Mary Triola

Mary Triola has never settled for the mundane. As a child, her family would skip over trips to Disney World and the beach in favor of tents, roasted marshmallows, and exploring the majority of the continental United States through national parks and firelight. And it was over the flicker of many a campfire where Mary was first struck with the love of storytelling and writing as she and her four siblings would listen to their father recount stories and paint images with his words.

Today, the Fredericksburg resident and area musician has three books under her own name, all of which have beautifully designed covers by Triola's friend, Sara Lindley. Caroline Rose is the story of a young woman's encounters with the most miraculous of strangers, while Merlin's Door and the newly published Children of the Dream both follow the adventures of two young children who inadvertently awaken the legendary Merlin from his slumber. And Triola has her father's campfire stories and childhood camping trips to thank for her love of words.

Although Mary Triola didn't fall headfirst into the writing scene until after her college years spent here in town at the newly renamed University of Mary Washington, where she double majored in music and Spanish, Triola has always loved to write. In fact, it was her love of music and her pursuit for a job in that field that led Triola to first experience writing on a professional level. Shortly after graduating from Mary Washington, Triola became the coordinator for the Fredericksburg Music Festival, where she was exposed to the world of practical writing, which helped her to polish her knack for words. Shortly thereafter, Triola and her oldest daughter joined a writers' club at Borders, where they met a man by the name of Clint Gaige. At that point, Gaige was becoming involved in the world of professional writing and publishing himself. As the group's meetings came to a close, Gaige, Triola, and the rest of the members published their work in a book entitled Midnight Oil. From there, Clint Gaige went on to start his own publishing company, Quiet Storm, which took Triola's first work, Caroline Rose, under its wing. Carline Rose touches on many autobiographical points in Triola's own life, as its main character Kate O'Brien, a graduate of Mary Washington, struggles to pursue a career in writing with the memory of her father's stories lingering in the background. Although Caroline Rose is mainly centered on Kate and her relationship with an intriguing homeless woman who shares a name with the title of the novel, the book itself is chock full of information about Tibet and Buddhism. When asked if she did much research in her portrayal of the Tibetan culture, Triola responded by telling me that researching cultures has always been one of her favorite hobbies and was one of the reasons why she doubled majored in Spanish while attending Mary Washington.

At the moment, Triola has a contract with Quiet Storm to write more books for the Merlin series, seeing as it was great fun for Triola and readers alike to discover this world of magic. Merlin's Door is a whirlwind of adventure in one hundred and forty-eight short pages with characters as relatable as young Carter and Penny and as legendary as Merlin and King Arthur. The second book in the series, Children of the Dream, has just been published and is ready for ordering. And Triola is already working fast on the third.

When she's not writing and working on the publicity for her works, Mary Triola can be found singing and playing the harp, mandolin, fife, and various folk flutes and whistles (among others) with her Celtic Band, Moch Pryderi. Triola also enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. In the end, Triola told me, the advice she would give to aspiring authors would be to keep one's own voice intact without changing it for others, write as much as possible, produce finished works, work on one project at a time, write down any ideas for future projects, observe and notice everything in the surrounding world, and avoid vanity publishing, a type of publishing that requires the authors to pay the publishers instead of the other way around. And although Triola touched on the fact that writing comes with its own sweat and labor, the reward of finally accomplishing a finished project and seeing it in publication is all the sweeter.

Mary Triola can be reached at