Please welcome Mary McClurkin to my blog and get to know this wonderful woman who became an author at 80!
AT: Where do you live? What’s your town’s claim to fame?
MM: I live in Chester, SC. Although Chester is a very small town, many celebrities have their roots here; My nephew, Donnie McClurkin, Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen, and Tom Joyner to name a few. Also, Chester County Schools was one of the districts used to document the inequalities in the education of black and white students which led to the landmark Supreme Court Case, Brown versus The Board of Education.
AT: Wow! What genre do you write?
MM: African American Fiction
AT: Are you a published author or aspiring to be published? If published, how many books are out there with your name on them?
MM: I self-published my first book this year. At 80 years old, it was the fulfillment of a life-long dream.
AT: Wow! Congratulations!! What inspires you to write?
MM: Different things, mainly my life experiences inspire me. I have always written raps before rapping became popular in today’s form, poetry, and short stories. I will experience something or hear about an event or person and an idea will pop in my head and I will start writing. I have so many things written on napkins, paper bags or any form of paper that was around me. I had to put my ideas down on paper. Now, I’m looking through those notes for stories for my next book.
AT: Yep, you sound like a storyteller to me, lol. Name one book you wish you’d written.
MM: T D Jakes, God’s Leading Lady.
AT: Putting that one on my list! What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
MM: Lady Preacher by K.T. Richey. Yes, I loved it. Growing up in the church, I could relate to everything in the book.
AT: Oh, I'll have to check that one out! Who is your favorite author? Why?
MM: I like several authors, Toni Morrison, Terry McMillan, Maya Angelou and K.T. Richey.
AT: Awesome choices! Now for the fun questions! You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
MM: I would be brown because I love my skin color and I love colorful people.
AT: Yes, it's wonderful to love the skin you're in! What would your autobiography be called?
MM: Not so country: The life and times of a preacher’s daughter.
AT: Love it! you believe in love at first sight?
MM: No. I feel people should be friends first and allow their relationship to grow to a more intimate one.
AT: If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be? (can't ask for more wishes)
MM: I would ask for wisdom, knowledge and discernment. So, I can know when people are real with me and to help make the right decisions.
AT: Smart wishes! Are you spring, summer, fall, or winter? Please share why.
MM: Spring. Everything is blooming and the weather is just right. Everything is alive and beautiful in the spring. Flowers blooming, birds chirping and everything is vibrant.
AT: I agree! Tea or coffee?
MM: Coffee. I grew up drinking coffee. I love the smell of the aroma and the strong taste.
AT: Tell us about your most recent/current project.
MM: The Aftermath of Love and War is about a young woman, Ella Mae Williams, who marries a man she has known all her life. Their fantasy life is changed when he enlisted in the military and went to war. He returns home suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and their fairy-tale lifestyle is destroyed. Ella Mae spins a poignant tale of victory and defeat that leads her to becoming aware of what really matters, faith, family and self-preservation.
Bill Anderson was far more important than earrings or makeup or even singing and basketball. He smiled all the time. He was very mature and respectful to his elders. He liked to wear a shirt with a lay back collar so it could be laid outside his sport jacket. His shirt was always very white with no wrinkles. He would unbutton three buttons down from the collar so the hair on his chest would show. He was very hairy. He wore his hair parted on the right side. He kept his hands in his pockets at all times except when he would smoke a cigar or cigarette. One day when he and my brothers were picking peaches, he told my brothers that he was going to marry me. My brother came home and told my mama and I got a whipping because Mama thought that I had to have been seeing him behind her back. She was right. But, it wasn’t the way she thought; the truth didn’t matter. And I was so thrilled when I heard what he said, the beating didn’t matter. I would take a beating for him any day.
AT: How can readers connect with you?
AT: Any final words?
MM: Follow your heart and dreams. Pray for guidance and understanding. Never give up. Don’t let no one tell you what you can and can’t do.