Blogger Fail – M.R. Merrick Drops The Author Alert Ball

Blogger Fail – M.R. Merrick Drops The Author Alert Ball

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Author Alert, Interviews | 15 comments

Today would normally be the day I post April’s Author Alert. The thing is, I usually leave this to the last minute when I know I shouldn’t. It’s always worked out before but this time it did not. After being in the editing cave on Endure for the past two weeks, the month of March slipped away. Left scrambling to get my interview questions together, I realized I forgot to ask the author to be featured on my site! I know, I’m horrible. Now that I’ve reached out to the author and they’ve agreed, I’m a month ahead for May! Hopefully I won’t be leaving it to the last minute again.

This leaves me with one of two options. First, I can ask a different author and rush them to get it done. Authors are busy people and I like to take some time to develop the questions. I don’t want to feel rushed and neither do they, so that leaves us with option two, don’t have an April Author Alert. Well that’s not fun, is it? So what’s a handsome Canadian to do? Well, I shall improvise. I’ve developed a third option! I will be April’s Author Alert. That may seem silly, but here’s what I propose: In the comments section of this blog, ask me the question you want an answer to. It can be about the series, about the characters, about me, whatever you like. I shall face the Interview of DOOM, but it will be you asking the question! The only request I have is that if you are going to post any type of spoiler from my books, please put *SPOILER ALERT* before your question so that nothing is given away for any other readers who may not be as far into the series as you.

What do you think, something worth playing for? Oooh maybe I could have prizes! Lets get to it.

 

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Questions the comments will be posted and answered here in the update!

The Interview

1. From Danielle: How do you choose your beta readers?

This is actually a really simple process, or rather, not much of a process at all. It all comes down to the person and my relationship with with, or the ‘vibe’ I get from them. I need someone who is going to challenge me, my book, and what is happening on the pages. I need people I can trust to be honest, but not harsh. I have to feel comfortable hearing “this sucks and doesn’t work,” and yet they need to approach it with tact, supporting their claim so I can see it from their perspective. There are no special qualifications for this role, but essentially I  limit myself to a few people who I trust to help me see the flaws in my story and can help make it the best that it can be.

2. From Laura: Teenage Matt finds himself taking the place of Chase in your books. Does he attempt to hook up with Rayna early on? Not at all? Or take his time wooing her appropriately? Does he approach things the same way Chase does? Do a better job keeping things together? Or does he die early on?

We’ve got a few things to answer here. Does young Matty attempt to hook up with Rayna early on? More than likely, but given his awkwardness and lack of ‘game’ at the age of seventeen, he’d probably leave with more than broken nose. Rayna’s feisty. Although he would probably take his time trying to woo her first before making his move, the result would be the same. He would definitely approach things the same way Chase does. Young Matty was a stubborn kid. He never took advice from his ‘elders’, always doing the opposite or what he thought was best. As you can guess, the elders were almost always right and he learned a lot of things the hard way. He would do a similar job of keeping things together though, and after enough tough lessons, he would realize he doesn’t know anything. Young Matty wouldn’t die early on I don’t think because although he’s awkward, Rayna finds it cute and would protect him with her bad ass skills, eventually turning him to someone equally bad ass whom she would glady accept “the moves.”

3. From Sekran: Do you have any plans on somewhen returning to world of the “Protector” series? And I don’t mean with the same characters (although that would be awesome [if anyone actually survives :D ]). Maybe write a prequel, or some short stories to explain a few more things or something, or maybe an outlook on the future where the results of the choices made during the series are shown. Or are you completely finished with this world after “THE END”?

First off, hello from Canada! Thanks for stopping by. I do have plans to return to the Protector world, but not for a little while. I’m pretty excited about two new series I plan to write, so I’ll be working on at least one or two books before I come back to it. What’s in store for The Protector world? Well there are a lot of ideas in my head, so I’ll start with what I’m going to write for sure.

