You Might Be A Writer If………


You might be a writer if……

You might be a writer if….You pick up a mastodon tooth and write a whole story in your head in 10 seconds.

You might be a writer if….you walk down a street in a historical village and imagine being pursued by killers and time traveling into the past.

You might be a writer if….a woman in a museum starts talking about laundry in the 1870s and you’re riveted.

You might be a writer if….you saw the end of the Sixth Sense coming.

You might be a writer if….your children’s baby books are covered with writing and have almost no pictures.

In Too Deep releases TODAY

You might be a writer if….you take a tour of Carlsbad Cavern and are mentally transported back in time to the first guy who ever saw the place. And thirty four years later, you still remember that moment of being transported so vividly you write a series of romance novels about it.

My one and only trip to Carlsbad Cavern was about 34 years ago. I didn’t write my first book for sixteen years. But when I did, I had a LOT of ideas, this was one of them. What would it have been like to be the first person to go into that cavern?

When we walked through Carlsbad there was a nice sturdy fence, roping off all the dangerous pits. There were lights everywhere and we could see the beauty and easily avoid the danger. But what if you’d gone in there with no idea what it was?

What if you’d seen bats fly up out of a hole in the ground and went to look for where they’d come from and found a deep, black hole? What if you were curious, as was Jim White, the first man on record as being in Carlsbad Cavern, and you got a long rope and lowered yourself down? There are bottomless pits…okay, they probably have a bottom eventually, but I suspect the bottom is way, way, way too far down to be anything but deadly.

It’s pitch black. There are beautiful things—stunningly beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Water dripping, building those rock formations. You’d be drawn by the glimpses of beauty. Your only light is a lantern or a handmade torch or a candle. You’d be fascinated and, if you weren’t really careful, you’d be dead in no time.

When I walked through Carlsbad Cavern, long before I’d ever thought of writing a book, I was writing a book. And it stayed with me until finally it was time. I fictionalized the cavern because the true history of Carlsbad is so well known I couldn’t be faithful to it.

In Bookstores Now

Three little boys find a cavern on their remote Colorado ranch. Three boys close in age, all adventurous. All tough little guys without parents watching them very close. The brothers stick together. They imagined themselves as a team, three brothers against the world. And then disaster strikes. One of them is terribly hurt. Their parents can’t stand the strain of their boy’s devastating burns and his screaming nightmares that will not end.

Their family is torn apart.

Ethan blames himself and he can’t bear the pain of what he caused. He left home the minute he was old enough. Now he’s back after years of lonely wandering. And though he’s sworn to never go near that cavern again, he’s found that his life may depend on finding the courage to face that dark pit.

In Out of Control—Book One of The Kincaid Brides Series—I told Rafe’s story.

Coming in August

Now it’s time for Book Two, In Too Deep. Ethan Kincaid and Audra Gilliland. A marriage of convenience between two easy going people. They should have rubbed along happily together for years. Except unexpected passion surprises them both. And unexpected danger draws them both into that deadly, beautiful cave.

Coming in August is Seth’s story. Over the Edge, available for preorder now. The crazy man who turns out to have some crazy things in his past that are catching up to him.

To get your name in a drawing for a signed copy of In Too Deep, tell me the best vacation–or adventure–you’ve ever taken.

Or buy In Too Deep on Amazon

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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

51 thoughts on “You Might Be A Writer If………”

  1. I went water rafting years ago,used to go a lot,my Aunt had her own Raft,an my Uncle was a good guide,then one day,he didnt go an a friend of theirs thought he could steer the Raft in rapid waters,(WRONG)he almost killed us all,I flipped out an was trapped under the thing with just my hands showing gripping the raft rope,,took three tries to get me back in the raft,an then on the third try my brother threw himself ontop of me so I couldnt get sucked back under again,,we got to a shallow part an dumped water an I got out climbed the hill an walked the rest of the way back,,,,an that was 24yrs ago an I havent ever been back,,before that we went once or twice a year,,,

  2. I guess the best vacation I ever had was the first time I went to Myrtle Beach. It was about a year after I got married and was the first time I had ever seen the ocean. I thought it was amazing. I was out on the beach every morning before sunrise, loved it.

  3. You might be a writer if . . . you think jokes about commas are hilarious 🙂

    Mary, the books look awesome as always.

    On the subject of caverns, my husband and I visited Luray Caverns in the Shenandoah Valley…fascinating place! One of these days we’ll get to Mammoth Cave here in KY.

