Interview — Mary Harner

Professional Portrait_Mary HarnerI had the pleasure of interviewing Mary Harner. A wonderful person who is getting their Masters in Physics and spends her time shooting lasers at stuff. When she’s not doing that, she is writing. She has released one book to the market so far with plans to do more. Her current book is Sandman.

Join me in interviewing Mary and understanding her method of writing, from doodles in her notebook pages to a full blown story.


Text Interview

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a graduate student at Kansas State University where I study physics, specifically fiber optics.  I have a love for bringing creativity to whatever medium I happen to be working in, whether that’s light and fibers or text.  One of my favorite non-writing activities is finding hidden pockets of nature in the suburbs and cities where I’ve lived.

2. Do you consider yourself a character driven writer, or a plot driven writer?
Definitely character driven!  My ideas always start with an interesting character and I develop a plot to showcase the aspects of that character that captured my imagination.

3. What is your favorite sport and team?
I’m not a big fan of sports, but I have accumulated a list of teams I support for the sake of loved ones.  My favorite team is the Washington Redskins (I blame a family of overly enthusiastic supporters and years of conditioning), but my favorite sport is hockey (my hockey team is the Sabers).

4. Where were you born, where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
I was born in Bowie Maryland and lived there until I was 12.  From there, my family moved to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for the rest of my growing up.  I did my undergraduate work at a St. Bonaventure University in Western New York and currently live in Manhattan Kansas.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
My heart belongs to the East Coast.  I’d love to live in New York City or Boston.  The weather and the culture in that part of the country makes me feel at home.

6. What writers inspire you?
I draw a great deal of inspiration from the journeys of modern authors such as Steven King, JK Rowling, John Green, and Eoin Colfer.

7. What is your favorite food, color, and ice cream flavor?
Food: Maryland Crab Cake
Color: green
Ice Cream flavor: It’s a vicious battle between chocolate chip cookie dough and mint chocolate chip.

8. When you write, what is your drink of choice?
In the morning, I prefer medium roast coffee, black, and in the evening, I prefer wine, red.

9. Tell us about your current books and future releases?
I currently have a young adult fantasy novel titled Sandman available for most ereaders.  It’s about a girl, with a talent for magic, who goes on a quest to rescue her grandfather from the evil government.  I have a few projects in various stages of completion.  The next story I plan to publish is a new adult science fiction, but I’m still working on edits and am a long way from publication.  Of course, everything is going on hold soon for NaNoWriMo!

10. How much control do you feel you have on the outcome of your story? Do you have complete control or are you along for the ride?
I generally have a fairly detailed outline when I start my first draft, but I let my characters wander off track if they want to.  I find my writing is best when I give the characters their head.  In edits, however, I have all the control.


Mary Harner has recently published her debut novel, Sandman, and is in her final year studying for a master’s degree in physics at Kansas State University.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from St. Bonaventure University.  Sandman was published through Midnight Frost Books in July of 2014.  Prior to publication of Sandman, Mary was the regular editorial cartoonist for the student paper at St. Bonaventure University, The Bonaventure.  She has lived in Bowie MD, Allen TX, Olean NY, and Manhattan KS.

More Information About Mary Harner

Sandman on Amazon:


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