Maryann Landers Interview – the Author of the Alaskan Women of Caliber Series

Maryann Landers Author Interview

In August of 2018, I had the privilege of visiting Alaska with my family. I loved the raw beauty that was evident everywhere. God is a magnificent creator. After only spending a week there, it became evident that in order to live in this state full time, you have to be made of hearty stuff. Having lived in Alaska over twenty years, author Maryann Landers can make that claim. I really enjoyed reading her “Alaskan Women of Caliber” series that features strong Alaskan women. I appreciated her taking the time to answer questions about her writing life and about the series.

What is the first story you remember writing?

The first story I remember writing was in second grade. My teacher Mr. Hess, taught us to take the time to write short stories. I have a tape recording of myself reading my story. 

When did you decide to write a novel?

I decided to write a novel in the fall of 2020 after I shot my first moose. I write about the experience on my website of the inciting event. Looking around myself at the women here in Alaska I was inspired to share stories of our life here. 

Since you are an indie author, you are involved in more of the book process. What is your favorite part? What is the most challenging part of the process for you?

As an indie author I love to see the book come together in the final draft and read it through. It’s pathetic really since I usually cry with emotion because I’m so happy for my characters and all that they’ve come through. I feel like I’m right there with them celebrating.  The most challenging part as an indie author is the marketing. I need to learn patience in this area because it takes a lot of effort for me and I’m not certain what are the best avenues.

Are any of the scenes in your “Alaskan Women of Caliber” based on your own experiences? Did any friends or family share their stories with you?

The book Alaska Calling is my story of God calling me here and how it all came to be. As much as I enjoyed writing the book it was also very hard because I relived many of those moments. With COVID we have not been able to visit my family in Canada and it was sad thinking of how much I still miss my family there. 
 
All of my books are stories that friends and family have shared with me. The first book Alaskan Calibration is my mother-in-law’s story. As mentioned Book 2 is mine and the third book is a friend from church. The closer you are to me the more you would know each of the characters in the book and who they are. It has been really neat to have old friends connect with me and see themselves on the pages.
 

Which book in the series resonates the most with you?

Of all the books I’d say that Alaska Calling resonates most with me because it is based my experiences. There is so much more I’d like to share but am not sure how that will play itself out.
 

You set the books in the second half of the later part of twentieth century. Was there a reason that you picked those decades?

I didn’t specifically set out to have the books take place in the later part of the 1900’s. I went back to where my Alaska story began and that was with my husband’s family coming here in the late 1970’s. I figured my story began with theirs and so forth.

The spiritual component in your books is strong. What message do you want readers to go away with after reading your books?

With each of my books I weave a “sermon” or a message that I hope to drive home. I want there to be a powerful emphasis on the truths from the Bible. I am determined that each character will reason with their faith and find the answers for their struggles in Christ Jesus. 

What books are you working on now?

In the third week of March I sent off my fourth book for its first round of editing. Currently I am interviewing ladies for my fifth book which will have a different twist to it. The novel will be a compilation of short stories which are all a spin off from each book.

Alaskan Calibration is about life in Alaska during the 1970’s featuring Lou, Roy and their two children.

Alaska Calling is about Julie who wants to follow God anywhere. She ends up working at a health clinic in Alaska. How can she tell what God has in mind for her next?

Alaska Chance follows James and Sharon around Alaska as they make seemingly random decisions about the next steps for their family. In time, they learn that there is more to life and that God has a purpose and a plan that goes beyond chance.

Alaskan based author Maryann Landers writes women’s faith filled fiction based on true stories of extraordinary women of her magnificent state. She loves to showcase the unique north and give her readers a little taste of rustic Alaska.
While writing in her log home in the woods she is also looking forward to her next adventure with her Alaskan husband, juggling mom tasks such as crafting homemade meals from moose and caribou meat, building DIY projects from scrap wood piles and guiding her teens in their homeschooling.
To learn about her inspiration to write Alaskan based stories read her blog at www.mary-ann-landers.com

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