A Fun Interview with Mercedes Fox

Hello out there.

One of the many enjoyable things about writing is getting to know new people. Here is an April interview with fellow writer and blogger, Mercedes Fox:

Why do you write?  The sheer joy of creating stories and characters. This an outlet for an over active imaginative mind that never stops thinking about endless possibilities.

When did you decide to become a writer?  I thought about it for years, but when I truly decided to write was in 2012 when I came home from the Middle East and realized it was time for a new challenge.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book?  6-7 months.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?  Talking to my wife in the kitchen about writing and she said “Why don’t you start writing? There’s nothing stopping you.” I started that night.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  Best time for me is late Friday and late Saturday night. After I have spent my time with family and everyone is tucked in, I start writing.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  I have read hundreds of books for enjoyment in the past. Now, I go back and STUDY them. Meaning, I look HOW someone writes. Tone, foreshadowing, structure, etc.  Alan Moore, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, H.G. Wells are just a few of my teachers.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write?  I listen to music on my iPod. I enjoy all kinds of music, but for writing the content I have, it is very specific. Smashing Pumpkins, Deftones, Godsmack, 311, Godsmack, Sevendust, CKY, Korn, Papa Roach all put me in a creative state of mind. Go figure.

What have you written?

Tales of the Unexpected

Starry Messenger

Enemy of The Human Race

Know Thy Self

End of All Things

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?  Always outline the plots first. Create profiles and detailed histories on the character—even if I do not show the histories to the reader. Once I know the characters inside and out, the dialogue is considerably easier to write.

Do you design your own book covers or have someone else? If you use someone else would you tell us who/website?  Julia Sage is my designer. She is terrific. Detailed, professional, timely, and patient. Oh, and she is a nice person too.

Julia Sage Photography and Talent Promotion   @juliasagephotography

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?  Scheduling book signings with local book store. Great way to interact with the public and actively promote your product.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?  Keep writing. Write for yourself. SOMEONE will read it and SOMEONE will like it.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?  Quentin is very complex and we can all relate to him. Yes, he is an alien with great power but the reader can see his/herself in him. He is isolated, lonely, and full of doubt. He questions authority and is confused by his own action. He rebels and does the very thing his superiors tell him not to do. I think there is a little of Quentin in all of us.

Where do your ideas come from?  Traveling the world. Reading everything I can. Talking to diverse people and getting their opinions on life itself. Staring up at the sky and just imagining.

What is the hardest thing about writing?  Devoting the proper time to do it and balancing the rest of your life.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?  Coming to the end and saying goodbye to the characters.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?  Favorite movie: LA Confidential.

Which writers inspire you?  Too many to count but I will give you one: Alan Moore.

What is the current book you are promoting?  All four books in the Opportvnvs Adest series are now out. Binge reading at its finest.

  1. Starry Messenger
  2. Enemy of The Human Race.
  3. Know Thy Self
  4. End Of All Things.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?  Quentin, for the reasons I stated earlier.

Who is your least favorite character and why?  Dante Tate. He is a ten-year-old boy who I wish was not such a little pain.

Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school?  Studied creative writing in college.

If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast?

Quentin: Idris Alba

Regina Tate: Ruth Wilson

Rex Talion: Jason Isaacs

What is your next project?  Opportvnvs Adest series created an entire universe of worlds and characters. I am finishing a encyclopedia ( A-Z) with every character, world, weapon, item, directly, or indirectly related to the stories.

The other project (and the most enjoyable) is a timeline for my alternative universe. This ambitious time line begins 4.6 billion years ago and ends 2020 CE.  It gives you a crash course on the Opportvnvs Adest Earth. Everything from the pyramids to the Kennedy assassination is in there. Unexplained, weird things throughout history are explained.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?  Professor John Robinson from the Lost in Space. He was the perfect blend of brains and brawn. He was brave, heroic, and a family man.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?  Homelessness.

Who inspires your writing?  Alan Moore. Richard Matheson. Ernest Hemmingway. Henry James. Ray Bradbury. Ian Fleming. Phillip K. Dick. Lewis Carroll. Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells. Mary Shelly. John Wyndham. Isaac Asimov. Stan Lee.

Where do you come up with your stories?  By studying history. I tried to explain the unexplained by putting a science fiction/fantasy twist on it.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?  Casino Royale. Ian Fleming created one of the most iconic, most imitated, characters in the last one hundred years. And it turned into a billion-dollar movie franchise. Not bad.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?  Save your work in several places! Including on a pin drive. Listen to your editor. I started out with Latin titles for my books. I did a live interview and host and audience could not pronounce the names.

Do have a favorite car or truck model?  BMW 325i.

Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes?  No. It is a natural instinct in all creatures on Earth. Whenever I write a scene like that, I make sure it fits the story and not just gratuitous smut.

What are some of your favorite books and why?  The Martian Chronicles. Frankenstein. Old Man & The Sea. Portrait of a Lady. The Iliad. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. A Tale of Two Cities. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. The Day of the Triffids. War of The Worlds. I, Robot. Rabbit Run. Lord of the Flies. Just great reads.

Are you currently reading a book or just finished one?  The Dictionary of Imaginary Places by Alberto Manguel. This fine piece of literature catalogs fantasy lands from literature around the world.

What do your readers mean to you?  They keep me in line. They deserve a good story and no shortcuts. Ever.

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And there you have it.

Thank you, Mercedes for an enjoyable interview. I encourage all indie writers out to do these. Not only are they fun, but the extra expose cannot hurt. Heck, if it gets one more person to read your book, then it is a win.

See you next time.

Peace.

EH

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