Monday, December 31, 2012

Release Blog Tour: Author Interview, Review + Giveaway




Oh my gosh!! I can't believe it is finally my stop on the blog tour!! *Squee doing happy dance* And guess what?! I got to interview who is probably one of my favorite authors....and let me just say, that M.R. Merrick is just as incredible as his books! He is very down to earth and loves a challenge about as much as I do!! Being a huge fan and all I couldn't possibly decide which questions to share with you, so naturally I am going to share all of them with you lovely people! But for the sake of repetition I have tried to delete questions others have already asked him. So bare with me as it is a little long, but I promise you that it's awesome!!

The Interview



Writing:

1) You have stated in other interviews that you like to make up bed time stories for your daughter; have you ever considered writing children stories?


I definitely have. In fact, before I ever wrote Exiled my wife was pushing for me to write them. I have two small children’s books series’ that I’d like to start, but I need to find the time to work on them. Since I think the eBook market for children’s stories isn’t exactly there yet, and I’ll be in need of an illustrator, it will be something that I try to pursue through traditional publishing outlets. 


2) When you started Exiled, did you always know it was going to be a series?


When I started it I had no idea it was even going to be a book. I had no aspirations to write a book, or to become published. I simply started one night, and after an intense six hour writing session, I realized I was going to write a book. I waited for my wife to get home from work that night, and I promptly sat her down and ideas just fell from my mouth. I knew without a doubt, after that night, that it would be a series. I didn’t’ know how many books it would be, but I knew what was going to happen by the end…for the most part.


3) We all know titles are a huge deal and can sway a reader on whether or not to even you’re your synopsis. So, what has been your process for determining the title of your books?


Exiled’s title just came to me. There was no thought given to it really, I just knew that was my books title. Shift was the same way. I knew the title for that book before I ever wrote a word. With Release, and book 4 whose title has not yet been revealed, I had to do some brainstorming. I knew what each story represented; it was just finding the right word that brought everything together in a way I felt was powerful. For those two books I wrote down some words I felt kind of did the job, but they didn’t quite cut it, and then I just spent hours coming up with new ideas, even using the thesaurus at times to find the right fit, until finally I knew I had it. 


4) Obviously, you enjoy blog tours or you wouldn’t do one. But have you ever considered doing an actual book tour; even just locally, which would be a shame because I would miss out?


I’m not sure that I’m “there” yet. I’ve thought about how wonderful and cool it would be, but I’ve also thought about organizing one, and then being that guy that sits at a table full of books with nobody coming near me.


If I were to do one, I don’t think I would organize it myself at this point. If I was invited by the bookstore, absolutely I’d attend, but I think I need to build more of an audience before I actively seek it out myself.


      *Me: Well if you ever do one, just tell me when and where...will travel! :)

Personal:


1) How do you balance family life and writing?


This is a work in progress. My wife works all sorts of different shifts, so we play it by ear right now. I’ve only been writing full-time for a few months, so finding an exact routine has been difficult. I think a lot of this has to do with the changes my family has had. My oldest started school full-time this year, and my youngest turned one this year, so her schedule is somewhat sporadic. I’m hoping over the next six months to really nail down a routine, but right now I just make each of them happen as opportunities arise.


2) In your wildest dreams, did you ever see yourself being an author? If not, then what did you see yourself being?


Never. I didn’t even really get into reading until a year or two before I started writing Exiled. So I’m very under-read compared to most. I’d read books before, of course, but I didn’t have a passion for words like I do now. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I never thought I’d try my hand at fiction.


I have career ADD, so I always jumped from one opportunity to the next every twelve to eighteen months. When I was in high school I wanted to be an actor and/or singer. I loved every bit of becoming someone new on stage, and music is a huge part of my life, so naturally the hope that I could take that somewhere went through my mind. I wanted to be a cop for a few years before that too. Chasing down bad guys on the street seemed rewarding. Although even though I knew better, I always envisioned it’d be just like the movies.


What I ended up doing was dropping out of high school and jumping around from job to job. I was a chef for ten years at a dozen different restaurants, I did sales, warehousing, project management, delivering, customer service…the list could go on. Back then, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but whatever I was doing wasn’t it. I will always have a passion for cooking, and if I hadn’t found a love for writing stories, I’d probably go back to that, but once I discovered storytelling, I was hooked for good.


3) You recently made the decision to become a full time author, and as fans we are glad for that. But how did you know you had made it as an author? What was your ah ha moment?


