University of Arizona Campus  •  March 10 - 11, 2018  •  9:30am to 5:30pm
Show sidebar contents

Mara Purl

Friends of the Festival

Mara Purl is the best-selling author of The Milford-Haven Novels & Stories, which have won more than 30 book awards. Her serial novels are uniquely structured to suit new media formats and stand-alone novella-stories enhance her saga.

Mara pioneered small-town fiction for women with her popular and critically acclaimed series. She has a loyal following in the Women’s Fiction genre, and has become a spokeswoman both for authors and for readers of Women’s Fiction. The first two novels of her planned pentalogy are What the Heart Knows and Where the Heart Lives with book three due for release later this year. The stories include her latest, When Otters Play, as well as When Whales Watch and When Hummers Dream. Holiday stories include

Her most recent book tour, “Mapping the Journey of Your Heart” took her through California, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, and her concurrent national blog tour reached 17 million followers.

Her beloved fictitious town has been delighting audiences since 1992, when it made its debut as Milford-Haven, U.S.A. – the first American radio drama ever licensed and broadcast by the BBC. The show reached an audience of 4.5 million listeners throughout the U.K.

Purl is also the co-author, with Erin Gray, of Act Right: a Manual for the On-Camera Actor. It’s also an award-winner, and the authors are working on its second revised edition. As a journalist, Mara's writing credits include two cover stories for Rolling Stone, staff writing with the Financial Times (of London), and an Associated Press assignment to cover the Apollo Soyuz mission, where she was the youngest reporter ever to win the NASA pool position in Mission Control. She is a member of the Authors Guild and of the Writers Guild West.

As an actress, Mara’s regular role on the TV soap opera Days Of Our Lives opened the door for her to create her own soap. Mara was awarded the 2003 Peak Award for performing her one-woman play (co-written with Sydney Swire) Mary Shelley - In Her Own Words. She has co-starred in six production of Sea Marks by Gardner McKay, and stars as Julia in Becoming Julia Morgan. Having been part of the all-star cast of Milford-Haven USA, Mara is now a noted audio book performer.

Mara was named Woman of the Year by the Los Angeles County Commission for Women.

Visit website | Facebook Twitter

Scheduled events:
Workshop: Audio Books & Video
A look at using photography, video and audio to make your books pop. Discuss how to take your written words to a more visual or aural format. Assistive listening devices available.

Integrated Learning Center Room 119 (Seats 60, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 10, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Book / Movie Biz
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - Integrated Learning Center (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Marina Martindale, Mara Purl
From Articles to Books: Journalists Make the Leap
Writing is a way of life and when a writer writes well, it's easier to make the leap from one genre to another. Authors with a past and present in journalism discuss making the transition from writing articles to writing books.

UA BookStore (Seats 150)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 11, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Book / Movie Biz
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA BookStore (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Nancie Clare, Mara Purl, Melissa Schorr
Moderator: Angela Bole
Get Your Book Out There!
Need help making sure readers know about your books? Get tips from the pros about the most genuine ways to market and publicize your writing. Assistive listening devices available.

Koffler Room 218 (Seats 142, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 11, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Book / Movie Biz
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - Koffler Patio (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Patty Garcia, Claire McKinney, Mara Purl
Moderator: Ann Boland

When Otters Play
November 2017
ISBN 9781936878833
$12.95, INSTOCK
Buy now

Are sea otters as cute and clever as they seem? Miranda Jones is as captivated by their sweet faces as she is spellbound by their antics. More/less

What the Heart Knows
Bellekeep Books
September 2016
ISBN 9781936878215
$16.95, INSTOCK
Buy now

Is the heart smarter than the head? Artist Miranda Jones begins to trust her heart enough to escape from her life of privilege and start over in Milford-Haven, the small town of undiscovered beauty on California's Central Coast. More/less

Named Sponsors

Arizona Daily Star
University of Arizona

Presenting Sponsors

Tucson Medical Center

Major Sponsors

Friend of the Festival
Pima County Public Library
Stocker Foundation
University of Arizona BookStores
Western National Parks Association
William & Mary Ross Foundation
University of Arizona - Facilities Management

Key Sponsors

Brucker Trust
Marshall Foundation
Monark Premium Appliance Company

Show sponsors