Mary Monroe Books

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Mary Monroe is a bestselling author that writes African-American literature. Born in 1949 in Toxey, Alabama, Monroe hadn’t even started elementary school when she wrote her first story.

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Order of God Don't Like Ugly Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 God Don't Like Ugly 2000 Description / Buy
2 God Still Don't Like Ugly 2003 Description / Buy
3 God Don't Play 2006 Description / Buy
4 God Ain't Blind 2008 Description / Buy
5 God Ain't Through Yet 2010 Description / Buy
6 God Don't Make No Mistakes 2012 Description / Buy

Order of Lexington, Alabama / Wiggins Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Mrs. Wiggins 2022 Description / Buy
2 Empty Vows 2022 Description / Buy
3 Love, Honor, Betray 2023 Description / Buy
4 Double Lives 2024 Description / Buy

Order of Lonely Heart, Deadly Heart Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Every Woman's Dream 2016 Description / Buy
2 Can You Keep a Secret? (Short Story) 2016 Description / Buy
3 Never Trust a Stranger 2017 Description / Buy
4 The Devil You Know 2017 Description / Buy

Order of Mama Ruby Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Upper Room 1986 Description / Buy
2 Mama Ruby 2011 Description / Buy
3 Lost Daughters 2013 Description / Buy

Order of Neighbors Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 One House Over 2018 Description / Buy
2 Over the Fence 2019 Description / Buy
3 Across the Way 2020 Description / Buy

Order of Mary Monroe Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Gonna Lay Down My Burdens 2002 Description / Buy
2 Red Light Wives 2004 Description / Buy
3 In Sheep's Clothing 2005 Description / Buy
4 Deliver Me From Evil 2007 Description / Buy
5 She Had It Coming 2008 Description / Buy
6 The Company We Keep 2009 Description / Buy
7 Family of Lies 2014 Description / Buy
8 Bad Blood 2015 Description / Buy
9 Remembrance 2018 Description / Buy
10 Right Beside You 2019 Description / Buy
11 The Gift of Family 2020 Description / Buy
12 Once in a Lifetime (Short Story) 2021 Description / Buy

Order of Mary Monroe Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 Borrow Trouble 2006 Description / Buy

Mary Monroe Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Our Prince of Scribes 2018 Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

She was born to write. When she was young, characters would come to her unbidden. Life in Alabama was far from easy. She spent her days working in the fields with her family, and the stories she created kept boredom at bay.

She would also create simple tales to share with her friends. Monroe was determined to make writing her career because of the control it gave her.

She could work her own hours while doing the one activity she loved more than anything else in the world. The author also realized that writing allowed her to say things she would typically never express to her friends or family.

Initially, Monroe based her stories on the people she knew. But then, she discovered women’s confession magazines during her teens, and they re-shaped her imagination.

As she matured, Monroe tried to write non-fiction pieces for prestigious publications, but she eventually noticed that she was selling more confession stories than non-fiction works.

Her debut novel was ‘The Upper Room.’ She sold the book to St. Martin’s Press in the mid-80s. ‘The Upper Room’ was a significant achievement for the author because she had spent the last fifteen years accumulating hundreds of rejection letters.

The author persevered because she knew it was only a matter of time before she got published. Monroe was also blessed with a day job she hated. It motivated her to keep writing because failure meant spending the rest of her life at a job that made her miserable.

Interestingly, although ‘The Upper Room’ secured several positive reviews, it did not perform well. Some people think Monroe’s first novel made her a success story overnight.

But that is not the case. It wasn’t until her second novel (God Don’t Like Ugly) came out that Monroe attained the widespread success many aspiring writers crave. Although, at the time, the author was hesitant to call herself a professional writer.

It took five published novels for Monroe to accept that she had finally made it as an author. At that point, she abandoned her secretary work to write full time.

The author’s books are based on her personal experiences. Her characters are amalgamations of real people. Even though the novels are grim, they have plenty of humor.

Monroe doesn’t have a fixed schedule. However, she tries to write every single day. Sometimes, she can only write one or two sentences. On other days, she will complete several chapters.

The author tries to produce four or five drafts before submitting her manuscript to the publisher. Before modern computers came along, she would create her drafts in longhand. Once she was satisfied with the story, she would reproduce it on a typewriter.

The process was long and exhausting. Fortunately, those days are gone. Although Monroe keeps a notepad on hand just in case she wants to jot a few ideas down.

Mary Monroe Awards

Monroe’s collection of accolades includes Oakland Pen, Best Southern Author, and Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Best Mary Monroe Books

The author’s favorite writers include Stephen King, Alice Walker, and James Patterson. These are some of the best books Monroe has written:

God Don’t Like Ugly: Rhoda Nelson had everything Annette could possibly want. Unlike Rhoda, Annette was shy and overweight. A terrible secret had forced her to seek comfort in food and books.

But then she turned 13, and something unexpected happened. Rhoda made Annette her friend, introducing the awkward girl to her eccentric family.

God Still Don’t Like Ugly: Annette was older but not necessarily wiser. Her opinion of men had always been low, and for several good reasons. First of all, her father abandoned the family for another woman.

And then Mr. Boatwright abused her. Annette started sleeping with various men in the hopes of raising enough money to run away. None of her clients had done anything to change her perception of men.

But as the years went by, Annette matured. She reunited with her father, severed ties with her unstable friend, and started over. Annette wanted to believe that she could leave her mistakes in the past. But then a guest at her pre-wedding celebration ruined everything by revealing Annette’s secret.

When Does The Next Mary Monroe book come out?

Mary Monroe doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Double Lives and was released on March, 26th 2024. It is the newest book in the Lexington, Alabama / Wiggins Series.

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