Head on over to the Trulee V’s Spot Facebook page and join K. Bromberg as she
takes over the blog on Feb. 13, 2014 from 7-9 PM EST.
Author Merry Farmer stopped by V’s Spot and of course I took the opportunity to ask her a few questions. Read below to learn more about her, as well as current and future projects.
I think my love of writing was inborn. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love words and stories. I started writing for fun and, frankly, as an escape from a pretty rotten childhood at a young age, when I was about ten. It was my favorite entertainment and a great way to block out the world when it was being unfair.
I have an oh so exciting day job working in the insurance industry as an admin/analyst. I am a master pencil-pusher! But I’ve actually had a lot of jobs here and there. I was a hairdresser for several years, and I worked as a teacher’s aide and special ed teacher for a while too. I would love to teach again someday.
In Your Arms is a story about belonging. My heroine, Lily, is Native American, but was raised in the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and lost national identity. She has become a teacher and a strong advocate for the rights of all children. My hero, Christian, is the town justice of the peace. He feels deeply responsible for the people of Cold Springs, Montana and works to promote their welfare. Only, what Lily sees as helping people and what Christian sees as helping are two very different things. Sparks fly when they go head-to-head!
I did a lot of research for this book about the way that Native Americans were treated at the very end of the 19th century. In Your Arms takes place in 1897. This was long after the era of “Cowboys and Indians” and the struggle for the west. By this point, the west was settled and well on its way to matching the economic and technological advances of the east, but the attitude toward Native Americans was still, sadly, backwards. It was a bittersweet time period to research because so many things were surprisingly modern and progressive while so many other things were archaic.
I try to keep myself to a pretty strict schedule of writing. I think you have to if you’re going to make a living at it. I get up at 5:30am every morning and write for about 45 minutes before getting ready for the day job. When I get home from work, I sit down and write for another hour or two in the evening. I also try to get a few hours per day in on the weekends. That includes “doing social media” too. These days, maintaining your platform as an author is as important as the actual writing. And don’t the bosses at my day job, but every now and then I get a bit of writing done in the slow periods at work.
Honestly, self-confidence. I tend to be a naturally insecure and impatient person. Always have been. Yet here I am, following a dream that takes a LOT of self-confidence and self-motivation. I have gotten to the point where I can write whether I want to or feel inspired or not, but I wallow in the misery of how badly I suck when I do! I have to constantly remind myself that the first draft of anything is going to be terrible, the real writing is in editing and revising, and I am the harshest critic of my work.
Hands down, it’s being able to share the stories and characters in my head with other people. I have always loved sharing the things I’ve written with other people, because it’s like sharing the best of myself. As a published author, I have the ability to do that on a huge scale. There’s no better feeling.
When it comes to all of the publishing choices in the world right now, be sure you really, really know what you want to do and why before you commit to anything. Both sides of the Self-Publishing/Traditional Publishing argument are very loud and will insist that their way is the only way and everyone else is foolish. Don’t listen to that! But do pay attention to what is involved in each kind of publishing. I self-publish, but I will be the first to tell you that it’s not for everyone. It is incredibly hard work (if you’re doing it right)! It’s time-consuming, you have to be fiercely vigilant about the quality of your work, and you have to venture way, way outside of your comfort zone to market. If you don’t feel up to the work, consider traditional publishing.
The question I get the most is “Why do you Self-Publish?” My answer? Because I enjoy the challenge. Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m crazy. I’ve had writers and editors in the industry tell me my work is on par with the books being traditionally published and that I’m nuts to want to self-publish, but it’s the method of publishing that really sings to me. I actually like working my fingers to the bone and striving to write at a professional level. I like the challenge of formatting and finding the best cover designers and editors to work with. I don’t like marketing, though. It’s not in my nature. But I do like working with my publicist, who is awesome! I also have a yen to tell stories that the traditional publishing world isn’t ready to publish yet – stories with non-traditional characters and plotlines. My Montana Romance series involves four full-length novels and three novellas (so far!), and the fourth full-length novel is an m/m romance. No traditional publishing house would include an m/m romance in a mainstream series at this point in time.
I’ve been busy working on the second novella (fifth story overall) in my Montana Romance series, The Indomitable Eve. The heroine is Eve deLaurant, sister of Amelia Quinlan (who is the heroine of the second novel in the series, Fool For Love), and the hero is none other than Rev. Mark Andrews, who has been a minor character in all of the novels of the series. It was intended to be a holiday novella, but as I started writing it I realized the themes and issues involved (overcoming tragedy, being unable to reconcile with family after something horrible happens) are very heavy. I’ll still be releasing it around Christmas, and the story takes place at Christmas, but I’m not calling it a “holiday” novella now.
I’m DEFINITELY a morning person! I get up at 5:30 every day. “Sleeping in” for me is 7:00! And I have a really hard time staying out past dark or staying awake after 9:30pm. Most nights you’ll find me in bed before 9:00 with a book.
