I’m delighted to introduce to you, on TBAP today, renowned author, MaryLu Tyndall (although, she needs no introduction)! MaryLu is one of my top five authors of ALL time, and I’m honored that she would stop by on TBAP today to pay us visit. This anointed and gifted woman of God has a lot of wisdom to share, it’s quite marveling! Follow our conversation below and learn more about this amazing woman!
Miranda ~ Hello MaryLu! It’s wonderful to have you visit TBAP today! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
MaryLu: Hi Miranda! Thank you so much for having me! Goodness, not sure what to say about me. I’ve been an author for 15 years. I have over 20 books published. I’m a mother of 6, grandmother of almost 4! I live in California now but grew up in South Florida. I’ve been married for 25 years and I take in stray cats! LOL I’ve been a follower of Jesus for 23 years, and I’ve never once looked back to my old life which was a disaster before Christ (BC).
Miranda ~ Would be delighted to learn how you became a Christian. Could you please tell us the story?
MaryLu: It’s a rather long story so I’ll try to just give the highlights. I grew up in a broken home and never knew my father. Consequently, I spent many years running from God and trying to fill my heart with everything the world said would make me happy. By the time I hit my mid-thirties, I had made a huge mess of my life. I hit rock bottom and actually wanted to die. Instead, I found an old Bible in my closet and promised myself I’d read it through, just to see if there was anything to it. Somewhere in the middle of Ezekiel, I met God. I was reading about the prophecy where God said He would bring all the Jewish people back to Israel and make them a nation again. At the time, Israel was in the news a lot and it occurred to me that the prophecy had come true, which then led me to realize that God is real, which then forced me to my knees before Him. I can honestly say my life has never been the same. Such love, such adventure, such purpose! People who live without the Lord don’t know what they’re missing.
Miranda ~ Your journey in the publishing industry hasn’t been an easy one. First, you were traditionally published. Now you’re indie. Is there a story behind your decision?
MaryLu: Yes, I had a great relationship with my publisher, Barbour, and together we published 14 books and 2 novellas. God was so good to me. But a change in staff at Barbour and a new policy throughout Christian publishing of toning down the Christian message made me realize I would do better on my own. I refuse to take Jesus out of my books as some publishers are now requesting. As an Indie, I can write what I want, and release it when I want, and choose my own covers, etc. It’s been great!
Miranda ~ With your story in your publishing journey, how has it strengthened your faith and drawn you closer to God?
MaryLu: The entire journey has brought me much closer to the Lord than I ever thought possible. From the moment I got my first contract (which at the time was a near impossibility for a new author writing about pirates), I realized that God’s hand was involved in every detail and every step. For an unknown like me to rise so quickly, and have so many books, was a miracle. Then branching out on my own took a huge leap of faith. I had to learn first to hear from God, and then to trust what I was hearing. Once I took that first step, I’ve had to lean on Him every minute afterward. God has a purpose for each of us if we simply commit to Him and learn to listen. It’s a process and a journey, and if we are willing to trust Him, God is more than happy to take our hand and gently guide us down the path He has laid out for us.
Miranda ~ You have tremendous interest in pirates and old ships! What’s the story behind this?
MaryLu: You mean not everyone loves pirates and tall ships? LOL. Well, I suppose it all started as a young girl playing on the warm beaches of South Florida, gazing out upon the sea and imagining tall, majestic ships on the horizon filled with handsome pirates and dare-devil adventurers. To me, the age of sail is one of the most exciting and adventurous times in our history. And romantic! But then, I’ve always been a romantic.
Miranda ~ Do you one day see your books being adapted into screenplay? Why so?
MaryLu: I think that’s every author’s dream! So, yes, of course! There would be nothing more exciting than to see my characters come to life on stage or in a movie.
Miranda ~ You recently revamped Veil of Pearls. Why this book in particular? Also, what inspired you to write this story?
MaryLu: Veil of Pearls is one of my favorites. I just adore the story of Adalia’s escape from slavery, not just her physical slavery but from the chains of seeking man’s approval. My inspiration came from my own life where I struggled as a young girl to fit in and be accepted by the popular crowd. Later in life, this led me to make a series of horrible mistakes until I came to know the Lord, and He showed me that this longing to be someone important was an idol that took me away from Him and only caused me pain. True purpose and happiness comes when we seek only God’s approval.
Miranda ~ You’re an author interested in portraying the different races and cultures in your books, even brushing on slavery sometimes. What inspires you to write this way?
MaryLu: We are all God’s creatures and He loves all of us equally. Slavery was and is an abhorrent scar upon our nation. Yet as part of our history, I feel I must be true to the reality of it. Let’s face it, our nation needs healing from this travesty and I believe many are striving toward that, both white and black. We have made great strides, yet it saddens me to see some of that progress being taken away by those who wish to spark the flames of racism again.
Miranda ~ As an author who writes outside of the “traditional” box, what is the guiding principle behind your writing? And, what response do you have against the criticism that your books may receive? Also, with a non-traditional writing such as yours, who are the people you write for—the broken-hearted, lost, those in despair etc.?
MaryLu: After I received my first contract, I made God a promise that I would always first and foremost write to glorify Him. That has been the guiding principal of every story I’ve written. I want to not only bring God glory, but I want to make Him known in new ways, in different ways, in more powerful ways to everyone who reads my books. The church is sliding into apostasy and people are looking for something real to cling to. Yes, I write for those people who have lost their hope, who have drifted from God, who are desperate to be loved, who have been beaten down by life, and even sometimes by Christians…people who need to know that God is real, and He’s powerful and He loves them beyond measure. They are precious to Him and He is always there. That’s why I write.
Miranda ~ What advice would you give to an author who’s just starting out?
MaryLu: This is a tough business. If your heart isn’t in it, don’t to it, because it will chew you up and spit you out at the first chance. (How’s that for encouragement? LOL). However, if writing is in your blood, if you can’t NOT write, if you have stories burning on your soul, then the only advice I have for you is WRITE. Write, write, write. Learn the rules of writing (tons of classes and books out there), read tons of well-written books, pray for God’s help and guidance every day, and then write your heart out. God will lead you down the right path for you.
THIS OR THAT (The Fun Questions!)
Breakfast or Dinner? Dinner!
Flats or Heels? Heels
Spring or Fall? Spring
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Snow or Rain? Snow (It’s so peaceful and beautiful and settles a blanket of calm on the earth!)
Gym or Outdoor? Outdoor
Shakes or Juice? Smoothies!
Cooking or Cleaning? Neither. LOL. But I’ll settle for cooking
Music or Magazines? Music, the inspiration of the soul
Vegetables or Fruits? Veggies!
Cakes or Bread? Both, I’m a carb person!
About MaryLu Tyndall
Award winning and best-selling author, MaryLu Tyndall, describes herself as an introvert, tall ship enthusiast, friend of pirates and mermaids, control freak, history lover, hopeless romantic, and a sword wielding princess-warrior of the King of Kings. Her books are filled with adventure and romance guaranteed to touch your heart! Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained, but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. She has published over twenty novels and currently lives in California with her husband, 6 kids, 3 grandkids, and various stray cats. Visit her personal website and follow her on social media (@MaryLuTyndall)