Marybeth Whalen calls her second novel, She Makes It Look Easy, an “anti-romance” because it deals with a more serious and unpleasant topic than a typical romance novel. With the characters of neighbors Ariel and Justine, Whalen was able to tackle a realistic situation that people don’t really like to dwell on, in hopes that it may help them think about it in a whole new way. She Makes It Look Easy is a novel for any woman who has glanced at another woman’s life and said, “I want what she has.”
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE SHE MAKES IT LOOK EASY?
A similar situation (as what happens in the novel) happened in our community. At the same time I had several friends who knew people in similar situations. It made me wonder what happened to land these seemingly together people in these destructive situations. So I processed it by delving deeper via this story.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
Susan Meissner, Mary DeMuth and Lisa Samson were the writers who inspired me when I started out. They still do. I meet a lot of wonderful writers now via She Reads (www.shereads.org) and they all inspire me.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
I didn’t start out to write a Christian novel when I wrote The Mailbox (my first novel), but God showed up as I wrote, and I couldn’t avoid the fact that my faith will always be at work with anything I write. I can’t shut that off, and wouldn’t want to.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
I’ve wanted to write since I was able to form words with a pencil.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
I hope that they see themselves and know that they aren’t alone in their struggles, their doubts, their joy, and their journey.