Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Welcome Newcomer MeriAnn Boxall…

March 5, 2015


What inspired you to write your first book?

I have always loved writing. When I was younger, I would write and illustrate stories. Then my mother would staple the spine and tell me it was a real book. I believed her. From that time I have always wanted to finish a novel and then see my name on the cover. I met some really great people going to a writing group and through them and their organization I was luckily able to submit my story for the anthology and see it come to fruition.

How did you come up with the title?

portal door

The title of my story is The Red Portal. I had the story completely finished and couldn’t find a name. I asked for ideas. A combination came back and I actually took two that my sister sent to me and put them together.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

This will be my first published story. I have finished two other novels and I am working on my third. None of them have been published yet, but I am just starting the querying process.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I want readers to embrace their uniqueness. It is what helps them to stand out and make them who they are. It is also what makes the world so fun. If we are all the same and afraid to stand out then all creativity is lost. I hope to give the message to my children that they should just be who they are. That person is the very best.

How much of the book is realistic?

The thoughts and feelings of Isabelle are very real. The surroundings and actions, however, are very much a part of dreams.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Most of the characters are not based on anyone real, but combined ideas of a lot of people around me. However, the stern and overprotective nature of Grandmother is very reminiscent of my own Grandmother growing up. She loved me very much, fiercely even, but in my youth I didn’t quite understand that. I often misunderstood that to mean disappointment when it may not have been at all.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I learned so much through the whole process of writing to publication. The number of rewrites and updating is overwhelming at best. I met a lot of great people and the thickness of my skin definitely increased. I am very proud of the final result and really excited to share it.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Writing is something that I love and publishing a book has always been a dream of mine. I am so thankful to those that have supported me on the journey and continue to support me, and the others in the anthology, by buying the book and future books as well.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

I love that Isabelle is real. I feel connected with her thoughts and feelings. I love how she pushes boundaries and finds the secret door.

What is your favourite theme/genre to write?

I love writing and reading fantasy. There is something easy about getting lost in another world. I also love crime fiction books and have completed writing one in that genre as well.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I am not sure there is a subject that would be off-limits if I found a story it in and felt a connection to it. There are many that I am not sure I would be daring enough to write about, but I would not say never.

What book are you reading now?

The Boys

I am currently reading the The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (audiobook), Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner (e-book) and The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (paperback). I usually have a couple going at a time so no matter what format I need I have a good book ready. .

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

There are a few other authors in the anthology that I have read and really enjoyed. I am anxiously waiting for their newest releases. Lehua Parker writes the Niuhi Shark Saga. Christine Haggerty is set to release the second book in her Acquisitions Series. Angela Hartley just released her first in Copper Decent. I have enjoyed all of Johnny Worthen’s books and I can’t forget Teri Harman as I just finished her Blood Moon book in the Moonlight Trilogy. There are great authors in our anthology and I am still reading them all.

Do you see writing as a career?

I do. It sure takes enough work. I am looking forward to being able to spend more time writing and hope to make a full career doing so one day.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?


I have young kids so they will just be getting into high school by then. I will be chasing them, probably about as much as I do now, but I also see myself writing more and fully see a published book that is all my own too.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding the time to write is probably the most challenging. My family comes first, so my time to write often happens when I should be sleeping. I am learning to write through the noise when I get a chance.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

I don’t remember hating anything I have written but there are some that I look at and I know they aren’t quite ready to show to the world.

What book do you wish you had written?

I have always loved Hatchet by Gary Paulson. I think this is the first book that gave me a love for reading on my own. A love for dreaming. I would love to have written this book and given such a passion to another young reader.

What is your best marketing tip?

Be brave. Take chances and get yourself out there. Talk to people, send emails, and ask for help. You have more reach than you know and each person you meet or connect with, they have reach too.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

I am just starting to send queries on a fantasy novel strong in Native American Folklore.

Here is a basic introduction:

After running from her past for four hundred years, Hania, a Golem, discovers that someone she once knew is the oppressive leader responsible for the lack of hope and compassion in America. An understanding of the Native American history and folklore, that tells her where she came from, may be the key to her own survival. She must decide if she will open her painful history and draw from her experiences during the Trail of Tears and World War I to fight her way back to finding her self-worth and become the leader she needs to be. With her unusual companions—a snarky run-away, a free-spirited musician, and an elderly medicine—she embarks on a quest to defeat, Halleck, a leader set on controlling mankind through his army of Seminole warriors. The only way she can see to win, is to create an army of Golem women warriors.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

My story The Red Portal will be in the Secrets and Doors Anthology:

“The Secrets and Doors Society is committed to opening new doors by supporting the research of a common, but terrible, disease. Type One Diabetes (T1D) is a disease that can affect children and adults. Over time, T1D can damage nerves, organs, and extremities. The only current treatment is a lifetime of blood sugar monitoring, and insulin injections.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is studying the prevention of the autoimmune attack that can evolve into T1D. They are working toward eradicating the need for insulin by keeping insulin producing beta cells alive. JDRF’s ultimate goal is to stop T1D before it starts, by creating a universal vaccine. All proceeds for Secrets and Doors will go to JDRF in support of their mission to treat and eradicate T1D.”