  4. We spent about 18 days in Alaska.. it was breathtakingly beautiful.. But it comes 2nd to 15 days in the USVI at the Cinnamon Bay campground! The beach and books… a winner every time!
    Have you been the Grand Canyon? Imagine finding that for the first time!!

  5. The Grand Canyon, I can’t imagine anyone ever seeing it and not just gasping. And I did set a book there. There is a difference though between the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad.

    No one believed Carlsbad existed. The history of it is really REALLY interesting. It was miles and miles or rugged wasteland between Carlsbad and the nearest town. Jim White found it when he was wandering and then he could NOT get anyone to believe it was there. It took him about twenty years to get someone to come out and look at it.
    I mean someone official, like to designate it a National Park.
    In those years Jim White bought the land around the entrance. Built a house and started bringing people out to see it, a very few would come an it was such a long trip that they’d have to make it a two day journey at least, then those who came would go back to town ranting about the amazing beauty….then nothing.
    No one believed it who didn’t see it with their own eyes.
    Meanwhile Jim White was exploring deeper and deeper and deeper. He absolutely becamse obsessed with his cavern.

  6. We drove to Carlsbad several years ago which was fascinating. The most memorable vacation ever was when we were very young, had never travelled at all and flew to the Canadian Rockies, since we were living in Canada at that time. Rented a car and drove from Vancouver to Calgary and through the Fraser Canyon and beyond. Magnificent and unforgettable vistas. This was an experience that I savoured.

  7. I’ve had several I could count as my best, the latest one was when we rented a cabin in TN with some friends and spent about 5 days there in October. It was beautiful, peaceful and fun.

  8. Love this Mary. And your book titles are pure genius.
    Never been to Carlsbad Caverns, but it’s been on my list. It sounds wonderful.
    Best vacation–I’ve done some wonderful trips. Maybe Alaska cruise just because I did it with my hero.

  9. I’ve never been to Carlsbad but it sounds like an adventure! One of my favourite vacations has to be when I went with my family to Prince Edward Island. It’s such a beautiful and relaxing province. I definitely want to go back to! 🙂

  10. Hi Mary! Can’t wait to read this one! My best vacation would probably be my honeymoon cruise through the Bahamas. Our last port was Nassau, where my husband and I took a guided tour of the city, ending at a pirate museum. Very romantic, right? It was amazing! I remember visiting the fort at the top of the hill in Nassau, where the royal family would be taken if there were invaders. Behind the fort is a long, steep, brick staircase, called the “Queen’s Staircase,” which would be the last minute escape route if the fort was breached. Talk about a story writing itself in my head!

  11. I TOTALLY called the end of Sixth Sense! But no one believed me because I didn’t say it out loud :p.

    Favorite vacay? Does the one we’re planning in May count?


    Okay then. Probably our trip west – Phoenix, San Deigo, Reno, Vegas, Phoenix again. Sea World. San Diego Zoo. Tahoe.


    So wishing I had this book in my hands today. But ah well.


    You might be a writer if… you take your Dx of minor [insert diagnosis here] and turn it into a plotline. 😉

  12. My favorite vacation was when my husband and I went to Charleston, South Carolina – the most romantic city in America. It was the most perfect week, full of southern hospitality and beautiful sights. We rarely travel, but this was truly a dream come true for me.

  13. I really enjoy going to Fort Rock Family Camp in Saint Paul, AR ( it is a place where families pull together as a team and get to know one another. It is such a beautiful setting, good food, and fun activities. I really like to watch my family fly on the zipline. 🙂

  14. CAROL! You called the end of the Sixth Sense?

    I DID TOO!!!!!!!

    Are we geniuses or what?

    I’m am forever watching a movie with my husband and I’ll say…..”She’s the murderer.”

    The other night we were watching some movie with the heroine accused of murder and the husband looking like the likely perp and I said, “Her therapist did it and she killed that other woman who supposedly committed suicide three years ago, too.”

    He used to scoff, but now he just wishes I’d stop ruining the movie for him.

    So I try to be quiet….but it’s one of my few gifts!

  15. My favorite vacation was with my parents when I was 15. I didn’t want to go and gave them a very difficult time the weeks leading up to the vacation being a typical teenager. However, I ended up having the most fantastic time and the best memories ever with my parents. we lived in Texas and traveled to Colorado and really did not have a plan until my dad looked at the map for the next day. I cherish those memories of touring around the state and helping my dad make decisions as to where we would go site see. I would love to take my three children there today. It is a beautiful state.

