I’m so excited to kick off the blog tour for Mary DeMuth’s Wishing on Dandelions, which is available, for the first time, TODAY! Wishing on Dandelions is the sequel to Mary’s critically acclaimed first novel, Watching the Tree Limbs.
Set against the backdrop of a small Texas town, Maranatha maneuvers her seventeenth year still haunted by the sexual abuse of her childhood. But you’ll have to read Wishing on Dandelions to discover Maranatha’s story. We’re here today to talk to the author (and my friend), Mary DeMuth.
Me: Mary, this book deals with difficult subject matter: childhood sexual abuse and its residual affects. How did this book emerge?
Mary: My passion is to write about redemption through the avenue of story. I started the first book, Watching the Tree Limbs, in a flurry. In my mind I saw the streets of Burl and a girl who didn’t know where she came from. Because my personal story involves different instances of sexual abuse, I wanted to write a story that showed the reader how God could intersect an abuse-victim’s life and make a difference.
Me: So why another Maranatha novel?
Mary: Well, she kept talking to me, that persistent girl! I sold two books to NavPress, one being Watching the Tree Limbs and another yet-to-be-determined. I asked if they'd be willing to do another Maranatha, and they agreed. It's been my heart in these books to show the progression of difficulty and yet God's healing for a victim of childhood sexual abuse. So it made sense that I set the book when Maranatha is seventeen, that awkward time romance and love enter into the equation.
Me: What made you choose East Texas as the setting for both novels?
Mary: The South fascinates me. I grew up in the Northwest. When my last child was born, my husband was transferred to East Texas to start a department in a hospital. Because I was a stay-at-home mom and home schooling, I didn’t have much else to do there except to observe small town southern culture. Because I didn’t grow up in that culture, my senses were heightened and I eventually began to really appreciate the differences.
Me: What is your favorite part about writing novels--initial draft, re-writing, marketing, etc.?
Mary: Definitely the initial draft. Writing it on the fly is intoxicating to me. I feel my head's about to explode with characters and plotting points, so as I sit at the computer, everything nearly vomits out onto the page-a true creative rush.
Me: 4. What is one thing people don't know about you that you wish they did?
Mary: That though I write edgy fiction, I'm not edgy or contentious.
Me: What do you want your reader to take away from Wishing on Dandelions?
Mary: That redemption of a broken life takes time. We’re all on a journey of healing. Sometimes it’s slow going, but if we can endure through the dark times, God will bring us to new places of growth. I want the images and characters to stay with a reader for a long time.
I love hearing the voice and ideas of the writer behind the stories. I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Mary DeMuth a little better. She is worth knowing. And her books are worth reading.