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Wisteria lamp shade
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Welcome to this blog site. I hope everybody has enjoyed reading my updates during the time I have spent writing and publishing my novels. Now that my third one is published, I will post some stories about my life experiences, past and present, while contemplating a fourth novel. I hope the year of 2014 will be great for everybody.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Please welcome Mary Ann Finley

Today, it is my privilege to introduce Mary Ann Finley to all readers of this blog. A while back, I invited Mary to write a guest post and suggested the idea of writing about how her college education has helped her with writing and self-publishing her books. Mary accepted my invitation and wrote the following blog post. Thank you very much, Mary. I appreciate it.


Mary Ann Finley is a 50 year old, author and poet from Woodford, Oklahoma. She’s been writing prose and poetry since about age 8, but didn’t feel confident enough to publish any of her work until 2011. Mary now has 3 books on sale via; Thicker Than Blood- a murder mystery novel, Somebody Say Grace-a small book of meditations; and Corn Rowing Mama’s Hair on a Sunday-a book of poetry and short stories based on her experiences growing up in rural Oklahoma. 

Mary's books can be found on at the following link: , and she can be contacted at
First, I want to thank Dallas for allowing me this opportunity to introduce myself to a new audience.

I began writing prose and poetry at a young age as a means for expressing myself. I was a very shy and quiet child, who seemed to shine when asked to speak in front of a crowd. My experience as a student of academia definitely enhanced my writing. As a journalism major in undergrad, I gained knowledge of getting the who, what, when, where, why and how thoroughly researched before reporting anything. As a seminary student, while acquiring my master’s degree in divinity, I garnered the skills to dig deeper so that what is written will be seen as authentic and realistic.
Over the years, I’d written plays as well for church programs and civic celebrations, but never seriously thought of publishing until my mother passed in 2009.
I had always been a mama’s girl, and spent the five years prior as her live-in caregiver. When she died I went into a deep depression, spending most of my time at home in isolation. I began writing my novel, Thicker Than Blood, as a therapeutic tool to up lift my spirits. As I wrote it, I would let a few friends and relatives read 5 chapters at a time. When I completed the novel, these ladies were so impressed that they encouraged me to publish. My sister Clara B. Ray, who is also a successful author, recommended I try I’m so pleased with the success I’ve had as an indie author.
One piece of advice to those considering self publishing is to research, put in the work to make sure you’re giving your best and not coming off as amateur or unprofessional. Make use of a good editor so your works will not be splattered with words spelled incorrectly, poor use of punctuation, and grammar that is totally inaccurate. We must study the art of writing and publishing diligently, if we want to be taken seriously as indie authors and put forth a product that is worthy of recognition by industry and consumers.
Another piece of advice would be to have thick skin. Every reader or reviewer that criticizes an author’s work is not the enemy. Realize there is always room for improvement, even in the writing of the most notable authors of our time. When we stop learning we stop growing. Continue to believe in yourself, use criticisms as stepping stones to elevate your art to the next level and write on!
Mary A. Finley




  1. Dallas, What an encouraging article! I don't say this simply because Mary Ann Finley is one of my baby sisters. I say this because the advice and contents are sound and solid. Of course I have read all of Mary's books, and I highly recommend them all, especially her novel, "Thicker Than Blood". I know she is working on a sequel,and I look forward to reading it. Thanks for this feature, Dallas. Your evident support of other authors is special and appreciated.

    1. Clara: I am always glad to help promote other authors, and especially the ones who have worked so very hard to become self-published authors as I have. It is very time consuming, and very complicated when it comes to the publishing process, since each format is different. I believe it takes many years to learn everything to be an indie author. The promotion is also very difficult. That is why I enjoy trying to help.

  2. Thanks so much Dallas! Thanks Clara!