  16. Wendy, I used to have this wonderful fantasy of going to the Blue Ridge Mountains or somewhere in that part of the world and just finding a beautiful place and STOPPING. Sitting quietly, soaking in the beauty.

    Would there be plenty of Doritos and Diet Coke, though? I have to be practical.

  17. I’ve heard Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I’d love to see it. My parents took a cruise up the Inside Passage to Alaska once and it sounded so beautiful.

  18. Enjoyed reading the comments. I have been to Carlsbad Caverns and was amazed by the size and the color of it. Here in Arizona, we have a similar place-Kartchner Caverns.
    I think the best vacations for me were when my children were small and we went on skiing vacations to Colorado. We skied all over the West and had really memorable times.
    Your books sound interesting.

  19. LOL Mary! I’m usually pretty good at doing that on crime dramas etc. Not always, but usually.

    Just one more reason why I like you ;).

  20. Carol, my mom figured out the Sixth Sense, but she DID say it out loud. She whispered REALLY loud: He’s a ghost, right?! He’s a ghost. No one ever touches him.

    Boy, did we get a few glares.

    She also figured out The Crying Game. Her LOUD whisper that time was: Who has hands that big? That can’t be a woman. What woman has hands that big?

    More glares.

  21. I have been blessed in that my family has traveled all over the United States. We combined family vacations with mission trips and have met many fascinating people and seen wonderful places. One trip that sticks out in my mind was my senior trip with my grandparents through the maritime provinces of Canada: Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick,as well as Quebec and Ontario. Gorgeous! Couldn’t help but remember all the scenes from Anne of Green Gables while we toured the countryside!

    And…I was a cave tour guide for three years. It is not a cave that is anything like Mammoth or Carlsbad, but it has it’s own unique history that inspired stories. I worked in Mark Twain Cave, the one that inspired the scene in Tom Sawyer where Tom and Becky are lost in a cave. (Once a year the staff was allowed to explore any part of the five miles of labyrinth passageways with just our flashlights. Cool memories!)

    I really enjoyed reading “Out of Control” and am looking forward to “In too Deep”. Keep ’em coming, Mary!

  22. CORRINE what is it with teenagers. I can so vividly remember trying to get out of … ick … family stuff because I might miss some precious moment with my FRIENDS!!

    What in the world do teenagers thing they’re going to miss? Weird.

  23. JOYE I one time went with one of my married daughters to a ski vacation and watched her one year old daughter while she, her husband and my husband ski-ed. It was wonderful. I am beyond skiing these days. I did it just a few times in my youth and now believe I would certainly die if I went.
    Or more likely fall over the first second I was on the skis and just lay there in a heap until someone got a crane and lifted me to my feet, stripped off the skis and sent me back to my cabin. Yeah, no chance for humiliation there!

  24. Sherri, I still remember that (eek) MOMENT in the Crying Game–when the secret was revealed. Oddly enough I remember NOTHING ELSE ABOUT IT. I think that speaks poorly for the movie.

    NO, dear Petticoats and Pistols readers, do NOT watch it.

  25. C Dees, so did you LIKE the cavern? I mean you must have but I have a really problem with the idea of exploring caves. Spelunking. I get this pressure on my chest that the cavern will collapse or I’ll somehow get stuck and can’t get out.

    It’s a thrilling kind of fear and it doesn’t really control me but I could really tap into it when I was writing these books.

  26. I have not taken many vacations but my favorite place to visit is right out my own back door, The Big Horn Mountains! When I am up camping, hiking or just sitting around the fire, I feel like I have been taken back in time, where life was simple with no hustle and bustle. This is what I imagine life in God’s Kingdom will be like. “sigh”

  27. For vacations, we went to the beach alot… went on a couple of cruises or visited my grandparents… but what stands out most for me… our day trips… we went to a place that was nearby called Bear Mountain. We would walk the trails and visit the museum and zoo they had there… loved the zoo… it was for animals that were found injured… they would keep them only if they could not be rehabbed. I always knew I would have a great time when we went there.

