What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Merryn Dexter is a military spouse who, after a varied employment career (from selling sandals to old ladies with bunions to being a health and safety coordinator for a construction company), is thrilled to be pursuing her dream career as a romance writer. She likes The Winchesters, Spike, Hotch, Loki and watching complicated European Noir. Her hobbies include crying at books, crying at movies, crying at tv serials (there’s a theme!) and believes all stories should have a Happy Ending.
Today Merryn Dexter will be talking about how she became a writer and what inspired her in regard to the story she's promoting.
* I became a writer almost by accident. I am friends with a number of authors I greatly admire as a reader of their work and got hooked on a multi-author series called Black Hills Wolves. There were 16 novellas at the time and I read them back-to-back. I became immersed in this new world and followed avidly as this devastated wolf pack tried to pull themselves together. During a casual conversation one of the creators of the series suggested I try my hand at writing a story for them and I laughed. I had been trying my hand at writing, something for myself more than with any real expectation of being published. After a sleepless night where my brain asked me why it was such a funny idea, I took a deep breath and requested the series bible from the publisher. Bibles are essential for multi-series worlds as they keep everyone on track and help to create a cohesive experience for the readers.
* I read the bible, thought about the books I’d read and an idea for a story came to me. I wrote furiously and before I knew it I had written the first draft of what would become A Mate’s Healing Touch. After waffling for a few days, I submitted it to the publisher, Decadent Publishing, on the grounds the worst they could say was no. They said yes.
* That was last summer. I had no idea how to write a story and the editing process has been a huge learning experience for me. The mysteries of showing vs telling have been revealed to me. Using outlines to guide a story development rather than just pantsing the whole way through without any clue what will happen next. Compromising and learning to take constructive critique (man oh man there were a LOT of tears during the development of book one!). With my publisher’s and editor’s help, A Mate’s Healing Touch was released in December 2015.
* My second story for the series, A Mate’s Redeeming Touch, has just released on 25th March 2016. When I wrote Healing Touch it became much more than a simple story about a hero and heroine meeting, it became about the families they came from as well. The hero Caleb got two older siblings, Caitlyn and Connor, and before I had finished book one, Caitlyn was already telling me her story. Where Healing Touch is about what makes a family (and it isn’t simply biology), Redeeming Touch is about survival and finding the courage to open your heart to another person. It’s also about the mistakes we make in trying to protect our loved ones and learning to let go of the past in order to create a better future.
* I have four other stories contracted. It’s a dream come true for me. If that sounds like a fairy-tale, then here’s my note of caution. There’s nothing romantic about writing romance. It’s hard work, mentally and emotionally taxing and like everything else in life, become a writer is a learned skill. It is a very competitive market and I am a tiny minnow in an ocean of great writers. But it is the best thing I have ever done and with hard work and application and the help of my muse I am determined to grab this opportunity and run with it.
* Caitlyn Burrows has recently returned to Los Lobos with her family. A victim of Magnum Tao, the pack’s evil ex-Alpha, she is terrified of men and her natural omega nature is making it hard for her to make friends. Her family is determined to see Caitlyn happy.
* A chance encounter between Ven and Caitlyn reveals they are mates, something that neither of them is happy about! He’s mean and angry; she’s timid and shy. Can two such opposites find common ground?
* Caitlyn decides it is past time to take control of her life and is determined to prove to Ven that she is the mate that he needs. Can she make him see that the Fates are right and that their only chance of happiness is together or will the ghosts from the past keep them apart forever?
* Knowing what it was to suffer at the hands of a cruel man, she turned tail and ran as fast as she could. She plunged towards the relatively safety of the trees, kicking off her shoes and dragging her clothes free as she fled.
* Her wolf was whining at her to stop, but she pushed on into the heavy brush. Pausing to shed her jeans, she crouched, letting the shift take her over but making sure she retained enough control to force the wolf to keep running. The wolf howled, desperate to turn back, to catch again the glorious scent of her mate and offer her throat in submission to his dominant presence.
* A heavy crash behind had her doubling her efforts and her paws scrabbled over the soft ground, seeking purchase as she ran as though the hounds of hell were on her heels. She risked a glance over her shoulder and an involuntary yip of fright loosed from her throat. An enormous gray wolf was gaining on her with every stride, the snarl on his face more terrifying than the scowl he’d worn in his human form.
* She put on another burst of speed, her wolf suddenly in accordance that escape rather than submission was the best idea. Dodging around a massive pine tree, trunk broader than her back, she pulled up short at the remains of another fallen trunk that suddenly blocked her path. A snarl set her in motion again and her claws scratched at the bark as she desperately tried to clamber over the downed tree. The wood was soft, rotten in places and her front legs slid from under her as a huge set of jaws clamped around the thick fur at the back of her neck.