Today’s guest is Mike Hartner, author of the historical romance, I, Mary. Mike 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 book focuses on 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?
Praise for I, Mary:
“Mary Crofter was a very interesting character. I instantly liked and appreciated her growth as the story developed. I admired her strength and courage. Even though her life was filled with challenges, she was always focused and certain about her destiny.”
“This is a really a wonderful story. Will Mary find true love and still be able to stay on the land or will she have to give up one love for another? I give this book a 4/5.”
–Deal Sharing Aunt
“Absolutely a 5 star book. So very well written and grounded in history as well as fiction.”
– Teatime and Books
Dorothy Thompson: Thank you for this interview, Mike. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
Mike Hartner: I’ve been writing since I was a young boy. I started with poetry. In my teens and twenties I wrote some small prose. Later, I started writing books about my family genealogy. After the genealogy, I started writing The Eternity Series. Today, The Eternity Series has three books, and this is the only trilogy I can think of where all three books are related to the same family.
D.T.: Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
M.H.: I, Mary is the biography of Mary Crofter. More than once I have compared The Eternity Series to a modern retelling of The Canterbury Tales. So, I would describe Mary as a teacher. But so much more as well.
D.T.: Why did you choose your particular genre?
M.H.: I love historical fiction, and romance and the sea. The sea is a wonderful character, unpredictable at the best of times, and downright dangerous to fools.
D.T.: What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
M.H.: I, Mary is the first book that I’ve written with a predominantly female voice. I hope that I got it right. After all, I’m not Jack Nicholson, and I’d never be able to get away with his one liner.
D.T.: Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
M.H.: Self published. I started The Eternity Series that way, and unless a publishing house and an agent can convince me otherwise, I think it might be the better choice… at least for now.
D.T.: Was it the right choice for you?
M.H.: So far, self-publishing has been the right choice.
D.T.: How are you promoting your book thus far?
M.H.: Blogtours, blogs on various websites, my website, and promotions.
D.T.: How is that going for you?
M.H.: Well, it’s definitely making a difference. Am I rolling in cash? No, I’m an author. But it’s getting recognized.
D.T.: Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
M.H.: I have been to book signings and events at more than one B&N store in the United States and at Chapters in Canada. On both sides, I have watched people engage with me and then buy the books.
D.T.: Do you have another job besides writing?
M.H.: Yes. I am a full-time husband and father. I am the family Go-Fer.
D.T.: If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
M.H.: Get a signing. Work with bookstores to get a signing. Go out and meet the public. Meet your readers. Even if you don’t sell many books at the signing, meeting the public and letting them get to know you will be your best sales tool by far.
D.T.: What’s next for you?
M.H.: Book Four in The Eternity Series. And probably a few short stories between now and then.
D.T.: Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
M.H.: You can find the series at my website and at Twitter: @MhartnerAuthor and on facebook as Mike Hartner, Author.