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

You can find me at: Also at, and Twitter: @meriannboxall.

Bio:  MeriAnn Boxall resides in the mountains of Northern Utah with her husband and two children. A work-at-home mom she has a Master’s in Business Administration and most often finds herself teaching college courses online and writing grants for nonprofit organizations. Growing up in a small town rich with culture she developed a love for the art of storytelling. She is an avid reader who loves being outdoors, boating, and trail-running in the mountains that surround her home.

Join me in wishing Meriann future success.

Eleemosynary – What a Word..!

November 27, 2013

Eleemosynary – definition: 1. of or for charity; charitable; 2. given in charity; having the nature of alms; 3. supported by or dependent on charity.


Don’t you just love this word? I do.

When I lived in England I used to travel the country visiting castles, historic houses and ancient archaeological sites. Among the many places I saw were Alms houses. These buildings were built to house the poor, old and distressed people and were often funded by Christian institutions. The first Almshouses were established in the tenth century in Britain. King Athelstan (a personal favorite) founded the first recorded Almshouse in York, England. The Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester is the oldest still in existence, dating from about 1132.

There are Almshouses in other countries. One was established in Stavanger, Norway in 1269 or 1270. Almshouses were introduced to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by it’s founder William Penn. In Maryland the legislature created almshouses in Anne Arundel County, which were financed by property taxes on landowners. Another state with a long tradition of almshouses is Massachusetts. The aid was available in the United States mainly for the elderly and disabled, and for children that had to sleep in the same rooms as adults. Non-governmental organizations provided this care due to the scandalous limited care available. This system began in the eighteenth century.

The photo above is Almshouses in Stratford upon Avon, England and the ones below are Trowbridge and Chipping Norton, England.

Trowbridge, Wilts


Have you visited Almshouses?

Enthusing & Promoting…

November 16, 2013

Enthuse – definition: to be or become excited or enthusiastic; to show enthusiasm

snow road

I certainly was not enthusing about driving to my hair appointment this morning. We had heavy snow fall over night and there were police warnings regarding low visibility and slick roads.

However, as an intrepid Albertan, it did not deter me and I drove carefully to my hairdressers. With a new look, I am happy and safely back home. Hence the late post today!

I am enthusing about several events I will be attending in the next few weeks. These local events give me the opportunity to connect with my readers, new and old. They are also a valuable resource for networking as an author and freelance writer.


The first is tomorrow’s Fun and Then Some in Sherwood Park. It is an educational and recreation fair and I will be attending with my publisher, Dream Write Publishing. We have organized all the current children’s books in singles, doubles and Christmas wrapped packages.  Our second role will be  informing the attendees of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, its mission, meetings and workshops.

Christmas Market 5

On November 30th, I will be at the Christmas Marketplace in Fort Saskatchewan, again with Dream Write Publishing, promoting the company and the wide range of books available.





December 7th will see me promoting myself as an author at Authors for Altruism Charity Book Sale in Edmonton. Part of the money raised will be given to Alzheimer Society of Alberta & North-west Territories and The Rainbow Society of Alberta.

Wretchedness – Gender Bias..?

October 23, 2013

Wretched – definition: 1. very unfortunate in condition or circumstances; 2. despicable, contemptile, or mean

Ignorance and Want, woodcut — from A Christmas...

Ignorance and Want, woodcut — from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two famous wretches are found in Les Miserables. and the poor boy, Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Characters are portrayed living in absolute poverty and diabolical circumstances. We feel for their plight. Can they be saved? Who has the compassion and wealth to help? Unfortunately, in reality there have been, and are, many poor  ‘wretches’ suffering similar conditions in the real world. It is not only third world countries that have people only managing to exist. Regrettably, a larger percentage of these are female.

I endeavor to steer clear of politics and religion on this blog, as I feel everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That being said I would like to bring to your attention a charity, whose work is ensuring girls and women around the world have a chance. I am certainly not pushing anyone to go to the links:  OR  Everyone is free to make their own choices as to the charities they support. This is a personal belief and I will not preach.

becauseiamagirlOn a side note, the basis of my novel, Life in Slake Patch, is a world under matriarchy rule due to the near annihilation of the world’s population under patriarchy rule. Could it happen?

Life in Slake

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