|Merry Farmer, Author|
Friday, November 11, 2016
MERRY FARMER'S CREATIVE IDEA!
What a pleasure to feature my friend, Merry Farmer. She lives up to her name because she has always been cheerful when I've seen her. Merry has come up with what I think is a clever idea. She publishes two versions of each of her latest books—one spicy and one sweet. No matter what type book you enjoy, she has one for you. Now here’s her interview:
Please tell us about growing up. Siblings? Locale?
I was raised by a single mom after my dad left when I was six and my little brother, Stewart, was 3. It was pretty tough for us, because this was 1979 and we lived in a pretty conservative town outside of Philly where practically no one ever got divorced. My mom was wonderful, though. She did everything she could for us, including getting a job as the secretary of our elementary school so that she could be with us pretty much all day, every day. When I was in 5th grade, we moved in with my grandmother after my granddad died. I never really connected with her (that’s a long, long story!), but we lived in a huge, beautiful house built in 1917. It’s our family home. My mom grew up there, and my granddad and his siblings grew up there. It’s still in the family too. Right now my aunt lives there, but I happen to know what her will says, and let’s just say I’d better save my pennies for upkeep so that it stays in the family!
Growing up, I was definitely shy and, well, shell-shocked from a lot of sad things that happened, including my dad leaving and my granddad dying. I loved to read and write from the moment I learned, though, and I escaped in books a lot. I started writing in third grade when I realized that I didn’t have to wait for my teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. Best day of my life!
Wow, you look a lot like your mom. Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
I enjoy a lot of stuff across several genres. Of course, I loved the Harry Potter books and think J.K. Rowling is pretty amazing in person too. I’ve always been a big fan of L.M. Montgomery too, and not just for her Anne books. As much as I love Anne, I actually liked the Emily books a little more. As far as romance, I’ve been working my way through Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series this year and loving them. And I love Courtney Milan, Elizabeth Boyle, and Elizabeth Hoyt.
When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?
I am a big knitter. Of course, this year that’s become a problem. I ended up with an overuse injury in my forearms from all the typing and knitting (sort of like carpal tunnel, but it’s the muscles that are strained, not the tendons). I had to cut back on knitting to preserve my writing.
Where do you prefer to write?
Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop? I always have music playing in my apartment, no matter what I’m doing. Usually it’s classical. There’s a local classical and jazz station in Philly that I love, WRTI, but they have news reports every few hours, so I’ve stopped listening during election season, because I just can’t take it. I’ve been listening to BBC3 (BBC’s classical station) online and another online classical station out of Princeton, NJ lately.
I listen to classical music when I'm writing. I’m a plotter and know the answer to this but will ask anyway: Are you a plotter or a panzer?
I’m definitely a plotter! In fact, I think I’m the biggest, most extensive plotter of any of the authors I know. The process I use is multiple steps with character sheets and scene cards and all sorts of things. But it means that once I’ve outlined a book, I can draft it in no time, and I have fewer large issues that I need to work on in editing because I’ve sorted them out before I started writing.
Do you do your research before you begin a new project, or as you go along?
Well, that’s an interesting question. I majored in History twice in college, so I learned a lot about the time periods in which I write back then. I also like to read history books for fun. So a lot of the time, reading the history books is what sparks story ideas to begin with.
Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?
Because I’m a full-time writer, I treat writing as my job. So I have “working hours” during the morning and early afternoon, and I always set myself a word count for the day. I’m a pretty disciplined person, so I am able to keep to that schedule.
I set myself word count for the day. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise readers.
I was really unpopular in school and was bullied A LOT. It was pretty miserable. But I always knew that I was destined for something greater. It took a lot of work—and a lot of therapy—but I was able to achieve my dreams! The moral of the story is that you should never listen to who other people tell you to be. Always believe in yourself and keep your eyes on the prize.
I can’t imagine you being unpopular because everyone loves you now. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Really, I just want people to be entertained. I tend to fall in love with my characters and the world I put them in, and I want other people to fall in love with those worlds and people too.
Perfect answer, Merry. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
If you know that this is what you really want to do, that you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else, then keep your nose to the grindstone and keep working, no matter what anyone else may tell you. But be prepared to make sacrifices in order to reach your goals. I was working a full-time job and writing for hours every day for a couple of years when I first started. That meant almost no social life. But I was willing to do it because I knew it would get me to the place where I wanted to be.
Tell us about your latest release.
My latest release is the eighth book in my Brides of Paradise Ranch series. Talk about a town and a bunch of characters, including secondary characters, that I love! This is totally it. Here’s the blurb for the latest book, His Secret Bride (Spicy Version)/Bonnie: The Secret Bride (Sweet Version)
Bonnie Horner, madam of Haskell, Wyoming’s house of ill repute, Bonnie’s Place, has worked hard to make a better life for the girls unfortunate enough to end up in her employ. In fact, her Place serves more as a shelter and refuge than a brothel. For years, Bonnie has sacrificed her own happiness for the sake of her girls, going so far as to manufacture a sham engagement to local cattle baron Rex Bonneville in order to keep her Place financed. But when Rex demands the wedding take place, Bonnie finds herself in an impossible situation. Before she can marry Rex, she must divorce the husband she has kept secret for nearly ten years.
Rupert Cole has built a life for himself as half of the extremely successful King Cole Construction company out of Everland, Wyoming. But he has never forgotten the wife that he disappointed and drove away. When Bonnie appears in Everland, he thinks his deepest wishes for a second chance have come true. Instead, he finds himself embroiled in the battle of his life…the battle to win Bonnie back. But can love truly conquer all, or will Rupert and Bonnie both be forced to sacrifice their chance at happiness to save Bonnie’s girls?
His Secret Bride – the spicy version:
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2ev8IF6
Bonnie: The Secret Bride – the sweet version
Amazon only - http://amzn.to/2ev6g1k
How can readers learn more about you?
Newsletter sign-up URL: http://eepurl.com/cbaVMH
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Merry-Farmer/e/B006RATLFC/
Other Works by Merry blog page: http://wp.me/P5ttjb-14F