Blog Archives

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.

Outside the Lines

Bella’s life has been a rollercoaster of hardships, from a childhood without proper care to bouncing between foster homes. She thought she had seen it all. But now, the devastating news of her terminal cancer diagnosis and only having one year to live shatters her world once again. Seeking solace, Bella travels to South Carolina, where she meets the quirky and charming Tilly, her new landlady and unexpected best friend. Tilly is determined to help Bella make the last year of her life count. Although they are many years apart, they share something in common. Both women know their deaths are soon.

Together, they embark on a journey of living life to the fullest and making every moment count. Bella’s unwavering strength and resilience are a true inspiration, and Tilly’s unpredictable nature will have you laughing one moment and tearing up the next. Without a family to support her, she has always been strong on her own. She has such a beautiful soul. Tilly was a fascinating character. The 90-year-old woman had unpredictable moods and was known for her sharp tongue. Although she said mean things sometimes, she had a big heart and was loved by almost everyone.

Mary Perrine provides masterful character development and an absorbing plot, and you’ll find yourself hooked from the first page. Outside the Lines explores the depths of friendship, love, and the power of the human spirit. It’s a powerful story of triumph over adversity that will touch your heart and leave you feeling inspired. The author’s writing is powerful, and I found myself at times wishing things were different for Bella, and then I would burst out laughing at Tilly’s remarks.

Outside the Lines is a must-read for fans of realistic fiction. Get ready to be transported into Bella and Tilly’s world and experience a story that will stay with you long after the last page. Don’t miss out on this beautiful and touching tale of courage and hope.

Pages: 349 | ASIN : B0BQ5D1F2J

Buy Now From Amazon
%d bloggers like this: