About Mary Feliz

Official details:

Mary Feliz, Author

Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Series of cozy mysteries featuring a professional organizer turned amateur detective and her sidekick golden retriever in California's San Francisco Bay Area. 

Address to Die For, the first title in the six-book series, was named a Best Book of 2017 by Kirkus Reviews. All of her books have graced Amazon's best seller list. A resident of Northern California for decades, she now lives on Monterey Bay, enjoying the area's myriad natural treasures. She attends organizing conferences in her character's stead, but Maggie's skills leave her in the dust.

More about me: Northern California is my home. I love its foibles and the easy access to some of the most beautiful coastal and mountain terrain anywhere. The traffic? Not so much.

California hasn't always been home—I've lived in five states and two countries. Traveling to other areas, I'm frequently reminded that what seems normal in the high-tech heartland can seem freakish, odd, or even alarming to the rest of the country. (For instance, various readers have commented on how strange it is that Maggie's children don't ride to school on the bus—but most Bay Area communities haven't had school buses since the 1970s due to the state's unusual school funding system and the inevitable budget cuts.)

I'm delighted by irony, serendipity, diversity, and quirky intelligence tempered with gentle humor, and I strive to bring these elements into my writing. My characters, however, tend to take my manuscripts in directions I've never imagined. It can be a wild ride, but I love it when Maggie and her friends take charge.

Writers always share some traits with their characters, but I assure you that Maggie is thinner, fitter, braver, funnier, and wittier than I am. Maggie is also more organized, efficient, poised, and better at thinking on her feet. We both love animals, a strong cup of coffee, cookies, and a cold glass of California chardonnay. 

I'm a Smith College graduate with a degree in Sociology and a broad smattering of other subjects. I guess that makes me well suited to examine and catalogue Silicon Valley's unique anthropological customs. I live with and have proudly raised excellent examples of the indigenous nerd. 

Before my career as a mom, volunteer, and writer, I worked in Corporate Communications, which taught me to write compelling copy about vacuum tubes and other items of limited interest to the general public. Outside the world of the Fortune 500 and nonprofits my writing credits include first-place recognition from SouthWest Writers for a young adult short story and finalist status in contests run by Writer’s Digest, Pacific Northwest Writers, and Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. My personal essays have been published in anthologies published by Mothers At Home and Mothers of Preschoolers

I love to talk about my books, social media, promotion, and the weird wonderful world of writing and publishing. I often speak at book clubs, libraries, AAUW events and conferences.

Professional Associations

No author writes alone. Membership in professional associastions is invaluable at every stage of our writing careers. I’m a big fan of groups that connect and encourage authors, especially those who support women, people of color, and other underserved populations. My favorites are Sisters in Crime, particularly their Guppy Chapter; Mystery Writers of America; Santa Cruz Women of Mystery; The Authors Guild; California Writers Club and its Central Coast Chapter; and Writers' Police Academy. I hold a membership with National Association of Productivity & Organizing on Maggie's behalf and thank its members for their role in keeping Maggie McDonald's character authentic.