Thank you for stopping by The Writing World. I'm pleased you decided to visit. For this week's interview I would like to introduce to you Merita King author of The Lilean Chronicles.
1. Please tell the readers a bit more about you.
Hi, I'm Merita King and I'm a writer/novelist from the south of England. I've wanted to write since I was a teenager but I never had the knowledge or the skills to write more than a couple of pages, even though ideas for plots would come easily. I'm one of those writers who doesn't really plan much. I prefer to just sit down and write and see how it builds as it goes along. For me, writing is an intuitive thing and my characters are real people to me. I can see them, hear them and feel them as they stand beside me and tell me what to write. I always say that I don't write the stories, I just take dictation from my characters. I'm also a psychic medium and I live alone.
2. What types of books do you write?
I write space opera Novels. Nowadays you don't hear that term used much but imagine Star Trek with a bit of paranormal thrown in and plenty of action adventure and emotional angst and you'll understand what my stories are. I also write horror short stories.
3. Who's your main audience?
I guess my books are for 18+ readers. There are moderate sexual references and violence but they're not overt about it. The spiritual aspect of my books really need an adult mind to understand and digest, so that's the main reason I think of them as 18+.
4. When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?
My strong points are my vivid imagination, my intuitive way of writing and my fairly prolific word count when I get going. I see my stories like movies in my head as I'm writing and plot twists and turns come to me easily. I allow the characters to build the story as it goes along and I go with the flow. I trust the process and don't try to control it and it works for me. When I sit down to write I can easily bash out 5 thousand words in one sitting. My weak point is lack of official grammatical education. When I went to school we didn't learn about dangling modifiers, passive voice or anything of that nature. I've had to learn as I've gone along and made many mistakes along the way.
5. What do you think of this term- Writer's Block? How do you overcome it?
I've never experienced it and hope I never will. If I don't feel like writing one day I just assume my characters want a day off, so I have one too. I can just sit down and begin to write and it just flows. I feel very sorry for people who say they battle with writer's block, it must be awful.
6. How many books have you written?
I have five written at this moment in time. A four part series and one stand alone.
7. How many are published?
Three are published at the moment. The fourth and final part of my series will be published in the first week of December 2012.
8. Are you self published or traditionally published?
I'm self published. I like the freedom it gives me. I can publish when I want, how I want. I can write as often as I wish and publish as many books as I like. I also feel pride in doing the whole process myself, from start to finish. Apart from the cover art, I do everything myself and I feel proud of that. Trad publishing doesn't really have any advantages anymore; they still expect you to do much of your own marketing. I firmly believe that trad publishing will eventually just not happen and all books will be self published.
9. What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?
I don't find any of it hard exactly but the proof reading and editing is the bit I enjoy the least. I do all my own editing and usually do four or five read through, reading aloud. It gets a little old when you've read your own book for the fifth time and have to watch for misplaced commas etc.
10. What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Space opera, science fiction, fantasy and horror. I will admit to enjoying a good misery memoir too.
11. Who's your favorite Author?
James Herbert has always been my favourite. He's an English horror writer and I've read all of his books except his latest.
12. What's your all time favorite book?
My all time favorite has to be Nobody True by James Herbert. Closely followed by anything by Dennis Wheatley.
13. How long does it take you to write a book?
My first novel of 100 thousand words was written to first draft in eight weeks. I find that a couple of months is about normal for me for this length of novel.
14. Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
Oh that's easy. My favorite of my own characters has to be Vincent, the protagonist of my series. He's my ultimate perfect man in every way. He's gorgeous but also has the right balance of alpha male and nurturing lover. He has just enough emotional anguish to give him a very attractive vulnerability. He's deeply spiritual too which is always important for me. To meet someone like him would be amazing.
15. What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer?
I never thought I'd ever learn so much about the construction of language and how it's put together. The most surprising thing though is that I've gone from wanting to write but not having the ability, to being a prolific writer with plots coming out of my ears. To think I began writing my first novel in June 2011 makes it all the more surprising. This past year has been a real learning curve and I went from drifting through life with unassailable dreams to being someone who now actually feels like a writer.
16. What does your family think of your writing?
Well I only have my Mother and she's very proud. She told me recently that she's so fired up with enthusiasm after reading my books and being with me through the last year's process that she's now embarking upon a novel of her own.
17. What does your writing schedule look like?
Oh gosh, what's a schedule..! I honestly don't have one. I write when I want to write, or more correctly when my characters demand it. I know when they want me to write; I can feel them close and can sense their nagging. When I'm actually in the process of writing a novel I tend to get absorbed in it and I will spend two the three hours each afternoon and evening writing and most of the weekends. I have a day job so I have to fit around that.
18. Do you manage to write every day?
Yes. Not necessarily on a novel. I might blog or write a short story. I also like to write horror shorts and have several published in Schlock Webzine. I might even just write a poem but I'll always write something every day.
19. What's the latest news you'd like to share?
Latest news is to watch out for the fourth and final volume of my space opera series. The Lilean Chronicles: Book Four ~ Avalanche Effect will be published the first week in December 2012. I'm committed to NaNoWriMo this year for the first time and have a stand alone space opera novel planned for that.
20. Do you have any advice for new writers?
Just write. Don't get hung up on the construction and don't get mired in the planning. Just sit down and get the story out of your head or it will fester and die in there. Get it out and get it down and you can tidy it up later. You can learn all the construction stuff like spelling and punctuation from websites; that's where I learnt how to punctuate dialogue as I hadn't a clue when I started. Just get the story out of your head first.
If you love science fiction then you'll love my new series of books. Buy The Lilean Chronicles in paperback from and in e-book formats from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
Live the journey, for every destination is but a doorway to another!
Purchase link for USA readers - Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=
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