Welcome back, I'm so glad you could join us. Today I'm interviewing MaryLu Tyndall, author of excerpt B: The Redemption. So grab your favorite snack, put up your feet, and visit awhile.
MaryLu dreamt of tall ships and swashbuckling pirates during her childhood years on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Unfortunately, instead of pursuing that dream, she worked as a miserable, landlocked software engineer for fifteen years. Only by the grace and providence of God, did she decide to answer His call to write a Christian Pirate series. Today, while writing her eleventh novel, she manages a home, husband, and six kids while battling three cats who have decided that her keyboard is the best place to sleep! She believes that without popcorn and chocolate, life would not be worth living, and her sole motivation is to bring others closer to God.
Michelle: MaryLu, I can already tell you're going to be lots of fun! What is it about "the high seas" that called you to write this story?
MaryLu: I've always been in love with the sea! I used to spend hours as a child sitting on the warm beaches of South Florida, dreaming of romantic tall ships and adventures at sea. There's something so mysterious, alluring, wild, and majestic about the sea. Though man has learned to float upon its waters, the sea remains an untameable frontier. The age of tall ships when man first began to cross the sea and discover new lands is such an exciting time. I knew if I ever wrote a novel, it would have to be, in part, set upon the sea.
Michelle: Your enthusiasm is contagious, MaryLu. =) Now, to focus on your story, a great many of us grew up with absent fathers or a parental break-up, and it's often a source of pain into adulthood. How did Charlisse manage to forgive and love her father despite his hurtful treatment of her?
MaryLu: Only by the strength and love of God can any of us truly forgive those who have hurt us, especially if that hurt has come from a parent or spouse. Charlisse had a glimpse into the broken man behind her father's vicious exterior, a man destroyed by what he thought was rejection, a man terribly wounded and desperate for love. So often, we judge others by what they do and say, and especially by the way they have hurt us, but we don't really see that on the inside they are miserable and suffering. God is the only One who can show us a person's soul and then give us the ability to forgive and love that person, no matter what they've done.
Michelle: Edward lived a very harsh life, though he repented in the end. What do you think drove him to choose his violent path? How did he justify it to himself?
MaryLu: Edward believed a terrible lie. He believed that the one woman he loved, the woman he had married and who bore his only child, had left him because he didn't make enough money. Consequently, he became angry and bitter and instead of seeking the truth or forgiveness, he decided to feed his rage by hurting all those around him. He turned toward the darkness and kept moving in the wrong direction until his soul was cauterized by evil and he had no conscience anymore. He believed that by hurting others, his own pain would grow numb, but he was only lying to himself.
Michelle: Do you know a real-life Charlisse who either extended undeserved grace or witnessed a last-moment salvation?
MaryLu: I don't know anyone who has witnessed a last-moment salvation, but I do have a friend who, much like Charlisse, has extended a hand of forgiveness and love to a father who abandoned the family for a younger woman, ruined her brother's and sister's lives, and forced her mother to work standing on her feet all day when she was old and ill. When people tell me there is no God, I like to point them to my friend, because without God, we humans aren't capable of such grace and forgiveness!
Michelle: Amen to that. What's your favorite fan comment you've received for The Redemption?
MaryLu: I received a letter from a teenage girl telling me that The Redemption prompted her to start reading the Bible her parents had bought her, which eventually led her to give her life to Jesus. I love these type of letters! They always bring tears to my eyes and I'm always astounded that God can use my books to bring people to Him!
Michelle: Wow, you can't ask for anything better than that. So what's next? What should we keep an eye out for from you?
MaryLu: I have two books coming out this summer. A novella co-authored with Kim Vogel Sawyer, Ronie Kendig and Dineen Miller called Central Park Rendezvous and a full length novel called Veil of Pearls set in Charleston, SC in 1811 about a runaway slave from Barbados, who doesn't appear black, but who falls in love with the spoiled son of wealthy plantation owner and gets swept away in the glitz and glamor of Charleston society without anyone knowing her true identity!
Michelle: Ooh, fun. What a great list of authors. MaryLu, it was so fun getting to know you today. Do you have a question for our readers before we say goodbye?
MaryLu: Yes. What is your favorite all time book? And please give me three reasons why.
Michelle: You heard her, now it's your turn. Leave your answer in the comments, or ask the author a question, and you'll be entered into Friday's book drawing. Tweeting or sharing the link on facebook gives you even better odds so let us know if you do that. Thanks for stopping by!