How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing novels since June 2011, but I’ve tried to write ever since I was a teenager. I’ve never had difficulty coming up with plots, but I never had the ability to make it long enough to be a book, nor the skill to make it look professional. I just didn’t have enough knowledge with using the English language.
Has writing always been something you wanted to do?
Yes. I can remember as a teenager wanting to write a book and wishing I had the ability. My aunt wrote books, and I was so jealous of her.
What books or stories have you written? Published?
I have three novels out so far: “The Lilean Chronicles: Book One ~ Redemption,” “The Lilean Chronicles: Book Two ~ The Sleeping” and “The Lilean Chronicles: Book Three ~ Changing Faces.”
The fourth volume in the series will be published shortly after Christmas. I have self published my novels, as I like the freedom it gives me. I believe traditional publishing will be a thing of the past before too long.
Can you tell us a little about your books? What are they about?
The “Lilean Chronicles” is a series of four novels centered around the life and adventures of Vincent Richard Domenico. He is from the planet Lilea. His birth was prophesied a very long time ago, and he was destined to become Lilea’s great warrior and put an end to the evil Transmortal Army. The four books tell how he fulfills the prophecy and fights an evil that threatens the home world of his friends, the Drycenian Nation. As we read about him and his friends, we also watch him grow personally as he battles his own inner demons, and we bear witness to the spiritual growth he and his friends experience as they endure the trials that their destinies have burdened them.
How did you get inspiration for the characters?
This is a very interesting question. My characters pretty much build themselves. I have a unique way of writing, in that I don’t make any sort of plan. I just sit down with a basic plot line in my head and begin to write. My characters become real people to me, and I am aware of them standing beside me as I write what they tell me. It is very much their story, and they tell me what to write. After a few chapters I begin to “see” them in my head, and they give me a visual representation of how they want me to see them physically. Of course, they all have aspects of me in them, that’s natural, but they are as they build themselves to be.
Are the books based on personal experiences?
Yes in many ways they are. Although I write science fiction/space opera novels, there are many of my own personal experiences in there, and some of the personal idiosyncrasies of the characters are based upon my own personality quirks.
Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?
The best piece of advice I was ever given was to get the story out of your head and onto the paper. Never mind about how tidy it is or how correctly it is spelled or punctuated; you can tidy it up later. Just get it out of your head to start with, and you can build from there. If you keep it in your head, you will never get it written.
Can you talk a little about the benefits of getting your work professionally edited?
Well, I always do my own editing. I know many other authors don’t agree with this, but I do it for two main reasons. First of all I can’t afford to pay someone to do it. Second, other people tend not to edit it the way I like. Let me explain. I like an editor to correct my spelling, punctuation, tenses, grammatical errors and such. I don’t want them to change the actual story or cut bits out, etc. Professional editors cannot help themselves. They always try to get you to chop it up, cut bits here, add bits there. If I want comments on the actual story, I won’t pay the editor’s exhorbitant fee, I’ll wait for reviews. I do several read throughs with a few weeks between each, and I always read it aloud. Reading aloud is the best way to pick up things you’d never notice reading it silently. Having never had the money to pay someone to do it for me, I can’t really comment on the benefits, although I’m sure there are some. I have to live within my means and do the best I can.
What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published?
The hardest thing for me is marketing the book. I suck at it. It’s a constant battle to get the word out via Twitter and Facebook, etc., but I’m not a natural sales person and being virtually unknown, my sales pitch tends to fall on deaf ears. It’s a good job. I didn’t start writing to get rich!
How do you find enough time in the day to write?
I don’t have a family or a social life! Seriously, I don’t. I work part time, and I write during the late afternoons, evenings and on the weekends. It’s my only hobby and my only joy in life. It’s free and doesn’t require physical exertion!
How did you find time to write your books?
I wrote my first novel in two months, in the evenings and on weekends. I then let it sit for a few weeks while I started writing the second volume, and by the time the first was ready to publish, the second was written. I’m one of those people who, once I start writing, I can keep going forever. I don’t know what writer’s block is and, although the third volume of my series has just recently come out, the first draft of the fourth volume was already finished. I’ve done one read through and edit, and now I’m five chapters into the first in a new series.
Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?
Oh yes definitely. It keeps your brain active for one thing and, for me, it allows my creativity to grow and expand. It also gives me an opportunity to bring out some of my own inner demons, and have my characters experience them and see how they cope and react with them. I get bored very easily, and writing allows me to while away the hours without having to spend any money or work up a sweat. It has expanded my knowledge and skill with English and for the first time in my life, my mother listens to my point of view about things and doesn’t criticize my use of language!
Several of my guests have often said writing is therapeutic and relaxes them. Can you talk a little about how writing relaxes you? Any specific examples you can share?
It is great therapy. I’m autistic and have Body Dysmorphic Syndrome so my social skills are almost zero. I have been able to have my characters experience some of my own inner demons, which allows me to shed some of the emotional trauma in a safe way. It also gives me an opportunity to see how my characters cope with my problems so that I get an alternative viewpoint. While I’m writing, I’m not dwelling on my problems, and I’m achieving something good that I can be proud of.
Has writing made you a better person?
It has made me more patient and allowed me to achieve something I can be proud of, which helps my self esteem. It has given me a greater ability to see things from many different points of view in an objective way and has also made me more comfortable with being alone in the world. I don’t have a family or a circle of friends as such, but I spend all my time writing and creating which I feel good about, so I don’t have to despair so much at being lonely.
Do you like to read? If so, what are your favorite genres and why?
I love to read. I like science fiction, fantasy and space opera because those are my favorite movies. I like escapism, and those are the genres I write. I also love horror books and movies, and I will admit to liking misery memoirs from time to time.
Can you talk about how important reviews are to writers?
Constructive reviews are very important for an author. It is only by knowing how the reader feels about our work that we can improve it. If they don’t like it and tell us why, we then have the opportunity to make changes to future work. If they don’t tell us what they think, we can’t make it better.
Have you ever received a bad review? If so how did it make you feel?
No I haven’t received a bad review yet. I actually find few readers bother to write reviews at all, despite my polite requests via Twitter and Facebook. I get messages on Facebook from readers telling me they love the books quite often, but few write actual reviews. I think this may be for two main reasons. First, most sites require you to register with them before you can write a review, and people don’t want to be bothered with all that. Second, my books can’t be found at Amazon, and most people who write reviews, will only write them there for some weird reason.
If you love science fiction then you’ll love my new series of books. Buy “The Lilean Chronicles” in paperback from lulu.com and in e-book formats from smashwords.com.
Live the journey, for every destination is but a doorway to another!
Merita King has loved the science fiction and fantasy genre in both books and movies since she was a young child. She has been greatly inspired by years of watching movies and reading books, and has wanted to make a contribution to this genre for many years. Her stories all contain a strong spiritual thread as she believes that spirituality is universal and crosses all boundaries. She believes that the creative process is largely intuitive and can be very effectively blocked by too much pre-planning. “Plot lines, characters and events all come to me intuitively,” she says, “and this makes the act of writing a constant pleasure.” She is a psychic medium and lives alone in Hampshire, UK. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter, be her friend on Facebook, and buy her paperbacks and e-books.