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Solemnity in Solitude: An Interview with Mary Longley, author of Cult’s Prey

Longley 1

Mary Longley is an author and blogger. Her debut novel, Butterflies, is available through Atmosphere Press, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and Booktopia.

Check out her website at

You can buy the book here.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

Having done prior research on cults, I knew what my title would be before I drafted Cult’s Prey. The title encapsulates who cult members are to the Svengali leaders.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I came up with the concept for my book cover after discovering a picture of an African American female holding a ball of energy and a photo of extreme oceanic waves. I thought the combination best depicted the turbulence and trauma caused by cults. I was extremely happy with the final product.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

As an avid reader, I picked up techniques from an array of writers to develop my writing voice. Research and knowledge of the subject matter helped me form the basis for Cult’s Prey. I’m very observant of human behavior which is how I developed the range of characters in my book who come from all walks of life.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I worked in the corporate arena for many years.

My readers might be surprised that I prefer quiet solitude. It helps me weed through the clutter.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

I enjoyed each step that brought me to the finished product. I learned something valuable throughout the process.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

God Favored Me – Hezekiah Walker

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

Fight the Power – Public Enemy

I Am Woman – Helen Redd

Love Will Find a Way – Lionel Richie

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

If anything, I hope readers come away understanding the growing fascism and the dangers of not questioning groupthink. When you know something is wrong, going along to get along is unacceptable.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I am working on follow-ups to both Butterflies and Cult’s Prey. I’m also developing new literature—different concepts.

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

I enjoyed working with Atmosphere Press and learning the ins and outs of publishing. The team made the process seamless and exciting. AP is great for writers looking for a hands-on approach to publishing and marketing their work.

You can buy the book here.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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