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Guest Post with Author Mary Lowry!

Today I want all of us to give a warm Bibliophile Support Group welcome to Mary Lowry!

She is the author of the YA contemporary adventure novel The Earthquake Machine and she is visiting us today with a guest post.

First she wants to tell us a bit more about her novel:

The Earthquake Machine

The book every girl should read,
and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read.

The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.

Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a peyote- addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.

Then we get a cool glimpse of an insight from the author herself:

What was your life like when you were writing THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE?

When I was writing THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE I lived in a rented basement room at the Desert Rose Horse Ranch outside of Durango, Colorado. The Desert Rose was owned by a gorgeous 50-something woman named Ana Hale who taught English at Fort Lewis College and also broke colts for a living. It was totally inspiring to be around someone who was dedicated to reading and writing, but who also loved adventure and being outdoors.

I woke up before dawn to write and and then drove to my job as an apprentice carpenter. I worked for a Viking of a man named David who believes that women should have a chance to learn carpentry. As we framed houses or built fences, we talked about books and art and music. We worked outside in the cold all day so when I made it home at night I was too tired to do anything but lie on the floor for a little while before bed.

Since THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE is essentially about a girl brave enough to have a wild adventure, it was great to push myself at my carpentry job while I was writing the book. I learned how to rip boards on a table saw, use a nail gun and compressor, and how to tell my boss David to chill out when he got mad I’d messed something else up.

I believe women and girls shouldn’t be afraid to try new things, even if they are out of the bounds of what’s comfortable or even “acceptable” for women. There are still so many professions from which women are largely excluded and I’d like to see that change. I worked as a forest firefighter—only 10% or so of forest firefighters are women. That doesn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was when I started working as a screenwriter and found out that only 10% of screenwriters of major films are women! I hope reading THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE inspires women and girls to stretch the limits of what they believe they can do and push against limitations.

Author Bio:

Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. Due to no fault of her sweet parents, at 15 she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way.

Learn more about Mary and her book by visiting her website:

I want to thank Mary for stopping by the Bibliophile Support Group and encourage everybody to check out The Earthquake Machine.

*By the way, this week will be the last week in the foreseeable future that I will have five posts a week. Starting on Monday March 5th, I will be returning to three reviews a week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I’m sure we’ll have another month or two in 2012 of five reviews a week, but let’s give our bibliophile selves a little time to breathe for a while, agreed? :)


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