I used to say that writing was my hobby, but now it’s my career! Nowadays I would say that my hobby is cricket. Yes, the sport that they play practically everywhere else in the world except for the US! I got involved with cricket in the Philadelphia area about four years ago and I love it with a passion. I took a scoring course offered out of England and all I need to do to become an international-level cricket scorer is to take the exam. I’m perfectly happy keeping my scoring talents with my team, though, the British Officers Cricket Club. I love the guys of BOCC so much that, well, let’s just say when I start writing a certain series set in the Regency on the high seas by the end of next year, the crew of the ship involved may just look familiar to people who know the cricketers I know.
I prefer eBooks. I honestly do! I know there is a strong element that says they will never trade in the feel of a paperback, but I love being able to hold my Kindle with one hand, to put it down without losing my place, and to buy books the moment the spirit moves me…which is a dangerous thing, now that I think about it!
Quirky, Brainy, Curious, Adventurous, Persistent
On Twitter – @MerryFarmer20
On Facebook –
On Goodreads –
V’s Spot wanted to give a huge thanks to Merry Farmer for taking the time to allow the readers insight into her personal life and personality. I think we all enjoy getting to know more about the authors who’s books we get lost in. I look forward to reading her novels.
While stopping by V’s Spot on her Blog Tour, I was able to ask Marie a few questions for the readers. Check out the interview below.
1. What is your name?
2. What is the name of the book or series youíre promoting?
3. Tell me how you came to love writing.
The first time I remember writing a story was in third grade. When the teacher handed it back to me, she said, “Very well done,” and discussed my story with me. I was hooked.
4. What other jobs have you done while working to become an author?
I worked in a motel for several years before I got married. I ran a home daycare for over ten years after I got married. My husband and I became foster parents because of an emergency within my own family, and once it was resolved we decided to continue to foster other children. We fostered fifteen children over a five year period. More often than not we were raising eight children at a time. Currently, I have a small home based online business. I design and sell crochet afghan patterns on my website.
5. Tell me about your book.
I thought about writing this book for years — the setting, the characters, and so forth. I didn’t have the time to actually put any of it on paper, however, until my kids grew a little older. The book takes place in a small, fictional town. It’s on a lake, like my own hometown. It isn’t anything too specific because it is centered on the main character’s feelings and state of mind more than the location. It is written from Hope’s perspective, the main character. She suffered years of abuse and never told anyone about it for fear that no one would believe her, and later that there would be repercussions within her nuclear family causing her mother and step father pain. She buried all the pain and anger inside, year after year. When her former abuser is pronounced dead in a mysterious boating accident but they don’t recover the body, it magnifies her feelings of paranoia and fear. She has recurring nightmares, and she thinks she sees him, feels him following her.
6. What kind of research did you do for the book?
Well, the story is based in a small town, on a lake, so I didn’t have to stretch my imagination very far on that. I drew on my own personal life experiences when describing the feelings and emotions of the main character. I survived some things in my childhood that scarred and changed who I was forever. It affected my outlook on life, on the world, and affected my decisions and the way I lived until I was nearly thirty years old. I often wonder how different I would be if they never happened. I have also been a care giver for children who had suffered abuse, which I can’t go into detail about for privacy reasons.
7. What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write?
I usually get up at 5:30 AM when my husband leaves for work and our four boys are getting ready for school. They are all out of the house by around 6:20, and I sit down with my coffee and write for a couple of hours before I have to start the regular day —answering emails and doing customer service for my online business, cooking, cleaning, laundry, taking care of our dog, Lady Jade. I sit at my desk in my office and write, usually in my pajamas, always with a cup of coffee. I find that is the best time for me. I have tried going back in the afternoons to write a little, but I think my best ideas come early in the morning.
8. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part for me is letting others read what I write. Writing it is thrilling, exciting; I am passionate about it. It wasn’t until recently my husband convinced me I should let other people read it. To me, it is very personal. It is a piece of me, and when others read it, it doesn’t belong to just me anymore. Then it becomes a book, material for random people to pick over, piece apart, and find fault. Accepting criticism is a difficult task, but it is a necessity. I try to do so graciously, and use it constructively.
9.What’s the best thing about being an author?
I have found the best part of being an author is also letting others read what I wrote, when some one enjoys reading it — when somebody else shares the excitement I felt writing the book while they are reading it.
10. What advice would you give writers?
Don’t give up. Life gets in the way; it may slow you down but it can’t stop you if you keep moving toward your goals, even if it is an inch at a time. It can be challenging, but follow your dreams.
11. What question do you get asked the most, and how do you answer that question?
I think the question I get asked the most is “Was it worth it, spending all this time writing a book?” My answer is yes, to me it was worth every moment I spent at the keyboard. I know they are most often speaking financially. That is not how I measure my success. I feel accomplished and proud of finishing something that I set out to do. I feel the most reward when some one enjoys what I wrote.
12. What are you working on now?
I have started writing my next novel, tentatively called Don’t Cry For Me. It is another fiction novel that I hope to release in 2014.
13. Where can readers stalk you?
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/MarieDrake