Featured Interview With Marie Green McKeon
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Philadelphia. It’s not that I have anything against big cities, or Philadelphia per se, which they rightfully describe as a city of neighborhoods, but I never liked living there. Never really felt I belonged. When my husband and I moved to a small town near Valley Forge (where we still live now), I immediately felt as if I had finally come home. Not just the town, but the whole area –including Valley Forge park, which figures in my book — is, I believe, where I belong.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
My mother taught me and my siblings to read at a young age (I remember her arguing with the librarian that my brother, age 3 at the time, deserved to be issued a library card). So, I can’t quite remember exactly how old I was when I became fascinated with books. I think I was always fascinated by them, reading at every opportunity I could get. For example, my sister and I would constantly be in trouble for reading in bed long after lights out.
I didn’t start seriously writing until I was in high school and my sister convinced me to join the student newspaper. Talk about fascination — I was enthralled with every part of it. That led to me majoring in journalism in college, and working as a newspaper reporter (a great way to build skill sets in crafting a story as well as observing human nature), and then eventually moving on to marketing copywriting, financial writing, and then — to my real love — fiction writing.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
More than 90% of what I read is fiction, and of that, I would say it’s a mix of literary, women’s, and mystery/suspense. I have a habit of reading as many as 7 or 8 books at the same time, and somehow manage to keep the stories straight (don’t ask me how). Right now, among the authors I’m reading are Rebecca Makkai and Laura Lippman. Most of the authors I read tend to be women. It just works out that way, although I’ve been blown away by some male authors, of course (thinking of Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master’s Son). Of those who truly have inspired me: Sue Monk Kidd, Donna Tartt, and (everyone’s favorite, deservedly) Harper Lee.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
A girl runs away from home, searching for the father who abandoned the family. A woman, who has never ventured outside the confines of living with her mother and working at a small printing company, finds her world shattering. Her mother dies, the company falls on hard financial times, and she faces the distinct possibility of losing her house. Water is Wider, a contemporary woman’s novel, tells the story of how these two lives intersect and how bonds between strangers can sometimes grow stronger than bloodlines. Blood may be thicker than water, but water is wider.
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