She Makes It Look EasyShe Makes It Look Easy
Marybeth Whalen
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When Ariel Baxter meets her new neighbor, Justine Miller, she thinks, "I want what she has." Justine's world of clutter-free counters, fresh-baked bread, homemade crafts, neighborhood play dates, and organization techniques sparks her admiration. But when she hears rumors about Justine's real home life, she wonders . . . is Justine's "perfection" too good to be true?
     

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Marybeth WhalenMarybeth Whalen is an author,  member of the Proverbs 31 Ministries writing team, and a
nationwide speaker to women’s groups. She lives with her husband and
their six children outside Charlotte, North Carolina.


Favorite Bible Verse: II Corinthians 4:1: Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.


 

 Our Interview with MaryBeth Whalen


 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I have been married for 20 years this year and we have six children ranging in age from 18 to 5.  I have been writing for as long as I can remember but finally had the courage to attempt writing a whole novel several years ago, thanks to a friend who goaded me into it. I am so glad she did! I also love to read.

What is your favorite Bible verse?  Why?

It’s so hard to choose just one! I love the Word—it really is living and active and I always seem to find that wisdom or direction or encouragement I need right when I need it most. I guess I will share my life verse:  “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” (II Corinthians 4:1) That’s an important verse to remember no matter what ministry you’ve been called to.  I need to remember it as a mom, a wife, and a writer. It’s only through His mercy I get to do this and I can’t lose heart when things get tough.

How did you come up with the concept for She Makes It Look Easy?
 
The book was inspired by two things. The first is that I have seen people thrown into tempting situations and observed how it was handled and the hurt it caused. I wanted to delve into that through the use of story. The second was from the letters I receive from women through my work with Proverbs 31 Ministries combined with my own memories of being a young mom trying to figure out how to do it. We as women are so prone to comparison and feeling as though we never measure up. I wanted to create a character who struggled with that. Based on these two elements, She Makes It Look Easy was born.
 
Do you have a favorite character She Makes It Look Easy ? Why?

Actually my favorite character to write was Justine, the “perfect” neighbor who ends up involving Ariel in the secrets she’s hiding.  Because of her duplicity, I found I couldn’t wait to get back to her to see what she’d do next. Ultimately, I had a lot of sympathy for her, which surprised me.

How much research did She Makes It Look Easy take?
 
I would say this book is based on the last twenty years of living the life I profiled, including my own life and the stories we hear daily at Proverbs 31 Ministries. I did interview moms of all boys just to get a better feel for what raising a pack of them is like.

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing She Makes It Look Easy?

My “research” was mainly interviewing my friends who have all boys. They shared some funny, funny stories with me—many of which appear in the book. So I wouldn’t say it was interesting facts as much as hilarious stories! One of my friends says that boys will do things in packs they would never do on their own. That quote made it into the book and it’s so true!
 
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Balancing a busy family life with writing and keeping my priorities in order.  This means that yesterday I spent the day with my family and took care of their needs instead of giving into the urge to go write. I truly love to write so it doesn’t feel like work—which can be its own trap. I have to watch it so my children and husband don’t get cheated.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

The ability to create a story and then share it with others. Hearing from readers who got what I was trying to do is such a full-circle feeling.

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?

I am in a group of writers online who pray for and support each other. We call ourselves “Writers and Sisters In Christ.” We are all published authors and we can just be honest with each other about the things we face, our victories, etc. I can call on them for a personal prayer need but also with a writing question. It’s so great and I highly recommend creating that just with other writers you know. We all didn’t know each other at first but have truly come to love each other thanks to one girl who put us all together after God laid it on her heart. I am also part of a group blog of southern inspirational novelists who write daily over at www.southernbelleview.com. These ladies are amazing writers and I am just glad they gave me a seat on the porch! I am learning so much from them and am thankful for their influence in my life.

What new projects are on the horizon?

I have another novel set in Sunset Beach, NC, which will come out in the fall of 2012. This one is not a sequel to my novel The Mailbox but is a love story that revolves around an inanimate object that brings two people together so it is  similar in tone and style.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading She Makes It Look Easy?

The value of authenticity and transparency in our relationships and the negative ramifications that come from playing the comparison game.

What was your favorite book as a child?

Mandy, by Julie Andrews Edwards

What is your greatest achievement?

Being a mom, having a marriage that has lasted 20 years, and finally pursuing my dream of being a novelist.

What do you do to get away from it all?

Head to the beach!


 
The Mailbox - eBook

The Mailbox - eBook
Marybeth Whalen
CBD Price: $9.69

The Guest Book: A Novel - eBook

The Guest Book: A Novel - eBook
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She Makes It Look Easy - eBook

She Makes It Look Easy - eBook
Marybeth Whalen
CBD Price: $9.69


 
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