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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Interview with Author Angie Merriam

About the Author:

I was born and raised in the small town of Klamath Falls. It is there that I met my husband and had my first two children. In 1999 we left Klamath Falls, headed towards Portland. I have since had one more child and have settled in Newberg. I worked as a waitress in a French Bistro for nearly five years before quitting to help care for my ill grandmother. It was during my care of her that I decided to go to school for Medical Assisting. I had planned on continuing onto nursing, but landed a job with a Dr. I highly admire in a practice that I love. In the nearly five years that I have been employed there, I have spent a large amount of time commuting. During those times I would spin many stories in my mind with the intention of writing them down. I have always loved to write, but have ventured away from it due to lack of time and life. The story of Neveah and Lilly stuck with me and I decided to write it down. I never intended for it to go this far, or to become a full fledged story that I would be so proud of. I look forward to seeing where this journey leads me!

Interview Questions….

      1.       What inspired you to become a writer? 

      I use to write a lot of poetry is high school and loved writing. Later in life, after kids and marriage, I stopped writing. Life got so busy. One day my husband said to me, “You need a hobby. One day soon the kids will be gone. You need to find something that makes you happy so you are not so sad when they grow up and move out.” I thought about that for a while, wondering what in the world I could do. It hit me one day while driving to work, I need to write! My imagination is always working overtime. I have an abundance of make believe stories in my head. I picked one of those stories and wrote. Next thing I knew, Neveah was born.

     2.       When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

       Though I have always enjoyed writing, it was about three years ago that I decided that I really wanted to write for other people to enjoy the stories in my imagination. I did some research on self-publishing and decided to try. I had nothing to lose.

    3.       What genre(s) do you write?  Why do you write the stories that you write? 
       My current and first series is fantasy with some romance and adult content. I enjoy writing fantasy, but I don’t want to limit myself to one genre. I would like to do a crime novel, or a fictional story about a mobster. Part of the reason I love writing is because the only limit is my imagination. I write stories I connect with and would like to read myself.

    4.       Where did the inspiration for your book come from? 

      I live in the Pacific NW which means I am surrounded by beauty. A lot of the scenery is magical to me. I drive a lot for my day job and used my drive time to put the story together.  My surrounding inspired me but my love of fantasy and romance and adventure helped sculpt the story. I love to read, and I am a huge fan of books like Twilight, Harry Potter, ect…but always wanted that magical love story type of books, for an adult. Young adult is great but I wanted a fantasy story for adults. So, I wrote one.
   5.   How long did it take you to put the story together? 

    Well, I had the story in my head but it took about six months to write. It’s taken me since I finished writing to get everything correct as far as editing. I recently had it edited by someone who actually edits, so hopefully it’s good this time around.

6. Can you share a little about your novel with us?   

  Shep was Lilly's soul mate. He shared her birthday, her love of nature, and he held her heart. On their eighteenth birthday Shep proposes and Lilly tearfully accepts. What should have been a joyous day quickly becomes a nightmare when Lilly's mother vanishes leaving only a note. The search for Lilly's mother leads them to Neveah, a magnificent parallel world, unknown to the Ordinaries of earth.
   Neveah is on the verge of war, and Lilly's mother is at the heart of the conflict. Lilly and Shep travel the lands of Neveah, collecting followers, while evading the evil that tore her family apart. Deep secrets are exposed, hard truths are faced, and faith is tested as Lilly and Shep race to find her mother and stop a madman.
   Neveah A Broken Forever is a tragic love story set in a picturesque land that is full of creatures both beautiful and terrifying. A sensual fantasy written for adults that will pull you in and leave you wanting more. 

