Merita King, author of the Lilean Chronicles, was nice enough to share some info with me. Check it out below, and then check out her books!
Is writing your life, or is there something you’d give it up for?
Writing is my only joy. I wouldn't give it up for anything at all. I live alone and have no family or significant other; I don't have a social life or a huge group of friends so writing is my one and only pleasure. I couldn't imagine giving it up, wow what a thought.
Because that is my favourite genre of movies and books and always has been. Ever since I was a child it was the scifi/fantasy stuff that did it for me. I suppose that thinking psychologically, my love of space opera and fantasy could be a result of my lack of connection to people here and now in ordinary reality.
Tell me about the Lilean Chronicles.
The series is about a group of characters and their adventures. The main protagonist is Vincent Domenico. He's from the planet Lilea and his birth was prophesied a very long time ago. His destiny was to become Lilea's great warrior and end a terrible evil that almost wiped Lileans out. The first book in the series tells how he fulfils the ancient prophecy. The subsequent books in the series tell of his further adventures with his friends. There is a very large spiritual thread that runs through the series, as Lileans all have a spirit guide that walks with them and with whom they communicate easily. These spiritual guides are also an important part of the central group of characters and the spiritual and universal wisdom they give is, I feel, pertinent to all of us. The series tells of adventure, desperate races across the galaxy to save friends in their hour of need, spiritual wisdom brought by the Lilean spirit people, creatures and monsters, bad guys, gizmos and gadgets but also they deal with all of the same personal inner demons that each of us deal with every day.
Are any of your characters based on you?
All of my characters have a bit of me in them. I think it's impossible for a writer's characters not to have something of their creator in them. Some have more of me than others of course. My characters are me as I am, me as was, me I could be, me at my worst, me at my best and me as I dream to be able to be. There is one character in the fourth volume of the series whose character is totally me. I wanted to put myself as I am in one of the books, so I did. It was quite therapeutic too because I had the character live out an experience that I struggle with on a daily basis, but I had the other characters respond to her in all the ways I wish real people would respond to me in reality, but don't.
Favorite book, the one you can’t live without?
Nobody True by James Herbert. I love his books and this is my favourite. I read it regularly and never tire of it.
Favorite author, the one you’d hang out with (contemporary or past)?
What does it take to be a writer?
A creative mind and the ability to tap into that creativity and let it flow. Patience of course, it takes time to write a book, endless edits, re-reads, more edits, more re-reads etc. You have to be happy with your own company too. I can't write when there's someone here. When my mother comes to visit, the books have to wait until she returns home. You have to have a good grasp of the basic mechanics of good writing, spelling, punctuation etc. Unless you can afford to hire an editor to correct it, you must be able to recognise your mistakes and keep up to date with what is accepted as 'good' writing style and mechanics. For instance, I wrote the first in The Lilean Chronicles series and finished it and was pleased with myself. I then happened across an article on the internet that went into detail about how to punctuate dialogue and found I'd done it all wrong and had to go back through and change all the quotation marks, attributions etc. If you can't spell or use basic punctuation, you'll have a hard time.
What is a ‘successful’ writer in your opinion?
One whom people talk about, one who is known. If people buy your books because they accept that it will be worth reading simply because you wrote it, then you're successful. Success to me is being known, rather than being rich.
What is in the works or what’s next?
I have the third in The Lilean Chronicles coming out in August and the final volume should be out in February 2013. After that, I have plans for a new series based around the trials and tribulations of a space mercenary. I also plan a stand alone based around a famous actor who gets a job aboard a space freighter as research for a role and gets involved in an adventure.
What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I have a part time day job, which I hate but it pays the bills (just). I'm also a psychic medium and do readings for people and help with missing persons and murders via a Facebook group. I'm also starting to get asked to edit friends books, as I'm known as a stickler for spelling, punctuation and grammar. Of course I always make time to watch movies too and I have a bit of a Dwayne Johnson obsession..!
Is there another art form you’d like to see your work translated into?
It would be awesome to have The Lilean Chronicles made into a movie. I know who would play the roles and I even know what music I'd have for the theme. Who knows what will happen? Vin Diesel told me once "if you can dream it, you can do it, Move forward with faith and without fear."
If you could change anything about the publishing industry, what might that be?
I would make the traditional publishing houses and agents, less snobby and picky. You would think that with the rise of indie publishing, they would be a little worried about losing their jobs and might have relaxed a little but no, they get worse all the time. I would like indie published works to be held by shops and stores, like trad published books are.
Find her work at the links below:
The Lilean Chronicles ebook
The Lilean Chronicles in paperback