Featured Author: Merita King
- Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.
Well, I’m 51, single and live alone in the South of England. I started writing my first novel in June 2011 and haven’t stopped since. For me, writing is a largely intuitive process, and I like it that way. I don’t plan anything, beyond a very basic outline of the main event and ending twist, main character outlines and title. Beyond that, I just sit down and write and let the characters tell the story themselves. I like the feeling that the creativity is something from outside of myself, that flows through me rather than from me. I have autism and find relationships and communication on a personal level, a bit challenging so writing is the perfect way for me to get my voice heard. It’s the only way I feel able to communicate on an equal level with everyone else. I guess that’s part of the reason why I’m a bit of a grammar nazi. I live through my characters, there is a lot of me in each of them. They have my likes and dislikes, my fears and joys, they have my struggles and triumph when I cannot. It is very interesting seeing how they deal with my emotional baggage and I often find myself in situations where I wonder to myself, “I wonder how Vincent or Sam would deal with this.” I’m blessed with a vivid imagination and plot lines come to me pretty easily. I write science fiction/space opera and I love inventing new worlds, new races of people, gadgets and spaceships and all the creatures. From alien diseases to spiritual beliefs from every inhabited planet in the galaxy, I invent them all and enjoy every minute. Outside of writing, I’m in the process of trying to lose weight and get fit, so I work out with weights every day and have become something of body building fan. I make Native American pow wow fans and paraphernalia, I love movies and am a fan of Dwayne The Rock Johnson. I’m also a psychic medium and dream interpreter.
2. What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events.
Science fiction/space opera has always been my biggest love in movies, and it seemed the most natural thing in the world to write in that genre. I love the idea of travelling to other worlds and I firmly believe that other races of beings inhabit the greater universe. The idea that we are the only sentient life in the universe is preposterous to me. What started me writing my first novel, was an idea given to me by Vin Diesel. Back in 2011, facebook fan pages had discussion threads, and Vin suggested that we have a go at writing our own made up scene for his character Riddick, just for a bit of creative fun. I didn’t have a go for ages, but after reading some of the other efforts, I thought, “oh why not, just for fun.” So I sat down to write, and at four the following morning, I was still writing and couldn’t stop. It was like the story was bursting to come out and once I let go, the floodgates opened and this tidal wave of creativity poured out. That story became a four part series, The Lilean Chronicles.
3. How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.
I suck at promotion and marketing, I’m the first to admit it. Being autistic doesn’t help me in trying to sell myself or my product at all, it’s a huge burden. I use my facebook fan page, twitter, google+, LinkedIn and of course, my website. I don’t do online release parties or anything like that. I did once try that and got a very poor response from those I invited, and it put me off for life. It’s very hard to market your product these days, with so many authors offering bribes in return for a sale. Kindles, jewellery, even Amazon gift cards, all are on offer if you buy their book, review their book, or both. I hate that kind of thing and I refuse to do it, which makes it hard to get my product noticed, when everyone is scrambling for the bribes. If I win the lotto, I’m going to hire a top flight marketing firm to do it for me, then sit back with a smug grin on my face.
4. Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel? (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).
I do remember my first review, it was 5 stars and I was grinning for a week or more. I only have a few reviews, but I’m proud of each one because I don’t bribe people with gifts to get them. Each one is given by the reader, from their own choice and so far, they’ve all been nice ones. I remember one especially, from a Native American man, who said he had never liked science fiction, but reading my book had made him forget that he didn’t like it. He said he found a lot of the spirituality in the story, resonated with his own Native American beliefs. I was very proud to be told that by a total stranger.
5. Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.
I have a four part series, called The Lilean Chronicles. The series tells the story of six years in the life of Vincent Richard Domenico. He is known as The Prophesied One, and he has to fulfil the ancient prophecy surrounding his birth, and save his people from extinction. He battles with an ancient shape shifter in order to save the lives of his friends, The Drycenian Nation, and he races across the galaxy with his wife, Farra Domenico, when their son is kidnapped. Along the way he runs the gauntlet of the fearsome Dragons of Dracunya and visits a place from his past, where he learns the connection between a dreadful war, a medal won for valour and a legendary angel.
I also have the first in a new series, called The Sinclair V-Logs. This series is the personal video logs of Sam Sinclair, Freelance Law Enforcer with the Inter-Galactic Law Enforcement Agency. The first volume is called Floxham Island, in which Sam recounts the nightmare he experienced when delivering a prisoner to Floxham 4 prison planet. The second in this series, Bygora Vandos, will be published during October 2013.