  28. Mary,
    These books look awesome.I love “brother” stories. I remember going to Carlsbad Caverns on the way to California one year. My uncle and aunt were both in the navy stationed at San Diego and we drove out there. That was one of our stops along the way. I was only about 6, but I still remember that. One of my favorite vacations was the year we went to Padre Island –my son was about 11, and my daughter was 14. She had seen the ocean before when she went to Florida with a group from school, but Casey, my son had never seen it. I just remember how he was mesmerized. He didn’t say a word, just walked out onto the beach and looked out at the water and then put his arms out as if he was trying to embrace the “hugeness” of it. He was just awed by it. That was a wonderful trip for us–we had rented a condo that looked out over the water, and early in the mornings you could see dolphins out there. Day trips–my favorite would have to be going to Fort Sill where Geronimo is buried. There is a game refuge nearby and Meers restaurant which serves up one of the top 10 hamburgers in the USA according to Diners, Drive ins and Dives. I never saw the end of The Sixth Sense coming, Mary. YOU ARE a genius.LOL I was just sitting there in shock. What a great movie–I loved it. This is really interesting to know how you came up with the idea for your series. I love to find out about how people get their ideas.
    Cheryl P.

  29. Tina, that sense of being transported is what really hit me in Carlsbad. You can just imagine how it would have been back then.
    The Big Horn Mountains…they sound wonderful…and you have that OUT YOUR BACK DOOR? Wow.

  30. Hi Mary, I’m like Tina. I live in the tourist area of the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. I live in the shadow of Mt. Whitney! So my idea of a great vacation is to take a pack trip into the back country, (usually as the cook), and just soak up the quiet and the mountain air. However, one great trip I took with my daughter was to Kaui’i for a neice’s wedding. That for us was a big deal. The travel agent was funny, “you live in the most beautiful area and you want to go to Hawai’i”? Ah, yeah?
    One year, my husband and daughter and I went on a driving tour to Yellowstone. The only problem was, my husband broke his big toe just before we left, (and didn’t know it.). So the jarring of his right foot on the excellerator made his foot hurt all the more, and not realizing why his foot hurt so much, made for a MISERABLE trip. Especially when we wanted to stop and see some of the sights. We got to the Tetons in Wyoming, that I’ve always wanted to see, and sat in the truck saying, “That’s it? Our mountains are prettier.” So now, we just go camping in our own back yard… mainly because we are getting too old to go anywhere. Our daughter works in Mammoth Lakes during the summer, so we live through her.

  31. Colleen, it’s so wonderful that a beloved place was just a day trip for you. And you had the good sense to go see it often. How many lovely places are close to me (to anyone) and we never go see the wonderful things nearby.
    Like a person from NYC who’s never been to the Statue of Liberty.

  32. Maui, Estelle. It sounds perfect. Someday I hope to get to Hawaii. These days I can barely get to town for groceries it seems like. And when I do travel I have to go. It’s fun but it’s not like I pick a spot I’m longing to see and take a trip there. No, I have a meeting or a family event, something requiring me to go to a particular spot. Then I get there and try to find the fun in that area. So it’s good, but not the same.

  33. Like Joye, I enjoyed reading the comments!

    My favorite vacations would have to be Gettysburg, and working at a camp last summer (one of my jobs was running the zipline!). I love reading historical fiction and non-fiction, and love to discover things about history by visiting places – plus, Gettysburg wasn’t near any of our extended family, so it was just us (which, admittedly, is still pretty big! 8 people…).

    Love the series, Mary! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of ‘In Too Deep’!

  34. Oh, Mary! I LOVE the sound of this book! Please include me in the drawing.

    My favorite vacation/adventure? Hmm…

    Had to be my honeymoon. We drove from Missouri to Maine, crossed to Nova Scotia on a ferry boat, drove through NS, crossed on another ferry boat to Prince Edward Island. LOVED it!!! I had my first “real” clam chowder on the island. I quickly returned it for something else. (I love New England clam chowder. THIS was NOT NE clam chowder!) The waitress laughed, saying, “I’d die if I couldn’t have the whole clam!” I’m thrilled to have given her a good laugh and even better story to tell all her lovely friends and family. In fact, John and I smiled at each other as we heard the entire kitchen staff busting a gut! 😀

    We retraced our steps as far as Maine, then we took off toward the Great Lakes, but scooted around them on the Canadian side. (Nearly got lost in the back woods of French Canadian land. Scary!) We ended up in Toronto, visited Hart Island in the Thousand Islands, and eventually came back through Niagara (amazing!), and then home to Missouri. We were gone just over two weeks. It was fun! 😀

  35. Mary, I am really looking forward to reading your newest!

    I had to think awhile to come up with my favorite vacation. There have been so many special ones that I really could write about many.

