Q & A — Merilyn Dignum

q & a

Please welcome Merilyn to the blog today! She is here to promote her new book coming out next week! Stay tuned to the blog for all the release info!

*****

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Mia has the ability to use her emotions on people which is tied to her genetics.

What are you working on at the minute?

Currently I’m editing book 2 in the Ties That Bond series called Deception.

What genre are your books?

I write in the Sci-Fi / Fantasy genres. Although to me, it’s urban Sci-Fi / Fantasy because the setting is the world around me, the here and now. I don’t create worlds on a different planet or in a fantasy realm. It seems that no matter what story I start a Sci-Fi or Fantasy element always ends up appearing and changing everything I thought I knew the story would be. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because I became hooked on fantasy when I was about five and it has always remained my first love. When I was about six, I think, I discovered Sci-Fi which became my second love.

What draws you to this genre?

I think I’m drawn to these genres by my overactive imagination. With both Sci-Fi and Fantasy I found amazing worlds I could escape to where the seemingly impossible becomes possible.

When did you decide to become a writer?

Like so many, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. As a kid I had dreams of becoming a professional writer but being an introvert, back then I wasn’t brave enough to ‘put myself out there’, so I buried the writer and got on with life. Looking back now I think maybe the Universe was telling me it just wasn’t the right time for me.

A few years ago when I reached a fork in the road of life I thought, it’s now or maybe never and really, what did I have to lose?

Why do you write?

I write because, these days, I have characters running around in my head that won’t leave me alone. They’re like annoying little kids that want their story told and if I try to ignore them they throw tantrums. I know that sounds weird but it’s the best way I have of describing it.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

As I said, I reached a fork in the road of life, and was presented with the opportunity to concentrate on writing and really give it all my attention. Whether it was the Universe, or something, finally saying now is the right time, who knows, but I’m grateful to have the chance to do what I’ve always wanted to do.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I’ve been writing full-time for about 5 years now and have a few manuscripts collecting dust in the cupboard which at some point I will pull out and do complete re-writes of I’m sure, once I’m finished with my current projects.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I generally start the day with walking my dog and then spend a short time on emails, Facebook, networking, etc.

When I’m in the early phases of a book I tend write when the ideas are there and when I’m not feeling that pull I go back to the emails, Facebook, networking, read, watch TV, see friends and do the boring stuff that needs to be done like cleaning. I have to admit that this is a time when I can get easily distracted but it seems to be what works for me.

Once the book is taking shape I spend more and more time on it than anything else. When the first draft is complete I can easily spend all day editing and that will include the weekends. The closer the book gets to completion the more focussed I am to the point where I hate being interrupted and pretty much nothing can distract me.

Where do your ideas come from?

I really have no idea where the ideas come from. Generally the main character will pop into my head. It might be their look, attitude, some dialogue or a mix and things generally progress from there. For example, when Mia from Ties That Bond showed up all I knew was that she was a 17 year old with plenty of attitude, a shady past and unique abilities. Then one by one the supporting characters showed up to fill in the story.

It’s the same with another project that is waiting for me to start. The main character appeared first and then bits of her story followed.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I prefer to let the characters take me along for the ride with their story. It flows better. I did try with book 2 of Ties That Bond – Deception, to follow a very brief outline but the characters just didn’t want to go where I was trying to take them. I know it sounds weird because in reality everything is happening in my head, and it’s probably only something another writer will understand, but you can’t make a character do something they don’t want to. Book 2 doesn’t have the middle or ending that I had planned. It took a completely different direction, which really is part of the fun of the writing process.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I know I have evolved creatively by looking back at past manuscripts. I have learnt so much since writing them and because of them. Their basic ideas I think are still good but the writing needs a lot of work which I hope to get to at some stage.

I’d love to see those stories out there but definitely not in their current form.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, for me it’s character block. As I said before if I want a character to do something they don’t want to do I can’t make them and I end up staring at a blank page. Once I let go and let them lead, it’s all good.

Deception has taken a lot longer to write than Ties That Bond did because I spent a lot of time trying to write a story that just wouldn’t flow. I finished it in a couple of weeks once I gave up and just followed the characters.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

Initially Ties That Bond was a standalone book, just a chunk of time from the characters’ lives giving insight into who they are and watching them grow into better people, hopefully, through situations beyond their control.

It was one of my betas who wanted to know if there was going to be another book because she thought there had to be, that got me thinking about the possibility.

So Mia’s story will cover 3 books.

It’s the story of a young girl that develops abilities at a young age but has no idea what they are or why she’s different. She was abandoned and placed in the foster system at 5 and spent years being passed around from family to family. At 12 she defends herself, accidently, with her abilities and goes on the run from the system.

We meet Mia when she is 17, living off the grid and working with a small group of men who, for their own reasons,are no longer a part of society.All their lives are turned upside down when people come looking for Mia.

In the second book events lead Mia to the parallel universe her parents came from.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series.

I love reading a series but writing one is a little nerve racking. To me each book has to be as good, if not better,than the one preceding it and, of course, the characters have to develop more along the way. And even if each book is a contained chunk of their lives there will be threads running through them that have to be dealt with.

This is when the little devil pops up and sits on your shoulder and starts whispering crap in your ear – “it’s not as good you know”, “nobody’s going to like it”, “the readers that loved book 1 are going to hate this and you”, “they’re going to feel so let down,” and so it goes on.

You don’t get that with a standalone book. Sure there are still negative little comments floating around in your head and it will be compared to anything else you have written but with all new characters and a whole new setting to me it’s not as nerve racking.

Is everyone going to like everything you write? Absolutely not but new characters and a new setting aren’t going to be compared so intensely as ones in a series are from book to book.

Or maybe I’m just listening to my own little demon too much.

*****

You can follow Merilyn on anyone of these places on the internet.

Facebook:http://on.fb.me/18Pnegx
Twitter:http://bit.ly/ZpYyaQ
Amazon Author: http://amzn.to/119uNZE
Smashwords:http://bit.ly/1eyeexO
Book Links:  Amazon – http://amzn.to/10JRN5r
Smashwords – http://bit.ly/18H1GTf
Goodreads:http://bit.ly/155vjKN

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