Amazon icon Audible icon Autographed icon Book Bub icon Booksprout icon Email icon Facebook icon Goodreads icon Instagram icon Patreon icon Periscope icon Pinterest icon RSS icon Search icon Snapchat icon TikTok icon Tumblr icon Twitter icon Vine icon Youtube icon

FIVE ON FRIDAY with Mary Downing Hahn

This week our FIVE ON FRIDAY guest is award-winning author Mary Downing Hahn. Mary is the author of nearly two dozen books including Wait Till Helen Comes and Stepping on the Cracks. Mary’s books usually combine elements of suspense and supernatural and keep you reading long into the night! Mary can be visited on the web at

When did you know that you first wanted to be a writer?

I began life wanting to be an artist, but when I was about thirteen, I began thinking about being a writer and illustrator of children’s books. Years later, my first novel, The Sara Summer, was published, and I discovered I was a writer, not an illustrator.

What book or writer/artist do you feel influenced you the most?

Like many writers, my choice is Catcher in the Rye. I was sixteen when my best friend and I discovered the novel at a beach house. I’ve never forgotten the thrill of reading about a real teenager, flawed, unsure, and thoroughly human.

What book or books are you currently reading or have recently read that you’d recommend to others?

One of my current favorites is Out Stealing Horses, the only book in recent years that I’ve read twice.

If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring writers (or illustrators), what would it be?

Read, read, and read some more. Write, write, and write some more. Keep your eyes and ears open for story ideas — you never know when inspiration will strike.

Can you share with us your next project or any information about the next book you’re working on?

My new book, Closed for the Season, will be published this June. It’s a mystery featuring two boys who try to solve a murder and find the money the victim may have stolen. Their quest leads them into danger in the form of some of the town’s local thugs. Several scenes occur in a spooky amusement park that’s been closed for many seasons. Called The Magic Forest in my novel, it’s based on a closed park not far from my home in Maryland. After sneaking through the fence to take pictures, I was inspired to use the park in a book — a truly scary place.

My current project is a Victorian ghost story set in England. Tentatively called Here, There, and Everywhere, It features Florence, an orphan, who comes to stay with her great aunt and uncle in an old house in the country. Her sickly cousin James is also staying there, but he is too ill for company. Florence soon realizes the little boy is afraid of something — could it be the mysterious and menacing presence she senses watching from the shadows?

share on: