Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Interview with Deidre Havrelock: Author of "Saving Mary"

Original Title: Saving Mary - The Possession
Series: Saving Mary #1
Author: Deidre Havrelock
Publisher: Etcetera Press
Released: 2012
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

If you’re a fan of supernatural fiction then you will be captivated by this true story about a spiritually sensitive girl and the path that led to her possession. Part one of a two-part series, Saving Mary is the story of a modern-day Mary Magdalene—the woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons.

Deidre Daily is drawn to anything seemingly spiritual, desperately seeking a spiritual existence. But inside this vibrant girl hides a terrified child who sincerely believes she has married the devil. Through a series of spiritual encounters her fear turns into reality, and she ends up possessed.

Deidre’s fascinating spiritual memoir relays her story from childhood to adolescence: invisible eyes leering at her from the corner of her bedroom, horrible nightmares tormenting her, and her desperate attempt to find God—only to end up possessed. It is a candid account of possession from a first-person perspective. This dark memoir brings to light an intricate world of deceitful spirits hell-bent on manipulating and damaging an innocent girl’s life, not only through her dreams, but also through seemingly every-day encounters. 


If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?

The future, definitely. I really would like to fly in a spaceship. I once dreamed I had a pink flying car (just like in the Jetsons). It had a white leather interior. In this futuristic world everything was powered from the energy of positive electrons gathered from flowing water. (I’m not sure if this would actually work…I’m a dreamer not a physicist.)

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?

My friend Lori, my friend Becky, my friend Courtney, my friend Joan…and the Holy Spirit. We would eat naan bread and spinach paneer.

What is one book everyone should read?

Since I’m a fan of good Christian theology, but I also enjoy story…I think I’ll pick The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. Of course, everyone has already read this book, but if you’re one of the few people who haven’t then you should.  I believe the Holy Spirit is the feminine aspect of God. In fact, I’m coordinating a conference on the femininity of the Holy Spirit (May 2013) and Wm. Paul Young will be there, hosting it. I’m excited!

Another favorite of mine is Scivias by St. Hildegard…it’s a book of visions; but for top memoir pick, I choose The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This book is sad but it makes you laugh because her family is super crazy. For a good exorcism book, I pick Hostage to the Devil by Malachi Martin. You think my story is weird, wait ‘til you read the ones in this book!

One food you would never eat?

I really like food. All kinds of food, but if someone said, “Hey, try this dish of spiders!” I definitely would pass. The idea of eating spiders creeps me out. I imagine little bristly legs getting stuck in my teeth or else wiggly bodies scurrying down my throat. How much flavor or protein could there be in a spider, anyway? My favorite food, by the way, is crab!

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

There are things that go on, strange supernatural things, that for your own safety—or the safety of your children—you should know about.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

My imagination, plus my mom read a lot. At a young age I wanted to write something for her to read, so I wrote The Bloody Dagger in grade three. I’m sure my story of a guy who hides in the shadows and chops up people impressed her. I know it impressed my teacher, Mrs. Whalen, who asked, “Don’t you have any happy thoughts?”

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Just getting finished…getting the editing done, getting the file uploaded to Amazon—without weird formatting errors. Actually, there are still a few weird formatting errors. But still, I’m happy. Oh, and today my first reviews started coming out. It’s sinking in that people are actually going to read my book—and some of those people will like it! That’s rewarding.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?

I Robot, that was a good book. I’d like to live in a world with robots and all those robot logic problems. I’d like to travel in space, too.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?

I read all sorts of gothic romances. That’s about all I read. Looking back, I was obviously obsessed with being saved.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?

How about “Can’t Cry Today” by Saving Mary

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Finish your book. Keep working. Enjoy the process. Cry a little.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?

I wanted to be a writer and then a lawyer and then I just wanted to party (I sort of lost focus). I used to pray, “Dear God, pleeeeease make me good at just one thing.” I always felt I was exceptionally good at nothing—probably like most of us, I suspect. My husband calls this “The Gift of Insignificant helps.”

What's the craziest writing idea you've had?

I want to be a screenwriter. That’s a crazy idea. I mean, it seems crazy…especially since I’m in my 40s. I’ve taken screenwriting courses and I’ve written a screenplay. I guess we’ll see what happens.

Hidden talent?

There’s not much talent here, just persistence.

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?

The next Star Trek movie!!

How do you react to a bad review?

I cry. I then have to watch Star Trek. Star Trek makes everything better.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be? 

That’s easy, Saving Mary: The Possession and The Deliverance

How did you come up with the title of your book?

I called my book Saving Mary because just after my exorcism my boyfriend convinced me to go to a Bible study. I had already decided I would keep my possession and exorcism a secret. (It seemed all just a bit too strange to talk about.) During the Bible study, however, BAM! A woman caught me off guard. She came up to me at the end of the study and told me that God spoke to her. “God told me to tell you that you remind him of Mary Magdalene—the woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons.” It seemed that I wanted to keep my life a secret, but God didn’t get my memo!  I didn’t go to another Bible study for over a year. Those prophetic people, you can always count on them to spice things up.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.

