SC: I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m pleased to bring you author Allison Merritt . Welcome to Watch Out, it is so great to have you here.
SC: For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.
I grew up in the Ozark Mountains of southwestern Missouri. I attended college here, married here, and will probably die here. I share a house with my husband and our rotten dogs. I’ve always felt a strong urge to write and thought I’d have a career in journalism which was my major in college, but fiction is my true love, so now I’m a full-time card cataloger in a county library and I write when I get home.
SC: Can you tell us a little about your current release?
The Treasure Hunter’s Lady is set in 1884 between Boston and what was then Dakota Territory.
To most of the gossip mongers, Romy Farrington has the perfect life—a world-famous archaeologist father, a pretty dowry and an upcoming marriage to a wealthy businessman. But to Romy, her new life among the elitists is like a punishment.
For years, she traveled the world at her father’s side, exploring new lands and uncovering ancient secrets. It was everything she ever wanted, until a near-fatal encounter with hostile natives forced her and her father into a life of retirement in Boston and an undesired advance into proper society.
Everything changes again when she’s saved from an accident by a brash Texan in a back alley. Abel Courte may act like a care-free cowboy, but he’s harboring a secret—he’s searching for the Diamond of Uktena, a legendary jewel that can cure any disease known to man. He needs information Romy’s father has in order to get to the jewel. When he traces the origin of the Diamond to Dakota Territory, he sets off to claim the treasure, only to find the archaeologist’s fiery redheaded daughter stuck to him like a bug in sap.
In a race against time, Romy and Abel must learn to trust each other as they undertake a cross-country journey that will expose them to lands uncharted by white men, a deadly battle against the fearsome creature in possession of the Diamond and a fight to return to civilization where they might make the greatest discovery of all—love.
This is the first in a series called Legends and Lovers. The second is coming out July 16th, 2012.
SC: Which do you prefer eBooks or paperback?
I got an e-reader for Christmas and I love it, but I think I’m still very attached to print books. There’s something about touching the pages that feels natural to me, although I do like the lightweight of an e-reader and instant access through the Internet.
SC: What influences the topics, and genre’s that you pick to write a story in?
I’ve always been interested in romance novels. On some level most people crave sharing their life with another person they can relate to. Whether it’s cuddling on the couch or passionate love, it’s a feeling most people look for. Everything I write has a romantic thread if it’s not full on romance.
I got interested in steampunk because of movies like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Van Helsing, Sleepy Hollow, even a couple of Disney movies like Atlantis and Treasure Planet. I wanted to write something like that and playing in a world filled with airship and mysticism has proven to be a lot of fun.
SC: What is the biggest misconception you think people have about authors, and or the genre that you write?
I think people assume unless you’re a big name author, that you’re a sort of crazy cat person squirrelled away in a dark corner of your house, drinking coffee, and pecking out really bad poetry on a typewriter. People who don’t write don’t understand how difficult it is to write and edit a full-length novel.
SC: Describe your books in 3 words.
Sexy funny romance.
SC: What’s your cure for procrastination?
National Novel Writing Month. I’ll admit it, I’m a cheater. You’re supposed to start with a clean slate at the beginning of November. It’s okay to plot, but I’m a panster. I need to get a feel for my characters, so I may start the novel a couple of months in advance just to understand what I want to get out of it. I know I’ll challenge myself to reach the word count every day and by the end of it, I’ll have most of a novel written.
SC: What is the best advice you ever got with regards to writing?
Join a critique or writer’s group. Getting the nerve to submit a few chapters can take some doing, but if you have quality writers helping you, you’ll learn from them and their suggestions.
SC: Any advice for new writers out there?
Take chances, make mistakes, learn from others. Figure out what works for you in writing, find a genre you’re good at or that you like reading. Don’t try to imitate other writers—be yourself and do what comes naturally to you.
SC: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
I’m on Facebook way more than I need to be. My regular page is:
Fanpage is http://facebook.com/allisonmwrites
Twitter handle is @allison_merritt
and sometimes I hang out at Google Plus http://gplus.to/AllisonMerritt