During November 2012 Nanowrimo, I wrote a stand alone novel, called Acts of Life. This tells the story of Jake Elloway, an arrogant and selfish, famous inter-galactic movie star, who agreed to spend three months living and working aboard an inter-galactic freighter as research for a new movie role. When the vessel is boarded by pirates intent on kidnapping Jake for a substantial ransom, he realises that not everyone aboard is pleased to have a megalomaniac celebrity amongst them. As he and his few new friends make a desperate bid for freedom, they are plunged into a fresh nightmare in the dark forbidding forests of Telizon 4.
6. Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book? (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).
Those who read my books, love them, but then they are for sci fi lovers primarily. As I said before, I find promotion hard, so sales haven’t exactly been through the roof, but those who do read them, love them.
Smashwords – for all other e-reader devices – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/282085
Paperbacks are also available at both Amazon usa and uk.
My website – http://www.meritaking.com
My facebook fan page – http://www.facebook.com/MeritaKingNovelist
My twitter page – http://www.twitter.com/MeritaKing
7. I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky numberJ. Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.
An excerpt from Floxham Island ~ Sinclair V-Log AZ267/M
We headed towards cell wing three and approached the steps that led down to the door, which we could all see had been smashed to pieces. The lack of bodies on the steps told us what we didn’t want to know and Dex and I exchanged a glance and a nod. He reached towards the sensor pad and looked back at me.
“Okay guys,” I whispered. “Same procedure as in number one. Keep your heads and keep firing. Everyone ready?” Luggs adjusted his gun and nodded; his eyes staring into the gloom ahead, while Ronjo stared at me with scared eyes. “Okay Ronjo?” He nodded and raised his useless gun and I looked at Dex and nodded. “Let’s go,” I whispered as Dex slapped the sensor and all hell broke loose. It seemed as if the whole cell wing was filled with the shrieking creatures; the noise and flapping of their wings momentarily overwhelming us. We stood our ground in the doorway and fired as they soared towards us, dropping one by one as they closed the gap. As they reached the doorway they suddenly swooped around and away from our fire and headed back to the far end of the corridor and the open emergency door. For a moment I hoped they were intending to go back outside but at the last second they swooped around and headed back towards us for a second wave. Again we opened fire as they soared towards us; their screeching splitting the air painfully. The last one fell twenty feet from where we stood and we lowered our weapons as the silence enveloped us.
“Shit, oh shit,” Dex exclaimed as he ran a hand through his hair and sighed, his dark brown skin enhancing the shine of sweat on his brow. Ronjo stood between Luggs and me; his arms still held out in front, weapon at the ready. Again, I gently put my hand on his arm.
“It’s okay Ronjo,” I soothed, “it’s done. You did good. You did real well buddy, thank you for your help. Relax now okay?” He blinked a few times and lowered his arms as he sighed deeply. “Come on guys.” I stepped forward, “let’s get that door closed huh?” We ran to the end of the corridor and pulled the heavy door shut and locked the lever in place. It was as we leant on the door to get our breath back that we heard Ronjo’s yell. We spun around and I found myself staring into a pair of gaping jaws; the two opposing sets of curved fangs yellowed with age and I noticed one of them had its sharpened tip missing. Time seemed to slow and then stop as first my hearing left me, then my vision narrowed until I was looking through a long tunnel with just that face at the end. The huge, soulless black eyes bored into mine as the head retracted, readying itself to strike forwards. The jaws opened even wider and I tried to come to terms with the fact that I was about to die as the head began its strike towards me. For as long as I live I will never forget the sight of that eye imploding a split second before the back of the skull exploded. The rest of the body came to rest against my legs and abdomen; the wings spread out sideways and behind like a grey leather cloak. Slowly, I looked up to see Ronjo still holding that ridiculous AB11 Rookie at arms length, his eyes wide.
As my senses returned, I was vaguely aware of shouts to the side but I was mesmerised by the sight of Ronjo and that useless gun that just saved my life. Slowly he turned his head to look at me, his eyes still wide with shock and I saw the trickle of blood that ran from one corner of his mouth and dripped off his chin. He coughed and spat blood everywhere and looked down at himself. Still trying to force myself to calm down, I followed his gaze and saw the gaping rent in his abdomen that he struggled to hold shut as his intestines slithered through his fingers and trailed down his legs.
* I would like to add that Merita is a very great author who enjoys and appreciates her fans. If you’d care to comment or get a message to Merita, please leave a reply. THANK YOU MERITA for allowing me to have you as a FEATURED AUTHOR !