Author of the Month: Interview with Mary Calmes

O.M.G Mary Calmes has graced us with an interview!! Ever wanted to know more about our February Author of the Month? How about her choise of main character names? Or how to pronounce her last name? Or what her fave character that she has written is? 

Find all of that and more, as the unicorns hot MC with the hard hitting questions, for fans, from fans!

How do we pronounce your last name? Does it rhyme with palms? Or is it Cal-mees? Or Cal-may?
It’s pronounced like the last one, Cal-May. I love that everyone asks, it’s so sweet.

Do you have any favorite music you listen to while you write? What would be an example of a Calmes' playlist?
It really depends. When I wrote AMOT there was a lot of trance music, lots of Sneaker Pimps, Darude, Stunt, Massive Attack, Gramatik, Polica, Thievery Corporation, Zero 7 and bands like that. For The Warders, for some reason there was a lot of Nina Simone, and Melody Gardot.  I just finished the very last Change of Heart book and that playlist was a lot of Nick Drake, Alexi Murdoch, Tom Odell, Kristina Train, One Eskimo, Erykah Badu and Leela James. So really, it depends on the story. When I wrote Just Desserts, since it was set in NOLA, I listened to a ton of Jazz. The story definitely sets the tone.

If you could have a drink with any book's fictional character who would it be? Why?
I would drink with Tess from Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy. I would get her drunk, stuff her in my car, and drive her to San Francisco and enroll her in college. I want to fix her life. I have wanted to fix it since the 7th grade when I finished that book and whizzed it by my Dad’s head. I was so pissed. It’s why I write romance that ALWAYS has a HEA. But so yeah, Tess.

What would be something we'd be surprised to know about you?
I cannot use a ruler. Not even kidding. No measuring of any kind. Rhys Ford was trying to teach me to cook, the whole how many cups in a quart thing, forget it. My phone tells me these things. I need it to measure. Maybe there’s an app.

•What is your favorite word? Least favorite?
Ubiquitous, also unctuous, two terrible traits if combined I would think. And my least favorite is stupid probably because it was banned in our house when I was growing up. My father hates that word and passed it on.
Funniest thing a fan's ever said to you?
I had a fan write me that she wished more people would die in my books because she liked to cry. That was awesome. I suggested some Amy Lane books to her and we’ve had lovely correspondence since then.

•How do you pick your characters' names?
Oh don’t get me started. I have this whole thing I do because for me, one character has to have a fancy name, and one the plain one. Like Sam (boring) and Jory (fancy). Jin (fancy) and Logan (there are a zillion Logans). Or Linus (which is very boring) and Arman (which is definitely not). I could never have a Garegin in love with Lucius for example. It would need to be Garegin and Ted. Or Garegin and Mike. I like the idea of the butterfly character and the grounded, rooted tree. I also try and not have the character’s first and last names begin with the same letter. So like Miro Jones would have never been Miro Miller. It’s weird but I’m very conscious of it. I think it comes with being a pantser. The names are where I start. I labor over the names and then I just go. The names are the most important things. 

•Who's your favorite new author you've discovered in 2014?
Charlie Cochet. I read the first Thirds book and was hooked. I have them all in paperback.

•Do you have a favorite character you've ever written? Who and why?
My favorite is Jory because he was the first with his great big heart and no-filter personality and he remains forever joyful.

•Any upcoming projects we can look forward to this year?

So far, Quiet Nights will be out Monday the 9th of February, then in April my cookbook story, Just Desserts; will be released in the Tales of the Curious Cookbook that I was lucky enough to work on with Amy Lane, Amber Kell, Marie Sexton and RJ Scott. Sultry Sunset, the 3rd Mangrove book will be out in Mid-May, Forging the Future, the last Change of Heart book will be out in June, and in August, my next marshal book and Jory and Sam’s wedding novella. There are more afterwards that will be out this year but I’m just not certain of the order.  Everything is on my desktop looking at me. I imagine all my characters in limbo, just waiting. 

We'd like to thank Mary Calmes, now unicorned as Orchid Dapple Horse forever and ever!
Orchid Dapple Horse - Orchid is as wild and untamed as a desert horse. She is a dappled beauty, and she chases the nightmares away.


  1. Hate it when I find out that mentally I have been pronouncing someone's name incorrectly and then hate it because the original sticks like glue and I just can't shake it off. Sorry Mary, I will keep trying.

  2. Loved this interview! I will forever love Jory, and I can't wait to read the novella that's coming.

    As for the name thing, it's funny, but I heard somewhere that it was pronounced Cal-may. Since that sounds French, I want to say Marie instead of Mary for her first name. ;)

  3. Aww man, you've totally messed my mind with the surname pronunciation. Somehow I never even considered it was anything other than calms like palms. This is gonna be tough to fix in my brain but it's Mary freakin' Calmes so I've gotta try.

  4. A novella of Jory and Sam's wedding. I've died and gone to heaven. Love her books. Quite a few are my comfort reads.

  5. I'm way behind on blog-reading so my comment is 100 years late. But I had to say thanks for the last name question also. I never even thought about it until I heard Greg Tremblay pronounce it (correctly) at the end of an audiobook. I always thought rhymes-with-palms.Also, looking forward to all the upcoming books this year!