'Dragons' author speaks on behalf of age gone by

Tears of Dragons Gone By
Item photo by Shea Singley Mary Jane Wijtyk

Mary Jane Wijtyk, of Hamburg, has always had a passion for writing and has had success in technical writing in the past. Now she is promoting her first published fiction work, the first in a series, “Tears of Dragons Gone By.”

This past weekend the author held a book signing at the Hamburg Public Library.

“I have always loved writing,” said Wijtyk. “I just wanted to say 'I wrote a book.'”

The young adult novel was not planned and according to Wijtyk just happened. Most of her writing was done while staying in hotels when traveling for her work at the time.

“This one wrote itself,” she said. “I said 'what if' and it just sort of came.”

Wijtyk could not recall the exact number, but said that the book took years to write though she did note that the actual writing was the easy part and fun. As a now retired math and science teacher, she always loved inspiring children and used one of her relations to pattern the main character off in the book.

“I like people with imaginations, so I like to feed that,” she said.

It was a friend that told her the novel needed to be published after reading the manuscript. Wijtyk send the manuscript to one publisher, Tate Publishing, and the manuscript was accepted.

“I was amazed,” said Wijtyk, who mentioned that she had heard only about eight percent of the manuscripts submitted are accepted by the company and published.

She did share a story of receiving a call from one of her friends late at night after that friend finished the book and said that she did not like the end which Wijtyk said leads into the next book in the series that she is starting to work on now.

Instead of just happening, the next book has a different approach. This time Wijtyk is starting with an outline since she needs to keep track of ages and other information that needs to stay consistent as the series continues.

“I've learned all kinds of lessons,” she said from the first experience to now working on her second.

When it came to seeing the finished product and having the book published and available to the public, she said, “You have no idea” when it comes to what people will think.

Seeing the finished product also meant seeing the cover which Wijtyk had a little help from her husband with as well as the title of the book. Her husband is an artist and she explained to him what she wanted for the cover and he produced a drawing of what she explained. The published cover may be a bit different due to software programs, but it was still a collaboration between the two of them. He was also the one to come up with the title “Tears of Dragons Gone By.”

With a background in teaching and love of inspiring others and a passion for writing, Wijtyk would like to see a writing group started in the area. The group will meet at the Hamburg Public Library on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and is open to creative writers.

“Tears of Dragons Gone By” is now available for purchase through Tate Publishing, Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at ssingley@berksmontnews.com or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.

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