Showing posts with label Mary Hamilton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Hamilton. Show all posts

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Interview with MG Author, Mary Hamilton

My special guest is middle-grade author, Mary Hamilton. When I met Mary at ACFW conference in 2012, I fell in love with her sweet spirit. I read her debut novel, and that made me hungry to read the second in the series. She has the voice and heart of the preteen/early teen. In Speak No Evil her characters are a couple years older.

    If you ever went to summer church camp, you will relive those years in her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series, both the good and the bad.

     If you have a middle-grade student on your Christmas list, this is a must-buy for a stocking stuffer.

     So, now I have some questions for Mary, so that you might meet her, too, and learn about her new book, Speak No Evil.

1. When was the last time you wanted to give up on writing? What saved you from doing that?

I’ve wanted to give up many times in the last few months as I’ve worked on the last book in my Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. It was a difficult story that I struggled with all the way through. The only reason I didn’t quit was because I had a contract to honor.


 2. Ah, yes, those pesky contracts that we both love and hate. Where did you get the idea of your new book?

When Hear No Evil, the first book in the series came out, I received many comments that the bully in the story was very relevant to today’s youth. So I decided to make him the star of the second book. I wanted to figure out what made him tick, why he acted the way he did.


3. Who is your favorite character from your new book?

I’ve developed a great fondness for Taylor, the main character. When I first started writing his story, I didn’t particularly like him. He was, after all, a bully. But the more I wrote and got to know what was in his heart and the hurt he was hiding, the more I came to love him. He reminds me of a couple people I know who are rough around the edges and kind of prickly at times, but inside they have a good heart.


4. If you could be a song, what would it be?

I would like to be any one of the great hymns, because they are enduring, meaningful, and their whole purpose is to praise our God.


5. In what place do you do most of your writing?

If I’m working on a first draft, I’m usually closeted in one of our upstairs bedrooms away from telephones and noise and our attention-loving Golden Retriever. If I’m rewriting, I’m either at the kitchen table or out on the patio (with the dog!).


6. What book are you reading right now?

I just finished Red Zone by Kelli Hughett. It’s a romantic suspense played out on the edges of professional football. I highly recommend it.


7. How did you connect with your current publisher?

I met Lynellen Perry of HopeSprings books at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. We sat across the table from each other at breakfast the last morning, when I’d pretty much given up on getting my first book published. Obviously, God had a different idea!

What a wonderful inspiring story for other still unpublished authors who are getting discouraged.


Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, hosting small group Bible studies and pancake suppers. One summer, she even volunteered as a camp counselor for a week—and decided once was enough.

When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever.


Connect with Mary:



Having his younger sister at camp was a pain, but Taylor Dixon never expected the pain to go so deep.

At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving racecars when he’s older. Only his younger sister, Marissa, believes in his dreams, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble. Dad won’t let Taylor get his license unless he stays out of trouble, and predicts he’s heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother.

Taylor returns to Rustic Knoll Bible Camp, expecting softball, swimming and sermons. Then he discovers a classic Mustang in the camp’s machine shed, and the owner’s invitation to help restore it fuels his dream of driving race cars. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the ensuing war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens to destroy both the car and his dreams for the future.

Will Taylor fulfill Dad’s prediction? Or will the message of the old Mustang’s engine set him free from the prison he built himself?



I love the cover, Mary. Of course, I love Mustangs. The book is good.

Do any of you have questions or comments for Mary?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Ghost Story by Mary L. Hamilton

It's Weird Wednesday, again. Eek!

My good friend and wonderful author, Mary L. Hamilton has a "weird" ghost story for us today.

The Ghost in the…Bathroom?

The sound of water running in the downstairs bathroom halted my steps on the stairway landing above. It wasn’t the first time I’d discovered the water running with no one around. I’d always blamed it on the kids, thinking my son forgot to turn off the faucet in his rush to get back outside with his friends. Or my little daughter, just tall enough to push the lever up to wash her hands but too short to pull it down when she finished. I’d always imagined a reasonable explanation.

Until now. 

There was no explanation—reasonable or otherwise—for water to be gushing into the sink in that bathroom. The kids and I had played games in the family room downstairs all evening. At bedtime, we passed that bathroom on our way up to their rooms. No water was running then, and no one had been down there since. The kids were all in bed and accounted for. So why should the faucet be running full blast?

My pulse raced right alongside my imagination. Is some psychopath down there waiting to kill us? Should I call the police and tell them the water is running in my downstairs bathroom? No, I’ll call my next-door neighbor, ask him to come over and check out the house for me. Except, I’d have to go get my phone. Which I’d left in the family room. Downstairs.

  Okay, seriously, if somebody wanted to kill me, he probably wouldn’t lure me downstairs by turning on the bathroom faucet and waiting for me to notice. I grab my son’s baseball bat anyway, just in case, and silently descend the first six steps. The bathroom is at the bottom on the left–the bathroom where the water is still running. I flip a switch, illuminating the family room below and take two more steps down. The water continues to run. Another step. 

    Holding my breath, I peek into an empty family room before descending the next step. I swallow my heart that’s pounding in my throat. One more step. My sweaty hands twist the bat and I raise it over my head as I reach the bottom. The water is still running.

I consider uttering a battle cry as I burst in swinging, but first I peek between the hinges…a little further…around the door until I see–

Nobody. Just water gushing full blast into the sink. I slam the lever down, take the first three steps in one leap, race up the rest of the stairs and hide the bat under my pillow.

