Friday, May 11, 2012

Interview and Excerpt with COLORS LIKE MEMORIES Author Meradeth Houston

Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.

Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.

(Buy from MuseItUp Publishing)

Intriguing, right?! Well today we have the author of this book, Meradeth Houston, here to answer some questions. (And she's also sharing an excerpt of Colors Like Memories! See the bottom of this post.)

1. What is your favourite time of day to write?
If I had my druthers, I’d write in the mornings (well, starting at around 8 or 9—nothing too early!). Life gets complicated though, so I’ve become pretty adept at fitting writing time in whenever I can manage it!

2. Do you have any weird little writing rituals?
Define weird? :-) Sometimes I think writing in and of itself is kind of strange! But I generally sit down, put on music, and re-read what I wrote the day before. Not too strange, I guess, but it works for me!

Rachel: Sadly, I can't write while listening to music.

3. What's a completely random fact about you that most people don't know?
I can wiggle my ears, nose, scalp, and eyelids (not just blinking, I can move them horizontally). Definitely not something I do too often in public, haha!

Rachel: That is pretty random!

4. Do you remember when you first decided you were going to one day be a published author?
Hmmm, I’m sitting here trying to think about when I first thought that I’d want other people to read what I’d written. It was probably in fifth grade when one of my teacher’s commented that he really liked my poetry and asked me to make a little hand-made book with it. That probably sparked the idea. Of course, there were a lot of bumps along the way, and it wasn’t until much, much later that I decided to act on the idea.

5. Are there any songs you’d like to mention that inspired/influenced/are connected in any way to Colors Like Memories or its characters?
Colors Like Memories was originally sparked by Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park. Gah, I love that song! It may be old, but it’s awesome. Anyhow, that one was played hundreds of times while writing. Also, Coldplay's Cemeteries of London should also get a shout-out for helping me set the tone I wanted in my mind. There are so many others, but those have the most plays on iTunes.

6. What was your favourite book as a child?
Wrinkle In Time, by far and away. I read a LOT as a kid, and had many books I loved, but that one is still one I revisit regularly to enjoy and re-read. Meg is, well, she’s wonderful. 

7. If you were stuck in an elevator and had the choice of any writer, living or dead, to be stuck with, who would it be and why?
I guess the question I have is: do I want this writer to help me get out? Because then I think someone like Michael Crichton who was so insanely creative would be great (also, so we could have some words about his book Next, which I won’t get into here…). But, just to chill with? JK Rowling would be fun, as would Mark Twain. I think either of them would be incredibly entertaining. 

Rachel: Good choices!

8. Out of all the characters you’ve ever created, tell us about the one you’d most like to meet in real life.
I have one character who I love dearly, who only has a cameo in Colors Like Memories (he has his own story that I’ll be writing soon). Not to get into too many spoilers, but I’d very much like to spend some time with Jassen, the heir to the leadership of the Sary.

9. Have you ever based an entire character on a real person you know, and would you tell that person?
I can also feel my mother perking up at this question! She’s always worried she’ll end up in my stories :-) But, I’ve only done this once, with the current novel I’m working on, and that’s because I had a flat-mate who was just, well, nuts. And he fit perfectly into this role I was creating and I couldn’t resist. Should I ever run into him on the street, I might be tempted to tell him thanks for being so entertaining.

10. Lastly (and most importantly): cake or ice cream?
Wait, not both? Hehe! If I had to chose, I’d go with cake. I like ice cream a lot, but cake is good even when it’s cold out :-)

~  ~  ~

I greeted his tombstone the way I always did—with a swift kick. The release of frustration was more than worth the sharp pain in my toes. The polished marble tilted to the left because of all my visits; a crooked tooth in the rows of pearly white graves.

I folded my legs under me, shuddering as the chill of the damp grass seeped through my clothes. “I keep hoping one of these days you’ll be here waiting for me.” The words were tradition. Some small part of me still clung to the hope I’d come over the hill to find him leaning over his grave, wearing a sly smile. He died so very long ago, but I couldn’t stop wishing.
Leaning forward, I rested my forehead against my knees and closed my eyes, longing for a few minutes of rest. A few minutes to pretend it was someone else buried beneath me. I tried to explain this to him, but tonight I didn’t have the will to pretend it was more than starlight that listened.
It took a long time to notice, building imperceptibly until I finally looked over my shoulder. Someone was there, watching me. It hadn’t been a sound that alerted me so much as the feel of their gaze, heavy in the darkness. After so many nights spent here, I could tell the difference.

For just a second, I thought I saw Frederick’s tall form step from the shadows. My heart stopped, and I started to scramble to my feet before the breeze scattered my wishful thinking. Scanning the rest of the cemetery, it was clear no one else was around. The sprinklers were hissing their rhythmic beat in the next section over, and it was better to leave before they started watering the grass over his grave. It had to be just my imagination—no one was watching me. It was for the better. If anyone saw me here, there would be problems I couldn’t face.

~  ~  ~

Eeeeeek, don't you just love that opening line?! That whole opening paragraph, in fact! I can't wait to find out more about this story! And if you want to know more about Meradeth and where you can stalk interact with her and her books online, visit these links:


meradeth said...

Thanks SO much for hosting me today!! It's a big day--my book is officially on sale :)

Rachel Morgan said...

Woohoo! Congratulations! I'm gonna tweet it :-)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Wow Julia has a lot on her plate. I like the story line, it;s very different from the usual fare.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Congratulations on the launch of your book Meredith - it sounds great!

Rachel: Fantastic questions :-)

Gwen Gardner said...

The book sounds really good! Congrats, Meradeth:)

Carole Anne Carr said...

Wonderful to hear another writer talking about their writing selves,a thing I am always curious about.

C.M.Brown said...

Congrats on the book launch and thanks for the peek at Lincoln Park, love that band! All the best!

Crack You Whip said...

Great interview! Congrats Meradeth! For the record, I can wiggle my ears, too:)

Trisha said...

This story sounds amazing! Love the concept :)

Cally Jackson said...

This book sounds very unique. Best of luck with your launch! :-)

Cally Jackson said...

P.S unique = awesome, just in case it wasn't clear! :-)

Nas said...

Congratulations on the book release. It sounds awesome and different!

Thansk Rachel!