Merry, what does your writing space look like?
When I’m at home, I write either in the piano room, or the study. The piano room has an outside door most use to come and go, thus it’s usually littered with shoes, backpacks, lego pieces, and bits of trash. The piano room was at one time an outside front porch, but was converted years ago. The room has three walls of hip high to ceiling windows, with the fourth wall being brick. When I’m in there writing, I sit on the red velvet couch, facing the out of tune piano butted-up against the cream painted brick wall.
The study is a small room in the back of the house, and honestly, it’s usually a wreck. When cleaned, it is a lovely room with a built in bookcase and desk along one wall and windows on two other sides. We have two nice chairs in there. A rocking chair for my husband, and a rolling light brown leather studded chair for me (though right now my clothes are piled in it and I’m in the rocking chair).
How do you name your characters?
I want my readers to fall into my stories, and don’t want character names to be a distraction. Secondarily, characters are usually named after friends, family members, people I’ve met, though I have yet to base a character off of anyone I know. I just like using the names of my friends and smiling to myself, anticipating them seeing their names on the page.
Do you write with music going in the background? What are some of your favorite types/bands?
Yes, usually. My current favorite bands to listen to when writing are Vampire Weekend, Coldplay, Switchfoot, U2, Paramore, The Shins, Phoenix, and Muse.
Name one person, living or dead, you'd most like to meet.
St. Augustine. I’d like to talk to him about his timeless work, The Confessions, and also about the problem of evil.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? Who is it and why?
To answer this question feels like saying which child of mine I like best. That being said, when I survey my characters, the one I feel the most sympathy for is Corey from Gold Manor Ghost House. Corey is in love with Anna, who doesn’t reciprocate. That was the story of my youth.
Who is the sexiest man/woman alive and why?
Easy: My husband, Christopher. He is sexy not only because he’s good-looking, but he mows the lawn, takes out the trash, cooks 90% of the meals for our family, is the father of my boys, supports whatever crazy endeavor I come up with, loves me, and tells me I’m beautiful. We’ve been married 18 years.
- Favorite food? Chocolate cake
- Favorite color? Since I have three kids, I’m always being pressured to pick one, and I can’t! I love color, just about all of them.
- Favorite animal? Peacock (You see, I really do love color)
- Biggest pet peeve? Mean-spiritedness
- Dream car: A newer minivan that has a port for my phone and updated electronic gadgets. I’m clearly not much of a car person.
Anna thought life was going to be awesome. She was right…and wrong.
Won her dream job acting in a hit TV series. Check.
Working with her best friend. Check.
The set’s haunted and she’s in the middle of a supernatural war. Uh, check?
Anna Rose Ellington is sixteen and living in Hollywood, hoping to be a star. Anna just landed a major role on Ghost House, TeenTV’s new fall drama. A show promising to be so hot, Meg Sweet (the reigning teenage diva), signed on for the lead, and Adam Lewis (international rock sensation) is a principal player.
Her dreams are falling into place until she gets on set and begins questioning her sanity. It’s true she has an unusual dream life, where once in a while her dreams literally come true. But it’s been a while. On top of her dreams not staying put in her brain, including the guy she’d been dreaming of for years, the house they’re filming in, Gold Manor, might actually be haunted. But that’s the least of her worries.
As a special treat on this, my 11th birthday, Aunt Melinda invited me for a sleepover. The promise of pizza, painting toe nails, and having the attention of my favorite person in the world, all to myself, was the perfect way to celebrate.
I remember sitting on the dusty rose laminate countertop of her kitchen as she kneaded the dough. She listened as I told her about school and the drama of the playground. I remember her strange reaction as I recounted a vivid dream I had about a boy with an English accent, dark curly hair, and jade eyes.
Her hands dripping with tomato sauce and chest covered in flour, she hugged me, holding on tightly. I was trying to figure out why she was acting so strangely when a heavy knock on the front door broke the moment.
I remember the look in her eyes as she made me promise to stay out of sight in the kitchen, no matter what I heard or what happened. She made me promise, yet again, to never tell the secret she made me keep. She knew I didn’t understand what the big deal was, but I promised.
“Swear, on my life,” her voice too urgent.
That was the last word she ever heard me say.
I heard the door open from my hiding place under the sink.
I heard her gasp in surprise.
I heard a shot and her fall to the ground screaming, and a rough, low voice say, “Check.”
I heard her cries turn to gurgling.
Fear ruling my brain, I had to see what was going on. Creeping out, yet remaining hidden, I looked.
I saw her on the floor, bleeding.
I saw a tall, broad man standing over her, smiling.
I saw this man bend down, rip out, and eat her heart.
I saw Aunt Melinda standing in the doorway as pale as a ghost… and on the floor, dead.
Born and raised in Bakersfield, California, Merry Brown now lives in the northwest corner of Tennessee with her husband, three boys, and Daisy the cat. She teaches philosophy at the University of Tennessee, Martin, where she counts it a great privilege and joy to introduce students to perennial questions about the nature of the universe, meaning, morality, and the human condition. Merry Brown's love of philosophy and young adult paranormal and dystopian literature inspired her to write THE KNOWERS, the first book in the Exiled Trilogy. GOLD MANOR GOLD HOUSE is her latest YA paranormal romance book.
My contact info:
Facebook: Merry Brown
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