As Mary McDonough’s novel, One Year, hits the shelves, we were pleased to chat with her about her book, writing, and, of course, The Waltons.
I have always written about women and read women’s fiction, so it was a natural transition to write One Year. I believe women should support each other in life and business. So often we are in competition. One Year is about how important communication is for families and that family is not always blood.
It took over two years from conception to completion. My kids are all in college now so I can write any time. I am an early morning writer. But I have insomnia, so I am not opposed to writing on those sleepless nights.
It’s a very different process. I like to think a screenplay has some description of places with dialogue to show the emotions of the character. A book allows a lot of description with some dialogue. In a book you can go into someone’s thoughts, in a screenplay you need to show what the character’s thinking and evolution.
I believe my acting makes the whole process so much easier. I feel everything my characters feel. I pull from my own life, of course. In some way, I am every woman in One Year. Like an actor, I know every reason they act and react the way they do. I know their motivation and how they got to where they are.
Let’s just say Mary Bernadette will be recognized by many of my family and friends. She is a compilation of many women I have known. Even a few nuns!!!
Not really. She is based on my own life more than the Waltons. That said, my Walton experience did influence the idea of many generations learning how to get along.
I identify with Megan, not the most, but right now. Probably because she is the most like me at present and the closest to my age. I have a child with learning disabilities, so I can relate to doing everything under the sun to help your kid. I also understand the guilt and the overachieving Mom. Gee, do you think I based her on me? I try to live my life by the Golden Rules, so the prayer of St. Francis resonates with me greatly. I am not as accomplished at the peace that comes with being an “instrument for peace,” but I work on it daily. Maybe Megan is my role model, who I want to be and strive to be more like. I love the romance in Megan and Pat’s marriage as well. I have that now in my life and it’s a Blessing! I have been Alexis at different times in my life and have experienced many “Mary Bernadettes” in my life.
Alexis is like my child. She learns some great lessons about finding her voice; I have done the same in my life. I love the men here too. Pat is a good husband, very romantic.
It is already in the works, with a Christmas theme. That’s all I can say for now!
I see all my Walton family all the time. We are extremely close and love each other, just like family.
I love hearing people’s stories of how the show touched them and their lives. The General Store was great and the jail was fun. I was so honored the auction raised awareness and funds for the Sjogrens Foundation.