Unbound: Author Interview [Book Tour]

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Mary Frances Gualandri, 
while she's on tour with her new novel "Unbound." 


Celia Emerson lives a double life. On the outside, she is a beautiful, successful artist mesmerizing the East Coast with her mysterious works of art. Behind closed doors, however, Celia harbors a dark secret that has left her elusive and distant. However, there is one tall, dark, handsome stranger who gets her blood pumping and tangles her feelings in knots, making her consider breaking down the walls she put up around herself. 

Manhattan attorney Dash Greyson is intrigued by Celia at first glance. Her quiet, private manner boldly contrasts the strokes of color and blatant emotion on her canvases. Even after her initial coolness toward him, he continues pursuing her, desperate to know more about her and how her bottled-up emotions spill onto the easel. When she turns to him as secrets of her pass begin to surface, he finds himself not only protecting her but the passion between them simmering to the boiling point. 

I'm so excited to have you here today on my blog Mary! 
I can't wait to hear all of your answers! 


Other Novels Mary has written: {Be Sure To Check Them Out!}
Hell in Heels, Private Dancer, Vegas, and Unbound

What is your date of publication?: July 5, 2016

 If you could go back and re-write a novel, or re-experience writing a novel of yours, which one would it be and why?: I think I would like to go back and re-experience the writing of Vegas because I completed that book in a month.  I decided to compete in NaNoWriMo, and that was the book I wrote.  It ended up being over 70,000 words, all of which I wrote in the month of November.  I would just like to go back and relive all of that creativity and time I must have had.  I remember it vaguely, but being able to re-experience that might help me develop a better plan for time management and writing.

Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?: I have wanted to be a writer since I was about eight years old.  Before that, I’m not really sure what I wanted to be.  I am currently going to school to be a social worker, but eventually, I would love to write full-time.

When did you first consider yourself a “writer”? I think I have considered myself a writer since about the fourth grade, when I actually began creating stories.  However, as a professional, I began considering myself a writer when I began doing editing work and preparing for the release of my first novel, Hell in Heels, in late 2012-early 2013.

If you were a donut, what kind of donut would you be? A plain doughnut.  I am a very simple individual, so a plain doughnut would probably be the most accurate description of me.

If you could take a character from your novel on a date, where would you go and what would you both do? If I took the hero, Dash, on a date, I think we would go somewhere really casual to eat because he spends most of his time in all of these really fancy places and would probably appreciate something a little more personalized.  I think we would go out to dinner and probably just walk around New York.  There is no better way to get to know a person than spending a lot of time engaging in conversation.

What was the publishing process like for you? If you self-published, what obstacles have you come across in the process of publishing? My goal has always been to be a traditionally published author, but it simply was not conducive to a stage in life where I was not working consistently, so I decided to pursue the self-publishing route

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say? Unbound.  A woman desperate to escape her past finds a kindred soul in an emotionally damaged lawyer.

If you type into Google “Your Name” – what is the first thing that comes up? 
My Amazon author page.

 Do you have any future books planned or in mind? Too many!  I am currently working on my next novel, Dreams, which is actually my first diversion from the romance genre.  However, there will be a lot of romance in the book, so I think my fans will enjoy it.  Then, I am going to finally write the third book in my Love, Windy City Style series, Ideal Hero, which has undergone a massive rewrite and a change in the couple.  After that, I am planning a historical novel, a romantic suspense novel, a sequel to Dreams, and a possible young adult novel.

If you could be any part of a happy meal, which part would you be? (i.e hamburger? French fries? The free sundae?) The free sundae, of course.  I love ice cream!

Do you have a favorite character from your books? Why?: From the books I have published, probably Celia from Unbound.  She is such a multi-dimensional character and displays contrasting emotions of strength and vulnerability so well.  However, I would have to say that my favorite characters that I have created are yet to come in some of the stories I am writing.  Stay tuned!

If we were to go to a book store together, where would I find you?: Probably in the magazines, especially if it was a large bookstore.  I’m from a rural area where we don’t have a huge selection of magazines, so I love checking those out at larger bookstores.

What is your favorite character’s “favorites”? Give us a list! 
Favorite color: green
Favorite food: fish
Favorite movie:  Mona Lisa Smile
Favorite artist: Jackson Pollack
Favorite singer: Katy Perry

How long have you been writing and who or what inspired you to write? I have been writing for about fourteen years.  Originally, it was an outlet because I did not know what to do after my grandfather passed away, but eventually, it grew into more than that.  I loved being able to create characters and explore situations that I would likely never get to experience.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? Not really.  I write when I have the time.  The actual writing process I consider a routine, but not the day-to-day story creation.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books? – Why or Why not? Can you remember your first great one and the worst one? Unfortunately, I do, because I care what people think of me and my work, and I take those opinions personally.  The great ones have typically been short and sweet.  The worst one, and the theme came up consistently, was that I had plot holes in my story.  It made me feel inadequate, honestly.

