Interview with the Author
Interview with Author Mara Purl
Mara enjoys interacting with her readers in person! She if often asked to speak at Reading Groups, Book Clubs, Libraries and other organizations. To arrange for Mara to speak to group, contact Joyce at Haven Books.
firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 503-2518
"Thank you very much for your presentation at our Friends of the Library Tea.
You are sensational and you made such an impression on everyone, especially the young ladies.
It was a real pleasure for everyone to meet you."
- Pat Webb, Friends of the Pikes Peak Library, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Q: Milford-Haven just keeps growing and growing. First it was the radio
drama. Now it's four novels in a row! What else is planned for Milford-Haven?
A: Milford-Haven is in development for television, and we're planning
expansions for our web site as well, so it's more interactive. But at this
point I'm focusing on the novels. There will be twelve in the series and book
four is the newest - called Cause and Conscience.
Q: It seems that each book in the series has a significant title. Where does
the title "Cause and Conscience" come from?
A: In this book, it turns out each of the characters feels guilty about
something. Some of them are trying to get at the cause of their guilt, while
others are trying to outrun their conscience. Each book does have a
theme...for example in "Child Secrets," we discover something about each
character's childhood, and that tells us so much about how they behave as
Q: Even though "Cause and Conscience" was just published, are you already
working on the next book?
A: Oh, yes. The next one is called "Nobody's Fault." So in "Cause and
Conscience" we're finding out about guilt and blame, and in "Nobody's Fault"
we find out about forgiveness. Although I will tell you...the title contains
a double entendre. I won't tell you what it is yet....
Q: Which do you think is more satisfying to your audience - the radio drama,
or the series of novels? Is there something listeners can get from the radio
drama that they can't get anywhere else?
A: The radio drama has the richness of the cast - twenty superb actors who
brought such color and variety and nuance. And it has the layering of sound -
distant ambient sounds like birds in the trees outside or the distant hum of
a ship's engine; then near sounds - the clatter of a spoon stirring the
coffee in Sally's Restaurant, or the gentle way Miranda closes the door so as
not to waken Zack. And of course the beautiful, haunting music - we hear a
sultry saxophone line and we know Cynthia's about to appear in something
satin she's almost wearing, or we hear a highly-charged syncopated beat and
we know Zackery's on his way to making an important decision.
Q: What about the books? The Milford-Haven novels seem so much more complex
and involving because you're delving into areas that can only be reached with
the written word.
A: I am finding this process most interesting. I keep getting deeper and
deeper. I feel that in "What the Heart Knows" (Book One) the readers get
their ankles wet, in "Closer Than You Think" (Book two) they begin to swim,
in "Child Secrets" (Book Three) they go deep-diving - literally and
figuratively, because this book contains a commercial dive of several hundred
feet; and in "Cause and Conscience" (Book Four) readers get into some of the
characters' core issues, and in fact some of the characters are way out to
sea and don't even realize it. This was the idea of doing the fiction -- to
delve much more deeply into the characters and their lives. It's a tremendous
expansion beyond script writing, where the depth is mostly in subtext.
Q: There's so much detail in your books - psychological, emotional and
technological. Seems like you did a lot of research.
A: I always do a lot of research - it's the backbone for everything I write.
For example, for "Child Secrets" I read about child development for over a
year and wrote detailed backgrounds for each character. But I also researched
off-shore oil rigs by reading technical manuals and by working with five
experts in different fields: a naval architect, an underwater submersible
designer, a commercial diver, and two underwater cinematographers.
Q: Did researching such different kinds of issues affect your style of
A: One minute I was like Danielle Steel, writing about complex relationships
with interwoven paths and secret desires; then suddenly I was like Tom
Clancy, writing this high-tech underwater explosion where every bolt and
valve had to be correct, but the forward momentum of the story had to be