Friday, October 27, 2017

First Call Friday- Mary Alford

Hello, Mary Alford here. I don’t know about you, but I so love hearing about how my favorite Love Inspired authors sold their first books.
Today, I’m here to share my first call story with you. It’s a story that began many years ago when I was still just a child.
I was about eight years old when I read my first Nancy Drew mystery and knew that I wanted to create stories just like that when I grew up.
Fast forward six more years, I discovered Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt and became hooked on the romantic suspense genre.

And so, ready to write my first book, I sat down at my brother’s old typewriter, (yes, I’m dating myself), and began to put the story that was in my head down on paper. At that time, I had no idea that I was about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Sadly that first story was never finished. Life took precedence over my writing career for a very long time. Yet, throughout all those years, I still continued to write whenever I had the chance, keeping my dream of becoming a published author alive when it seemed nothing more than an impossible desire.
In the beginning, I had no idea all the intricate steps involved in creating a suspense story, but I wrote, I read about my craft, and I found a great network of seasoned authors who willingly shared their knowledge.

For a while, I tried writing other genres, before I came back to my first love, inspirational romantic suspense. A very wise author once told me, write what you enjoy reading and then perfect it. In other words, if you don’t read contemporary romance, then don’t try to write about it.

For me, years of struggling to keep the dream alive would come down to five minutes in the spotlight.

 In 2012, I entered the Speed Dating Contest that editor Emily Rodmell was hosting. I remember reading about the contest on the Harlequin website and going back and forth on whether or not to enter. You see, I’d entered contests before without much luck. In the end, I did enter and was one of the lucky ones who got an appointment to chat with Emily.

On the day of the pitch, I was on vacation in Colorado. At our cabin, internet service is nonexistent. It would have been so easy to say, oh well, better luck next time, but I think God was nudging me not to give up.

And so, my husband and I drove into the small town of Pagosa Springs where I did the entire chat on my laptop in the parking lot outside of the Ace Hardware Store. My fingers were actually shaking so much I was convinced that I’d typed nothing but gibberish.
Emily was kind enough to request a synopsis. I promptly sent the synopsis out to her. Then she requested the first three chapters, followed by the full manuscript. With each request, I tried not to get my hopes up. As I said, I’d been here before.

Yet in December 2012, Emily called to tell me I’d sold my first book to Love Inspired Suspense. To this day, I can’t tell you what she said to me other than that she wanted to buy FORGOTTEN PAST for Love Inspired Suspense. It was a surreal moment. One that still hasn’t fully sunken in. I write for Love Inspired Suspense! It's a great feeling to have your dream become a reality and even greater to hold your own book in your hands.

Since that first call, I’ve sold five more books to Love Inspired Suspense. 

So I would tell anyone who has a dream that seems impossible at the moment, don’t give up. Because with God, all things are possible.'

All the best…
Mary Alford          


  1. I love these call stories. Congratulations on making your dream come true.

  2. Love the story. Nothing stops a writer who is after her goal. And hearing where you where brings back growing up in Denver.

  3. Mary, thanks for sharing your "Call" story! Hugs and congrats to another suspense writer who started with Nancy Drew! She was my heroine back in the day! Loved those stories. Congrats on your success. Glad your dream came true. I'm still living mine, for sure! Hugs!

  4. I like that there are different sub genres to mystery. I like to switch between cozies characters and true suspense. My favorite series right now is Drew Farthering Mysteries by Julianna Deering. I also like E.E. Kennedy’s cozies. For Suspense some favorites are Dani Pettrey, Irene Hannon, Lynnette Eason and Patricia Bradley and more!

  5. Mary, fun story. I,too, was a Nancy Drew fan.

  6. LOL, I read Phyliss Whitney too. I even met her years ago. And, I used to go the Walgreens near me to use Wifi. We've come a long way baby.


Popular Posts

Write for Love Inspired Romance?

Write for Love Inspired Romance?
If you do and would like to join this blog, please contact either Margaret Daley or Pamela Tracy

Total Pageviews

Blog Archive