Tag Archives: Author

We bleed. We laugh. We cry.

Thinking about how far this writing journey has taken me since publishing my memoir two years ago, still brings a thrill to my heart! And I am humbled. I am forever grateful and cherish the entire process.

I am not unique. Everyone has a story. God can take your life of peril and turn it into a life of promise. If you have a pulse, then you have a purpose. You don’t have to be ashamed of your pain or remain alone. If others don’t know your pain, they can’t possibly understand your praise.

Do you have a voice? Use it. Do you have a platform? Own it. You are uniquely and beautifully you! God don’t make no junk! Be a light to someone. Bring hope to the hopeless and encouragement to the destitute. Even if someone’s life is perfect, it doesn’t mean they have it all together. We are humans. We all bleed. We all laugh. We all cry, and we long for compassion.

We. Need. One. Another.

 

Some lovely women from Hope Lutheran Church, recently invited me to speak and share my story at their ladies guild group. They welcomed me with opened arms and I felt right at home! They were warm, friendly and attentive. They blessed me!

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Channel 2 Houston News

Author recalls ride on balloon months before deadly accident

By Samantha Ptashkin – Reporter

Posted: 6:35 PM, August 02, 2016

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HOUSTON – A Houston area author recently wrote a blog about the tragic hot air balloon accident near Austin, months after she took a ride on the same balloon, with the same pilot.

Mary Ann Perez McNulty and three of her girlfriends went on the ride last January.

View the original article and see the video on the Click2News website ~~~

(http://www.click2houston.com/news/author-recalls-ride-on-balloon-months-before-deadly-accident#)

 

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Does Size Matter?

Something doesn’t sit right with me, and here it is. I have heard numerous times how one has to dream “big” in order to achieve something, or become something, or change something. You know the old adage: Dream big or go home. I’ve come across some other sayings such as: If your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough. Say what? Listen, I’ve got plenty of dreams, okay? Your dreams may not be my dreams, and I can guarantee that my dreams are not your dreams! But a dream is a dream is a dream. I just don’t buy the line, hook and sinker that screams your dream doesn’t count or isn’t as important if it isn’t “big”! No sir! No ma’am!

Think what you will, but you can’t look down on my dream and say that yours is more important than mine. Or that my dream doesn’t count because it isn’t as”big.” Who are you to downplay my dream? Have you walked in my shoes?

When I wrote, “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace” I not only mention some of the heartaches I endured as a child and young adult, but I also mention the good times, the happy times, and the contented times. And you know what? Some looked down on those cheerful events that I wrote about because it seemed insignificant to them. Is that fair? Hey, I’m tickled pink you had a  much “happier” life than me, nonetheless, those were my good times and they meant everything to this girl. And I will tell you this: I am a dream come true.

We all have goals, we all dream dreams. Don’t try to be like anyone else. Be yourself and follow your heart. Pursue your dreams and don’t ever quit. Timing is everything and sometimes it takes baby steps. But don’t allow anyone to downplay your dreams! Ever. No matter the size.

© M.A. Pérez, 2016, All Rights Reserved

About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

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June 23, 2016 · 7:06 PM

Glamorous? Not so Much: My Life as an Author

12932601_1167941376590318_6157266493608052874_n2.jpgI published my memoirs just last year. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some really fine people along the way, people who’ve become fans of my work. I am thrilled when they ask for my autograph and want their pictures taken with me. I love feedback. I am touched when a reader shares how my story has inspired them. I feel honored and validated. Sure it feeds my ego; it blows me away. And when I’m asked to attend a speaking engagement, a book club, or ladies’ conference, it’s such a humbling experience and never ceases to amaze me. But if I’m honest, stress also comes with the territory. I may tend to be a nervous wreck at times, and even lose my train of thought. I confess I don’t know what you see in me; I certainly haven’t forgotten from whence I’ve come from. I still notice my flaws. Don’t laugh, but I don’t even like watching myself on video, let alone listening to myself by audio.

