Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sandusky native Mary Murray Bosrock talks about her memoir

Author Mary (Murray) Bosrock
(Courtesy of
NORWALK, Ohio — Author Mary (Murray) Bosrock is only half-kidding when she says she spent the first 17 years of her life within “one square mile.”

Bosrock, 68, grew up on Madison Street, which is three to four blocks from downtown Sandusky.

“It was about a block from my church and a block from my school and about three blocks from my dad’s law firm,” she said.

The 1963 St. Mary Central Catholic School graduate used her Sandusky experiences for the basis of her memoir, MORTAL SIN ON MY SOUL. She will at the Milan-Berlin Township Public Library on Dec. 9 and at the Sandusky Public Library the next day.

Bosrock, who now lives in St. Paul, Minn., interviewed her school teachers, friends and boyfriends as part of her research.

“I really talked to everyone I could talk to. … It was a bit like being a little girl again,” Bosrock said about the process. “It was so much fun.”

She said she even measured the “baby steps” and “giant steps” it would take to get from one place in Sandusky to another.

“I went back to Sandusky many times. I walked the streets,” Bosrock said.

In 2013, the Sandusky native published an illustrated children’s book, GRANDMA HAS WINGS.

Bosrock, who admits she was a “physical fitness nut” at one time, said she wrote the 40-page story based on her six granddaughters making comments about “the big glob of fat hanging off my upper arms” four or five years ago.

Her granddaughters now range in age from 7 to 15. Minnesota-based illustrator Darcy Bell-Myers based her drawings on photographs of Bosrock’s granddaughters.

“They are co-authors with me,” Bosrock said.

It wasn’t until Bosrock was in her 40s that she began writing.

“Writing was probably the only thing I did well in school. I wasn’t a very good student,” said the jovial woman by telephone.

About the time her sons were away at college, Bosrock said FOREIGN TRADE magazine offered her a job of interviewing “high-powered officials.”

“I would got to Japan. I would go to Hong Kong to interview people for the magazine,” she said.

As she saw more and more cultural differences, Bosrock was inspired to write a series of six self-proclaimed “cross-cultural communication and behavior” books entitled PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD. The books have been translated into several languages, including Russian, Thai, Chinese and Polish. The first one was published in 1994.

“That was pretty much a full-time business,” said Bosrock, the seventh of eight children.

About 2010, she sold the company and closed her St. Paul office.

After missing writing for about a year, she started taking classes about writing memoirs.

One instructor gave her some writing-related wisdom that stuck with her. Bosrock said the teacher told her if she wasn’t “willing to be 100-percent honest” in writing about her life, she might as well write fiction. The memoir-writing classes inspired her to write MORTAL SIN.

“That was the book I dreamed about writing,” Bosrock said.

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