Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Apropos of Nothing: Mary Ann Bernal Answers 5 Questions

Mary Ann Bernal, author of The Briton and the Dane novels, is an avid history buff whose area of interest focuses on Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain during the Viking Age.  While pursuing a degree in business administration, she managed to fit creative writing classes and workshops into her busy schedule to learn the craft, but it would take decades before her “Erik the Viking” novel was ultimately published.

Mary Ann is also a passionate supporter of the United States military, having been involved with letter-writing campaigns and other support programs since Operation Desert Storm. She has appeared on The Morning Blend television show hosted by KMTV, the CBS television affiliate in Omaha, and was interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald for her volunteer work.  She has also been a featured author on various reader blogs and promotional sites.

Mary Ann is a New York “expat,” and currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska.

Talk about your favorite sport and why you like it.
My favorite sport is football, professional and college. I enjoy the fast-paced atmosphere and the passion for the game, not only for the players but for the spectators as well. It is exciting to watch your team defeat an arch rival, especially when the tradition has endured for over 100 years. If you guessed the Army-Navy rivalry, you are correct. Also, my team has had continuous victories since 2002, and if you guessed Navy, you are correct again. I am counting the days for the 2012 season. Go Navy.

Complete the sentence: "I wish all people would…"
...treat everyone the way they would like to be treated.

Say something about spontaneity.
While thinking a situation through before making a decision is recommended, acting spontaneously does have a place in the thought process, i.e., the split-second decision. You might remind me of the saying, “act in haste and repent at leisure.” Rightly so, but there are instances where acting on an impulse could lead to experiencing something new, something you might never have thought of, something out of character. Selecting things for one’s “bucket list” comes to mind. Have I acted spontaneously? Of course. Chartering a helicopter in the evening to see the city’s Christmas lights comes to mind, but then my friends tend to be impulsive, which makes life more interesting.

Say something about illness and how it has affected your life.
Life and relationships are taken for granted. However, experiencing a life-altering event ultimately reminds a person to live each day to its fullest since no one is promised tomorrow. After recovering from a severe bout of pneumonia, I have made it a point to thank God for the gift of life each day, and to make sure my family and friends know they are loved and appreciated.

What seems to be the biggest problem in your life right now?
Self-doubt, the endless questioning of one’s abilities, hovers over the writers’ world. The thinking is that the work is not good enough. It is because of self-doubt that writers strive for perfection and never give up. Pushing one’s doubts aside can be difficult, but not impossible, to overcome. I take it one day at a time.

To learn more about Mary Ann and her work, please visit:

It’s been a pleasure to interview you, Mary Ann. That helicopter ride must have been incredible…makes me sorry that I’m so afraid of heights!

Two days from now, Vickie Johnstone, author of the Kiwi book series, will join me. Hope to see you then!

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