Intimate Conversation with Mary B. Morrison
New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison believes that women should shape their own destiny. Born in Aurora, IL, and raised in New Orleans, LA, she took a chance and quit her near six-figure government job to self-publish her first book, Soulmates Dissipate, in 2000 and begin her literary career. Mary’s books have appeared on numerous bestseller lists, and she’s a frequent contributor to The Michael Baisden Show.
Mary is also actively involved in a variety of philanthropic endeavors, and in 2006 she sponsored the publication of an anthology written by 33 sixth-graders. In 2010, Mary produced a play based on her novel, Single Husbands, which she wrote under her pseudonym, HoneyB.
In addition to her novels and play, Mary has a multi-film development deal with Codeblack Entertainment for her Soulmates Dissipate series. Mary currently resides in Oakland, CA, with her wonderful son, Jesse Byrd, Jr., who is following in his mother’s creative footsteps and pursuing a career in TV/film and writing.
From New York Times bestselling author Mary B. Morrison comes the sizzling tale of two friends and the provocative bet that forever changes their lives. Now, with their futures up in the air, who will play one vengeful game too many? And who will wish she wasn’t left standing?
BPM: What topics does your latest book, If You Don't Know Me, address? Why?
MBM: Deception runs deeper than love. Men and women will lie to get what they want, fight to keep the person they don’t deserve, and hate the one they love most. People do this because they don’t know who they are but believe they can define their partner.
BPM: Who does your body of literary work speak to?
MBM: Everyone that reads or listens to my books on audio. I’m pro-female empowerment. I write strong female characters. No matter how difficult the journey may be for my heroines/protagonists, they almost always overcome their obstacles. I believe women rule. The problem, as I see it, irrespective of socio-economic status, is that most women don’t realize how powerful they are.
BPM: You believe strongly in:
MBM: God. Sexual liberation. Self-actualization. Non-judgment. Taking risk.
BPM: Faith allows you to:
MBM: Overcome fear of failure. God never fails us. He never lets us down. If we fall, He extends a hand. Faith allows me to stand-in ‘my’ truth and stand-up for what ‘I’ believe in.
BPM: Criticism makes you:
MBM: Stronger. I wholeheartedly embrace freedom of speech and expression. What people say about me and/or my work expresses how they feel about themselves. How and what I respond to defines me.
BPM: Do you consider yourself a role model:
MBM: I don’t consider myself a role model. I feel I’m an inspiration to many of my fans and readers. Eddie Murphy, Terry McMillan, Tyler Perry, and Wendy Williams are just a few of the people who inspire me because I aspire to do more than what they’ve done.
BPM: When you are afraid, you will:
MBM: Sleep with the light on. Not in the traditional sense. I mean seek clarity. Manifest destiny. I’m not really afraid of anything, especially failure. Why? Because failure is a concept and the catalyst to success.
BPM: What surprised you the most about becoming an adult:
MBM: Growing up is a natural progression. As a kid, I worried I wouldn’t be able to pay rent, bills, etc. We learn work ethics and discipline starting with . . . do your homework, clean your room, go to bed. I give my guardians and teachers my gold stars for helping me to become who I am. The word ‘believe’ may be the most powerful word in all of our development. When others believe in us, we’re awesome. When we believe in ourselves, we are amazing!
BPM: The greatest threat to literary freedom is:
MBM: Censorship. Doesn’t matter if it originates in the mind of the writer or the omission of the editor, it’s lethal. Deleting or changing one word can alter the meaning of an entire sentence. The most genuine aspect of writing is to be authentic. Society is so sensitive that freedom of speech isn’t free. Say or write something offensive and you could jeopardize your life-long career.
BPM: How has your writing evolved:
MBM: It’s eternally evolving. I’m working on giving readers what they want before they realize they need it. I consider the non-fiction book I’m penning, D.A.D.: A Woman’s Guide to Choosing the Right One, a new perspective for a new generation.
BPM: Do you view writing as a gift or a career:
MBM: The answer could be either, or, or neither nor but for me it’s both. Thirteen years in the industry and currently working on book number twenty denotes sustainability. I don’t take my success for granted. Each novel is more difficult to pen because I’m always striving to do and become better.
BPM: Advice you would give a new author:
MBM: Be true to your characters or they will be false to your readers. You cannot please everyone. Don’t try. Do not censor your first writing. Let it flow. Always hire a professional editor. Learn the business. Brand yourself. Set and attain goals. Know what you want. Please don’t tell me, “I just want to write a book. I don’t care about making money.” Then talk to someone who isn’t making money. You don’t need advice from me for that. Don’t ask me, “I want to write a book. Where do I start?” Published writers, editors, and agents respect you when you can show (not prove) you’ve accomplished something.
BPM: Your greatest accomplishment as a writer:
MBM: Is yet to come. What I appreciate most is having a loyal fan base. Some readers have purchased all of my books. I love them for that. I do take time to smell the roses but there’s so much I want to do I know I’m going to run out of time before I do it all. I’m ready to produce my first book-to-film with Codeblack Entertainment. I’m eager to write for television, executive produce another stage play, open a restaurant, and host a talk show. There’s so much to do I don’t focus on what I’ve done. Already getting paid for that. On to the next!
BPM: What you know for sure:
MBM: I love my sons, Jesse and Max. Max is my adorable seven-year-old Yorkshire terrier. Men are like dogs but harder to train. I have no problem telling a man what I want. Women need to understand that what one man won’t do, another man will.
BPM: Life's greatest teacher is:
MBM: Some may say experience. I say, “teachers.” I love my teachers so much!
BPM: Success means:
MBM: Being your best. Accomplishing your goals. What I/we aspire to do in our lifetime is meaningful. For some it’s graduating from college, others want to become astronauts. We know man can land on the moon. What else can we do? Whatever one dreams of is extremely rewarding when it’s achieved. But don’t stop there. Set a goal. Achieve a goal. Set a goal. Achieve a goal. Success is not a destination or a place to vacation. It’s a revolving door. We must sacrifice for success, not for society. If you want to be a stay-at-home mom, do that. But do not give up your career or livelihood to ‘do the right thing.’ I ain’t trying to be right, y’all. I’m living to be me (whatever that is). I am not the person anyone else thinks I should be. I am who I am.
BPM: Your writing educates, illuminates or entertains:
MBM: All three. I can make just about anyone laugh and at the same time learn something.
BPM: Will the printed book ever become obsolete:
MBM: I sure am glad typewriters are. I got tired of that damn whiteout, especially when the document had carbon copies. I’m on a flight to D.C. and I’m working on my 11-inch MacBook Air that fits in my purse. We no longer print our books and send them to the publishers. I love it!
Everything is done electronically and we’re talking the last five years or so. I tell my son that his kids will ask, “Daddy, what’s a book?” In about 10 years (or less) I believe printed books will be a collector’s item, and that’s not a bad thing. Buy and have them signed now! Especially the first editions.
BPM: What legacy do you wish to leave future generations of readers:
MBM: Positive life lessons. Time changes. Being smart will never grow or get old.
The Series in Order of Publication
Book 3: If You Don't Know Me
Book 2: I'd Rather Be With You
Book 1: If I Can't Have You
Purchase the entire series today!
CONNECT WITH MARY B. MORRISON TODAY!
Visit Mary online at: www.marymorrison.com
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