Meet the Author: Mary Ann Jenkins
My friend, Matt, and I met in a Creative Writing course at College of Southern Maryland (CSM). We are both trying to become writers. He’s writing his autobiography and I’m writing a novel and a small blog of short stories. In class I use to say when I become a writer….. Our Professor asked me, “Are you writing?”
I said, “Yes mam.”
She replied, “Then you’re a writer.” We might be writing every day, but we both know we have a lot to learn, so we go to as many free writing courses and book signings as we can. I can afford free!
I had the pleasure to attend a, “Meet the Author”, event on September 6th 2016. It was coordinated by the Jaycees Senior Center in Waldorf, MD. When we walked into the building; almost immediately to our left was a sign in sheet in front of a large open area. On the far wall of the space was where the event was held. Sixteen people were already seated and Matt and I made it eighteen.
Mary talked of her childhood for about five minutes; she mentioned that her family was poor and they couldn’t afford a crib. Her first bed was the bottom drawer in her parent’s dresser. She joked about, “I believe they closed the drawer sometimes.” We laughed, then she said, “Try to write about what you know. “ She moved onto her married life and said, “We had a good relationship and we enjoyed our life together, but one morning I woke up and he didn’t.” She said that kind of matter of factly. She told us she worked for a podiatrist, then for the government as a proof reader. Proof reading helped her in the grammar and punctuation aspect of her novels so she didn’t have to pay the extra six hundred dollars for editing.
Her first novel was a collaboration with her friend Mary Ann Enslow. Sadly her friend didn’t live long enough to see the fictional publication of their book; “The Cardboard Box”, in October of 2009. Their novel is about a young assistant editor, living with her uncle Charlie in New York. When he died, he left her a house in Georgia that she knew nothing of. She questioned why he never told her about the house, but she moves there anyway. She finds love while strengthening her Christianity from a cardboard box.
Mary Ann’s second novel is called, “The Witches Journal.” Sadie Fergusson leaves London and her father, in the 1800’s, to start a new laugh in America. She knew her journey held unknown risks, but she has faith that God will carry her through. Her third novel, “The Journal Reopened” is a sequel to, “The Witches Journal.” All of her novels are good easy reading.
She explained her experience of self-publishing and the cost of a quantity her novels sold directly to her. She told us, “I have more control of the resale price of my books, when I sell them from my own stock. Amazon sells them at a much higher price.” Tate Publishing, is a Christian base company and that’s one of the determining factors that influenced her decision to go with them on her second and third novels. I thoroughly enjoyed the day.