Broken Pieces

Author Interview – Merry Farmer

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Who or what influenced your writing over the years? Great writers of the past and the modern era.  I am in awe of what Jane Austen accomplished in her short life.  I’m also in awe of everything that J.K. Rowling has done to make reading cool and inspire a generation.  That’s the true mark of a great writer.

What made you want to be a writer?  I always wanted to be a writer.  No, really.  It goes as far back as I can remember.  I think it’s something in my soul.  Or maybe my genes.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?  Time management.  Seriously.  It takes a major commitment to sit down and write a novel.  I’ve learned so much over the years from practice and taking classes and reading craft books about the mechanics of writing a novel.  While there is always room for improvement, I think I’ve got that part down now.  But finding time in this big busy ball of life to actually sit down and make myself reach my daily word count goal is painful and tedious sometimes.  But you HAVE to do it if you’re going to make a living off of your writing.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?  Writing Our Little Secrets really taught me the benefit of pushing through and writing something, anything (in my case, usually a love scene) to keep going and make the daily word count goal.  It also taught be the benefit of going back and rewriting or cutting all of the shameless drivel that I wrote while trying to do whatever it took to make the word count goal.  Whoever said “writing is rewriting” was dead-on right!

Do you intend to make writing a career?  Absolutely, yes!

Have you developed a specific writing style?  I think I’m getting closer to it.  I really enjoy writing with humor, which you don’t see a lot of in Historical Romance for some reason.  I also like writing with a very modern feel, even when it is Historical Romance.  Think the movie “A Knight’s Tale”.  And yes, there have been people who don’t get it and think I’m just ignorant of history (which I’m not – I have not one but two bachelor’s degrees in History).  But there have been others who totally get the vibe I’m going for and appreciate it.  But if you don’t go out on a limb with your personal writing style, you will never be able to stand out.

What is your greatest strength as a writer?  I think my strength is writing interesting, dimensional characters.  I come up with the characters, their back story, and the situation they find themselves in as the novel starts way before I figure out the plot.  Sometimes I don’t figure out the plot of my novels until I’m halfway through!

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?  Well, yes and no.  I can get stuck in whatever story I’m writing and have no idea what’s going on.  In those cases I break out a good old fashioned ballpoint pen and pad of paper and write notes about what I’m working on as if I’m talking to myself.  My subconscious can generally figure out what’s going on and get be back on the right path.  In deeper cases of writer’s block, I set aside what I’m working on and write something else, usually fan fiction (that I will never EVER publish in any form, thank you E.L. James!)

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Our Little Secrets is my twist on the old mail order bride story, only the heroine, Charlotte, is merely mistaken for a mail order bride in her bid to escape her past, and the hero, Michael, isn’t really looking to get married, until he sees “Charlie”.  They end up engaged 45 minutes after they meet, are married the next day, and then have to sort the rest of their complicated lives out as they begin to realize that maybe jumping into marriage wasn’t the best idea.  Or maybe it was.

How did you come up with the title?  Once the story was written, the title was obvious.  Both Michael and Charlie are bubbling with secrets that leak out one after the other until they get to the point where they have to be dealt with.

Michael West swore he would never fall in love again. So when the beautiful and wily Charlotte steps off the train looking for a new life he jumps at the business opportunity she presents. Engaged forty-five minutes after meeting, married the next day, Michael thinks he’s found everything a respectable man should have. Except that Michael is as far from respectable as they come. They agreed not to ask questions about each other’s pasts, but when the past seeps into their present Michael suspects his passionate new wife is not who she says she is. Too bad he’s already fallen in love with her.

Charlotte Baldwin has a secret. She fled Philadelphia to escape the sins of her past but someone is following her. What better way to hide than by marrying Michael West, Cold Springs, Montana’s enigmatic shopkeeper? A new name, a new life, and a passionate husband is exactly what she needs to leave her sins behind. But when it comes to keeping secrets Charlotte may have met her match in Michael. When a connection neither of them expects catches up with them, the shocking revelation means Charlotte may have run right into the arms of her enemy.

No sin stays a secret forever….

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Genre – Western Historical Romance

Rating – R

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