Caring for her family, a busy day job and a burgeoning writing career keep Mary Gammons SeRine ’96 a pretty busy woman.
By day, she serves as director of development research and advancement services for the University of Indianapolis, where she manages research, data integrity, data entry, gift processing and prospect management.
On weeknights, however, when her two children are asleep, or during weekends and vacations, the English major, writing under the pen name Kate SeRine, turns to the world of fairy tale and fantasy to requite her long love of writing.
As an author of three paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels, SeRine (pronounced like serene) has found increasing success — as well as acclaim — for her work based on popular fairy tales, folklore and mythology.
The series, called “Transplanted Tales,” also includes a novella and a fourth book is due in August.
“I had accomplished a lot already,” said SeRine of her career in academe. “But there still was that passion. Something was missing.”
Her plots center around make-believe characters stranded in the ordinary world. SeRine’s first book, “RED,” features a grownup Red Riding Hood who works as an enforcer for the Fairytale Management Authority. Not just some waif with a basket of goodies, SeRine’s version carries a gun and wears combat boots.
“It’s been a wild ride,” SeRine said of her literary pastime to date.
She began storytelling at an early age, entertaining family and friends with intricately plotted stories and skits at family gatherings. By the age of six, SeRine was writing poetry and short stories and completed her first manuscript at 14, which she abandoned.
At Hanover, SeRine’s confidence blossomed. “I was painfully shy but they (her professors) made me share my ideas," she said. “I could open up my imagination and think for myself.”
Afterward, she earned a master’s degree from Butler University. But when the time was right a few years ago, SeRine worked a foot into the ever-tricky publishing door, landing a contract with one of the top publishing house, Kensington Books, and its digital-first imprint, eKensington.
Though her family always comes first, SeRine hopes to expand into horror, epic fantasy, sci-fi and romantic suspense. She will be a contributor to an anthology in that last genre, the proceeds from which will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
“I’m incredibly proud of the project and honored to be included among some of the leading names in the romantic suspense genre.”
While SeRine doesn’t plan to give up her day job anytime soon, she said she in the process of finalizing contracts for two new romantic suspense series that will release in mass-market paperback and ebook simultaneously. Little excites and challenges her as does this strange new world.
“There are tons of stories in this noggin of mine.”
Published Thursday, May 15, 2014