This is all still a learning curve for me. You see: there’s a huge difference between writing and public speaking. In writing, I can structure sentences and reword phrases and paragraphs without interruptions to my heart’s content with pen and paper, or on the keyboard. I would venture to say that I am not the only wordsmith who feels this way. There are many other writers and authors out there just like me. We are not all best-selling authors. The truth is an author’s life is not all glamorous. Neither will there be warm and fuzzy feelings in reading a not-so-good book review about your work, (ask any author about that). We are mostly normal individuals–some more successful and polished than others–but none of us are perfect. We all go home and try to maintain a decent life in every way possible.

My life isn’t always about sitting pretty on top of the world riding high horses. My husband is a general contractor whose hands are rough because he prefers doing the majority of the projects himself. This line of work is abased and abound. Although his knees and back suffer the consequences and take on a beating, he takes pride in his craft. He is meticulous and thoroughly enjoys the work. Our eldest daughter is his faithful assistant. When she is not out on the field with him, she assists me with my writing projects in promoting my book. She is quite savvy in the social media department, as well as being my traveling companion to monthly book signings. I appreciate her. She is the lady behind the camera who makes me look good.

I myself hold a full-time, 45 hour a week sales job answering calls all day. My mind sometimes wanders wishing I was writing or vacationing, but alas, reality hits me in the rear and I have work to do! Believe it or not, my family and I also provide 24-hour care to a precious 105-year-old saint of God. In caring for her, we definitely don’t want to cause her any additional discomfort or needless pain. But as we tend to her personal needs such as in lifting, bathing and changing an adult, much more fragile than before, it’s neither easy nor always pleasant. Some years ago we made a pact. We promised Elizabeth we’d care for her to the best of our abilities until the end. Not everyone can do this. I believe God gives us the grace to do so. I’ve written about Elizabeth before. She teaches me about life. She is God’s gift to us, but she swears it’s the other way around.

So what am I saying? An author’s life is not necessarily all glamorous. What is it then, you ask? I will tell you since becoming a published author; I have found it quite rewarding and so fulfilling.

While sharing my story, time after time I’ve noticed that many are brought to tears. And then as I listen to their heart, my own tears flow. Is it planned? No. It just happens. Tears bring a sweet release and cleanse the soul. Oh, it’s easy to laugh with others (and I do love to laugh). But when was the last time you wept with someone? When was the last time you’ve impacted someone and knew you’ve made a difference in his or her life? I have also shed tears of joy. Then my makeup runs, which leads me having to freshen up before my daughter happily snaps away with her camera.

Yes, my life may not be as glamorous as you would think, but my life has been enriched.

This is my joy. This is my passion.

I remain grateful for all who have been part of my journey.

© M.A. Pérez 2016, All Rights Reserved

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About "Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit & Grace"

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My 2015 Book Signing Events

In the beginning…. 


Girls Night Out University – Freedom Center Church

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Houston Authors Bash – 2015

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MenilFest


Howard Partridge – Round Table

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Glow Worm Bookstore


The Book Nook


Kroger (Sweetwater)


Kroger (Richmond)

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Kroger (Rosenberg)

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Mugz Coffe Bar

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Half-Price Books


Barnes & Noble


Kroger (Sugar Land)

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River Oaks Bookstore


Sweetwater Country Book Club

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Texas Book Festival in Austin


 

Kroger (Rosenberg)

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Kroger (Rosenberg)


Glow Worm Bookstore


Kroger (Katy)

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Just a reflection of some of last year’s book signing events. I got the pleasure of meeting and mingling with a few awesome people with hearts the size of Texas! Living my dream; spreading the message: Your yesterday does not have to dictate your tomorrow – I, ladies and gentlemen, am living proof of that.

 

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Author Interview: Mary A. Pérez

I wish to thank Eleanor Parker Sapia for graciously interviewing me and helping me share my message of survival against all odds!

