Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Mike Hartner, author of 'I, Mary'



Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He's traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

His latest book is the historical romance, I, Mary.

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About the Book:

Mary Crofter's first trip on the water was just after her first birthday, when her parents came from her birthplace in Kilwa to Portsmouth. She's been on several trips from Portsmouth to London and other places since. She loves the water and the water seems to love her. Can she survive on the water? Will people ever take seriously a GIRL as a sailor? Will she ever come off the water? If she does, will the lure of the ocean draw her back?

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Welcome to PUYB Virtual Book Club, Mike!  Can we begin by having you tell us how you got started writing?

Mike:   I started by writing poetry and short stories in my pre-teen youth, and kept that going over my high-school years.  Later, after graduating university, I took an interest in genealogy and one of my relatives challenged me to write some stories about the family.  And that brought me to my first books.

What is it about historical romance that you love the most?

Mike:  I am always a sucker for romance, and the historical part interests me because I find it gives writers a lot more possibilities.  With today's media, society knows pretty much the significant events of each and every day.  But, not the individual ones.   And because in history only the victors are remembered, that allows the imagination much more latitude to fill in the events of lesser mortals. 

Is I, Mary part of a series?

Mike:  Definitely.  I, Mary is the third book in The Eternity Series.  It is also the last book in the Crofter Trilogy.  We will see more from this family, but I expect it will take us several more books before we do.   The Eternity Series began with book one I, Walter in 1588, and by the time it's done, I expect to be in present day.  Which will take an Eternity to write. Ha!

Can you tell us a little about your main character, Mary Crofter?

Mike:  Mary Crofter is a strong female character.  Her Grandfather, Walter Crofter opened this series with I, Walter.  Her Father, was the second book in the series I, James.  Mary Crofter is passionate about her family, and nearly as passionate about sailing the sea.  It was interesting to write how she dealt with each. 

Can you tell us a little about the supporting characters?

Mike: The biggest supporting character for Mary (other than the sea) was her husband Andrew.  He saw something in Mary even before they were together, and moved Earth to keep her safe.  Arrow and Owl and Tiny were sailors, and as such they were mentors and friends. 

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader can’t put the book down.  What’s one of the pivotal points in I, Mary?

Mike: I would like to think that the first pivotal point was Mary's capture in the Civil War. 

What’s next for you, Mike?  More historical romance?

Mike: Definitely. Book Four is already being drafted. I expect it to release in late June Early July of 2016. 

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