Today’s spotlight shines on paranormal urban fantasy author Mertianna Georgia who is here to tell us about the second book in her Synemancer trilogy, Angel of Syn.
Mertianna will be awarding a canvas tote bag printed with the book cover on one side and a saying on the other ("Are you a syn-er?"), and filled with goodies plus a $20 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (U.S. ONLY). If you’d like to be entered to win, leave a comment below. And if you’d like to increase your chances, visit other tour stops and leave comments there.
Welcome Mertianna. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I currently live with my husband and dogs in northern California. I have a son who attends college in San Francisco. After years of working in the business world while secretly wishing I could be a writer, I finally took a leap of faith and started writing. My first book, Syn in the City, was published in 2010 and I haven’t looked back since. Well maybe a few glances in the rearview mirror, just to see if anyone was tailing me, but not many.
Please tell us about your current release.
In the second book of the Synemancer Series, Cara Augustine is a fugitive -- pursued by the supernatural police for breaking a major covenant. The punishment is death. She’s a Synemancer, a witch who attracts and binds men of power to fuel her own magic. Which is how she got into this mess in the first place. Too many men, too much trouble, too little time to prove her innocence.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always been fascinated with the supernatural, paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction. People in my family have had psychic/paranormal experiences, especially my mother and grandmother. I’ve always thought they had intuition gone wild. My grandmother gave me a book on white witchcraft when I was a teenager, which goes to show the acorn didn’t fall far from the tree. I used to ask her if she dated Nostradamus. I think she thought it was funny. Not sure what a grandmotherly snort indicated. She seemed to have a gleam in her eyes. All the time. Also, the family just takes for granted that my mother can tell if someone’s in trouble. Like the night my mother woke in the middle of the night and insisted she had to fly to England because her grandchildren were in danger. My brother and his family were living there at the time. The night my mother wanted to travel from the U.S. to the U.K. was the night a burglar broke into my brother’s home while they were sleeping. No one hurt, thank goodness. But how could she have known? Eerie. Wonderful. A little wacky. Inspiring.
So, when I decided to really write a book, not just think about writing a book, I wanted to write a story I’d personally want to read. Throw in my family, interests, and even my business experience (Synemancer came from the word “synergy” a big concept in business), and out came this story of a twenty-something witch living in a world full of supernatural beings. Not only were they a part of her world, but a normal part of her world. She starts out not having power or a lot of belief in herself, but discovers she’s stronger and more capable than she ever imagined.
My character isn’t me, of course, but she’s part of me. I remember being on my own for the first time and having major anxiety attacks about whether I’d be able to make it. But I survived and thrived. And so does my character – eventually.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the last book in the Synemancer trilogy, tentatively titled Dark Syns. Also, I have a mystery short story called “The Bridesmaid Wore a Bullet” coming out in an anthology. There are at least a dozen stories I’m currently working on as I have time, mysteries, paranormal, and “literary” (for lack of a better definition). My mysteries are full of humor but no paranormal elements, just abnormal characters. The “literary” piece is about a sentient house, the generations of women who live in it, and how it got that way. For each of the genres I write with very different “voices” so it’s fun to go from one to the other and back again.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I vaguely remember writing stories in elementary school – I think about bunnies or unicorns or maybe bunnies with unicorn horns. I started writing a romance/suspense novel in high school but never finished it. However, that’s when my dream of being a writer really took hold. But life happens. Finally as an adult I decided to take a big chance and do what I’ve always dreamed of doing. I left the business world to write about the worlds in my head (at least it wasn’t about the voices in my head – they told me not to talk about them).
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’ve gone back and forth from writing full time to having a day job. Unfortunately I’m not yet at the point where I can subsist just on my writing. I’m waiting for that big movie deal to come my way. They must have lost my phone number. And my email address. And my book. Anyway, if I had the choice I’d write full time.
My ideal typical day would start with coffee and cocoa and maybe an almond croissant. Then I’d sit at a computer or with a notebook and let my characters tell me what they’re going to do next. I like writing in silence. I’ve tried putting together a playlist, but I’d start fantasizing about the lyrics or the singer and lose focus on my writing. According to a workshop I attended, most people can be truly creative only about four hours a day. That syncs with how I write (on ideal days), about two hours in the morning, break for lunch, and two hours in the early afternoon. I guess I’d have to throw in some exercise because I’ve been told that walking to the kitchen and back doesn’t count (especially if I’m bringing back a snack). That’s my ideal day.
Right now, I have a day job and family and pets and groups and friends, so I actually don’t have many ideal writing days. I wrote full time when I created Syn in the City and pretty much wore my jammies until way after lunch. No such luxury for writing Angel of Syn. I had to eke out little chunks of time for that one. I hope with the third book I’ll get better at eking. I’d love to write full time again sometime in the future. Movie people, are you listening?
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure I have any writing quirks as all my quirks fall under the “quirky personality” category. Well, the quirks don’t actually fall so much as tumble wildly around me as I write. Dodging tumbling quirks is fun. Everyone should try it.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The list is long because I kept changing my mind. At different times I wanted to be a witch, a voodoo queen, a princess, a doctor, and a unicorn. Unfortunately, the unicorn thing didn’t work out. Horns are really hard to grow.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d love to hear from you. What did you want to be when you grew up? What characteristics would your perfect story heroine possess? Do you know any movie producers?
Thanks, Mertianna. Readers, don't forget to leave a comment if you'd like to be entered for a chance to win the gift bag giveaway.