Author Mara Purl on Writing
— Tell us about the importance of thin flip cell phones and Jimmy Choo shoes. I Googled the shoes … WOW, they are HOT!! [You could wear them, I could NOT!!!]
Oh, these are such fun stories! First, the shoes. I have a “hot” character named Cynthia. She’s social climber, a blond bombshell, and is convinced she can get anything she wants by wiggling her hips and batting her eyelashes. And most of the time, she’s right! Of course I think carefully about Cynthia’s wardrobe, and she has to have some “major” shoes.
To create the Cynthia character I draw on observation, imagination, and also some personal experience. When I was performing on Days Of Our Lives, all we women cast members had glamorous moments in the story. That’s part of the soap opera world. And part of that world is being photographed, both at events and in the studio. I’d bought some gloriously wicked black patent leather shoes with spike heels. I was about 6 foot 2 in these shoes, and they looked great in photos. Well, one year I was going to the Emmy Awards and decided to wear them. I only realized when we arrived at the auditorium and were faced by a huge staircase, that I really couldn’t walk in these things. My date had to help me “hop” up to the entrance. From then on, I labeled these my “shoes of death.”
Of course, some similar event will come up in Cynthia’s storyline. Meanwhile, I’ve established that she has a wonderful shoe collection. And I just kept seeing her in high-styled, colorful Jimmy Choo shoes. The thing is, he’s a huge name in fashion now, but my first novel is set in 1996. So I researched Jimmy Choo’s career. I was intrigued to discover he comes from a multi-generation lineage of cobblers in China, so you could say he was born with an innate knowledge of the foot and how to dress it. Imagine my delight when I discovered Jimmy’s first major success came when he was featured in Vogue Magazine in 1996! It’s just so perfect. Cynthia becomes one of the first glam-gals to own a pair of his shoes.
The cell phone story is similar, in that I have a wealthy young male character, Zack, and needed for him to have a cell phone. But unlike today, in 1996 most people didn’t yet have cell phones. Turns out, the first razor-thin flip phone hit the market in 1996, just in time for Zack to own one. They cost a small fortune at the time—and that, too, was perfect for this character.
– What goals and challenges do you see for yourself in the future?
The Milford-Haven Novels will include twelve books, so I’ll be busy for a while! I’m also writing a short story as a prequel to each novel. So my goal is to write these novels, and to continue working with my new publishers and marketing team.
So that’s the “head” goal. But the “heart” goal is what’s really important. The real purpose in writing and marketing these books is to enroll women readers in a whole new realm of possibility for themselves. On one level, my novels are pure escapism. But on a deeper level, that “fiction lens” gives them a tool for looking into their own hearts. What, in our heart of hearts, do we want to create in our lives? Are we carving out time to fulfill our desires? If not now, when?
At my book events, we have such fun engaging in these conversations. We also have fun donating a percentage of sales to charities, because generosity is one of the keys to living a happy life. I’d like to create more and more opportunities for generosity and transformation. And to think, all this can begin with buying a book, taking it home and reading it! When a reader tells me my books have made a difference in her life—that’s when I know I’m fulfilling my purpose.
Thank you, Mara, for sharing your thoughts with us during an interesting and informative interview. Best of luck to you for much future success with your Milford-Haven novels, and beyond! — Joyce
PLEASE NOTE: As a thank you for your visit today, Mara would like to offer her new short-story “When Hummers Dream.” Her charming story, which has become a best-seller in the Kindle store, is a prequel to her upcoming novel “What the Heart Knows.” You may download it for your Kindle from amazon.com for free until September 1. But in case you don’t have a Kindle, you may still download it for free from Mara’s publisher! Visit www.BellekeepBooks.com/Bonus, then enter the password BKbonus. Enjoy!
About Author Mara Purl:
- Mara Purl was a performer on-camera and on-stage, with her regular character on Days Of Our Lives having been her starting point for soap opera.
- Purl began her writing career as a journalist for the Associated Press, Rolling Stone, The Financial Times of London, Working Woman Magazine, and The Christian Science Monitor. A prolific fiction author, she also has written a play and several non-fiction books including Act Right: A Manual for the On-Camera Actor with actress Erin Gray.
- Other Awards include: for radio, the New York Festivals Award; for her play Mary Shelley: In Her Own Words, the Peak Award; and for public service, Woman of the Year 2002 by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women.
- Mara Purl is also an accomplished musician. Her instrument is the koto and she recorded and has played on the international stage with many noteworthy musicians including the works Sumahama recorded with Mike Love and the Beach Boys, Pathless Path recorded with Charles Lloyd, Koto Keys with Marilyn Harris, and Teiji Ito’s Watermill recorded with Grammy-winning musician Steve Gorn.
- The hit song “Jet Laggin” she co-wrote with Marilyn Harris is in current release on the new CD Orphans.
Dianemarie (DM) Collins
DM Productions LLC
(623).825.9122 Ext. 2 – Email: DM@DMProductionsLLC.com
Phoenix – Lake Tahoe – Reno
Author – Actress – Motivational Speaker