February 17, 2014

MaryLu Tyndall - Author interview and book spotlight

Ahoy there mateys welcome to the next installment of my author interviews. Come aboard our ship and meet our Captain. 

I would like you to meet Captain MaryLu Tyndall. MaryLu writes historical fiction books with a few of them about pirates. The first series I have read by MaryLu is her Escape to Paradise series and I have enjoyed it. I am in the process of collecting the rest of her books to enjoy. So grab a bench and hang on in case we encounter some rough seas and enjoy the interview.

What made you decide to write historical/christian fiction as well as about pirates?
I had a story to tell. It was a story of how a little lost girl wandered the world getting into all sorts of trouble, seeking someone to love her, and how she found that someone in Father God. In His arms she found safety and love and protection and purpose and destiny. And I wanted to share that story with the world. That's why I decided to write Christian Fiction. The Historical art was just and interest of mine. And the pirates, well, honestly I felt like a pirate most of my life, and I just love writing stories where lost souls find the only One who can fill them and give them peace.  

How do you come up with the names of the characters for your books?
I use lots of different methods. I search the records for names that were popular during the time period I'm writing in. I also go to websites where you can search names based on meaning. For instance, if my heroine is a headstrong warrior type. I search for women' names that mean warrior or God's princess. Sometimes my character's names mean something, sometimes not. Sometimes I just choose the cause they sound cool. :-)

Who designs your covers? Do you get any influence on them?
All my covers up to this point have been designed by my publisher. Once a writer signs a contract, the publisher pays for the cover design, editing, book printing, formatting and some marketing. So honestly, I have no idea who the actual designer is. I have little to no say in the cover of my books. My publisher asks for my input and then basically does what they want! However, for the most part I have been extremely pleased. Especially with my last series, Escape to Paradise! 

I know this question is asked a lot but where do you get your ideas for your books and how long does it take you to do your research?
Ideas come from everywhere. TV, Movies, Life, Friends, Family, God and History. Some of my books have been inspired directly from Scripture as in my Charles Towne Belles series, others from actual historical events such as my Destiny series or my Escape to Paradise series. If you pay attention, lie is full of stories waiting to be told. Once I have a story idea, I dive into research. I'll be the first to admit that research doesn't come easy for me. I'd much rather be writing. But darn it if you don't have to get all those little historical facts correct! Depending on the time period, research can take me anywhere from a couple weeks to a month. Then normally after I start the book I run into a ton of more details I need to look up. 

What keeps you focused when you are writing?
I'm usually so involved in my story that I don't need any incentive to keep focused. I do, however, have to write in a quiet place. (No coffee shops for me!) Sometimes I light a candle or put on some music that creates a mood for the scene I'm writing, and that really helps to transport myself to another place and time.  

Who is your favorite character and why? How about your least favorite character and why?
Of my books or any books? If my books, I'd have to say Charlisse, the heroine in my first pirate book. Her story is very much like my own life story (minus the handsome pirate), and she will always hold a special place in my heart. As far as any book, I have several favorites: Edmund Dante in the Count of Monte Cristo, Peter Blood in Captain Blood, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Beauvallet in Georgette Heyer's Beauvallet

What can we expect from you in the future?
I'm adding a fourth book to my Legacy of the King's Pirates series, The Ransom!!! I'm very excited about this book for a number of reasons, which I won't go into here. Suffice it to say it's like nothing I've done before. Release date is in March 2014. Also the third installment to my Escape to Paradise series, Abandoned Memories, is releasing in July! 

What is a favorite book or author you like to read or would like to recommend to your readers?
Any book by Julie Lessman, Laurie Alice Eakes, or Michelle Gripe

Who or what influenced your love of books?
I can't say that anyone did. No one in my family really read as I was growing up. In fact, they still don't. We watched a lot of TV. But one day, I picked up a book, I believe it was The Last of the Mohicans, and I fell in love!

Is there someone who encourages you most in your writing? Who is it and how do they influence you?
I belong to a group of close writer friends, all of whom have had a huge part in encouraging me and helping me stay focused. I highly recommend that every author have at least one or two close author friends to "dump" on now and then. This is an incredibly tough business. There's a ton of competition and rejection. Then once you put your "baby" out there, the book you've poured your heart and soul into for nearly a year, it can get slammed by bad reviews. Ouch! It really helps to have others to commiserate with, who can help you get your priorities back in line and remember why you are writing in the first place. 

When you are not writing what do you like to do?
No time for hobbies! I write full time and a a wife and mother (and soon to be grandmother) when I'm not writing!

List five random things about yourself.
Popcorn is my favorite food
I'm an introvert
I'm a health nut
I'm an insomniac
I moved 25 times before I was 18 (And no, we weren't in the military!)

The Escape to Paradise Series includes - Forsaken Dreams, Elusive Hope and Abandoned Memories

The Legacy of the King's Pirates Series includes - The Redemption, The Reliance, The Restitution and The Ransom

The Charles Towne Belles Series includes - The Red Siren, The Blue Enchantress and The Raven Saint

The Surrender to Destiny Series includes - Surrender the Heart, Surrender the Night and Surrender the Dawn. 

Also written by MaryLu are - The Falcon and the Sparrow, Veil of Pearls, Central Park Rendezvous (along with three other authors) and Pearls from the Sea (with Debbie Mitchell)

You can check out MaryLu's blog at Cross and Cutlass (click here) and her author's website (click here)  to learn more about her and her books. 

A Christy Award finalist, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of tall ships and swashbuckling heroes during her childhood years on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. She holds a degree in Math and worked as a software engineer for fifteen years. Trapped in a land-locked cubicle, she was often seen pounding furiously upon the keyboard during her lunch hour, creating what would become her Legacy of the King’s Pirates series, all the while believing God’s promise to her that. “If you write it, I will get it published”. And He did! Fourteen books later, her loving husband and six children still haven’t gotten used to her historic costumes and nautical speech. MaryLu describes herself as an introvert, patriot, mother of six, the neighborhood cat-lady, tall ship enthusiast, friend of pirates and mermaids, obsessive compulsive control freak, history lover, hopeless romantic, and a sword wielding princess-warrior of the King of Kings. Her books are filled with adventure and romance and themes that are guaranteed to touch your heart! She continues to pen her romantic tales on the California coast while managing a home, husband, six adult kids, and several stray cats who have decided that her keyboard is the best place to sleep! She believes that without popcorn and chocolate, life would not be worth living, and her sole motivation in life is to bring others closer to God.

Thank you for joining our voyage. 


  1. Great informative interview.
    I also loved the books covers to Escape to Paradise as well as Veil of Pearls and Surrender to Destiny series.

  2. Awesome interview! Love your unique questions :)