The Writing Life Blog

The Writing Life is pleased to welcome Mary A. Pérez, author of ‘Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace’, her debut memoir of the turbulent and uncertain childhood she survived.

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Born in the Bronx, raised in Miami, relocated to Houston – Mary is of Puerto Rican descent, a mother to four grown children, “Mimi” to a couple of gorgeous grandchildren, and happily married (the second time around) to a phenomenal man for twenty-one years.

Mary was born to a Puerto Rican immigrant family in the Bronx of New York and moved to Miami, Florida in 1962. Her childhood story played out against the backdrop of constant social change which defined the 1960s and forever altered the landscape for future generations. With political tensions of the time raging during the Vietnam War, there was a personal war within Mary’s own family dominating her life. Her future held little hope…

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Hail to the Queen!

I attended Houston Writers Guild first IndieFest Conference “Indiepalooza” this past weekend. With Indie-Publishing becoming more and more popular, this event held vital tools and information in phases through the process of Self-Publishing. The two-day conference included guest speakers, authors and a panel of experts in the industry. I couldn’t take notes fast enough! I am happy to report that this will be an annual event.

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One special moment for me was finally meeting Kathy L. Murphy, a licensed cosmetologist and an avid reader who opened a beauty/bookstore called Beauty and the Book in early 2000. Eventually she started a book club for women who like to read and to have fun. Pulpwood Queens became the name for her club. Today, the Tiara wearing Pulpwood Queen Kathy presides over nearly 600 book clubs and she herself is now a published author. In 2008, Grand Central Publishing released her book, “The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara-Wearing, Book-Sharing Guide to Life.” It not only sold well, but I hear there’s also a movie in the making from Dream Worlds!

As an author, whether you decide to publish the traditional route or the self-publishing route, here are some takeaways I jotted down from Kathy’s presentation Saturday night:

You have to know how to present yourself. Get a look! Be kind to everyone. Never burn a bridge. Never be so busy that you can’t autograph someone’s book.

Kathy’s recap (with permission) is as follows:

1) Finish your book before you ever submit it to anyone and that means a clean, well written copy that has been edited, free of any mistakes. I don’t want anyone calling me to tell me about their book that they have not finished or as an author have anyone calling me to tell me my publisher misspelled Ruston, Lousiana.

2) Create a look, brand yourself as a professional author. For me it’s big hair, Tiaras, and leopard print, my Pulpwood Queen signature look. It’s hard to forget someone if they look the part. Dress for success. Men wear a killer suit, women create your own signature style. No gift was ever as happily received as one that is magnificently wrapped. No matter how great the gift, if it comes in a Wal-mart bag, well there is not much enthusiasm.

3)  Gather your tribe. Friends, family, clients, network people. Since I started my Pulpwood Queens Book Club, that’s a given, but I am also a member of The First United Methodist Church and Rotary International, I let the word get known to them that I have a book and will speak. But don’t limit yourself there, area book clubs the best word of mouth, (which is to me, STILL, the best advertising in the world. Free program = big book sales.

4) Think outside of the bookselling box. If you wrote a book on underwaterbasket weaving well for goodness sakes, contact YMCA’s, swim clubs, basket weavers, craft shops. Volunteer to give a demonstration and then send out a press release when it is going to happen.  If you don’t have a media list. Take a day to call every newspaper, radio station, email blogger, what is their contact for  press releases. Hmm, that’s how I did it and it worked. And if they don’t respond to your press release, follow up with a personal phone call. Be polite, don’t burn bridges. They may not choose to feature you this time but The Wall Street Journal calls me now periodically for quotes.

5) BONUS TIP!  If you have a secret talent, share that talent. On my Beauty and the Book Show which you can watch all twelve on YouTube.com. I asked authors to share if they had a secret talent. Fire baton twirl, can say all the President’s names in under a minute, you name it! The audience loved those moments, make you stand out from the million book authors published a year and have some big time fun while you are doing it!

And there you have it, great tidbits from the queen herself! Overall, it was a great conference.

