Mary Peace Finley
Award-winning author of books for young people
© Mary Peace Finley 2012
What is your favorite book that you wrote?
Soaring Eagle stretched into a longer story, so my favorite is all three books in the Santa Fe Trail
Trilogy: Soaring Eagle, White Grizzly, and Meadow Lark.
Was it hard for you to become an author?
Oh yes! I had so much to learn about plotting and characterization and pacing and so many other
things. The first thing I learned was that I didn’t know much, so I took classes and learned. Little by little,
my writing became better and better. Even so, it was ten years before anything I wrote was published.
Have you written any snake books?
There’s a snake---a rattler---in Soaring Eagle, but I haven’t written an entire book about snakes.
How did you write books?
First I get an idea that really really really really excites me. Then with that inspiration, I think and
scribble notes and make webs of ideas and ask myself lots of questions like “What if….?” Or “What’s
this person like? What does he want?” Sometimes I write about what I’m going to write “for real” later
on. Or I write out questions for myself, like “What would happen if ……?’ All that is part of planning or
plotting. After I have a pretty good idea of my characters and story, after it is plotted, then I let myself get
into the “real writing”--writing action and scenes and dialogue, and that’s really fun. (By the way, that’s
only how I do it. There are as many different ways of writing a book as there are writers. Some other
authors start writing and find out what’s going to happen as they write.)
Are any of your books inspired by your friends of family?