Haven Books Fiction
Mara Purl's Novels & Stories
Interview with the Author
Mara enjoys interacting with her readers
"Thank you very much for your presentation at our Friends of the Library Tea.
You are sensational and you made such an impression on everyone, especially the young ladies.
It was a real pleasure for everyone to meet you."
A: Milford-Haven is in development for television, for Pod-Casting and we're planning expansions for our web site as well, so it's more interactive. But at this point I'm focusing on the novels. There will be twelve in the series. And book one "What the Heart Knows" is a finalist for the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Award. (I'm excited about that!)
Q: It seems that each book in the series has a significant title. Where does the title "Cause and Conscience" come from?
A: In this book, it turns out each of the characters feels guilty about something. Some of them are trying to get at the cause of their guilt, while others are trying to outrun their conscience. Each book does have a theme...for example in "Child Secrets," we discover something about each character's childhood, and that tells us so much about how they behave as adults.
Q: Even though "Cause and Conscience" was just published, are you already working on the next book?
A: Oh, yes. The next one is called "Nobody's Fault." So in "Cause and Conscience" we're finding out about guilt and blame, and in "Nobody's Fault" we find out about forgiveness. Although I will tell you...the title contains a double entendre. I won't tell you what it is yet....
Q: Which do you think is more satisfying to your audience - the radio drama, or the series of novels? Is there something listeners can get from the radio drama that they can't get anywhere else?
A: The radio drama has the richness of the cast - twenty superb actors who brought such color and variety and nuance. And it has the layering of sound - distant ambient sounds like birds in the trees outside or the distant hum of a ship's engine; then near sounds - the clatter of a spoon stirring the coffee in Sally's Restaurant, or the gentle way Miranda closes the door so as not to waken Zack. And of course the beautiful, haunting music - we hear a sultry saxophone line and we know Cynthia's about to appear in something satin she's almost wearing, or we hear a highly-charged syncopated beat and we know Zackery's on his way to making an important decision.
Q: What about the books? The Milford-Haven novels seem so much more complex and involving because you're delving into areas that can only be reached with the written word.
A: I am finding this process most interesting. I keep getting deeper and deeper. I feel that in "What the Heart Knows" (Book One) the readers get their ankles wet, in "Closer Than You Think" (Book two) they begin to swim, in "Child Secrets" (Book Three) they go deep-diving - literally and figuratively, because this book contains a commercial dive of several hundred feet; and in "Cause and Conscience" (Book Four) readers get into some of the characters' core issues, and in fact some of the characters are way out to sea and don't even realize it. This was the idea of doing the fiction żż to delve much more deeply into the characters and their lives. It's a tremendous expansion beyond script writing, where the depth is mostly in subtext.
Q: There's so much detail in your books - psychological, emotional and technological. Seems like you did a lot of research.
A: I always do a lot of research - it's the backbone for everything I write. For example, for "Child Secrets" I read about child development for over a year and wrote detailed backgrounds for each character. But I also researched off-shore oil rigs by reading technical manuals and by working with five experts in different fields: a naval architect, an underwater submersible designer, a commercial diver, and two underwater cinematographers.
Q: Did researching such different kinds of issues affect your style of writing?
A: One minute I was like Danielle Steel, writing about complex relationships with interwoven paths and secret desires; then suddenly I was like Tom Clancy, writing this high-tech underwater explosion where every bolt and valve had to be correct, but the forward momentum of the story had to be unimpaired.
VISIT US AGAIN SOON FOR ADDITIONS TO MARA'S INTERVIEW!