Best-selling Author Mara Purl Returns to the Stage Where Milford-haven Novels First Started, 9/5

Los Angeles, California

Author and actress Mara Purl will co-star with Christopher Law in "Sea Marks", a two-character play by the late Gardner McKay at the Pewter Plough Playhouse in a series of three staged readings on September 5th, 6th, and 7th. The readings mark the thirtieth anniversary of Purl and Law co-starring in the play at the Playhouse when the actors took a summer off from their respective television careers in Hollywood to spend a summer performing the two-character play in Cambria. The readings are being presented as a benefit for the Pewter Plough.

During the summer of 1984, the Plough's production of "Sea Marks" became a sensation throughout the Central Coast, as well as drawing audiences from San Francisco and Los Angeles. Local press coverage was extensive, as was an outpouring of appreciation in print from Cambrians. The production came to the attention of the playwright, Gardner McKay, who came to the Pewter Plough to see the show. He was charmed by the Playhouse, the production, and the performers, who became friends. Both actors credit their experience of performing Sea Marks as signal events in their lives and careers.

Mara came to the attention of the producers of "Days of Our Lives" and enjoyed playing the recurring character "Darla Cook." She then founded a production company and created "Milford-Haven U.S.A.", a serial drama loosely based upon Cambria. The show, co-starring a well-known L.A. based cast, became the first American radio drama to air on BBC radio where it enjoyed a following of 4.5 million listeners. Purl's story later came to the attention of New York publishers Bellekeep Books/ Midpoint Trade, who began publishing her novel series in hardcover in 2011. Since then, book one "What the Heart Knows" and book two "Where the Heart Lives" have each won several literary awards and both have become national best-sellers, as have her prequel short stories, "When Hummers Dream" and "When Whales Watch." Book three, "Why Hearts Keep Secrets," is due out next year.

"This story has always been filled with synchronicity," the actor/author explained. "In the play, I portray a Welsh woman, and the town of Cambria, California is named after Wales, whose ancient Roman name is Cambria. I chose to name my fictional town "Milford-Haven" after the real town of Milford Haven in Wales. At the time, I had no idea I actually had ancestors from that precise area of Wales. Some things are just meant to be."

Are there similarities between the story of the play, and the long-running series Mara created? " 'Sea Marks' is a beautiful but wistful story about two people who are ultimately unable to bridge the geographical and emotional gap between them," Purl replied. "But Milford-Haven is a more modern story, one that takes characters step by step as they wrestle with their obstacles and work toward their goals.

"To put it in a nutshell, I'd say that in the play, the head wins out, whereas in my Milford-Haven novels, it's the heart that ultimately wins the day. When you believe in something with all your heart, things have a way of working out."

Mara will be presenting the Advanced Reader Copy of her next novel at Book Expo American in New York next May. A prolific writer, she has an online following of seventeen million when she does her blog tours, and she posts regularly for Happily Ever After on USA Today. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows, and also a speaker for the American Heart Association, for women's organizations, for writers' conferences and for colleges and universities.
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