I’m not sure I’ve made it as an author yet. I know that I had a few good months and the thought of doing it full-time appeared to be in reach. Then some things happened at my job I didn’t agree with and I ended up walking out. I hadn’t intended to go full-time as a writer yet, it just kind of happened and now I’m seeing where it goes. Who knows, in a few months I could be back working the line in some restaurant.

    
      *Me: As long as you don't give up on the writing, because you're great at it!

4) Many people believe in superstitions to help them reach success, such as wearing that pair of lucky socks every game, or throwing salt over your shoulder. Do you have any superstitions?


None. I just know when inspiration strikes to take advantage of every second of it, and when I hit a road block, I need to take a break and put my focus elsewhere. I just don’t feel like wearing dirty underwear is going to help me craft a story, but if it did, I’d probably do it.


   *Me: Nice visual, thanks :)

5) Who is your favorite movie character and why?


Just one? Oh dear…I honestly don’t think I can answer that. Although my wife and I were talking about Data from The Goonies this morning, and he’s awesome. As is the alien from E.T. The robot from Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy was hilarious. I loved Russell Crows character in Cinderella Man and Gladiator, any character Ryan Reynolds plays usually makes me laugh...oh dear. Yeah, one just isn’t possible. 


6) As the Queen of procrastination, and yes I mean Queen, I got my bachelor’s degree in procrastination and am now seeking my master’s in it as well. Do you procrastinate? If so, what tasks do you find you procrastinate more on and how do you motivate yourself to get moving?


When push comes to shove, it’s usually a deadline. I work best under pressure not only for progress, but development. I just do my best work when I’m under the gun. So, I set goals and deadlines for myself. Sometimes they’re realistic, sometimes not so much, but they get me going most of the time. My boss can be a real jerk.


    *Me: I happen to like your boss, tell him I said to lay off or I will travel to Canada and put him in his place. 

7) If you were stranded on a deserted island with food, water, and shelter provided. What 5 things (not people) would you want with you?


Rai - The Golden Torrent from my books. She’s not technically a person, but she could take me to safety…

If that’s not allowed, I supposed it’d be:

1. My iPod

2. A never ending iPod battery

3. A big knife.

4. Fishing supplies

5. A small yacht


       *Cheater! But I guess I will let it slide this time as I neglected to inform you no boats allowed! You sir are sneaky *shakes digital fist*

8) In Hollywood it is popular to take fans favorite books and turn them into movies. As a fan of books I find that the movies never live up to the book. If a movie studio offered to make your books into movies, would you do it? Why or why not?


Absolutely I would. I would be in ecstatic if my series was going to be made into movies. I’ve dreamt of it! That being said, I’d probably want some voice in the process, so I could make sure the story wasn’t being destroyed. The author almost never has a say in things, but we’re dreaming here so let’s dream big, shall we?


     *Me: And I would totally watch :)

Characters:


1) If you could be any of your characters, who would you be and why?


I’d probably be Chase. I like what Chase stands for, and like me, he usually learns things the hard way, even when he knows it’s the hard way.  If not, I’d be Vincent, because he’s one of my favorite characters. He’s witty, intelligent, and immortal.


2) Your take on the vampire is really quite unique, and let me just say that I am a huge fan of Vincent and his snarky, sarcastic attitude.  So, what was the inspiration for your view of the vampire?


When I was writing the first scene with a vampire, I knew I wanted something different. I literally just closed my eyes while I was writing and watched the demon change in my mind. I added and subtracted a lot of things until I finally had the creature that I wanted. I really just toyed with different ideas, powers, abilities, in the fight scene until I found what worked for me personally.


    *Me: Well I for one love it

3) I am a huge fan of characters, in fact if I don’t feel some kind of connection to the characters in a book, then I feel let down. One of the things I like to do when reviewing a book or a series is to pick my favorite character moment. That one moment that epitomizes everything about that character and why I love them. What is your favorite character moment from your books and why?


Just one? Again? You’re killing me.

It’s not THE favorite moment, but one of my favorite moments is in Shift when Willy gets to take a stand for what he believes in. He stands up for Chase outside Revelations and that’s a pretty special moment for me. Willy is a fiercely loyal friend, and a wonderful person all around.

I also really love in Exiled when Rayna punches Chase in the nose. She’s classy.


I do have a favorite moment from Release, but I’ll keep that to myself for now. My absolutely favorite however, I cannot reveal. It’s still mostly in my head, and only partially on paper. But it’s coming in the next book.

