When I began blogging two years ago, I did not expect the amazing community of writers I would get to know. There are many wise and gifted storytellers out there. Once in a while, I stumble upon someone who can infuse their stories with such passion and vividness I feel as though I am experiencing life with them. Mary Ann Perez is one such writer.
As she has shared parts of her story on her blog I have been privileged to see life through circumstances very different than my own. I have seen through Mary’s eyes and I have both laughed and cried. Her story has given me much to ponder about my own life, and of how insulated I am. Her words have given me a compassion and empathy I didn’t have before, particularly for children growing up in unstable environments.
When I learned that her book is due to be released soon, I decided to do something a little different here on my blog. I’d like Mary herself to tell you a bit about her book. I asked her to answer a few questions, and she graciously agreed to share with us.
Would you tell us briefly what your book is about?
A Puerto Rican girl seeking love and security becomes a bride to a ruthless man twice her age. She has her first child at sixteen and her fourth at twenty-two. Can she survive obstacles thrown at her while hope is shattered time after time?
Has any of your family or friends read it yet? If so, what were their reactions?
I have allowed no one in my family, other than my husband, to read my manuscript. They are all bursting at the seams, but they are going to have to wait until Running in Heels’ release date. My girls are dying from curiosity; my son is a bit more reserved and has slowly come around to wanting to read it. Naturally, he knows there are raw topics and sensitive scenarios in between those written pages of my life. He is the youngest, and he didn’t understand a lot of the facts concerning his father until he was more matured. Those facts speak for themselves.
You have overcome a lot of trials in your life. How difficult was it to write this book?
Sure, some chapters were harder to write than others. In remembering the feeling of abandonment as a child and then again as an adult, didn’t take me to a happy place. Neither did the memory of the death of loved ones, especially of a child, nor when I felt ashamed and defeated in leaving my girls behind. But I tell of these experiences along with the raw emotions, because this is real life, and as you know, life can be hard and throw you curve balls.
I find writing to be very cathartic. Did you find any healing in the process of writing your story, or had you already worked through those wounded places before you began?
I honestly believe if the Lord hadn’t healed me, I couldn’t have relived some of those memories written in this book. How do I know I was healed? I could remember without the crushing pain.
What is the most important thing you hope to accomplish in sharing your story?
Two parts: There is hope for the hopeless and forgiveness for the inexcusable. Forgiveness is a choice. You may still remember, but you don’t have to carry the pain. And the second: Your yesterday does not define you. Those struggles that you endured make you stronger today.
What would you like the reader to take away from reading your book?
“Running in Heels” chronicles more than a change of circumstances. The story depicts a girl’s refusal to be defined by her environment as she seeks the inner-healing from brokenness that we are all longing for.
Do you have a website?
You are such a talented writer, so I hope the answer to this is a resounding yes: Do you have any plans for future writing projects?
Absolutely. I have enough material and fresh ideas for another book. Who knows? My next book might be titled “Running in Slippers” to signify an easier life. Yeah, right. What’s ‘easy’?
Rebeca, I wish to extend my sincere thanks for allowing me to reach out and to share my heart and give your audience some information about my first memoir, “Running in Heels.” My desire is that my story may help someone else walking through similar circumstances I once walked, and bring a message of hope.
I hope you’ll join me in pre-ordering Mary’s book! You can do that here: http://charthousepress.com/books/running-in-heels-a-memoir-of-grit-and-grace/