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Interview with author Maryann Landers

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I’m excited to introduce Maryann Landers, the Award Winning Author of the Alaskan Women of Caliber Series. Today we’ll get to learn about her books but she also has some interesting personal stories from living in Alaska that you’ll want to learn about on her blog!

Bio: Alaskan based author Maryann Landers writes women’s faith filled fiction based on true stories of extraordinary women of her magnificent state. She loves to showcase the unique north and give her readers a little taste of rustic Alaska.

            While writing in her log home in the woods she is also looking forward to her next adventure with her Alaskan husband, juggling mom tasks such as crafting homemade meals from moose and caribou meat, building DIY projects from scrap wood piles and guiding her teens in their homeschooling.

            To learn about her inspiration to write Alaskan based stories read her blog at her website. Her first novel in the Alaskan Women of Caliber Series; Alaskan Calibration released June 2021.

Please tell us about your current release
The back cover copy is always some of the hardest writing for me so I hate to miss an opportunity to let it spotlight the story:

“Emily Corentin wants to escape the jagged edges of her brokenness. She believes the only option she has is to take her young daughter, leave her husband, and end the unintended pregnancy with an abortion. But her plans take an unexpected turn when the homeless shelter she finds is not the type of help she wanted. She’d buried religion years ago with the death of her Gran. Any God-fearing place will only confirm how much God abandoned her.
An offer from a shelter volunteer may be the lifeline she and her daughter need, but Emily only sees it as a means to an end. The unlikely friendship that follows, draws her closer to the answers she may have carried with her all along. But rash decisions bring new challenges that drag her further into a sea of helplessness.
When all hope is lost in despair will she be washed away by the patterns of her past? Or will she answer the call to embrace the mercy of the cross and in turn bring reconciliation to her marriage?”

What inspired you to write this book?
This novel is inspired by a true story of a young mom that I met over 13 years ago and walked alongside her during a difficult time of her life.

Excerpt from the book:

I walked past the gate of the military base, leaving behind my resolve as fighter jets blasted overhead, taunting me as they took flight. The faint fluttering inside my belly reminded me of why I put one foot in front of the other on this dank April morning. I will escape the hold on my life. I will find a way out.

Earlier in the day, my husband, Eric, had slammed the bedroom door in response to my accusations, which only echoed the lies I’d held back from him.

Now, I shook my head in disgust as I watched my feet to avoid scattered puddles on the sidewalk. I yearned for my weary legs to whisk me away. But to where?

Anchorage had had no pull on me when Eric announced a year ago that we were moving there from Prince of Wales Island, the area of Southeast Alaska where I had grown up. The idea of even colder and darker days had been the only picture flashing across my mind when he’d mentioned the largest city in the state. However, his commitment to the National Guard propelled us north. He’d agreed to a remote assignment within the state shortly after our move, and the luminous Chugach Mountains never brought me the comfort I needed. Left at home, on base and alone, I yearned to escape what had become a prison of isolation as we grew farther apart.

“Mommy, where we go?” My daughter, Destiny, tugged at my hand as she resisted my guidance around a sloppy mess.

A car splattered water in our direction as it passed.

After we maneuvered across the gritty pavement, I knelt by her and brushed back the strands of brown hair that slipped out from her hood and covered half her face. “We’re going on a walk, baby girl.”

She squeezed her eyes tight at my gentle touch. At only three and a half years old, she’d weathered storms I’d hoped to shield her from. But here we stood, the two of us, taking advantage of her dad’s planned absence to find some kind of a solution.

What’s next for your book or future plans you’d like to share?
That’s always a good question. I try to write with God and have Him lead and guide me each step. Right now I’m in the interview process for my next protagonist. I already have the main theme of the book but not all the details are sorted out just yet.

What got you interested in writing things for others to read?
I shot my first moose! I go into detail on my website about the experience and how it made me think of all the amazing women that I’m surrounded by here in Alaska. Sounds like a crazy way to start writing Christian women’s fiction but I really think that each of us has an amazing story to share of how God has taken extraordinary events in our lives and uses them to draw us to Himself.

What’s one challenge you had to overcome to write this book?
For this particular title I had a hard time up until the middle because I didn’t want to scare readers away by the content and have them hate the protagonist. The character needed empathy for us to want to root for her. Also there is a lot of spiritual warfare about this topic of right to life and I know I have a battle on my hands with that too.

Do you write full-time? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Writing is something that I do part time. At this stage of life with my husband and kids I’m a multitasking as a stay at home mom. I juggle a lot of tasks, wow how do I list them all? From all the usual mom work, guiding my kiddos in school, correcting school work I take on whatever we have going on. For example, this past spring and summer my husband and I fixed up a toy-hauler RV and I re-did all the upholstery work. I also love woodworking and doing construction work on our house. I find time to write because I’m a crazy woman when it comes to goal setting. I set goals backwards and carve out daily increments to reach writing and editing goals.

As a child, did you think you’d be writer? Or what did you want to be when you grew up?
Being a writer wasn’t on my radar growing up I wanted to be a nurse and I did work as an RN for 4 years.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d love for you to get a taste for my stories by downloading a free short story. If you go to my website and subscribe to my almost weekly newsletter you’ll receive a free e-book.

What’s something fun you like to do outside of writing?
I like to do Bible studies, go over to my friend’s house for coffee, go for walks and in the summer I love to dip net for salmon.

Are you part of a writer’s group and if so, how has it helped?
Yes, I am part of a writers group here in my little town with 3 other ladies.  We are all part of a book club and one friend started writing and encouraged the others to work on publishing their stories. Soon we were meeting weekly and cheering each other on. We’re all independently published authors except for our one friend who hopes to publish traditionally. It’s helped so much to walk together through all the learning involved with writing, editing, marketing and even email automation. There’s so much to learn and it’s great to have friends who understand the challenges.

How can Readers connect with you?

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