Mary W. Walters

Rita Just Wants to Be Thin (Novel, Tall Poppies Media)

As she breaks 200 pounds, and not in a good way, 29-year-old Rita finds herself married to a self-focused widower with two difficult kids and a mother who almost makes Rita’s own mother look like a role model—which is really saying something. Graham’s first wife, being dead, just keeps getting better and better in everyone’s memories while Rita just gets fatter and more aggravated. She’s tried every diet in the book, but it’s not until a family crisis forces her out the door that she discovers that the easiest way to lose weight is to get rid of the baggage on the inside. Funny and insightful, Rita Just Wants to Be Thin is sure to make readers of all shapes and sizes feel better about themselves—and ultimately maybe even about Rita.

"Rita is a fabulous, oversized character, flawed but always earning our sympathy, and Mary W. Walters a witty and perceptive writer. The story clips along, crowed with eccentric characters. I laughed out loud and I was touched. This novel is not just about a woman trying to lose weight, but a woman trying to find herself. A perfect book club choice." – Caroline Adderson

Selected recent reviews

Cool (Short Stories, River Books)

Thirteen short stories – all but two of which were previously published in Prairie Fire,The Malahat Review, Prism International, Chatelaine, Dandelion and other journals, and several of which were anthologized in TheJourney Prize Anthology, Alberta Bound, Alberta ReBound, Casting Pearls,  or broadcast on CBC Radio.

First published in 2000, Cool received limited circulation due to the collapse of its publishing company, River Books. The few reviews the book did receive were good. Only a limited number of copies is still available.

Write an Effective Funding Application: A Guide for Researchers and Scholars (non-fiction, Johns Hopkins University Press)

In a world where the opportunity to advance scholarly and scientific knowledge is dependent on the ability to secure sufficient funding, researchers and scholars must write funding proposals that stand out from the competition. The practical advice in this guidebook is designed to aid academics in writing successful applications at all stages of their careers.

This book will help grant applicants plan and craft funding proposals that are concise, complete, and impressive―and that satisfy the mandates of the agencies to which they are applying. Applicants will learn how to

• Avoid common writing blunders

• Understand the central importance of the research budget

• Overcome procrastination

• Choose and secure professional references

• Develop a career path with a view toward funding opportunities

• Maintain a winning attitude that will improve the chances of success

Write an Effective Funding Application details the all-important preparation stage in drafting a grant application, from identifying sources of funding and securing registration numbers to creating a schedule for meeting the application deadline. It reviews the nuts and bolts of writing and polishing a winning application, stressing the importance of logical thinking and thoughtful presentation. The book includes detailed information on developing budgets, "before" and "after" versions of proposals, and descriptions of common pitfalls that everyone can avoid.


The Adventures of Don Valiente and the Apache Canyon Kid (Novel, Tall Poppies Media)

New Mexico, 1922

The orphaned eighteen-year-old stablehand Rosalind Grundy is seduced by a married woman, and faces a lynching after the pair is surprised in flagrante delicto. But she manages to escape with the aid of a strange and aristocratic old man who calls himself Don Valiente. 

Don Valiente, having read too many dime westerns, has come to believe that he is a famous gunfighter. He thinks Roz is a young man named Ross, and he takes her under his wing, intending to teach her and to revive "The Code Of The Caballeros."

Don Valiente and Roz embark on a series of comic adventures. But when they come upon a grisly murder scene and the trail of three escaped-convict killers, Roz realizes that her only chance to survive the imminent showdown and to reunite with her true love lies in her ability to separate Don Valiente's madness from the eternal truths in his teaching.

“The western dime novel meets Don Quixote and goes digital in this mash-up of hair-raising tales. It’s a bold and sexy chase from end to end.” — Fred Stenson, author of The TradeLightning, and The Great Karoo

Selected Reviews