My husband always manages to be out of town when things happen—floods, tornadoes, fires, ghosts. When he calls, I casually ask, “Do you believe in ghosts?”

“What kind of question is that?”

 I explain what happened, but since I’ve never mentioned the earlier episodes of running water to him, he’s skeptical.

 “There has to be a logical explanation for it,” he says.   

 Of course, there is.  Like a psycho killer who lures his victims downstairs by turning on the faucet. I think I’m more comfortable with the ghost explanation–a ghost who likes to wash his hands.

  Weeks later, Hubby comes down to breakfast, looking a mite sheepish.

  “I couldn’t sleep last night,” he says, “so I went downstairs to read. All of a sudden, the water came on in the bathroom, running full blast into the sink. I knew no one had gone in there, because I was sitting facing the bathroom. I would’ve seen them. I don’t blame you for being scared. I was scared.”

    “Oh!” I said. “So you met Caspar.”

     “Caspar?” he asked.

      “Of course.  Caspar the Cleanly Ghost.”


Author’s Note: This story actually happened. We never did figure out exactly what caused the water to come on. Our best guess was that water pressure from the upstairs bathroom would build up to a point where it would force open the valve on the downstairs faucet. But, we thought it was much more fun to believe it was a ghost who liked to wash his hands.

Oh, I love that, Mary. Thanks so much for your story. Aren't ghosts fun? I like your Caspar.

Mary L. Hamilton is the author of the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series for tweens. She grew up at a Bible camp, much like the setting for Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil, the first two books in the series.

She and her husband raised three terrific kids and make their home in Texas with a rescued Golden Retriever. But no ghosts.

Connect with Mary:


Let me say I highly recommend either of Mary's tween books. She is an excellent writer, really has down the voice of the tween, and knows her Bible camps. If you've ever gone to a camp as a kid, you'll love these books.

If you have a ghost story, let us know and don't forget to check out Mary L. Hamilton's books.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Mary L. Hamilton's debut novel, HEAR NO EVIL

My sweet friend, Mary Hamilton visits Writing with God's Hope blog today.

 Since her debut novel  released four days ago, (Big congrats to Mary) I asked her if she would allow her book's main character to come and answer some of our questions. She was kind enough to allow him to have his say.

So, let me introduce Brady McCaul.
Hello, Brady,     
This is Brady's home.


Your dad left when you were only seven. How did that affect you?

Dad was never around much anyway. He always acted like work was more important to him than me. I missed him but Mom spent a lot of time with me. She tried to make up for Dad not being there. Mom made me feel loved and secure in the days after Dad left. I’m an only child, so Mom and I spent a lot of time talking and hanging out together.

It must have been devastating when she left you at camp.

After Dad left, I often wondered what I’d do if something happened to Mom, but I never, ever imagined she’d say she didn’t want me anymore. I was shocked. I had no clue what I’d done to make her not love me anymore. It was embarrassing to know other people heard it, but my counselor, Matt, was really cool about helping me out and not making me feel worse.

Matt looked out for you pretty well during the week, didn’t he?

He’s a great counselor. Matt always seemed to know what I was thinking, but he kept it between the two of us. I’m sorry I didn’t take him up on his offer to talk things out. But of course the best thing he did was introduce me to Steven. 

You and Steven developed a strong friendship. What do you admire about him?

Steven’s cool. He’s so confident, even though he can’t see anything. He’s also pretty laid-back, doesn’t get all freaked out over stuff. And he’s loyal. He defended me even though it meant he’d get teased, too.

What about Claire?

Claire is almost the opposite of Steven. She’s a fighter. Whether it’s a game or real life, I want her on my side. (And not just because she’s cute.)

Why do you think Taylor picked on you so much?

He’s pretty much a jerk to everyone. But after what Mom said, I was really unsure of myself. I think he picked up on that and figured I was an easy target. I reacted every time he said or did something. That’s what he wanted. He liked having the power to irritate me.

At one time, you thought God would never call your name. How has your idea of God changed since being at camp?

I didn’t really know God. I only knew about him, and even the things I thought I knew weren’t always true. Now I know that God calls each of us by name. He wants us to know him like we know our best friend. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m learning to know God as a personal friend and not just some grandfather-type image in a book.
Now, that we've learned a bit about Brady, can you tell us something about your creator, Mary Hamilton?
Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a camp much like the setting for her Rustic Knolls Bible Camp series. She started out writing articles for magazines, and a Christmas play, Homespun Angel. Her faith is a strong influence in her life and writing. When she’s not writing, Mary loves the outdoors and nature, as well as opening her home to youth Bible studies, pancake suppers and breakfast with her special recipe waffles. She and her husband live near Houston, TX, within range of her three grown children.
How to connect with Mary
Twitter: @mhamilton122

So there you have it. Run, don't walk to purchase your copy of Hear No Evil.
Summer camp is no fun for Brady McCaul. The girl with the cute dimples thinks he’s immature and childish. The camp bully targets him with cruel taunts and teasing, and flips Brady’s canoe to keep him from winning the race. But worst of all, his mom won’t let him come home. She doesn’t want him living with her anymore. Brady wonders if even God cares about him.
Can Brady figure out what he did to earn Mom’s rejection and change her mind by week’s end? Or will he have to live with his workaholic dad, the guy who left when Brady was seven? All seems lost until a surprising secret changes everything. 
Thank you,  Mary L. Hamilton for stopping by today and telling us about Hear No Evil. The book sounds great for tweens and adults alike. Also, thank you, Brady. I enjoyed making your acquaintance.
 Mary tells me you may purchase Hear No Evil on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.