There will be three standalone novels that branch away from the series. The first is going to follow Willy and his life before he met Chase. If you’ve read Release, you’ll have gotten a taste of what this story might be about. This is going to be a single standalone novel. The second will be a along the same lines with Tiki. We’re going to explore Tiki’s life starting from the slavery he experience in his home dimension of Lavinos. This story will span several hundred years, I think, and we’ll see a Tiki we’ve never known turn into the Tiki we’ve come to love. The third is going to be a novel that follows Vincent. Now this has huge series potential, but all I’m planning for right now is a single book, and from there we’ll see what happens. This is going to explore Vincent’s life when he was a young vampire growing up in the Sovereign. As you can imagine, I’m extremely excited about all three of these stories, but I need a bit of a break before I return to this world.

What else is possible? There is the possibility for two different prequels. The first will not include any of the characters you know. Instead, it’ll focus on the Great War and the first ever battle between demons and hunters. We’ll see how the gods created the Circle, developed the Mark, and how the hunters defeated the pure blood demons and created a barrier around earth. The second prequel will follow Chase as a young boy growing up in the Circle. This story will lead right up until his Exile, and possibly a little bit afterwards. Now these are just ideas and I haven’t committed to writing them yet, but if any of these are a book you’d like to read, let me know. I absolutely want to give my readers what they want, as long as it is in my power to give and I can do it in an awesome way.

And of course, there is always the chance to explore this world in a whole new way. There are four districts of Circles and we’ve only seen the North East division, so who knows what possibilities lie in the future for other hunters in a new district?

5. From Debbie via Twitter: Do you develop your characters fully before writing the story?

I definitely do a back story and build the character up before I write, but only partially. I find the character really comes to life from my imagination once I start writing the story. I like to learn and grow with the characters, and so far that seems to be working for me.

6. From Mark: Chocolates or salty? Dogs or Cats? Spiders or snakes. In the Protector series you blend ‘today’s’ world with a fantasy twist. Do you think that you will develop a completely ‘new’ type of world? or perhaps an epic fantasy series, by that I mean where each book is very long? Or would you rather keep your books about as long as each of the Protector series?

Chocolates, Dogs, and I’ll take kittens over both spiders and snakes.

I do plan on blending other genres together in some fashion, although perhaps not as heavily as the Urban and Epic Fantasy of The Protector. That created such a vast universe that I am not in a hurry to jump into something quite as in depth. An Epic Fantasy is something I’ve pondered but I won’t be considering it for a few years. I’ve got a few different ideas on my plate right now and I want to pursue them first.

I think more and more people are interested in shorter books. The Protector has gotten longer with each story as the world develops and the story demands more of the character’s attention. With my next series I’d like to keep all the books around the length of Shift. One of the reason is time. I can give my readers more if I write books that are around 110k words verus 150k. Those extra 40k words might not seem like a lot in a numbers sense, but it sucks up so much more time, money, and effort. Of course, in the end I’ll give the book as much as it needs, but ideally I’d like to keep my stories more standard sized versus a larger epic tale.

7. From Danielle (She throws in a hypothetical! I love it.): You wake up in the world of Skyrim, not your Skryim character, but you, the actually Matt–to discover that you are surrounded by 4 Legendary Dragons. You have no magic to speak of and you seem to have left your bow and arrow at home. Armed with the items in your pocket, tell us what is in your pocket and how you would defeat them? (And no pulling a bow and arrow out of your pocket).

I might not have magic rushing through my veins, but I have something magical in my pocket. What is this strange contraption? It’s dragon lint!

I reach into my pocket and grab a handful. With a single hand extended, I blow it from my palm and into the air. The dragon lint spirals along the wind, fluttering towards the beasts. Their own fiery magic pulls the lint closer, and they’re overrun with joy. Since dragon lint acts like cat-nip to a cat, the dragons drop to the ground and begin rolling along the grass, tossing the lint balls into the air and pawing at them with massive talons. This provides enough of a distraction for me to sneak away, and run for dear life.