Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace
By Mary A. Pérez
Crystal: I'm really excited to have Mary Perez stop by today. Welcome Mary! Would you share a little bit about yourself today?
Mary: I am Puerto Rican descent, born in the Bronx and raised in Miami. I moved to Texas in 1977 and have been here ever since! I am happily married (the second time around) to an incredible, self-less man from California for twenty-one years with four grown children and two adorable grandchildren.
After starting a new chapter in life with my second husband, I gained some distance from the pain in my past and discovered a passion for writing. I write because I know I have a story to tell. As a kid, eventually I discovered we were dirt poor. In my teens looking back, I realized that I was neglected and forced to grow up too fast. I was ashamed of my childhood and bitter that I was my mama’s mother. As I “matured”, settled down, married and had children of my own, along the way I found I was a stronger person because of some of the things that I endured as a child. Once I embraced the God of my grandparents, I became a much better person, too. I share my story that I might help someone else understand this; and if I have done that, then I have done a good thing.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Mary: Soft, velvety cheeks. A round rosy nose. Dark hair like mine, but curly. Eyes, blue, that sparkled like the ocean I’d seen in storybooks. I kissed her sweet-smelling face. Her soft, pudgy hand with tiny fingers, curled inside mine. Anna melted my heart. I won’t be alone anymore. I caressed her face and whispered, “I’ll stay by your side for always.”
Soon left with the responsibility in caring for Anna, I became her substitute mother. I loved her and took care of her as best as a seven-year-old could.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace?
Mary: “Running in Heels” is not about a fast, quick and stable journey. It is an urgency determination but going about in an unsteadiness pace. She has always felt her shoes were too big to walk in, while stumbling along the way.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Mary: I do well to keep up with my weekly blog. I enjoy writing essays for submission and contemplating my next project worthy of publication. I have enough material to work with.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Mary: I like total quiet. No music or background noises. I may have notes jotted down everywhere close by. I take these scattered thoughts of mine written on paper and begin to add fillers to make complete thoughts.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book?
Mary: I could not have gotten some of the time frame right if it wasn’t for the help of the older members in my family. I did not merely write by what I could remember, but also had some supporting documents such as saved letters and photos to go by.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Mary: I enjoy reading the authors who can pull on the heartstrings and have a Christian message. I enjoy authors like Charles Martin, Jan Karon, Terri Blackstock, Richard Paul Evans, Karen Kingsbury and Mary DeMuth.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven’t written that you would like to try?
Mary: I probably would like to try fiction for young adult.
About The Book:
“More than a memoir—this book is a promise of hope for anyone who was abandoned as a child, to anyone who woke up hungry and went to bed hungrier every day, for every wife who has loved a husband who left bruises on her heart and on her body.”
Somewhere between stealing cold cuts from stray cats and watching a stranger leave her mother’s bed after breaking in through their bedroom window, Mary figured out that her family was dirt poor. Worse than her empty stomach, she was hungry for acceptance and love. She thought she found it when her baby sister was born and she became her “mommy”, taking care of her needs as best she could at the age of seven. Then she had to say goodbye over a small white casket.
Mary’s grandparents, first generation immigrants from Puerto Rico, took her in and gave her a glimpse of faith and stability. For a brief, shining spell, she had a real home—until they decided that Mama needed her. They may have been right, but Mama needed more than a little girl could give and Mary lost her way again.
Just out of Juvy Hall, Mary found a knight in shining armor to take her away. She became a teenage bride to a man twice her age—a man as deeply enslaved to booze as every “step-dad” she’d had as a child. She loved him anyway, even wearing the bruises he gave her, even when she tried to leave him to give their children a better life. Despite her fear and loneliness, she never imagined it would take a gunshot in the middle of the night to teach her courage. She was even more surprised when rediscovered faith paved the path to forgiveness after so many years of pain.
Running in Heels is a memoir of the grit and grace that carried a young girl through the shadows of her mother’s choices and on through an abusive marriage. Mary A. Pérez narrates an incredible story of survival in the face of hopelessness, and learning to forgive against all odds.
A story of coming of age, and coming into grace.
Paperback: 360 pagesGenre: Christian Living, Inspirational, Memoir, NonfictionPublisher: Chart House Press, LLC (January 28, 2015)ISBN-10: 1631250280ISBN-13: 978-1631250286
Amazon ebook | Barnes and Noble:
About The Author:
Mary A. Pérez was born in the Bronx, raised in Miami, and now resides in Texas with her husband of twenty years. Her award-winning essays have appeared in La Respuesta and Sofrito for Your Soul.
Tour hosted by Write Now Literary www.wnlbooktours.com
Follow the Tour http://wnlbooktours.com/?p=5171