Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Interview with YA paranormal author Merry Brown

Today’s guest is YA paranormal romance author Merry Brown to share a bit about herself and the new novel she is currently touring, Gold Manor Ghost House.

Merry will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a lucky commentor during her tour. For a chance to win, just leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, visit other tour stops and leave comments there. 

Born and raised in Bakersfield, California, Merry Brown now lives in the northwest corner of Tennessee with her husband, three boys, and Daisy the cat. She teaches philosophy at the University of Tennessee, Martin, where she counts it a great privilege and joy to introduce students to perennial questions about the nature of the universe, meaning, morality, and the human condition. Merry Brown's love of philosophy and young adult paranormal and dystopian literature inspired her to write The Knowers, the first book in the Exiled Trilogy. Gold Manor Ghost House is her latest YA paranormal romance book.

Welcome, Merry. Please tell us about your current release.
Anna thought life was going to be awesome. She was right…and wrong.

Won her dream job acting in a hit TV series. Check.

Working with her best friend. Check.

The set’s haunted and she’s in the middle of a supernatural war. Uh, check?

Anna Rose Ellington is sixteen and living in Hollywood, hoping to be a star. Anna just landed a major role on Ghost House, TeenTV’s new fall drama. A show promising to be so hot, Meg Sweet (the reigning teenage diva), signed on for the lead, and Adam Lewis (international rock sensation) is a principal player.

Her dreams are falling into place until she gets on set and begins questioning her sanity. It’s true she has an unusual dream life, where once in a while her dreams literally come true. But it’s been a while. On top of her dreams not staying put in her brain, including the guy she’d been dreaming of for years, the house they’re filming in, Gold Manor, might actually be haunted. But that’s the least of her worries.

What inspired you to write this book?
I finished my first book of YA fiction, The Knowers, and didn’t know what to do with it. While I was figuring out the marketing end of book writing, I decided to write a different story. I love to read YA paranormal romance and wanted to continue to write the kind of story I enjoy reading.

For Gold Manor Ghost House I had three ideas: I wanted to write a story about a girl whose dreams come true. I wanted the setting to be the set of a popular Teen TV show (where the set is just the backdrop to the real drama). And I wanted to write a series, where the first book functions as the pilot.

“Keep your hands off her,” Corey yelled as he pulled his fist back for another hit. A second before Corey’s hand made contact with his face, Adam’s eyes opened and quick as lightning he grabbed his fist. Forcing it up and throwing Corey off balance, Adam jumped to his feet.

“I’m going to kill you, Lewis,” Corey growled.

I cleared my mind of everything but one thought, please don’t hurt him, please don’t hurt him. Adam instantly moved from retaliation mode to defense only. Out of nowhere, Dom was standing in front of Adam, hands on Corey, trying to push him back and calm him down.

I was by his side, coaching him, reminding him, “Breathe, Corey. In and out. In and out.”

“No,” he spit back and lunged at me.

I barely escaped the blow to my jaw, but my thigh was not so lucky. Going down with a scream, I wasn’t on the grass long before Corey was beside me, knocked out cold with Adam standing over him.

It didn’t seem possible for Adam to take Corey in a fight. Corey was bigger, had more muscles, built like a line-backer to Adam’s thinner frame. But no one could deny the evidence of Corey out by Adam’s fist.

My leg ached from the punch. I’d have an ugly bruise for weeks.

“You okay?” Adam asked with an indifferent voice, but I wasn’t fooled. I saw the hatred burning behind his eyes.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m in the middle of writing The Exiled Trilogy. I’m currently writing the sequel to the first book, The Knowers, called The Second Fall. My lofty goal is to complete The Second Fall this summer and turn my attention to writing the second installment of Gold Manor Ghost House.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I wish I could say from the womb, but really, only recently. Since I was not trained as a writer, it took me a while to own it. I have a writing partner, who is an actual writer, and she pointed out I was always saying I wasn’t a writer. She said, “So you’re a writing non-writer?”

When Gold Manor Ghost House came out, it dawned on me. I was no longer looking in from the outside. I can proudly say I am a writer.

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’m a lecturer of philosophy at the University of Tennessee at Martin. I’m blessed to say teaching philosophy is my dream job. I absolutely love introducing students to the discipline of philosophy.

As for writing, because it is important to me, I find the time. I’ve all but stopped watching TV at night. I never understood the sentiment that there isn’t enough time in the day, but now I do. I’d like to add 2 hours to the allotted 24 so I could get in more writing!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have a busy life, as do most of us today. With three kids, a husband, a full-time job, and the other litany of usual commitments, it’s hard to carve out time to write. This past year I managed to arrange my schedule so I could write (when I didn’t have to grade) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for three hours. I dropped my child off at his half day preschool and planted myself at my favorite coffee house in Union City, Tennessee (shout out to Higher Ground!).

There for the express purpose of writing, most days it took me, I’m embarrassed to admit, about 1 ½ to 2 hours to settle in and write. I’d check my email accounts, Facebook, twitter (as of late), Pinterest, back to email, blogging occasionally until I finally mustered up the courage to get off line and open up the document I was working on. I’d be knee-deep in a scene when I’d glance at the time and see it was 10 minutes until time to pick up the kid.

All that to say, I love to write, but it takes a while to get in the right mood. Time I usually don’t have enough of.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The one career path I remember wanting to be, for several years, was a police officer. I wanted to be tough, though I wasn’t. It sounded like a cool and important job. I think I scared my parents for a while. I still admire the work police officers provide and their service to the community.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’m a book buyer and pusher. I love sharing books with my friends. If I read something I like, it’s in the hands of my friend Stephanie, or Jennifer, or whoever else I can loan it to. Why? To read is to experience a unique world. I want to share these worlds with others. It is such a blessing to share a world I’ve created with others.

Thanks, Merry.
Readers, don't forget about the chance at a $25 Amazon gift card just for leaving a comment!


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

My goodness Merry I thought I had a busy life with two children, a husband, book reviewing, and a blog but I think you beat me!!!! :-)
Looking forward to being part of the tour
Kirsty @ All in One Place xx

Anonymous said...

Lisa, thanks for hosting Gold Manor Ghost House today!

Lee Todd said...

thanks for the giveaway :)

Anonymous said...

Kirsty, I think we all do a good job of making life too busy! I hope you enjoy the tour.

Rita Wray said...

With your busy life I'm surprised you have time to write at all. The book sounds like a fabulous read.


Deborah said...

It sounds like you have found a new part of yourself by becoming an author. Congratulations!Being an author and a teacher in philosophy are two things that seem to go hand in hand. Keep writing. And thank you for inviting us readers into your imagination.

Andra Lyn said...

Hi Merry!

Good to see you again :) Tell me, what made you want to use a teenager as your narrator?

andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

Kate said...

What a great giveaway! Thanks for showing it to us! I love the blurb and excerpt!

hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

Catherine Lee said...

Oh No! That's too long to get into writing. When you have only a 3 hour block, you can't spend half to two-thirds of it getting into the right frame of mind! I teach my students about time management and I know I'd be trying to coach you on how to steamline your prep process! LOL.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

Nice interview

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Mary Preston said...

I enjoyed the interview thank you.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the question. Probably just because I like to read and write YA, it seemed a natural fit.

Anonymous said...

I think you're right. I never imagined I'd be writing, and yet I'm so glad it found me. Self-discovery is super cool (usually!).

Anonymous said...

You are entirely correct. My time management skills need help! I’m terribly inefficient. But, alas, I've got to work with what I've got!

Natasha said...

Sounds like a great read!
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com