    One very special trip was with my sister-of-the-heart. We traveled by car from Nebraska to McAllen, Texas to vist her family. We stopped at the Memorial in Oklahoma City. Was very impressive. Had a wonderful adventure at a motel, where the father of the groom in tuxedo escorted us through the wedding party to the hot tub, and no we were not a part of the guests. But I think the most exciting part of the whole vacation had to be our trip to South Padre Island on the 4th of July.
    “Keep calm and back up slowly, very slowly toward the shore” is not a statement you want to hear while jumping waves in the Gulf. As I started backing toward shore I saw what had caused the comment. A fin!!! A fin that may or may not have been a shark but we did not stay there long enough to find out for sure!

  36. Mary,

    I love the covers of your books and I love your writing….Okay the best adventure I have ever been on was when I went onto the Apache reservation and was taken back in time when Geronimo was there…on the very ground I stood on…..Then to learn there are over 200 bodies lying under the water there….that are Apache…Breath taking place….

    Thanks Mary it brought back a lot of memories


  37. Mary,
    My best vacation was probably Rocky Mountain National Park a couple summers ago with Dave. We walked around some, which is unusual for Dave, and took Subway with us on a mountain drive so we could stop for a picnic. But my best adventure happened 40 years earlier in Topeka, KS. My uncle was quite an adventurer and he took us onto the catwalk under the railroad bridge near my grandmother’s house. The “floor” was a metal crate as were the walls. So you could see all the traffic under you on busy Topeka Blvd. It was dark, only natural light coming through the grates, so that added to the atmosphere. It was pretty cool for a 10 year old, sheltered, city girl!

  38. The best vacation I’ve taken was when we lived in Germany. We toured some castles in southern Germany and spent the night at an inn. The next day we had breakfast there in Germany, lunch in Austria (we ate outdoors and across the road in a pasture there were cows with huge bells), an afternoon break in Lichtenstein, and supper and overnight in Switzerland. The following day we took a ferry across the Boddensea back to Germany. I enjoyed “Out of Control” very much and would love to win a copy of “In Too Deep.” Thanks for giving away a book.

  39. I have book 1: OUT OF CONTROL.. I look forward to all three books being out so I can read the series. (A habit, I like to read them together. I’m not patient enough to wait months for the next book to come out when I’m reading.)

    I had to smile to myself, I could answer yes to every one of you “You might be a writer if” questions. I so wish I hadn’t been discouraged and ridiculed when I showed an interest in writing in high school. Support and encouragement make all the difference in the world to developing talents and reaching goals. If we ever finish the work on this house so I don’t feel buried, I’ll make myself sit down and work on journal entries if nothing else.

    Best of luck with the release of IN TOO DEEP. I look forward to reading it.

  40. I love marriage of convenience stories! I’m looking forward to reading Ethan and Audra’s story in IN TOO DEEP!!

    Best vacation- Camping in Olympic National Park

    The views- Hurricane Ridge and it’s view of the glacier, the Straits of Juan de Fuca looking out towards Vancouver Island

    The food- Dungeness crab, fresh fish

    Hiking beautiful trails high into the mountains, running into snow wearing a halter top and shorts

    Rain forest

    Port Angeles, WA (before Twilght)

    I look back fondly on the whole trip!

  41. Best vacation ever: Staying home with nowhere to go, nothing to do and writing! I’d pick that “adventure” every time.
    I can’t wait to read In Too Deep. Been waiting for a long time to find out what happens for Ethan and Audra!

  42. My best vacation was one my husband and I took about 20 years ago. We toured Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania with some old friends and had a wonderful time. We visited the beach, museums, battlefields, and anything else we wanted to stop and see.

  43. My best vacation that I’ve ever taken was about 4 years ago when I spent a week with my best friend/adopted sister at her home in Seattle, WA. We took the Underground Tour of Downtown Seattle,explored the Pike’s Place Market, enjoyed the view from the top of the Space Needle, drove to Mt St Helens and spent the day at the volcano, spent a rainy day at the zoo and on the way home found the Freemont Troll from the movie 10 Things I Hate About You, hiked up part of Mt Rainier, visited some beautiful waterfalls not far from her home, and just really enjoyed spending the time together. We’ve been friends since we were both babies and we’re planning our next adventure together – Ireland!

  44. Oh, writers are a funny bunch, aren’t we? I cannot wait to read this book! I’ve been to Carlsbad Cavern and I look forward to picturing your story there. 🙂 And I just have to say — I love ALL of your book covers, but the ones with these “three little boys” on them are my favorites. And I also LOVED the book trailer for this one. So touching! I love it when the book trailers and book covers match!!!! 😀 😀 😀

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