Friday, February 18, 2011

Aspiring Author Interview with Jenni Merritt

Today's interview is with the awesome Jenni Merritt.  She is a stay-at-home mom of two little boys, and writes as much as she can in her spare time (although I have no idea how she does it with two boys...I can barely keep up with one girl!).  Like me, she is finding time to do anything but edit her current WIP. I recently found out from the Bernard Pivot blogfest that she likes smelling the rain, the word 'clasps' and hates the HUB syndrome (you'll have to check her blog to find out what that is).  And no, this isn't an ad for the craigslist dating site.  If it was, it'd be accompanied by a picture with her shirt off, flexing her muscles.

1.        Tell us the scoop on how you got into writing novels.
I am one of those crazy people who literally started to write as soon as I could hold a pencil.  By the time I was in first grade I was insisting that one day I would be published… obviously it has always been a passion of mine.  It wasn’t until NaNoWriMo 2010 though that I finally got past the "first few chapters block" and finished my first MS.

2.        What genre do you write?
Sci-fi/Fantasy (Dystopians... Paranormal... the good stuff)  Its pretty much all I read, and it would be wrong for me to write anything else.  Right now I am trying out YA, which I am actually starting to love and can easily see myself become addicted to.

3.        What authors inspire you?
Oh man, do you really want the list?  The few taking the cake at this moment would have to be Orson Scott Card, Terry Goodkind, and JK Rowling.  Also, my good friend Keary Taylor.  She is self-publishing right now, and her drive to do this art is something that keeps me going!

4.        How often do you write?
In my head: every minute of every day.  Oh, you mean physically putting the words down some where?  Lately it hasn’t been nearly as much as I would like (I am in the editing phase of my current WIP, so am revolting, naturally.) But I try to write for at least an hour, if not more, a day.

5.        Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Pantser.  Through and through.  Plotting just makes me feel restricted and blocks my “flow.”  I get my general idea, then run with it.  I pretty much did all of school work by the seam of my pants, and now I am happily writing that way too!

6.        Where do you write best, and do you listen to music while you write?
I live in a never-large-enough apartment with my little family, so having a writing space is hard to find.  This last October I declared our dining room my writing den and decorated it the way I wanted.  Its very inspiring now.  (Mostly the big “WRITE” hanging above my desk.) 

As for music… it depends on the mood I am in for that piece of writing.  It tends to range from Secondhand Serenade, to Tatu, over to some Dave Matthews Band, and wrapping up with some amazing David Lanz.  Lately it has been a lot of Pandora and Playlist cruising… I hate silence.

7.        What is on your TBR pile?
Right now I just started Matched, along with Beta-reading for my friend.  Next is a toss up between Blindness, Linger, or some Stephen King.  Along with at least twenty or so other books.  I am a book-buying fanatic, and I am not ashamed!

8.        If Stephanie Meyer and JK Rowling got in a cat fight, who would win?
Seriously?  Stephanie Meyer would attempt some mind reading or emotion-calming tricks, but JK Rowling would easily use her Occlumency expertise.  Meyer would let loose her ShapeShifting Wolf-Indians, and Rowling would simply transform them into bugs and stomp them flat.  Then say "Accio Sunshine" and glitter Meyer out of existence.  Hands down: Rowling.

9.        What is your “day” job?
My amazing day job is being a full time stay-at-home mommy of my two little boys.  And trust me, with their energy levels, I really do deserve a raise. 

10.     What can you not leave home without? (cell phones are off limits- NO ONE can leave home without one of those)
My camera.  I am photo fanatic… I literally take hundreds of photos, and that is still never enough.  It seems like every time I do leave the house without my camera, something happens that cries for a photo, and I cry because my camera on my cell phone is pretty lame.

11.     Mac or PC?
PC.  I am a PC through and through and using a Mac even for a moment would be cheating on… myself? 

12.     Favorite dessert?
That would be pretty much anything that even has a hint of chocolate in it.  Present me with chocolate fondue, and I am all yours.

13.     Favorite desert?
Oo, you almost got me with that trick.  Desert… would have to be… I hate deserts.  In all honesty, I really do hate them.  I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and still happily live there with no plans of ever leaving.  Take away my evergreen trees and high humidity levels, and I am miserable.

14.     Where is your dream vacation?
I would love to get a nonstop train pass and explore wherever the tracks go in Europe.  If I couldn’t have that, then at least see the amazing land of Ireland.  Go back to my roots, you know?

15.     Finally, link us to your website, blog, fb, twitter and anything else you might like to shamelessly plug for yourself :)
Yay for shameless plugging!



Angela Felsted said...

Ah, a PC girl. And how great that she makes the time to be a mom and write too. :)

Meredith said...

I need to hang a big "WRITE" sign above my desk--that would be so helpful! Great interview!

Brad Jaeger said...

I love Jenni; she's one of the few that I frequent on a near daily basis :)

Regina said...

Great interview. Thanks for the post. She is really a gem.

Donea Lee said...

Hello Jenni - nice to "meet" you through one of Abby's great aspiring author interviews ~ :) Mmmm...chocolate fondue sounds really good right now... Great interview, ladies!

Jenni Merritt said...

Awesome to "meet" all of you! And thanks Abby for interviewing me! This was fun :)

Meredith - If you want to see what I did with my "writing den" I blogged about it a while back... check it out here!

Jennie Bailey said...

Great interview! Jenni is so funny! I'm hopping over to her blog now to be a new follower (and see what HUB is). Thanks Abby.

Melissa said...

Oh my goodness! Pretty sure this interview (which was awesome btw) has THE BEST breakdown of a showdown between Rowling and Meyer. I can't stop laughing!

erica and christy said...

We can relate to chasing after two boys - good luck with all your juggling, Jenni! Thanks for introducing her to us, Abby.

Colene Murphy said...

Great interview! Checking Jenni out now!!

Lydia K said...

Great interview! And poor Steph Meyer. (Well, not cash poor, I mean). The wizards just have way too many good spells! Look at the vampire whatshisname, Rufus Scrimgeour. He didn't last long, did he?

Anyway, I went over to read about the HUB. Totally agree on that one!

Julia Broadbooks said...

Hi Abby! I followed Jenni over here from her blog.

I am sure JK Rowling would wipe the floor with Meyers.

David Powers King said...

Nice interview, Abby! What an awesome way to get to know Jenni better. Thank you!