Mary E. Jung - Romance, Murder Mystery and Magic
Mary E. Jung is the worldwide author and publisher of the Etrucian Royals and The Libra Witch Series and the Socrates. Mary lives with her two sons and husband in Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor’s degree in Arts Studies with an emphasis in Arts Management and Opera from Shenandoah University. She's a Publishers Weekly spotlight author in 2022 for her novella series Queen of Light and Ashes. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Blossom and Bone.
What inspired you to write a Gothic Romance between two witches?
I was inspired to write a book that featured a house made of bones and death magic. I love stories about supernatural entities dealing with death, and I felt there was a lot to that literary scope that could be explored. Although Blossom and Bone is about Witches in a fantasy setting, the intimacy of death is prevalent in this book.
Tell us more about Amé. What makes her tick?
Amé is more in tune with plants, so she doesn’t have a strong concept of how people think and feel. She’s nurturing and has difficulty grasping the concept of corruption. I think she gets pretty riled when someone messes with her life’s work. She’s protective, and when that aspect is brought to the front, we see a witch capable of battling for justice. What gets under her skin the most is when people are destructive.
Xephriel has a magic condition that causes empathic dissonance. Why did you create him this way?
I wanted my male main character to show the complexities of the mind and heart. I also wanted to represent someone who was neurodivergent. Death is so intimate to our human race. We are all subject to it, and I believe that causes dissonance in our minds at times. Out of everyone, Xephriel has the greatest connection to people because he deals with their most private moments. You cannot hide or cheat death. I felt that the perfect antagonist for a person like this would be to overcome his inner obstacles. He has to battle the enemy within, and I think that’s how people feel about themselves. It’s why we fear death. No one wants to face themselves in the mirror, but we have to in order to live full lives and be happy. Xephriel requires an intense healing process, and that journey can only be made with a witch like Amé.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I was an opera singer before I became a published author. I can sing, play piano and flute, and I can compose music. My greatest skill is probably mom duty. You can’t go to school for some of the things I’ve experienced with two small humans.
You also included some murder mystery in the story. Why did you take this approach?
When I first plotted the book, I had a deep sense that these characters had to be in a forced proximity trope, or it was never going to work out. There’s nothing more forged than sleuthing out a murderer who is framing one of the love interests. Plus, I just love a good mystery. You can ask, ‘who done it’ and at the same time, you are asking, ‘how the heck are these two going to get together in the end.’
You created a very different kind of magic system for this story. Please tell us more about it.
I’m raved as original, unique, and imaginative. This is not easy to accomplish in a world where thousands of authors create fantastic books to escape to. My Libra Witch series is an old-world setting with the potential for immense growth. I wanted it to be complex, intriguing, and addicting. With so many types of witches, magical creatures, and directions, the series doesn’t have to be confined to your typical fantasy novel. I can’t go into all my secrets, but I have a knack for details. What makes this series unique is the science I bring into the fantasy. After all, isn’t the universe already full of magic?
Plants also feature prominently in this story. What fascinates you about them?
I have always loved trees and nature. The diversity of plants and their genetics is interesting to me.
What did you have the most fun with while writing this book?
Xephriel was so fun, and all the bone magic I researched for his character. I could have talked about his house of bones for the entire book! I loved Amé’s science lab and her development of the flower mates. I’m planning a novella that details the beginning of the flower mates. It will be released on Halloween.
This is the first book in The Libra Witch series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
Yes. These are standalone within a series. I have one character that will show up in all of them, but it is not necessary to read my books in order. The second book is up for preorder, and there will be a novella released on Halloween. I’ve dedicated 2023 to my year of witches.
What are you working on right now?
Spindle and Shears is the second in the series. I am also plotting the third book, Divine and Devour.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
https://linktr.ee/authormaryejung?utm_source=linktree_profile_share<sid… This is a link that will take you to all my social media sites, free newsletter, signed books, and retailer book links. I’m also found on bookstagram as @peninhandmej.
Thank you for hosting me, and I look forward to meeting new readers!