The World Is Not About Us

Mary Perrine Author Interview

Outside the Lines follows a 23-year-old woman with terminal cancer who meets an old lady that teaches her how to live life to the fullest. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

In the past several years, I have lost four close friends and colleagues to cancer. Each was much too young to be taken from their family. Their dreams were still burning brightly when they said their last goodbye. For me, their passing wasn’t about how they died but how they lived life to their very last breath. They each had a message for the world. Faith over fear. Today, I choose joy. Be the light. And If you want magical things to happen, first, you must believe in magic. I wrote Outside the Lines for them. I also hoped it would encourage others never to give up, enjoy every moment, and leave their mark on the world—just as these women did. So, no matter your challenges, be the light for someone else. This world is not about us. It’s about being there for others.


What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Most readers would consider the book’s theme to be dying, but I would characterize it more as learning to live even in our darkest moments. The story is heartbreaking yet hopeful and humorous. When you have a woman as flawed and outspoken as 90-year-old Tilly, you cannot help but delight in her unsolicited advice. As the pair grows close, the reader begins to see that family is not necessarily the one we are born into but the one we fall into through fate. This multigenerational and multi-cultural tale helps us to understand that no matter how different others are from us, sometimes, they are exactly who we need. 

What was one scene in the novel that you felt captured the morals and message you were trying to deliver to readers?

There is a powerful scene in the book where Bella (the young woman dying of cancer) stops counting the days she has left and, instead, begins viewing her remaining ones as Bonus Days. From that point forward, she is determined to create memories for others—long after she is gone. This is the message I hope readers take from the story. We are gifted with a limited number of Bonus Days. I challenge each person to use them to bring love and light into the world.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently working on a book titled THE STORMS OF EDDIE GREER. The story centers around the theme of generational trauma: the effects and how it trickles down through families until someone stands up for change. I would call it a gut-wrenching drama with a sliver of romance. Cross your fingers because, with luck, it should be available by the end of 2023.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram

Sparks fly when 23-year-old New Yorker Bellarina Levitsky lands on the South Carolinian doorstep of 89-year-old Tilly Wilson, a flawed old woman with an unwavering faith in God and a mouth rife with unsolicited advice. The only thing the unlikely pair have in common is waiting for death’s door to creak open.

As an adult orphan facing terminal cancer, Bella flees her home to die in peace, but her new landlady has her own ideas. After all, the old woman is an expert on everything. Just ask her.

Refusing to let Bella wallow in self-pity, Tilly makes it her mission to help the young woman spend her last year living outside the lines, squeezing every experience out of life, and finding the three things she has given up on—God, love, and family.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 13, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Love that fantastic reviews 🙂


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