Atascadero native signs books at Barnes & Noble Aug. 23
Mary Weber’s first book in her Young Adult Trilogy released
Mary Weber, who was born and grew up in Atascadero, had her first published book, “Storm Siren,” released today. On Saturday, Aug. 23, she will sign books at Barnes & Noble in downtown San Luis Obispo from 3 to 4 p.m.
Though Weber, 36, has lived in Arroyo Grande for the last nine years, she lived in Atascadero since she was born. Her family moved to Atascadero 39 years ago when her father, Tom Gaddis, became the pastor of what is now called Father’s House in Atascadero — where she currently works part-time as the Next Gen Director. She was homeschooled and received her AA from Cuesta College. However, it wasn’t until six years later that she got into writing when she decided to “try her hand at it.”
“I just wanted to try and find myself,” said Weber, who has been married to Peter Weber for 16 years and is mother to Rilian, 15, Avalon, 12, and Korbin, 8. Her intention of writing was to discover more about life; something she could do in private and “not show anyone.”
She joined a local critique group, which led to her into joining SLO Nightwriters and then attending writing conferences such as the Central Coast Writers Conference at Cuesta College. During that time she wrote a paranormal romance that she was “shopping” to agents. She got 87 rejects from agents. She rewrote it and attended another conference — the first that she attended that was not the Central Coast Writers Conference. She submitted five pages of a manuscript for critique and when she got it back there was a note from a publisher at Harper Collins saying that while they probably wouldn’t be interested in the manuscript she submitted, they should talk.
“He said, ‘Have you ever considered writing for teenagers? I think you’d have a good voice for it.'” Weber said.
That led Weber to pitching ideas for a young adult fantasy novel. She pitched the first two chapter and was then asked for a proposal.
“At that time, I only had five chapters written — they bought the trilogy,” Weber said. “I just turned in book two, just about to start book three.”
Weber said she doesn’t feel that the first 87 rejections were a waste, but rather that they led her to being the writer she is today, because she continued to hone her craft. “The first four years were just me learning how to write and learning the tools of the trade,” she said.