Mary Mackey is the bestselling author of fourteen novels and eight collections of poetry. Her novels have appeared on The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller Lists and been translated into twelve foreign languages including Japanese, Hebrew, Greek, Russian, and Finnish. Her manuscripts and first editions of her novels and poetry collections are archived in the Sophia Smith Special Collections Library at Smith College.
Since she learned everything she knows about reading and writing the hard way, she has decided to save herself and everyone else a lot of time by creating People Who Make Books Happen, a series of interviews on the Blog Page of her website at http://marymackey.com/the-writers-journey/ Here she persuades agents, book cover designers, social media consultants, website designers, digital convertors, bookstore owners, famous authors, and anyone else she can lure into conversation to tell her everything they know. Mary is always open to suggestions from her readers about new people to interview.
Mackey admires women who are willing to fight for what they believe in. Almost without exception, her heroines plunge passionately into life, searching for love and happiness, defending the earth, and seeking a moral center in difficult times. As she has often observed: "I believe it's better to regret what you did than what you didn't do."
Mackey's poems have been widely praised by poets Wendell Berry, Maxine Hong Kingston, Jane Hirshfield, Dennis Nurkse, Ron Hansen, Dennis Schmitz, and Marge Piercy for their power, lyricism, and originality. A new collection of her poetry entitled "The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams: New and Selected Poems 1974 to 2018 will be published by Marsh Hawk Press in September 2018. A previous poetry collection, "Sugar Zone," won the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence. Garrison Keillor has frequently featured Mackey's poems on The Writer's Almanac. Besides being a novelist and poet, Mackey is also a screenwriter and has sold feature-length screenplays to Warner Brothers as well as to independent film companies. John Korty directed the filming of her original, award-winning screenplay "Silence."
Related through her father's family to Mark Twain, Mackey graduated from Harvard and received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan. Because of her interest in different cultures, her novels deal with a wide range of subjects. Her four bestselling novels about the Goddess-worshiping cultures of Old Europe show her interest in ecology, nature-worship, and the preservation of the planet ("The Village of Bones: Sabalah's Tale," "The Year The Horses Came," "The Horses At The Gate," and "The Fires of Spring).
She loves theater and dance and has written novels about three generations of women involved in ballet ("A Grand Passion") and three generations of women involved in the German theater during the rise of Hitler ("The Kindness of Strangers,"). Two of her novels have dealt with women who fought in the American Civil War ("The Notorious Mrs. Winston" and "The Widow's War").
She has also written about political unrest in the United States in the 1960's ( "Season of Shadows"); the last Goddess-worshiping cultures of ancient Sumer ("The Last Warrior Queen"); a comic romp through the 50's written in what she calls "the first person insane" ("McCarthy's List"); a movie star and a community college teacher who change places ("The Stand In); and a woman who starts a Revenge Consulting Service ("Sweet Revenge"). Her first novel "Immersion", set in the rainforests of Costa Rica before many of the trees were cut down, was published by the legendary and wonderfully-named Shameless Hussy Press. She also occasionally writes comic novels under the pen name "Kate Clemens."
During her twenties, Mackey lived in the Costa Rican jungle, bunking down with vampire bats, army ants, and poisonous snakes. For over two decades, she has been traveling to Brazil with her husband, incorporating her adventures into her fiction and poetry. Five of her novels ("The Village of Bones: Sablah's Tale," "The Year The Horses Came," "The Horses At The Gate," "The Fires of Spring" and "The Widow's War") owe a debt to the rituals of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé. In 2005 she took a boat up a tributary of the Amazon, traveling over two thousand miles through flooded jungle. Recently, she made another trip to one of the headwaters of the Amazon on the Rio Tocantins. At present, she lives in northern California with her husband Angus Wright, and is Professor Emeritus of English at California State University.
Mary Mackey invites you to join her in conversation on her website at http://www.marymackey.com where she is always happy to answer your questions about the craft of writing, Goddesses, the rainforest, the tendency of Brazilian buses to run red lights, and a host of other things including why she dislikes the month of November. You are also warmly invited to join her mailing list at http://eepurl.com/CrLHT; "Like" her Fan Page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marymackeywriter?sk=info, and follow her on Twitter at @MMackeyAuthor
For information about her comic "Kate Clemens" novels see https://www.amazon.com/author/kateclemens