Thursday, April 25, 2013


Sometimes it takes years to write a book, but some authors complete them in a few weeks. What keeps them going? Do characters with a story to tell invade writers' minds without notice? Or is it a concentrated effort by a wordsmith? Is it different for Christian writers who feel a call to share the gospel through their books, although it is fiction? How does conflict arise?

Here our guest, author Mary L. Ball, tells how her book Escape to Big Fork Lake grew from the first word on the page to a creation that drops the reader into another time and place, wheres she meets interesting people and shares their joys, challenges and trouble -- and comes to the last page with satisfaction because of the enjoyable experience.

If you would like to ask Mary L. Ball a question, comment on this post.

Where did you get the idea for Escape to Big Fork Lake?
I was cleaning house one day and thinking about a get-away at the lake. The next thing I knew I was plotting out Samantha’s fictional world. And of course, since I love suspense mingled with romance she needed to face a problem.
How did you decide on the setting? Did you need to do research?
Big Fork Lake is a fictional town, but the location of the town being surrounded by a lake is from my research of the lakes in Alabama.
did you create character profiles? How did you do that?
I do create profiles, but they’re all in my head I “picture” the character. I tried to list my person’s trait- but that doesn’t work to well for me.  
Is an inheritance a natural for conflict?
No I wouldn’t think so. In Sam’s case, it was her saving grace. Not only did the inheritance give her a way out of her trouble. It gave her a secure future, a man to enjoy life with and most important the opportunity to get to know God’s mercy.
Was creating risk and danger easy or difficult? Did putting your characters into danger ever make your own skin prickle as you wrote?
Only God knows why I choose to put Sam into such a situation. I just wrote as it came about in my thoughts.  Personally, I don’t like conflict; I’m one of those women who always tries to keep the peace. Battles of any sort emotionally drain me.
Did you hate to let these complications happen to your character (name)?
Yes, I did.  I wanted Sam to live in a polly-anna world, but life isn’t like that.
Was it difficult to get your characters out of danger after the crisis occurred?
 No, I was so glad to have Sam overcome the accusations. Actually, I should have made it harder, but I’m a softie.
How long did it take to write the book, including preliminary work?
Totally time was eight months (first draft.) That’s mainly because I keep my grandkids, have an aging mother with problems, church responsibilities and still need to maintain household duties. I wish I could lock myself in my office and write for seven hours a day then I could accomplish all that runs around in my head a lot sooner.
Do you have advice for struggling novelists out there?
Yes, don’t give up. It took almost two years and a lot of prayer to get a contract from a publisher. Thank goodness my publisher was willing to take on a new author and show the patience of Job as I learned, and I am still acquiring knowledge as a writer.
What is the Christian/inspirational take-away?
For me, it’s about tackling issues that most Christians won’t. I feel pushed to bring situations to the readers showing we all face adversity, no matter who we are. My second novel is a different take over the power of dreams in a Christian realm and my current work in progress, is about an alcoholic. That particular subject has kept me researching for hours to get inside the heads of people with addictions and their fight to overcome.   


Escape to Big Fork Lake

Will an inheritance bring new happiness or a trap for murder?

 Bad luck seems to follow Sam Blacker. She loses her job and faces daily struggles keeping her drunken neighbor away from her. When an unexpected inheritance gives her a chance for a new beginning, Sam, a city girl at heart, is hesitant. However, after a brutal attack she has no choice.

Making a decision that will forever change her life she flees to the small fishing town of Big Fork Lake, Alabama and soon finds herself in the arms of Noah Frye. A tumultuous relationship with Noah sparks buried desires of the heart, even if he is a Christian, surely, she can get around that little problem.

As Sam and Noah’s passion grows trouble lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching. Inescapable, Sam’s bad luck returns when she stumbles upon a murder and becomes the only suspect. Will she have to run again, this time to stay out of prison? Worse, will she lose the best man she’s ever found? And what about the newfound hunger in heart to know God—can she truly trust in Him?

Mary L Ball
I enjoy plunking away at the keys, weaving together Inspirational Suspense and Mystery Novels as well as writing a weekly Christian article.

I live in North Carolina between the wondrous mountains and beautiful beaches. Every chance I get to explore these two picturesque places I travel three hours (in either direction) and bask in the splendor. I love the outdoors; there is much creativity to look at which sparks my imagination. My family life is always busy so writing is a way of retreat for me.

My most favorite pastime is fishing and of course, reading, not necessarily in that order and often together.

One of my dislikes is labels. I am a Christian who strives to follow Jesus and his teachings. By no means am I perfect and that’s why I am thankful for God's forgiving mercy.

My Christian articles can be found at

You can visit me at  to read about my next novel.
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