 Here is a sample from Chapter 6

“Of course Annie, of course we are to be wed. My parents told me of the deal they made with your father all those years ago. I couldn’t be happier Annie. I love you. Don’t you love me?” Those words pulled her back to reality. What was he saying? That he loved her? Was he out of his mind too? She stepped back, looked into his eyes, and whispered “No Jax, I can’t marry you. Of course I love you, like I love Denali, like a brother.” She could see Jax’s face redden and his jaws clench. She knew all too well the temper he possessed.
Many times Annie had to use her power to calm him in order to keep him out of fights and out of trouble. When Jax was angry he shifted into a lion, not by choice, it was as if he had no control. Annie had only seen this once herself, and swore she would always calm him so she would never have to see it again. His body looked as if it could rip open at any moment revealing the lion inside, but his face was twisted in agony. He spoke,
“Don’t try to calm me Annika it’s not going to work this time. I can calm myself.” he shook a little but took a deep breath continuing, “I’m sorry if I scared you, but that’s not really what I was expecting to hear from you. It’s ok though. We have time. You can learn to love me. We will be happy Annie” his words were pleading. She knew in her heart she could not marry Jax and though it tore her apart to see him hurt this way, she had no other choice. “I love someone else Jax. He asked me to marry him today and I said yes. You see, I can’t marry you.” She tried to touch him, to offer an apology but he pushed her away. “Please Jax, understand, I had no idea you felt this way. You can’t be angry with me!”
“Have you lain with this other man Annika?” Jax demanded.
“What? What difference does that make?” Annika asked, appalled that he would ask her something so personal.
“It makes a huge difference to me. Have you?” He grabbed her shoulders hard. She knew lying to him was useless, he knew her too well. She was furious he would even ask her.
“Yes, today after he proposed. Are you happy now Jax?” The words flew from her mouth and were there floating between them before she realized what she had said. His grip on her shoulders relaxed, she was trying her best to calm him. He stepped back, looking at her. He looked disgusted, repulsed by her, his bronze skin gone crimson with anger.” You whore” he spoke in a growl before spitting at her.
“I am not a whore! I have never lain with another man. I love him. We are going to marry and I am so sorry if that hurts you, but you cannot and will not speak of me that way nor will you disgrace me with your spit!” She was clearly shaking now, furious with him.
“This conversation is over Jax, go home, calm down” Just as she turned to walk away, he grabbed her from behind, wrapping his arm around her neck.
“Not so fast Annie. This is far from over.”
“Stop it Jax, your hurting me”. His grip tightened. She grabbed his arm, attempting to calm him with her touch. It wasn’t working.
“Don’t fight it baby, you can’t calm me, I have spent many years shielding your calming power and now have it perfected.”
“What? Why, Jax?” Annie asked.
“I guess anticipation, self protection, who knows? I knew it would come in handy one day and looks like that day has come” He replied, sounding sinister.
“Please Jax, let me go” Annie begged.
“Oh no, Annie, you are coming with me” and with that he threw her over his shoulder. “Jax put me down. Where are you taking me?” she was fighting his back with fierceness. She bit down as hard as she could, drawing blood from his leathery skin. She felt his body quiver under hers, yet he remained man, no lion. He was moving with the speed of a Jaguar in the direction of the Dark Forest. Jax carried her into the depth of the darkness as though he had walked though the place a hundred times. Although most of Neveah was peaceful, and many creatures were able to co-habitat, the Dark Forest was off limits. The creatures within never left the shelter of the forest. The people of Neveah never ventured in, until now. Jax marched into the shadows as if the land were his. Little known to Annika, Jax had been visiting the forest frequently as of late.
He had found the inhabitants more afraid of him then he was of them. Visiting the forbidden place was exciting to Jax. He knew exactly where he was going this day. Near the center of the forest stood a tree large enough around to house a family of rhinos. Jax spent a lot time in this tree. He was working on his ability, perfecting his craft. He had taught himself to control the urge to evolve when his anger aroused. He now could evolve into a lion at his own choosing. Jax, ever so smart had also conditioned himself enough to transfigure himself into anything he might choose. He had been so proud and couldn’t wait to share the news with Annie. Then she ripped his heart out.
He picked up the pace, was now running with her lying across his shoulder. He could feel the sting and blood dripping where she had bitten him. The thought of her biting him made him smile. He had kept this side of himself so well hidden all these years. She had no idea of his sadistic abilities. She would know soon. He sat her down at the tree, looking smug. She looked terrified and was wearing tear stained cheeks. She spit in his face. “How dare you Jax! What the hell do you think you’re doing? You take me home” She was screaming through a shaken voice. He just laughed, wiped her spit from his face, than slapped her hard across the cheek. Her face instantly stung, but she spit in his face again. His body was trembling, her mind racing. “You were my best friend Jax, what are you doing?”
“I’m just getting started” He shoved her through the opening, she stumbled back, landing hard on the ground “On the ground, just where I want you.” Inside the trunk, the tree was dark. The ground where she lay was damp and the smell of Jax was burning her nostrils. A wild scent of man and animal radiated through the tree mixed with the moss that she felt beneath her hands. She tried to get up, but he knocked her down again. Her power was useless on him.
“Lay down whore, you have been tainted and its time you learned a lesson” she begged him to stop, but her crying only made him stronger. He took his time. He slapped her again, just because he could. He ripped her dress down the middle and was shocked to see that she wasn’t wearing any under clothes. This infuriated him more, leaving her feeling shame and humiliation. He slapped her breast this time before taking them in his mouth. He sucked and bit until she bled. Every time she screamed or begged he became more aggressive. She stopped, lying there, as if she were dead.  He continued his rampage on her body using his mouth to bite her neck, breast, belly, and between her thighs before shoving his face between her legs. He bit her in her most sensitive spot, but yet she did not cry. She prayed his rage would end before he entered her. She could feel the seed of James burying itself inside her womb. She could endure all the slapping and biting, but she didn’t want Jax’s rage mixed with her love. Her lifelessness enraged him, he pulled his head out from between her legs and latched onto her nipple, twisting a pulling until she could take no more and cried out for him to stop. That’s when he entered her. That’s when he took her angrily and violently. That’s when she lost consciousness.
Annika woke feeling groggy and sore. She sat slowly, trying to remember where she was. There was light shining through an opening revealing that she was inside a giant tree trunk. The rays of light were faint but still hurt her eyes. She lifted her hand to shield them and felt a lump under her right eye. She slowly explored her face with her hands feeling lumps springing up under her skin. Curiously her hands drifted down to the other spot of pain. Her breasts, as she ran her hands over them she felt dampness. She looked down, finding her dress stained with blood. Her hands started to shake as the events of the night before flooded her mind. Much to her horror she found her dress was also torn down the middle. He must have tried to cover her after he’d had his way. She stood trembling and felt an ache between her legs. She was too afraid to look down, as she knew what was to be seen, more blood. She steadied herself, and closed the front of her gown as best as she could. She walked to the tree opening, peeking out. Though the forest was shaded by giant trees, she could tell by the placement of the sun, it was morning. She slowly walked out, looking out for Jax. He was the last person she ever wanted to see again. He didn’t seem to be here anymore. She felt slightly relieved until she remembered she was in the forest of darkness, where dangerous creatures lived. A new terror ran through her bones. Just as she was ready to run, she noticed a note nailed into the tree.

