It’s release day for Mary Merrell’s, Affinity – Bird In A Guilded Cage, and I have the extreme pleasure of having her as a guest on my blog today! Mary is going to tell us all about her writing process and how she comes up with such great ideas as her new YA Urban Fantasy novel.
But before we get to that, let’s find out about Affinity – Bird In A Guilded Cage (Affinity, Book #1):
The crows followed Talon around everywhere. When he graduated from high school, Talon moved to Sacramento to work with his uncle, and the birds followed. He recognized the same straggly-tailed old crow that had followed him around since junior high. Iris Yorita lived in his old neighborhood in Modesto. Snakes were drawn to her as the big, black birds were drawn to him. She called their ability an AFFINITY. Claimed it was a gift from God, and they should use it to help people. Talon thought she was out of her mind. How could a bunch of mangy crows or slimy snakes help anyone?
When a thief targeted the people in his uncle’s neighborhood, all fingers pointed at the new kid, Talon. He decided it was time to put this strange ability to the test. Find out who was robbing their neighbors and clear his name. As Talon learned to communicate with his crows, the thievery heated up. Something more sinister than mere robbery was going on, and it would take Talon, Iris, and their new found friends, to discover what really was going on in this up-scale neighborhood.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
So, I bet you’re wondering how Mary Merrell comes up with intriguing novel ideas such as this. Well, here she is to tell you all about it.
My Writing Process by Mary Merrell
A story idea can come to me at any time. Sometimes it’s a short story and sometimes it’s a new novel idea. I don’t sit and think, think, think…what am I going to write next? I get an idea for a story, usually when I’m working on another project, and it percolates around in my brain. Sometimes, I make a note of it in my idea book, so I don’t forget and that’s that. And sometimes the idea won’t leave me alone. I may not think about it constantly, but it keeps coming back. Scenes flash through my head as I’m showering, driving (scary I know) or doing yard and house work. These aren’t just bits and pieces, but full scenes with characters, setting and dialog. That’s when I open a notebook for a future book.
Not a computer document, just a plain old-fashioned spiral notebook. That’s all I use for my novel notes, and I keep a few empty ones on hand…for those pesky stories that refuse to be ignored. That way, I can work out the plot, characters and their goals and settings while I’m working on my current novel. By the time I’m ready for my next project, I have a story outline with notes, snippets of dialog or scenes and thoughts about how I want the story to unfold. I know what I need to research and who my main characters will be and what their story goals are. Just because the idea makes it to a notebook though, doesn’t guarantee the book gets written.
Every author has their own process of writing. I write in a straight line. Nothing clever or complicated, start at the beginning, stop at the end. I know what my characters’ story goals are, their names, ages and background. I begin writing at chapter one. I’ve outlined what my character’s goal is for each chapter and whether or not he or she achieves their goal. The challenge is to keep the tension, conflict going while ending the chapter so the reader wants to turn that page. And humor. I can’t help but weave humor into all my stories.
The hardest thing, I think for authors, is sticking with the project at hand, because there is always another great idea popping up. It’s that shiny object that grabs your attention when you’re supposed to be writing, especially when the writing isn’t coming easy. It may be the house needs to vacuumed, that interesting infomercial or a short story contest. Finishing a novel is a great accomplishment and then comes the revisions and editing. It’s a challenge, a wonderful, satisfying, super challenge. And I love it!
Thanks so much for sharing with us Mary! And for taking the time to stop by my blog!
If you want to learn more about Mary Merrell, here’s all the info you need to stalk her out:
Mary E. Merrell lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, two dogs and four cats. She has two grown sons, Everette Merrell and Richard Mickelson who is married to a great girl, Brooke. Mary has worked at various jobs, selling furniture, a meat company and a manufacturing company. It wasn’t until she started selling real estate that her Real Estate Paranormal Mystery Series came to life in that old, vacant home. She enjoys reading all types of genres and writes Paranormal Mysteries and YA Urban Fantasies. When she’s not writing, she’s working on her decorative planter business www.LivingCreations.org with her husband, gardening and playing soccer. Please visit her website to see what she’s working on next. www.maryemerrell.com, or contact her through Facebook and Twitter.
Have a comment for Mary about her books or writing process? Share it with us. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you!