m looking forward to the library discussion. And thanks for all your support. It means a lot.

  6. Carolyn Paul Branch on October 7, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Hello, Mary! You are so right! We women usually put our writing last, after husband, children, and work, and still feel bad about the late-night time we snatch for ourselves It would be great if that attitude ended with my generation, but if you felt it, the mother-writer guilt must still be with us.

    I stopped by your blog to get acquainted before we meet in person at Magna in a few weeks. It’s my first time, so I thought it would be good to browse the website and learn as much as I can ahead of time.

    I’m looking forward to the conference. It looks like it will be fun!

    • Mary Angela on October 7, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Hi Carolyn! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I was at Magna last year and loved it. I’m looking forward to meeting you this year. I just checked out your panels on the schedule. See you then!

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