Wide Open Spaces: Mary Connealy Interview

Wildflower Bride smTo kick off this series of posts interviewing some awesome novelists, I’d like to welcome Mary Connealy! Mary writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is the author of the Lassoed in Texas series: Petticoat Ranch, the Christy Award-nominated Calico Canyon, and Gingham Mountain. Her newest series is Montana Marriages:  Montana Rose, The Husband Tree, and upcoming book three, Wildflower Bride. A stand-alone romantic comedy with cowboys, Cowboy Christmas, released in September. Black Hills Blessing, a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, is in bookstores now.

What do you wish you knew about promotion before your first novel came out?Black Hills Blessing sm

Well, the main thing was what a surprise it was. I just had no idea it would be such a big part of getting a book published. I’ve tried very hard to do my share of promotion, but I really didn’t expect it to be so many hours of my time. I’ve found I enjoy it though, so a NICE surprise.

Which has worked best for spreading the word about your novel, online promotion (website, email lists, social networking) or offline promotion (direct mail, booksignings, media ads)? Why?

I felt like so much of what I learned came through ACFW, American Christian Fiction Writers. I learned so much about all of those things from that group. I do a large amount of promotion online, through my blogs and a newsletter and social networking, I consider it all part of the job. I also do book signings and I’ve done radio and newspaper and magazine interviews, but those seem to be far more work for the people you reach.

If you could only promote your novel in ONE way, which way would you choose?

Blogging I suppose. I have three blogs and between them we are getting up to six thousand hits a day. I don’t think I get any better connection in any other way.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to promote a novel?

Hmmmmmmm…Crazy, huh? Well, I’ve given speeches to school groups and I throw candy at them. Not TOO them, you understand. At them. Lots of excitement there, sometimes that gets a little bit crazy. I went to Husker Harvest Days in a town about five hours from my home and gave speeches to a mostly empty tent for three days. I followed a cowboy poet who just PACKED the place. A lesson in humility. I wish I could tell you I did something like rented a plane to sky write my book’s title across the sky, but nope. Nothing that exciting.

Tell me about your latest novel. Does it have any special challenges for promotion or interesting marketing angles?

I’m in the middle of a new series. I had so much fun with The Husband Tree that most of the promotion for it is just pure fun. I love this book. And the third book in the series, Wildflower Bride, is coming soon. The challenges are, I guess, keeping it all together. Keeping up with all the things I want so badly to do to give my books the best launch possible.

A final fun one: What fictional character (film, TV, or literary) do you feel is most like you? Why?gilligan

I should probably give this more thought, but the first think that popped into my head was Gilligan from Gilligan’s Island. The dorky, funny one who always messes up. That describes me pretty well.

A little bit about The Husband Tree:

Belle Tanner buries her third worthless husband and makes a vow over his shallow grave. She’s learned her lesson. No more men.

Silas Harden just lost his second ranch because of a woman. The first deserted him when times got tough. Now he’s had to quit the whole state of New Mexico to avoid a trumped-up shotgun wedding and the noose of matrimony. He’s learned his lesson. No mHusbandTree smore women.

Belle needs hired hands to move a cattle herd late in the season and there’s no one around but seemingly aimless Silas. She hires him reluctantly.

Silas signed on, glad for the work, though worried about a woman doing such a thing as hiring drovers, only to find out he’s the lone man going with five woman, including a baby still in diapers. After the cattle drive is over, he might as well shoot himself to speed up the process of being embarrassed to death.

A fast approaching winter.

The toughest lady rancher you’ve ever seen.

A cynical cowboy who has to convince five women he’s right for their ma . . . and then convince himself.

And one thousand head of the crankiest cattle who have ever been punched across the backbone of the Rockies.mary_pic

Find Mary online at:
Petticoats & Pistols
Her Blog
Her Website

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2 Responses
  1. Katie, when you say, “Mary writes Romantic Comedy with Cowboys” do you mean they come over to her house?
    Beautiful blog by the way.

    As Mary mentioned blog hits, I have to say I’ve noticed that many blogs seem to be getting less traffic and more bloggers seem to be blogging less. Yet, I know for sure sites like Seekerville are booming. Do any of you want to comment on that? Have we reached saturation?

    Mary, I look forward to Wildflower Bride! I get the impression Black Hills Bride is not as much comedy as the other series? the Cover is beautiful but less winsome. Am I wrong?

  2. Mary Connealy says:

    Hi, Katie. Thanks for having me on.

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