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Connecting Readers with Finger Lakes Authors

Spotlight on Mary Buckham

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been a storyteller since birth. Started writing in grade school. Writing for publication since the turn of the century [the last one, not the one before that]. First novel published in 2004. Why are there no short answers for a writer?


Of the books you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?

Fiction with More Descriptive, Dynamic Settings. This is the book I wish I had when I was starting out. When I was trying to help so many writers who struggle with how to use setting effectively in their stories and couldn’t find a book for them to learn from, I wrote it. <g>

What was your favorite childhood book?

The Five Chinese Brothers. A Chinese folk tale that opened me to the world of myths, different cultures and how common a humanity we share. 

What’s the most interesting place you’ve visited?

Egypt and crawling into one of the pyramids. Very tight fit. Or maybe it was Laos, which required bribing a boatman to take us across the MeKong. Edinburgh, Scotland and taking park in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It was great fun until we couldn’t understand the directions blared over a loudspeaker in a deep, thick accent about remaining perfectly still when they unleashed the German Shepherd attack dogs. On the other hand, the crowd thought we were part of the entertainment.

What’s your secret guilty pleasure?

Cemeteries. The stories in cemeteries are endless. So is the quiet which is a plus.

If life gave you a chance for one do-over, what would you choose?

I wouldn’t run from a trained German Shepherd. See earlier answer. 

What was your first job?

After the requisite babysitting and lawn care jobs, I was old enough to be hired as a Librarian aid. Side benefit was I could keep books out as long as no one else requested them. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!

Tell us about your first or favorite car.

First car was a 1914 Ford Model T. No, I’m not that old. I think my dad brought it home as a joke, but I fell in love with it. Only 3 gears. It started shimming when you got up to 20 miles an hour. Had no reverse and the doors flew open if you rounded a corner faster than 10 miles an hour. Oh, and the wooden floor heated up after the first couple of miles. What’s not to love!

What’s something that’s still on your bucket list?

Madagascar. Tanzania. Hadrian’s Wall. Visiting a market in Morocco. The Great Wall of China.