     6.       Who is your favorite charter in your novel and why? 

      I love all my characters but the lead female is Lilly. I love her because, although she is young and naive, she has fight in her. She is overwhelmed, scared, and faced with unbelievable and yet holds herself together nicely. She faces what she must do with courage. I also love Jax Bane. He is the villain and is terrible. He is selfish, self absorbed with a tendency towards violence and murder if it helps his cause.  At the same time he is vulnerable and pitiful. I really enjoyed writing his character in contrast to Lilly, who is so good.

    7.       Now that your book is getting ready to hit the stores describe how you feel in one sentence?

       I am nervous. I want it to be enjoyed. I always worry my story will not be liked. 

     8.       What has surprised you the most about the whole processes of getting your book on the market? 

      Marketing! I spend a lot of time doing social media. I enjoy connecting with new people but sometimes feel like I spend more time networking than I do writing. It’s been a challenging balance but I know it’s worth it.

    9.       Would you like to share what the reviewers are saying about your book?

      Sure, here are a few. “Neveah (A broken forever) is a strong entry for this author’s entry into the literary world. Angie Merriam has written a vibrant story full of characters that quickly capture your imagination. This is a powerful story that beckons for more.......good read!”  “Neveah is an enchanted land. Romance and tragedy seem to revolve around each other. I'm so glad I read this one and I think you will enjoy it, too. I can recommend this one.”  “Some of my very favorite authors are JK Rowlings, Stephanie Meyer, Nicholas Paolini, with these three authors, it is because of the way they make your imagination work. They suck you into a place you will never be able to go to, and I love that. Then I have Nora Roberts, and Iris Johanson. They grab you right from the beginning with the mystery, the sex, the twists. I am 100% positive that I will be adding you to my list. I loved it!! You are so good at description, that I could imagine Neveah. You tied Harry Potter, Twilight and Eragon all into one book with the spice of Nora Roberts and Iris Johanson, but it was your own book, your own story.”

    10.   How many books have you written?   

       Two, plus poems and short stories. Neveah A Broken Forever is available now for the Kindle and in paper back. Neveah Standing Broken is being edited (again)! I am hoping for an early fall re-release of Standing Broken. I also put together and anthology featuring an array of writers from different genre’s. I have a poem and a few short stories, including one about one of the character in A Broken Forever. It is titled Intertwine and will be available FREE very soon.

    11.   What are you working on next?

      I am currently writing the third book in the Neveah series. I am thinking Broken Hope will be the title…not sure yet!

    12.   What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing? 
      I like spending time with friends and family. Love weekend BBQ’s as well as camping and boating. I am also a lover of film, photography, and of course I love to read.

    13.   How can readers contact you?

Email angiemerriam@yahoo.com

     14.    When does your book go on sale and where can we buy it?  
     Neveah A Broken Forever is currently available on Amazon

     15.   Last but not least is there anything that you would like to add?

      I just want to thank you for having me on your blog. I also want to thank the readers who have left such nice reviews so far and writers that have given me fantastic advice.  I really do appreciate everything! I love hearing from fans and other authors trying to get their name known. I try to answer all questions and respond to comments as much as possible so don’t be afraid to say hello!

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