The Author and Her Works
Even though she grew up in the idyllic Soquel countryside near Santa Cruz, CA, surrounded by apple and cherry orchards and a chicken hatchery, Mary Lynn has led an adventurous life. She’s adventurously creative and open to taking risks in other realms.
She is blessed with a strong sense of determination (possibly from farmers’ genes), when she decides to do something, she does it. Mary Lynn parlayed a dance career into drama and language studies, then switched to an art major so she could express her eccentric side. That led to teaching art and English in a Northern California high school. Since she was a single mom supporting two children, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
But when did her own writing take flight? As a child of eight, she began writing little stories. Throughout her early years, she got A’s on essays, along with teachers’ encouragement.
After fifteen years of teaching high school, Ms. Archibald leaped into interior design. She’d secretly been writing during this lengthy career, but when her feet had serious problems, she opted to write full-time.
What was her “Aha!” moment? She became a serious writer in 1984 when she wrote her mom’s story, Briarhopper: A History. But it was fifteen years ago when she started writing articles that she finally knew she was good at it. That’s because they sold to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Acres magazine, a publication for yuppies who wanted to be gentlemen farmers. Since then, she has written and published numerous articles and essays and has been featured in literary anthologies.
Coupled with a nearly full-time writing/editing career came a degree of financial success. Her second book, Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse and No Clue, won three awards. Mary Lynn writes memoirs exclusively now and edits professionally for other writers.
Her third book, Sir, I’m Not That Kind of Girl! Goody Two-Shoes Goes to Town, was published recently. And she hasn’t stopped yet!
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“Watch Over Me” written by Judy Lawn is a troubled romance, a family at war, a ghost, and a mystery, all set on a tiny mysterious island off the coast of New Zealand – what’s not to like in Judy Lawn’s second book in the Rose Rountree Mystery series, “Watch Over Me.” What a cast of colorful characters! I felt I knew them so well by the end of the book – I didn’t want it to end.
I couldn’t wait to see how Rose would uncover the secrets and the mystery. As I got to the final chapters, the excitement increased and found myself sitting through a Sunday morning finishing the book as I couldn’t put it down. Enchanting! Roll out the next book in this series!” – Don S, Team Golfwell
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My books are memoirs of lives led and problems solved. I’m told they are humorous, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Here’s an excerpt from a book I ghostwrote, Briarhopper: A History:
That summer the Chautauqua came to town, and there were tryouts for small parts in one of their plays. I was chosen, to my delight, for the role of a little brat who hid behind the sofa in the living room and told on her older sister when she caught her kissing her boyfriend.
Mom dressed me up in a pretty white dress with a large ribbon around the waist and a huge hair ribbon tied in a bow at the back of my head I wore long white stockings and black patent Mary Jane slippers.
My big line was to announce to everyone: “Why, when sister Susie’s boyfriend kissed her it sounded just like our old cow, Bossy, pulling her foot out of a big, squishy mud hole!”
That got a big laugh, and from then on I was certain I wanted to be an actress.
And an excerpt from a memoir I wrote, for which I won several awards, Accidental Cowgirl: Six Cows, No Horse and No Clue:
Speaking of cows, you may have guessed by now that Twin Creeks was a cattle ranch. If you did you are smarter than we were, because somehow we failed to grasp this fact right away.
In an act of unexpected generosity, Marvin had included cows in the sale of the ranch.
We had been quick to realize the barns would be useful for storing our collection of junk, but slow to realize that cows went with them.
The evening after we had made our offer, Carl said to me, “You know, I think he means to throw some of those cows in along with the property.”
To which I replied, “What cows? Oh, you mean the ones we saw wandering around in the meadow? Oh, don’t be silly Honey. What would we do with cows?”
He looked at me. I could tell I had him there. As a city boy born and bred, Carl was not even sure which end of a cow got the alfalfa.
“We’re not going to be there all the time,” I said shakily. “How many cows are we talking here, anyway?”
“A couple, I guess. It’s hard to tell,” said Carl, stroking his chin reflectively.
He was uncharacteristically vague. I began to feel uneasy.
And, here’s an excerpt from my latest, Sir, I’m Not That Kind of Girl! when as a newly-minted chorus girl I had my first encounter with the seamstress who made our costumes:
Apprehensively, I knocked at the door of a San Francisco basement apartment.
“Come right on in and take of yer clothes, honey!” said a raspy voice from within.
I entered, fearing the worst.
The voice issued from somewhere behind a billowing cloud of blue smoke. Gradually, a figure emerged, clad in a cheap, flowered nylon wrapper and stained blue terrycloth scuffies.
To my relief, it was a woman. There she stood, a faded calico apron barely spanning her large, blowsy body, her pockets overflowing with pincushions, ribbons, and half-empty packets of Camels.
This apparition, I discovered, was the person I had come to see.