Please welcome Patricia Meredith! She is a brand-new author, and her short story, “Mary, Did You Know?”, in Christmas fiction off the beaten path is her first published piece. So glad you could join us today!
What inspired you to write “Mary, Did You Know?”, a story about Mary’s first year as a mother.
As a young mother with a baby it often comforted me during those difficult moments to think that even Mary, mother of Jesus, must have experienced the same. The same poopy diapers, the same cries in the middle of chores, the same moments when her infant child taught her something about God’s love. One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Mary, Did You Know” for that very reason, and I realized I could consider those similarities through the lens of that song. The rest was all God. Every time I read my short story I cry, because I swear most of it wasn’t written by me, just through me.
Did you find any special challenges about writing a story set in Biblical times?
I made the decision to purposely avoid details that made the setting concretely in Bible times, even down to the speech. I wanted to focus on the similarities between modern mothers and Mary, not the differences, and I felt stressing the Biblical time period would pull readers out of the story. By removing any details about how they dressed, ate, or slept I was able to turn attention simply to the fact that they did those things that make us human, helping the reader to feel contemporary to Mary, rather than distanced by time.
What excited you the most about this story?
Finding those similarities. I had actually jotted down a few of the scenes in a journal while I still had an infant in arms. They were reminders of moments that are difficult one second, yet fondly remembered the next, during that first pregnancy, and then the first year or two of having a child. I came across those scenes and the rest of the story fell into place.
What did you learn about yourself as a writer as you worked on your story?
That my best writing happens when I trust God with the words, and don’t try to force it. This story is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and I hope readers can feel that.
Since we’re in a holiday mood, what’s your favorite Christmas tradition? Or what’s your favorite Christmas story?
My favorite Christmas story (and tradition in a way) is A Christmas Carol. I love hearing and seeing new renditions of the story every year, and I think it’s so important how timeless a tale it really is. Second chances, redemption, these are themes that never grow old.
You’re right. Those themes never do grow old. Thanks so much stopping by!
Patricia Meredith is the author of historical fiction mysteries. She currently lives just outside Spokane, Washington on a farm with peacocks, ducks, guinea fowl, chickens, and sheep. When she’s not writing, she’s playing board games with her husband, creating imaginary worlds with her two kids, or out in the garden reading a good book with a cup of tea.
Patricia Meredith currently has two novels seeking publication. The first is The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Taker. Set in 1901 Spokane, Washington, the designer of the Great Northern Railroad depot clock tower is thrilled when his talent for creating unique clock chimes is recognized by a local patroness, until she is found beheaded in the workshop of his new colleague. Her second book, A Woman’s Intuitions, weaves The Leavenworth Case with Anna Katharine Green’s true history as she writes one of the first detective mystery novels, setting the stage for future writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie.