Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Interview with YA sci-fi adventure/horror author R.J. Merle

Today's special guest is R.J. Merle, a young adult, sci-fi writer. We’re chatting about the new novel, Savage Winds (Children of the Elements, A Secret City Science Fiction Adventure Series, Book 1).

While the author tours with Goddess Fish Promotions, the author will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit the other tour stops and enter there, too.

Author R.J. Merle stepped out of the realm of Top-Secret documents (shh, don’t tell…) to write sci-fi and paranormal fiction. R.J. survived and escaped both the entertainment field and the government-contracting environment, craves the Walking Dead, and entertains what-if tidbits about “supposed” technological and biological advances. No stranger to the goings on in the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, R.J. Merle blends a down-home flavor with a former in-the-know—hypothetically, of course—technical background to craft the twists and intrigue of Secret City Adventures.

Welcome R.J. Please tell us about your current release.
Savage Winds (Children of the Elements, A Secret City Science Fiction Adventure Series, Book 1)
A dangerous conspiracy unfolds...
In Author R.J. Merle’s whirlwind start of the Children of the Elements series, a clumsy teenage techno-geek struggles to protect kidnapped children from a covert government organization responsible for creating their abilities to control the five elements.

A mighty wind…
Eighteen-year-old Stedford Thackett’s conspiracy theorist brother ensnares him in a real life children-as-weapons plot, while a determined scientist grooms happy-go-lucky five-year-old Darcie Lynn Carpenter to use the wind as a deadly weapon.

Out of control...
Despite the firm hand of Scientist Nora Hicks, Stedford struggles to rescue the kids and escape, even as Darcie Lynn fights to gain control of the surging power of the savage winds.

Children of the Elements, A Secret City Science Fiction Adventure Series
Five full novels, one huge story
When nature refuses to be controlled, can mankind endure?

Ripped from their idyllic lives in the East Tennessee Mountains, a cluster of children with psychic powers to control the five elements—wind, earth, fire, water, and the void—are brought together by a covert government agency to be tested as weapons of mass destruction. Their struggle to free themselves and survive in the hostile mountains causes their super hero powers to go terribly wrong, creating chaos and threatening an apocalypse.

What inspired you to write Savage Winds?
I’ve always been intrigued by teen adventure and horror featuring teens faced with extraordinary circumstances and their struggle to survive.

Excerpt from Savage Winds:
Dead men don’t tell tales, yet the late project head’s records held revelations kept from Scientist Nora Hicks for far too long.

In an office deep inside an East Tennessee mountain, Nora snapped a black leather-bound book closed.

Except for the carved stone ceiling, the office mimicked a non-descript working office in Anywhere, USA. Bulky military-issue metal and wood furniture stood as a harsh legacy to the covert Secret City project and to the starkness of her life.

Sitting at the borrowed hulk of a desk in a dank underground office, she asked, “Why was this kept from me?”

Across the desk in a guest chair, General Gardner, with thin hair sprouts sprayed into place, said, “Ever since Oak Ridge existed but did not even appear on a map, the city continues to hold and foster more than its share of secrets. As a trusted senior scientist and manager of the project, Dickenson claimed you and your son were the only ones involved.”

“How long have you known there were more of us?” Her grip on the desk’s metal edge forced her gloved hands to stop shaking. The usual underground chill pressed into the heat of her temples and an off-putting tartness oozed over her tongue.

Were Scientist Daniel Dickenson not already dead, she would kill him with her bare hands.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Currently, I am writing two first books in two YA series.

Legend Marsh is the first in the Eleven Quest Trilogy featuring teens that go from a survival outdoor boot camp to a realm of elves, trolls, and dragons.

The first book in the other series features psychically gifted teens in competition for the lead roles on a ghost-busting TV reality series and involves their haunting adventures.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have written and have been a writer as long as I can remember. Writers write, so I wrote and wrote and wrote and continue to write.

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 write full-time. Part of the time, I write on at a computer keyboard at a writing table, then, part of the time, I write at a treadmill desk, but then again, I write in my head most of the time. (That’s that dazed, er, contemplative expression on my face.)

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I tend to act out the motions of actions scenes, such as fight scenarios, with arm and leg movements, not an easy task while sitting in an office chair or while on a treadmill.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
A Word-o-Gram for the Children of the Elements Series would include descriptions, such as Psychic Powers, Telekinesis, Apocalypse, Electro-Magnetic Pulse, Zombies, and Mutants.

Happy Reading!

Thanks, R.J.!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

R.J. Merle said...

Thank you for hosting Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews! I look forward to comments/questions!!!

Rita Wray said...

I liked the interview.

Mai T. said...

What is the hardest thing about writing this book?

R.J. Merle said...

Mai T., the hardest thing about writing the book was focusing on only one of the psychically gifted children per each book in the series. The characters evolved so strongly in my imagination that it was difficult to reign them all in so that their supernatural powers might be featured in each one of the books of the series. (Great, fun question!)

MomJane said...

I loved the excerpt.

Anonymous said...

Very informative interview!

Trix, vitajex(at)Aol(Dot)com

Unknown said...

I really enjjoyed the interview and I have to say I enjoyed the blurb more toda also> Thank you!

R.J. Merle said...

Thanks again, Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews for hosting and everyone for stopping by. Best of luck in the drawing for the Giveaway!