Taking a deep breath
I love a fish-out-of-water story. In fact, just about every story I write has that theme.
Some writers love a story about coming home, others feel more comfortable writing about sacrifice or betrayal. There are a lot of literary themes which authors employ, but generally an we’ll stick to one sort of theme throughout all of our books. My books are generally about people out of their element.
The wonderful thing about themes is that the books that embody a theme don’t have to be alike at all.
For example, the first book in my Children of Avalon series is about Scai, a girl who grew up in a small Welsh village around the year 900CE who suddenly finds out that she has magical powers and is one of a people called the Vallen. She’s forced to leave her village and find her way in the larger world discovering who she is and what she’s capable of doing. Naturally, she doesn’t do this alone, but meets a number of people who will help her along the way, including one who turns out to be her biological sister. But she is completely out of her element and has to learn how to cope and fit in.
Also learning how to fit into a strange society is the heroine of my Regency romance, A Dandy in Disguise. Rose Grace grew on archeological digs in Egypt and Greece, but after her mother dies, her father realizes that it’s past time that he and his three daughters return to England so that Rose (and later her sisters) can find a husband. But, never having lived in England or learned how to manage herself in society, Rose has absolutely no idea how to behave. Once again, a fish out of water.
And so it goes, through nearly all of my books!
I don’t intentionally write this theme every time I sit down to write a book, it just happens. It’s where my subconscious takes me and my stories. I can write about an Anglo-Indian bent on revenge for the racism he’s had to face and the story quickly merges into that same theme. I’m currently writing a contemporary/medieval time-travel and you can be sure that deep down within the story you will find that one or both of my protagonists will find themselves someplace where they don’t know how behave or aren’t sure of what they’re supposed to do.
Do you ever feel out of your element where you need to figure out how to behave? It does kind of feel like you can’t breathe, doesn’t it, like you’re a fish out of water? But then, once you figure out what the rules are and how to deal with the world around, suddenly everything’s all right again and you can take a deep breath and relax.
My most recent release, A Rake’s Revenge, is about Sara Whately, an American whose father sends her to make her debut in Regency society. She has no idea how to go on, luckily Lord Reath is there to get her out of the scrapes she falls into. What he doesn’t know is that she is there for another purpose entirely. It’s currently available for 99cents wherever you buy ebooks.
Sara has come to England on a daring quest to recover long-buried family jewels. The dilemma: the jewels are hidden at the estate her grandfather lost to a callous young buck in a game of cards years ago. Gaining access will not be easy, especially when the dangerously handsome Lord Reath distracts her at every turn.
Meredith Bond’s books straddle that beautiful line between historical romance and fantasy. An award-winning author, she writes fun traditional Regency romances, medieval Arthurian romances, and Regency romances with a touch of magic. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith loves to take her readers on a journey they won’t soon forget.
Merry has two independent children and a loving, supportive husband. She resides in Washington, DC enjoying the freedoms of having an empty nest.
Merry loves connecting with readers. Be sure to find her on-line or you can email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where are you from? Does the area you live in influence you writing?
I live in Washington, DC, and in the book I’m currently writing, yes, absolutely. It’s a contemporary/medieval time-travel where the heroine works on Capitol Hill. Living in DC allows me to give a better sense of life in the city and I’m hoping I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with some people who work (or worked) on the Hill so that I can portray that life more realistically.
Tell us your latest news??
Right now, as I just mentioned, I’m working on this completely new and different time-travel. I’ve never written a contemporary before, that is all new and exciting to me.
I also recently released the last book of my Merry Men Quartet, a traditional regency series about four men who are good friends – each book focusing on one of the men. They’re stand-alone books which have been released out of order (somehow I always manage to do this with my series!) and can be read in any order. Each one is a little different and loads of fun!
When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?
Boredom, lol! I started writing when I moved to rural Massachusetts to be with my husband when he was a professor. I had no job and no prospects for a job (it being a very rural area), so I started to write what I love to read—Georgette Heyer-style Regency romances.
What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
Georgette Heyer is a huge influence on my writing. Since then, Mary Jo Putney, Julia Quinn and other Regency authors have influenced my writing. I also love to read fantasy like Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kerrilyn Sparks.
Tell us about your characters and how they came to be? Have they been in your head for a long time?
A number of my characters have resided in my head for quite a while before I actually sat down to write their stories. Some of my favorite characters include: Julian Huntley, the anglo-Indian hero of An Exotic Heir—his turquoise colored eyes are so enticing, although I can’t say that I fully support how he dealt with the racism he faced, it made for an interesting story; St. John Fotheringay-Phipps, aka Fungy, is another of my favorites. He started out as a comedic character—an extreme dandy—but turned into one of my deepest, most interesting heroes. I also love Morgan Valentine who had to deal with a mother who hated him from the time of his birth and, of course, there is Sir Dagonet, who, like Fungy, started out as a comedic character in my Children of Avalon Series, and then grew into a much deeper, more interesting man in his own book, Bridging the Storm.
What motivates you to write?
My characters, a lot of the time. I love delving deeply into their psyche and figuring out what makes them tick and how they need to change and grow.
What is the hardest part of writing?
Grammar! I’m terrible at it! It’s just not something that comes naturally to me. It does to some people, but not to me.
Sometimes it can also be difficult to get into my character’s head or into a scene. I like to really be in the moment of a scene when I write it. I like to live it in my head which, I think, really lets it come to life on the page. Sometimes when I sit down to write, I’m just not there and it takes me a little while to get there.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn something new with just about every book I write. Sometimes it’s about human nature, sometimes it’s about how to write or organize myself to write. Each book is different, and I never stop learning.
Where do you get your ideas?
From everything I experience. When I went to Calcutta, I experienced the fascinating life there and so I needed to write about it (in An Exotic Heir). When I visited my father’s new apartment and stood out on his balcony and looked down, I suddenly had a moment of sheer terror that I would fall despite the railing in front me. I knew that I needed to write a story about someone who is forced to live in an apartment where they’re constantly in fear that they’re going to fall – this is the idea behind the book I’m currently writing. My ideas come from life and even, sometimes, the books I read.
What does your family think of your writing?
They love it and are proud of me—although it embarrasses my teenage daughter that I sometimes write explicit sex scenes because parents aren’t supposed to know about that sort of stuff. ;-)
What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?
Read. Write. Write. Write. And then read some more. Read everything, not just in your genre. Write every single day—it doesn’t matter what, just write.
What book are you reading now?
Right now I’m reading a vampire romance: Samson’s Lovely Mortal buy Tina Folsom. Before this I was reading beta reading a new urban fantasy by Debra Dunbar. Boy was that good!
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