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Author Interview img

The Author Interview

with Mary Ann Bernal
Latest Book Title The Briton and the Dane trilogy
Available at



The Literary Underground

Blog/website www.maryannbernal.com
Tell us about your latest effort

The Briton and the Dane: Concordia - historical romance - January 2013 launch

Travel back in time to late Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain and the reign of Alfred the Great, where the Danish King Guthrum’s successor honors the terms of peace, where trade flourishes despite the heathen threat, where a multicultural seat of learning is established in the capital city of Winchester, where scholars and students throughout the known civilized world flock to Britannia’s shores.
Follow the adventures of Concordia, daughter of Aurelius and Arista, as she comes of age in an era of enlightenment, where religious beliefs are tolerated and the pursuit of knowledge defies cultural differences.
Share Concordia’s plight when she is captured by Saracen pirates while sailing the Mediterranean Sea, and revel in her good fortune when her life is spared as she is reunited with the exotic Moor who once held her heart.

But will love be enough to sustain her when she is denied her Christian beliefs?  Will she be rescued from the Infidel’s grasp or will she spend her days enslaved in a foreign country where followers of the Christian faith are condemned to death?
What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?

I am an insatiable history buff and am fascinated with the Dark Ages, amongst other centuries.  The Dark Ages refers to a lack of documented history, and has nothing to do with mankind’s intelligence or lack thereof.  I like to delve into the minds of characters living in a long ago era, knowing they experience the same emotional conflicts we deal with in modern society.  My characters make choices that you and I might make, or not.  Solving conflicts has never been easy, and my stories remind us that the human element is alive and well in the 21st century just as it was in the 9th century.  The questions raised in the trilogy either prove or disprove society’s ability to learn from its mistakes, and it is not surprising that we are not very different from our ancestors.

What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out, or do you just let it unfold?

Prior to setting pen to paper, I had taken numerous writing courses to learn the craft, and yes, I was following the rules as I was taught and wrote an outline.  Well after the first two chapters of my first book, the outline went out the window as my characters took control of the story, each one demanding their own “screen time.”  What started as a solitary novel ended up being a trilogy because of the numerous characters and subplots that unfolded during the writing process.

How much of YOU makes it into your characters?

Since writers write what they know, I do think that some part of the writer, however small, is incorporated into the characters, real or perceived.  My female characters are all strong women, just like their creator, but so are the male characters.  I am a nondiscriminatory writer and will draw from personal and observed experiences my characters portray, from coming of age to forgiveness and redemption. 

How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
Family is my first priority, followed by societal obligations and “life happenings.”  While writing might not be first on the list on a given day, I can always find time to return to Wessex (my known term for when I am writing, and thus unavailable), even if it’s just for a few hours. 
What breaks you out of a creative slump?
Since I have only been actively writing for about three years,  I have yet to experience a creative slump.  However, ask me that question in another year once I have completed “The Briton and the Dane: Timeline” and whether or not I will stay with the franchise.
Do you ever censor your writing to avoid offending or displeasing people?

It is a fact that a person can never please everyone or that a person can be liked by everyone.  I write my stories as I envision them, and tell the story as I want it told.  I love my stories and my characters and my passion does come across when I discuss my novels.  Some people share my passion, others do not.   We are fortunate to live in a free society where we can express our views.  You must like your own work, however, otherwise the reading public will pick up on the negativity.

Where can we find out more about Mary Ann Bernal?
Where can we find your books?


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Interview with Richard Denning

Interview with Ronald S. Barrios

Interview with G.E. Johnson

Interview with Kristina Lorie

Interview with Jessica Dall

Interview with Dr. Charles J. Williams

Interview with Mary Ann Bernal

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