Guest Post

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Today we welcome Mary S. Palmer as our guest writer. Mary is a writer for many genres and an avid traveler.  She currently teaches English at Faulkner State College in Fairhope, Alabama and previously taught at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama.  Educated at the University of South Alabama, Mary holds a Master of Arts in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) in English. Her recently published book To Catch a Fish was written with David Wilton. Mary shares her thoughts on writing in different genres.  Mahala


Writing is somewhat like driving a car; the gears have to be shifted now and then. Nowadays, in a car, that's done automatically, but it still happens. When writing, the point of view may change, new characters are introduced or the setting moves to another place. A much bigger shift might involve writing in a new genre.

I am a writer who does that--changes genres. Here's proof:

I spent several years writing a biography of Governor George Wallace. It started as an assignment from a publisher who went out of business. I revised it and used it as my Master's Thesis. It didn't go to waste.

My first published book, MemoraMOBILEia: Alabama Gulf Coast Potpourri, was a collection of works including short stories, a history of the area, and poetry. Congressman Sonny Callahan wrote the Foreword; Elizabeth T. Coffman, Ph.D., and I wrote the short stories and poems; and Maureen Maclay, wrote the history of the area.

The Callings, co-authored with Loretta Theriot, was set in Cameron, LA. It's the true crime story of a teenager who was convicted of matricide and sent to the Louisiana State Prison, and a Catholic priest. They grew up together: One was called by God; the other, by the devil.

My third book, also co-authored with Dr. Coffman, False Gods, was about a corrupt television evangelist who exploited everyone to reach his goals.

I shifted again for my third book to a biography entitled Quest for Forgiveness co-authored by James McEnery was about his being a child of alcoholic parents left as an orphan.

The fourth book was co-authored by David V. Wilton. It was a fictional novel about children growing up in the fifties. One becomes the first black lieutenant governor of Alabama. He has to decide whether to give up his position and come to Mobile to defend his childhood friend, a fisherman accused of murder.

I went into high gear to write a science-fiction book about aliens who bring a female reporter wreck victim back to life so she can help them come back to earth to share cures for fatal diseases.

The sci-fi book was the last one I expected to be accepted but a publisher took it in four days. Who knows what the market will bear? Maybe that's why I write about different things.

Automatic drive in cars is easier. However, I can drive a shift car. But you have more control when you shift gears--in writing, too. Also, moving from one genre to another is a challenge. Isn't that what writing is about? We sure wouldn't do it for the money.

Mary S. Palmer


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