How did you feel knowing more than just yourself would be reading your work? It was a little strange at first, but I was excited to get the feedback and know that people throughout the state, country, and world would be able to read what I wrote.

Who was the first person to ever read a story/poem of yours? I used to read my stories to my grandpa, so he was the first person who really knew my work and supported it.

 How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?: For character names, I have to pick names that I like.  Honestly, if I am reading a book and I don’t like the character’s name, it distracts me from the story.  As far as places, I typically use real places, but when I don’t, I like to make places sound mystical and beautiful.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?: I always decide main character traits before I write.  However, I sometimes add little quirks as I am writing.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?: My favorite book is Paradise by Judith McNaught because it is the ultimate love story.  McNaught created two characters that the reader continues to feel for even as they make mistakes.  It is one of the books that makes the reader feel every kind of emotion.  I have read it three times, which is a feat because it is over 700 pages.

Your favorite food is?: Fried chicken and pizza.

Your favorite singer/group is?: Now this is a hard question!  I love music.  My favorite band is the Eagles with Fleetwood Mac as a close second.  Stevie Nicks is my favorite singer.  What can I say?  I love the 70’s!

Your favorite color is?: blue

What sparked the idea for this book? I actually wrote it because of the craze over Fifty Shades of Grey.  The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to explore the side of what would happen if the relationship became completely abusive.  It is not a critique of Fifty Shades or similar books because I enjoyed them.  I simply wanted to explore a different side of it.

Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel? They usually come at the same time, honestly, because they are so closely related.  I suppose I have never made a distinction between the two.  The character’s story takes more time for the novel idea to develop, though.

What was the hardest part to write in this book? The scene where Celia tells Dash about her past.  It was gut-wrenching, and I could feel her shame and embarrassment as I wrote it.

How do you hope this book affects its readers? I hope that people see that people can heal even after they have been through a traumatic experience.  I also hope that people see that vulnerability is not weakness no matter what gender you are.

 What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? Don’t give up.  I still want to be a traditionally published writer, and I haven’t given up.  I am simply trying to write the best book I can to submit to them.  Also, traditional publishing isn’t the only way to go.  I have self-published all of my books and enjoyed it.  There is a lot more work on the author’s side, but it is worth it because it feels more personal.

  If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Invisibility

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. It feels like all of your dreams have come true.  People are very impressed and often ask you for help, which always boosts the ego a bit.  Plus, it allows you to find other writers to bond with.  It is just a great experience all-around.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. It is an original modern love story with multi-dimensional characters that romance lovers will remember for a long time.

What’s your favorite season/weather? Fall.  There is just so much beauty in all of the sounds, smells, and visuals.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about writing? My favorite thing about writing is being about to see these stories and characters that originate from your imagination come to life.  My least favorite thing is editing.
If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why? Grace Kelly.  I could only imagine having the life of a Hollywood actress one day and a princess the next.  Also, I think she was one of the most graceful women to ever exist.  I would just like to experience a life of a woman who was so beautiful and loved by so many.  Really, I think living the lives of any of the actresses of the Hollywood’s Golden Age would be incredible.  Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Maureen O’Hara.  Those women were true elegance.

If you could meet any famous person, who would it be? What would be the first thing you say to them? I would want to meet Stevie Nicks.  Her songwriting is some of the most inspirational that I have listened to.  Even though she does not write stories like I do, I think all writing can be beneficial for other writers to listen to and read.  I don’t know what the first thing I would say would be because I am not certain I could form coherent words.  I hope that I would be able to tell her what an honor it was to be in her presence and how much I admire her.

Favorite Superhero ? Or if you could be a superhero, who would you be or what super power would you have and why? Superman.  I love the new incarnation with the Zack Snyder films.  It’s modernized the origin story and showed a side of the superhero not seen before.  Plus, Henry Cavill is very easy on the eyes…

Wow, those were some great answers! Thanks for joining me today on my Blog! It was so much fun getting to learn more about you, your writing process and so much more! 

For any readers who are interested in reading more by Mary, 
you can find her here on Social Media!: 


Twitter handle




Amazon Author Page


You can buy her book at these locations: 


Barnes & Noble: 



About the Author

Mary Frances Gualandri fell in love with the romance genre after reading The Flame and the Flower.  After trying to write several other genres, she realized that her first love in reading was also her first love as a writer.  Mary Frances is the author of the Love, Windy City Style series and two standalone novels.  When she is not writing, she spends most of her time reading, listening to music, and watching Once Upon a Time.


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