Mary Weber

Mary Weber

Mary Christine Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives. She lives on the breathtaking California coast with her three homeschooled children and an engineering husband who looks strikingly similar to Wolverine.

Her writing experience includes card copy for Hallmark, articles and short stories for newspapers and e-zines, and educational curriculum for a non-profit, although she can also type a mean grocery list when necessary. On her days off, you can find her penning book reviews or conducting silly interviews at mchristineweber.com amid drinking lattes and instructing her kids on the finer aspects of world domination.

We got to meet her at the ALA conference and asked her a few questions.

MACI & ZOE:
Where did you get your idea for your book?

MARY WEBER:
I was researching Joan of Arc (because she’s totally awesome) and came across this stanza in the poem “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate,” in which he’s basically calling forth the elements to be a shield around him. It totally reminded me of what I love about superheroes and fantasy, and I thought it’d be cool to incorporate the elements into a story. As far as the heart of the book – that emerged from my work with teens girls, including my own daughters. They so inspire me – the way they’re full of life and destiny and yet also navigating a world of expectations that are incredibly high and often harsh. Storm Siren is kind of my shout out to them and to the idea of staying true to oneself and one’s destiny.

MACI & ZOE:
What’s your favorite bookstore?

MARY WEBER:
I absolutely love our nearby Barnes & Noble. It’s friendly and cozy and feels like home. But I’m also fond of this little used book store just up the coast from us. It’s been there since I was a kid, and while I’m fairly certain it’s breaking every city code possible (because you have to actually squeeze through the aisles) it’s got that musty book smell that promises adventure. Here’s a pic. ;0)

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MACI & ZOE:
Do you read books on an electronic device or a real book?

MARY WEBER:
Oh man, I’m so old skool on this. If I can help it, I’ll choose an actual paper book every time. There’s just something about holding the weight of a story between one’s fingers!

MACI & ZOE:
What is your favorite genre?

MARY WEBER:
Fantasy for sure! (Shocking, I know.) Especially in YA, which has a way of stripping down pretenses and demanding authenticity…while at the same time allowing us readers to dream. Definite win-win.
And now I’m curious – what’s YOUR favorite genre?!

ZOE:
My favorite genres are fiction, YA fantasy, historical fiction – most of all I like it when they create new worlds

MACI:
My favorite genres are YA fantasy, fiction, and dystopian. I especially love books that make you think about the past and the present.

MACI & ZOE:
How did you get started writing?

MARY WEBER:
I’ve always loved books – reading them more so than writing them. :0) About six years ago I went through a season of being so busy “doing life” that I wasn’t taking the time to slow down and ingest it (so to speak). I picked up writing as a way to explore the world through a slower, more contemplative lens. And I loved what I discovered. :0)

MACI & ZOE:
What books are you reading right now?

MARY WEBER:
I just got back from ALA with these beauties!

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MACI & ZOE:
Do you read during meals, if so a book, newspaper or other?

MARY WEBER:
Alas, I don’t read during meals. Partly because I’m a terrible multi-tasker and would likely choke, and partly because I grew up in a large family (6 kids) where eating time was social time. To this day food is considered family or friend time at my house, and at least once a month my siblings and I converge with our spouses and kids onto our parents’ house to potluck and catch up on life.

MACI & ZOE:
What bookmark do you use or what do you use as a bookmark?

MARY WEBER:
Confession – I SHOULD use bookmarks but somehow always forget them! Instead, I grab whatever scrap of paper I can find – which is usually an old receipt stolen from my husband’s man purse. I like to mark specific pages that contain a particularly beautiful prose or a genius plot point, so my books tend to end up looking like this:

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MACI & ZOE:
What’s your favorite desert?

MARY WEBER:
Okay, this might be my favorite question EVER! I’m going to have to go with Molten Chocolate Lava Cake. Basically it’s pure oozy chocolatey goodness. :0)
What’s YOUR favorite dessert, my friends?!

ZOE:
Cookies and Cream Ice Cream with Dirt Cake

MACI:
My grandma’s pound cake!

MACI & ZOE:
How long does it take you to write a book?

MARY WEBER:
*laughs* Longer than I want! Let’s see…start to finish it takes me anywhere between nine to eleven months. With lots of breaks for Chocolate Lava cake.

MACI & ZOE:
What was the first story you wrote? Was it any good?

MARY WEBER:
My first completed story was about vampires because I might have been reading Twilight at the time. ;0) And “good” is a matter of opinion, *cough, cough* – although, I will say that at least my mother liked my story. Ahem. ;0)

MACI & ZOE:
What are you working on now?

MARY WEBER:
I just turned in BOOK 2 (in the STORM SIREN trilogy) to my publisher and now I’m getting ready to plot out BOOK 3. Fingers crossed for Nym!!

MACI & ZOE:
Do you miss your characters when you’ve finished writing a book?

MARY WEBER:
Definitely. Especially the ones who won’t be appearing in later books because I, uh, *may* have killed them off. *sighs*

MACI & ZOE:
Do you have a special procedure that you do when you write?

MARY WEBER:
I’m ridiculously easy to distract (squirrel!) so I need things pretty quiet when I write. Otherwise I’m like, “Ooh, who is that person talking to? And oh look at all the pretty things!” So my routine looks like (1) get the kids settled, (2) fire up the espresso machine and make a latte, (3) work myself up to actually sit down and write, (4) get distracted by ALL THE THINGS, (5) reheat said latte, (6) shut my door, (7) write. I’m not exactly proud of this routine. ;0)

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MACI & ZOE:
Is there anything else you would like to add?

MARY WEBER:
I absolutely LOVED meeting you ladies at ALA last month!! Thank you for coming to my first signing! And seriously – I love that you’re raising money for college through BOOK BLOGGING!! How are you two so flipping cool????!!!


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