Interview with Mary Whitney, author of A Political Affair

Even before she graduated from law school, Mary knew she wasn’t cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she’s spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband. Visit Mary Whitney's blog:
Could you please tell us a little about your book?

A Political Affair has a JFK, Jr. style hero, a heroine you can respect, and villains you’ll love to hate. In writing the book, I wanted to turn the tables on the cliché story of a typical politician and intern scandal. That’s the common, sad tale, where the young, female intern is pilloried, while the politician dumps her and begs for forgiveness with his family awkwardly at his side. Shouldn’t there be another story to tell? What if the politician was single and likable, despite a few self-defeating flaws? What if the intern was respectable and from a good family? And what if the politician’s own family was so emotionally close and so politically shrewd that they would do anything to defend each other and defend their family’s legacy? Could he be reelected? But more importantly, should be reelected?

What cause are you most passionate about and why? 

I’ve been involved in environmental issues my whole career. Both my parents were scientists, and when I was growing up, the idea of protecting the earth for both its future and humanity’s own sake was simply a given.

In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills? 

Last fall, I participated in a Fictionista Workshop, and A Political Affair was the manuscript we worked on together. As a writer, it was a great experience, even though at the time it was sometimes incredibly painful. Everyone knows criticism can be harsh to hear, especially when it’s your labor of love in question. I highly recommend Fictionista, though, for anyone who is interested in taking a manuscript to the next level.

What is the most important thing in your life right now?

Of course, my family means the most to me. They’re very supportive of my work. My husband puts up with my crazy hours trying to find seconds to write here and there. When I’m on twitter talking to readers and friends, my five year old likes to look over my shoulder and comment on everyone’s avis. And my seven year old even asked if she should give a copy of my book to her second grade teacher. I immediately thought of a steamy scene in the book and said, “Um. No.”

What are you currently working on?

 I just finished a little novella I self-published on Kindle weeks ago called, A Very Important Guest. It’s another political romance, but this time with a twist of more serious chick-lit. Go check it out!


No one expected Stephen McEvoy to fill his father’s U.S. Senate seat at such a young age, least of all him. The scion of a revered political dynasty, he’s appointed to the Senate after his father’s untimely death. Now he’s in a tough election battle against an archconservative. When clever Anne Norwood interns in his office, he dismisses her as another pretty face—until her independent streak catches his attention. She soon finds him far more interesting than his Senator McEvoy persona. They’re both too smart to fall for one another, yet they do. Their relationship becomes a political gamble in a tight election, and all the while, his opposition lies in wait for him to make a mistake. As Stephen’s past catches up with him, he and Anne must fight for their future. Their lives mean more than politics, and campaigns—like love—are either won or lost.

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