Meet the Author Monday: Mary Pat Johns

Cover of Countin' On Jesse with Meet the Author Monday: Mary Pat Johns overlayWelcome to Meet the Author Monday with my guest, Mary Pat Johns. Mary Pat’s debut novel just released, and I am excited to speak with her today. I know you’re going to like this look into why she does what she does. Plus, you might even get a few peeks into her story, Countin’ On Jesse.

Let’s get started. Mary Pat, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself. 

Countin’ On Jesse is my debut novel, book one of the Valiant series. When our son returned from deployment in Afghanistan, God put it in my heart to tell stories of brave veterans and their reintegration into civilian life after suffering the traumas of war. As I kept writing, my focus generalized to include ordinary people who learn how to move forward after devastating events. All of my writing includes a strong spiritual thread.

I live in South Texas with my husband and our two dapple dachshunds. Our grown children and five grandchildren are useful sorts who keep me grounded with my reading/writing obsession. You can find me at the gym, at my computer, or reading a good book.

What a great reason to begin writing. I’m sure your son appreciates the honor you’ve given him in that. As a debut novelist, what are your most fun, most feared, and most tedious parts of being an author?

The fun part of being an author is when people tell you how much they love your books. It makes it worth the struggle. What I fear the most is writing a bad or mediocre book. I want all my books to be the best they can be so my target audience will want to read them. The most tedious part of being an author is working on line edits and the galley proofs because it’s so stinkin’ easy to make a mistake.

Mistakes do happen. It seems no matter how much you read and re-read, mistakes are missed. As for your writing process, do you have a scripture that guides or inspires you in your writing life?

For years, I stumbled over creating a tagline. Then one day I realized all of my books have themes of rescue and redemption. 2 Timothy 4:18 reiterates these themes: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil (deed), and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

What do you wish you knew about being an author before you joined the ranks?

I didn’t know it would take several years of practice for my writing to achieve the professional level needed for traditional publication. LOL. I might  have blasted past my fears sooner if I had known.

We all need people to cheer us on. Who is your biggest cheerleader in your writing life?

My husband isn’t a writer, but he has steadfastly supported my desire to write and be published. He’s also good with action scenes. For instance, when I was writing about a character who drove a motor scooter, he helped me through the logistics of how she ran off the road and her ensuing injuries.

What can readers expect when they pick up one of your books?

Action. Surprises. Fun. Humor. And a rattlin’ good love story.

We talked about the most fun, scary, and difficult things as an author. But have you ever faced discouragement as an author? If so, how did you deal with it?

Discouragement is the unwanted pest who flies around our thought lives, trying to inoculate us with the “I can’t” and “if only” mentalities. I boot out those type of thoughts regularly, but they can be persistent. If swatting them away doesn’t work, then I focus on Scripture—they hate that. LOL.

Swat away discouragement with scripture. Great advice. Other that the Bible, can you tell us one fiction book that’s impacted your life and why it’s been so important?

Surprisingly enough, Jane Eyre has had a marvelous impact on my life and writing. The hero, Mr. Rochester, is quite flawed, but repents and finds redemption. And Jane, the main character, has “irregular features,” which was a nice way of saying she’s ugly. That story, more than any other, helped support my conviction that every person has intrinsic worth, value, and the right to love and be loved.

That is a wonderful message to leave our readers with today. And while you weren’t speaking specifically of it, I’d like to remind our readers that they are loved. Even if they feel alone or rejected, God loves them. I pray someone shows each one His love today.

Thank you Mary Pat for joining me today.

Readers, I hope you  have enjoyed this Meet the Author Monday featuring Mary Pat Johns. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her a little more, and I’m looking forward to reading Countin’ on Jesse, her debut novel.  Keep reading to find out more about this new release and where you can get your copy.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Peeps’ gym owner Jesse seeks accreditation. Accountant Brenna wants to help Jesse and Peeps more than anything. They’re a great team, but can she count on him when trouble strikes?

Accountant Brenna McKinley only wants what’s best for Peeps, the wildly popular gym in Valiant, Texas. But when money goes missing, and she’s the obvious suspect, will she be able to clear her name or face criminal charges? Keeping her dream job matters but falling in love with her boss isn’t part of the plan. Neither is the creepy guy stalking her.

Young veteran Jesse Jacobs manages and co-owns Peeps, an exercise facility in Valiant, Texas. He needs help to gain accreditation for the gym, and his new accountant is all in. But is she who she seems? Too bad he’s falling for her like a man with no parachute. When the pressure builds, PTSD renders him moody and volatile, risking everything he loves.



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  1. Mary Pat Johns says:

    Thanks, Heather. I truly enjoyed doing this interview!