Author Merry Brown has taken time out of her busy schedule to chat with us for a little while about herself and her latest book, 'Gold Manor Ghost House,' the first book in the Four Families series.
What was the inspiration behind 'Gold Manor Ghost House'?
My kids and their TV watching habits. I thought it would be interesting to write a story where the background is the TV set of a teenage drama.
How much do you have in common with the main character, Anna?
Not much. The qualities I admire most in Anna are her work ethic and bravery. Anna saw her aunt murdered when she was eleven, and then started having waking dreams and migraines. This could have crippled her, but through years of hard work, her parents’ love, and her own courage, she not only survives, she thrives.
I wish to be that kind of person. Anna doesn’t let her traumatic experiences hold her back. She is able to face her suffering and rise above.
What was your favorite scene to write?
Can I say all of them? The actual writing of this book was a joy. I did enjoy writing the scene in which Corey has an “allergic” reaction when filming the hot dog eating contest.
Tell us about your other published titles.
The Knowers is my first book. It’s a YA paranormal romance about a 17-year-old boy, Will, whose sole ambition is to get out of high school alive and away from his vicious father. Will's brilliant plan to fly below the radar blows up in his face when he gets involved with the mysterious Lizzy. Will mistakes his world as the danger to avoid, only to discover what Lizzy really is.
What other projects do you currently have in the works?
I’m currently writing the sequel to The Knowers in The Exiled Trilogy, titled The Second Fall. I hope to complete The Second Fall by summer’s end, and begin writing the next installment of Gold Manor Ghost House. Once I’ve completed The Exiled Trilogy, I have plans to write a YA dystopian novel and a serious book on Binge Eating Disorder. Needless to say, I’ve got my next five to ten years of writing mapped out!
You are also a big fan of reading YA books. What are some titles you recommend to readers?
The book I’ve most enjoyed as of late is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I really loved this book, and have preordered the sequel! There are so many great YA books out right now, but two fabulous YA trilogies that aren’t as known are the Jenna Fox Chronicles and The Ripple Series.
Have you ever had your own ghostly experience?
Possibly. I was staying in a hotel in Nashville, TN. The lights would go on and off randomly. It was odd, but nothing more than faulty wiring. It’s an old hotel (Union Station).
I mentioned it to someone working the front desk in the morning, and I was surprised by his response. My mom, sister, and I were supposedly staying in the room of this massive hotel that was haunted.
So, I was staying in a “haunted” room. The only problem is, I don’t believe in ghosts.
How does your career as a professor of philosophy influence your writing? What is so appealing about writing in the YA genre?
Typically, philosophers love thought experiments. We like to come up with scenarios (usually unlikely, some not possible) to test the limits of who we are, what is possible, what we can know, how we should behave, etc.
This is why I really enjoy reading and writing in the YA genre, in particular paranormal and dystopian lit. When you get to tweak the world the characters inhabit, you can tease out the human condition.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I never wanted to be a writer. Never imagined I’d want to, let alone, write novels. Given my slight dyslexia, writing can be torturous. And then, through a series of life changing events, an idea came to me, and I decided to give it a go.
Now, it’s hard to imagine a future where I’m not writing.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity to talk about Gold Manor Ghost House. I hope your readers will get to experience this world I’ve created!
Thanks for your time!
Buy 'Gold Manor Ghost House' on Amazon
Born and raised in Bakersfield, California, Merry Brown now lives in the northwest corner of Tennessee with her husband, three boys, and Daisy the cat. She teaches philosophy at the University of Tennessee, Martin, where she counts it a great privilege and joy to introduce students to perennial questions about the nature of the universe, meaning, morality, and the human condition. Merry Brown's love of philosophy and young adult paranormal and dystopian literature inspired her to write THE KNOWERS, the first book in the Exiled Trilogy. GOLD MANOR GOLD HOUSE is her latest YA paranormal romance book.
My contact info:
Facebook: Merry Brown
One randomly drawn commenter will win a $25 Amazon gift card. Follow the tour for more chances to win!