Mary Day Long has been a member of the Writer’s League for ten years and lives in Austin, TX.
Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
I have written travel pieces, personal essays, and memoir. But two years ago, I threw the idea of “genre” out the window and simply sat down to write. That’s when it really happened for me—and I was as surprised as anyone when “it” turned out to be a novel.
Scribe: What authors would you like to have coffee or a beer with and which beverage?
What I’d really like is to smoke crack with George R.R. Martin. If what they say about the stuff is true, maybe it would loosen up that burning hunk of man, and he’d let slip his most secret secrets for juggling multiple plots while creating a compelling world filled with living, breathing characters—especially those kick ass yet engaging women. If beverages were involved, it would probably be more along the lines of rehydration/electrolyte replacement afterward. Pedialyte makes an engagingly cheeky Bubble Gum flavor, with subtle notes of cherry and wood smoke.
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. I love her work and very much want to read this one. But every time I try, something bad happens to distract me, and I lose the thread of this million-page tome. Maybe on a desert island I could finally keep at it, undistracted.
I will note that keeping me sane is a lot to ask of any book, and my favorite ones have had the opposite effect.
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
I’ve learned that here in Central Texas there are many maniacs who think they can write, that there are some who actually can write, that there are even some who can, and will, do all it takes to actually get published—and that the Writers’ League works hard to support and encourage all of these people.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
I’m still undecided on whether to go for huge sales and mass-market appeal, critical acclaim and a small group of passionately devoted readers, or complete failure. I suppose I’ll just write as much and as well as I can, and let the universe sort out the rest. I want to create work that crosses the blood-brain barrier and haunts people, as I’ve been haunted by wonderful books I’ve read.
Also, I would like my work to inspire at least one fist fight before I die at the age of 103 in a tragic skydiving accident.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world?
I want to share the novel I’ve written—The Last Sound Before the World Blows Up. It’s a tale of arson, rape, salvation, and murder—pretty much your standard freshman-year-of-art-school story. I’m looking to amass as many horrified rejections as possible before it’s finally published in a few years.