During the run of its 30th season premiere SEX WITH STRANGERS, Renaissance Theaterworks will shine a spotlight on Wisconsin authors. On Saturday, October 28th the company will host a Mini Book Fair in the Studio Theater lobby of the Broadway Theater Center from 3pm to 10pm featuring members of WisRWA. As an advance introduction to the authors, Renaissance asked them questions related to the various issues and conflicts presented in the play SEX WITH STRANGERS by Laura Eason. Here is the third interview of the series.
Strong Men. Stronger Women
Mary Hughes is a lover of stories that crackle with action and love. A mother, a flutist, a binge-TV-watcher of NCIS, Elementary, and Wynonna Earp. She writes wickedly funny romantic adventures and scorching hot paranormal romances, fast-paced reads with challenging heroes— and resilient heroines who aren’t afraid of a challenge.
RTW: In the play, the character Olivia partially blames the failure of her first book on her editor’s choice in covers. How important do you think covers are to a book’s success or failure?
MARY: Oh yeah, cover art is vital. It’s the story’s clothes, the mood lighting, the rich red color that tells a consumer the story apple is ripe. Even the title font plays into the promise, flowing script for high fantasy, jaggy for a tale of suspense, quirky for comedy. It’s the first taste of what kind of story is to come, and make no mistake, we do judge a book by it!
RTW: Have you ever received a bad review? If so, how did you handle it? Did it ever discourage you or make you question your worth as a writer?
MARY: Yes, bravely on the outside and screaming on the inside, and yes. Anyone who says bad reviews don’t hurt emotionally is lying. Although some bad reviews are actually good for the author. A box set I was in had a two-star review complaining there was too much sex. The very next reviewer said (I’m paraphrasing), “I read the two-star review, and I’m so glad I did…because I love sex! I snapped this puppy up!”
RTW: What attracts you most about writing romance novels or the romance genre in general?
MARY: I love the spark that brings two people together. It’s so much fun watching them try to figure out what’s going on. I’m truly inspired by the work and the meeting of minds and hearts that goes into making a real couple. But when it comes right down to it, I love romance best because I’m a huge sucker for a happily-ever-after ending, lol.