12010552_10208088477557552_6115741121659932474_o“Oh hail Queen Kathy!”

© M.A. Pérez 2015, All Rights Reserved

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REVIEW: Running in Heels by Mary A. Perez

I thank Heidi for her warm and heartfelt caption to “Running In Heels”.

My hope and desire is for others to know that no matter what they’re going through, they are never alone nor have to be ashamed of their pain. We all have a story and may more of us come to understand that some things are not necessarily a “quick-fix” event in getting out of a hell hole, but it is more of a process.

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Running in Heels jumps from one anecdotal incident to another, opening with Mary’s mother and then boyfriend stealing Mary and her older brother from daycare…

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Full Circle – My Writing Journey

11750720_1017090005008790_4728723792586052925_nHey guys! Today I feel I have come full circle. It’s surreal that I am sitting here doing a book signing at the same Barnes and Noble, where I first attended a weekly writers group two years before my story published.

Back then, I’d sit with many seasoned writers and talented published authors, wondering if my day would ever come that my own dream would fulfill and to declare: I AM AN AUTHOR!

Once a week, I’d bring 5 pages of my manuscript and make several copies (enough for 10-15 other attendees) before arriving to the group. I passed around my copies to every one there, and someone would volunteer to read aloud. As I listened, the rest added notes, made corrections, suggestions and/or comments on my sheets. Then it was someone else’s turn to critique. I enjoyed doing that but I couldn’t wait to take my work home and sit in front of the computer to see what–if any–changes I should make.

I’ve met some wonderful people I consider friends to this day, and received great feedback which only helped propelled me forward. Looking back, I am thankful that I didn’t give up. I took constructive criticism; I stayed the course. I kept my voice as well as my message. If I couldn’t quite convey the meaning in my sentences correctly, I welcomed suggestions. However, if someone didn’t get my meaning but added their own take instead–which meant changing the entire contents from what I initially believed how it should read–I’d reworked the sentence, paragraph or phrase to express better what I wanted to say, or left it alone.

I believe you have to stay true to who you are. After all, it’s your story and in my case, wasn’t one of fiction. Therefore, only you can tap into your own mind filled with memories and jot down those scenes and sequels in your head. May not always be an easy feat, but oh, can be so worth it!

So for those of you who haven’t read my story, just what is the message? My message is one of hope, perseverance and forgiveness. You don’t have to be a product of your environment and have your past dictate your future. Know that you don’t have to remain isolated or medicate yourself, nor do you need to become ashamed of your pain. You can rise above the ashes and soar to new heights bruised or scarred, and not remain broken. I believe there is healing for us all; it’s a work in progress and sometimes takes a while. But where there is life, there is hope.

The fruition of my entire journey, is to hear that others are inspired.

My story, “Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace” is currently found at your favorite online bookstore.

Here are a few photos taken at Barnes and Noble for you to enjoy. Two hours went by so quickly!

Thank you for taking part in my journey.

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Me, qualified?

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I am so glad that God doesn’t call the qualified but He qualifies the called! I am one that may feel like puking my guts up before an event. But then once the execution is over, I may bawl like a baby! As much as I am thankful for the grit in me to undertake a task, I am much more grateful for the grace of God that carries me through a task. I don’t take this lightly.

Be yourself, nobody else is better qualified than you.

This weekend, I had a wonderful opportunity in sharing my heart at Howard Partridge’s Round Table. I was blessed, not only by the warm reception, but especially by the men in the conference being so responsive. Many voiced to me how touched they were by my words, as they reflected on their own situations or someone dear to them.

Regardless of faith, status, education or race, we’ve all felt discouraged, rejected, abandoned or betrayed at one point or another. We’ve all had our dreams smashed, our dignity shot, our hearts torn, and our hope lost.

If my life of peril can become a life of promise, yours can too. I believe your yesterdays does not have to define your todays. Just remember: You may not be where you want to be today, but thank God you are not where you once were.

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