My day is pretty boring. I get up and pray…I make coffee. I then crawl back into bed and either read a book or answer emails. At that point my husband leaves for work. Then I wake the kids up and get them some breakfast: yogurt, cereal and fruit. I then read some more or answer emails. I then tell my kids to get dressed. I then make lunches. (Bored yet?) I get a fresh coffee and read or answer emails. I then remind my kids to brush their teeth, and then I get the kids out the door so they can catch their rides to school. I then jump in the shower and then I work. Work entails: reading, answering emails, writing, editing, marketing, blogging, filing, sending out queries. (Sometimes my friend Lori Skypes me!) I do this for the next five hours then I jump in my car and rush to begin the cycle of picking up kids and getting them to soccer, basketball or softball. When I get home, I feed everyone some kind of food I’ve managed to scrape together. Then me and my hubby go for a walk and talk about going on vacation to Greece. This is where I am right now in my life. I love being with my family. Although, it would be great if I could do less driving.

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?

Cupcake Wars. I don’t know why I like this show…they’re just stupid cupcakes! It really makes me mad when they screw up the little fondant decorations that go on top of the cupcakes—you have to go big or go home!

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is....

The Lord of The Rings, of course!

Which authors have influence on you most.. how?

I can’t say there’s been one author who has influenced me. I have been influenced by genres. I like to read memoirs. True stories of people’s lives have always fascinated me. Favorite ones are Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes and Cartwheels in a Sari by Jayanti Tamm. But I’m also a fan of the gothic classics: Rebecca, The Monk, The Mysteries of Udolpho. If anyone is a fan of gothic they should read Art of Darkness by Anne Williams, where the male and female gothic traditions are discussed. Like this author, I don’t see the female gothic tradition (which includes the need to “be saved”) as intrinsically weak and pathetic. I see both traditions (including the male gothic model—which includes the need for punishment) as deep spiritual issues inside all of us. I could talk about gothic for hours. My favorite Christian book is Surprised By The Voice of God, by Jack Deere. (Read my book and you’ll understand why.) I also liked The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila. And another favorite of mine is Scivias by St. Hildegard…it’s a book of visions that nobody has probably read.

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?

I’d like to write with Margaret Atwood—can you imagine? That would be awesome! Half the book would be great and the other half would be written by me!

What are your current literary works?  Any sneak peaks?

I’m currently working to finish part two of my memoir Saving Mary: The Deliverance. The story of how I got myself unpossessed. To prepare for this book, I contacted a bunch of my friends from high school including most of the ones who were present the day I became possessed (which happened during a transcendental meditation session). None of them were surprised that I had become possessed on that day. My friend Winston remembers us being told to make an “egg made of pure light” to protect ourselves with (which obviously didn’t work). The first thing my friend Rose said was, “I thought you’d be a Satanist by now.” My friend Doug (who also became obsessed with the spirit world) actually went to the same elementary school as me, and he’s in the picture on the front cover of my book (only he’s to the far left, so you can’t see him); his story of getting out of the occult is probably more fascinating than mine and maybe one day he’ll let me tell it!

What is your favorite scene in the book and why do you love it?

My favorite scene is at the beginning of the book when I’m in my room playing barbies and suddenly my dad screams out bloody murder, making my mom sprint down the stairs to save him. I like this part because my dad remembers the event so well. While lying on the couch, a tall and extremely thin man appeared to him; the spirit pointed one of its long bony fingers at him as if to say, “You’re coming with me.” My dad says he had never been so terrified in his life. The spirit he describes, by the way, sounds exactly like the spirit I call Fred (in the book)…who appeared to me in my dreams. Even though this isn’t a great memory for us, my dad and I feel connected through the event. The fact that we both saw the same spirit helps us to feel not so odd…or crazy.


Favorite place?
With my family.

Best christmas present?
I once got this toy dog that did back flips—that was pretty awesome.

Favorite book(s)?
Memoirs, Gothic, theology, Bible.

Favorite author?
Margaret Atwood, maybe.

Favorite smell?
Smoke and also flowers.

Favorite series?
Star Trek.

Let’s not talk about that.

Favorite writing spot?

Favorite movie?
Anything Star Trek.

Favorite dish?
Curry or Japanese.

Favorite color?
Red, black, white, yellow, green…I like color.

Favorite quote?
“Theology in the hands of the Holy Spirit is a beautiful science.” But I also like… “Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.”

A bunch of small gifts or one big expensive one?
I’m a simple girl; I’d like a bunch of small gifts: a trip to Greece for just two, a million dollars in small bills, a small island. 

Your best trait?
Ask my husband…hopefully he knows.

Your worst trait?
Ask my daughter…she’ll tell you, no problem.


  1. EWWWW...Too much info about eating spiders. YUCK. I do like your "little" gifts. Inspired!

  2. Thank you for hosting Deidre :). Loved the interview.


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