**And being the little devil that I am :) after I read Release I asked M.R. Merrick to share his favorite moment(s) from it and here is his reply:

There’s actually a few moments in the book that really got me. The first was in Drakar when Tiki stands up to Chase. It was a big moment for him, and since his role has been played out mostly in the background thus far, compared to the other secondary characters, it was a really strong foothold for him. The second was in Silas where the readers learn about Willy’s past. That’s a defining moment for him. It was one that I was aware of when I first created Willy in Exiled, but it was the first time I was able to experience it like that. Before that moment it was just details in my head, but writing it out brought a new sense of depth to his character, even for me. And lastly, in Drakar with Vincent. I won’t say the exact moment because I don’t want to spoil anything, but that entire scene had me grinning like an idiot the entire time I was working on it. Although his allegiance is all over the map throughout this series, Vincent is one of my favorite characters to work on, so that was a great moment for me.



About the Author

M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of  The Protector Series, a Young Adult mash-up between Urban and Epic Fantasy. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he’s usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.
 Stalk Him: Website ~ Goodreads ~  Twitter ~ Facebook


Synopsis
After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems.

Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father.  Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates.

Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made - especially regarding Rayna.
One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past - sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight.


*ARC from Author in exchange for honest interview

My Review: 5 Must Devour!!!!!
Being a devourer of books and all I of course could not wait to get my hands on this book and as soon as I received my copy I read it in a matter of hours and let me just tell you that I was left completely speechless. And I mean totally speechless like blubbering fool speechless as tears streamed down my face! Seriously!!

I thought M.R. Merrick's imagination was crazy awesome in the first two books but he proved me wrong with this one as he literally created worlds that I felt like I knew, worlds I thought I had traveled as I not only imagined them vividly in my mind but at times I swear I tasted them!! Kid you not! 

And his characters....OMG! I seriously love all the characters from this series. The amount of depth and thought he puts into his characters blows my mind. I have never seen characters develop so much. I mean every time I think I know them M.R. Merrick shows me another incredible side to them that makes me love them so much more. And in this book my love for Tiki, Willy, Vincent, Grams, and Chase grew exponentially!! 

Emotions ran high in this book, not only for me but the characters, and I could literally feel the passion that M.R. Merrick has for not only his story, but for writing as I was moved by so many wonderfully deep moments. I could tell that he put everything into this book as I was brought to tears or left in awe at his words. 

I honestly can't say enough about this book, it completely blew me away and left me a complete and udder mess as I was emotionally assaulted by an electronic paperback. Of course I can't wait for Endure as I hold my breath for all that is sure to unfold. After the shocking ending of Release I have so many questions swirling in my head and I absolutely must have my answers!!

Favorite Character Moment:
There were so many incredible moments in this book that my kindle copy is literally spewing yellow and it was really hard for me to pick just one because really I could just quote chapters!!

"That's what I was fighting for now. Not to save the worlds and all the creatures in them, but to keep the ones I loved safe." (kindle, loc. 5766). 

The Giveaway


Grande Prize Pack (3 Winners)
3x Signed paperbacks (Exiled, Shift, Release)
3x Signed 8x10 posters (Exiled, Shift, Release)
5x Bookmarks
1x Notebook (Winner’s choice of cover)
1x Magnet





Runner-up Prize Pack (5 Winners)
1x Signed paperback (Winner’s choice of Exiled, Shift, or Release) with signed poster
1x bookmark (Winner’s choice)
1x Magnet



Secondary Prizes A (10 Winners)
Release eBooks

Secondary Prize B (10 Winners)
1x bookmark (winner’s choice)
1x The Protector magnet




Winners will be chosen as followsFirst 3 names drawn from Rafflecopter will get the grand prize. The following 5 names get the runner-up prize. The following 10 names win ebook copies of Release, and the final 10 names win the swag pack.
~~~~~~~~~
There will also be multiple opportunities to win signed paperbacks, signed posters, notebooks, swag packs, and bookmarks throughout the tour on both Twitter (@MRMerrick) and my Facebook Fan Page .


a Rafflecopter giveaway
"Devouring worlds, one book and recipe at a time."

8 comments:

  1. Loved the interview!!! Great job.

    Thanks for being part of the tour.

    Valerie
    StuckInBooks.com

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  2. The phoenix - it's rises up from it's own ashes. I don't know, it fascinates me.

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    1. I think the Phoenix is a great choice!! I love the Phoenix. :)

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Dunno why it removed that post, but I'll go for it again. Lol.

    I've never read a book about Shifters before, I may have to start with this one!

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    1. This series truly is amazing!! Hopefully you will win so you can enjoy them all!! Love the dragon too!

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  5. Mythical Creatures ey? Hmm... The Dragon!

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