I am very excited to have Matt R. Merrick in my blog today, many of you would agree that he is quite popular within the blogosphere and there is a reason behind it. If you follow @MRMerrick on Twitter or follow him via his Facebook Fan Page you have probably notice how approachable M.R. Merrick is, he is in constant commuicaton with his fans and I think that’s the coolest thing an author can do. Without further ados, I’ll present to you Matt R. Merrick.
Getting to know Matt R. Merrick – the writer!
RD- How did the title of your book come about?
Matt: All the titles for my books have been chosen because they represent more than one thing within the story. Each title has a depth to it that’s revealed throughout the book, and it is usually reflective of multiple characters. Shift for example, wasn’t chosen for the obvious events that take place with Rayna. Willy experiences a major Shift, as does Chase, and the power between good versus evil shifts a lot in this book.
When I’m picking a title (and this goes for the cover too), I want something that both represents the book as a whole, and also holds a reflection of the characters journey inside it. Release took a little more time before I found the ‘right’ title, but Exiled and Shift were kind of always just there.
RD – Which of your characters are the easiest and/or the most difficult to write about and why?
Matt: I find Vincent to be the easiest character for me to write. He’s got a background and depth to him that I’ve explored in detail outside of what you see in the books, so I have a special bond and understanding of who he is. I’ve done this for all the characters, but Vincent’s words just kind of roll right off my fingers and onto the page.
The most difficult for me is Marcus. I’m an emotional person, and often times an emotional writer, so trying to mask and contain everything he’s feeling all the time is hard. Chase wears his emotions on his sleeve, even though he pretends he doesn’t, but Marcus really does keep it all inside. That makes for more of a challenge for me. Other than select opportunities, I find myself often times having to rewrite some of his dialogue so that he doesn’t break character.
RD- How long did it take to write?
Matt: Each book has varied. Since Exiled was the first book I’d ever written, it took the longest because it required multiple rewrites and revisions. I think in total I spent eighteen months writing it before I ever consulted with an editor or critique partner. I think book one in any series is the most difficult, because you start from nothing and build both characters and worlds from the ground up. You need to be careful because you don’t want to write anything into book one that limits your story potential in the future. Once I hit publish, that’s it. There’s no going back.
Shift on the other hand went much faster. I’d grown a lot as a writer between the two books and I had a solid foundation to work with. I wrote the first draft of it in six weeks. And with Release, I had a much different writing schedule and so it took me two and half, or close to three months.
RD – What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing?
Matt: I love playing video games and watching movies. I watch anywhere from four to seven movies a week, although my video game time has taken a nose dive since I began writing. I love both of these things because they allow me to escape the worlds I’m trying to build and venture into someone else’s. The same can be said of books, but this is on a much faster escape for me.
RD – What is your favorite season? Why?
Matt: Fall. I get too hot in the summer, I hate the cold, and spring is a mess because of all the melting snow. In Fall, the days are warm enough for a t-shirt and the nights are just cool enough to comfortably wear a hoodie. The colors are beautiful and the landscapes are gorgeous.
RD – Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Matt: Absolutely, in fact, there’s a little bit of myself in all of them. They each have unique characteristics, but there is a little piece of me inside each of their personalities. I won’t tell you who has what of mine though. 🙂
RD – How do you react to a bad review?
Matt: In public, I don’t. At home, I scold myself for even reading reviews. I accept that I can’t appeal to everyone, and what one person loves, another person can hate. I know that it’s their opinion and I respect that. I have a thicker skin now than when I started, so if I do read a negative review and it happens to bother me, I get over it pretty quickly. Most of the time—if I even read reviews—they don’t bother me at all.
I will add that I have read a few negative reviews that I actually think are great. First, because they aren’t mean and they don’t rip me apart as an “uneducated person.” Instead, these are what I call ‘critical reviews’ and they may be one or two stars, but they’re far from negative—they help sell my books. They’re honest, they talk about both positive and negatives that reader experienced in the story, and they help get my books in the right people’s hands.
RD – Do you have any upcoming projects in the works or other books that have been published?
Matt: I have a few upcoming projects. The fourth and final book in The Protector series is due out in the spring of 2013, as well as two stand-alone novels later that year that I’m hoping to write. They revolve around side characters from The Protector series, but don’t have anything to do with the main story ARC. I’m also working on the first book in a new Urban Fantasy series, but that’s still in the beginning plotting stages. I’m hoping to set that one free into the reading work sometime in the summer of 2013.
M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of The Protector Series, a Young Adult mash-up between Urban and Epic Fantasy. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he’s usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal. Connect with M. R. Merrick
Facebook – Twitter – Website – Goodreads
Thank you Matt for stopping by today and sharing with us your love for writing. I really enjoyed all three books, each one brought out emotions that only a well thought out series can manifest. The Protector Series is one I recommend, if you haven’t already do so, add it to your reading list, you will not regret it. Bellow you will find my review of Release & please don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
REVIEW: I could use many words to describe The Protector Series, but only one does it justice…EPIC. Release is the 3Rd book of The Protector series and it is so far the best book in the series. The plot follows the same awesome path as Exiled & Shift; now that paths have been taken and relationships and partnerships have been formed the time to break evil has come.
Release is perhaps the best of all 3 books. I loved how much drama and action this book has. There are big developments in this book. Chase has become a bad ass hero who pretty much has every power imaginable, Rayna has finally managed her shifting and hasn’t slow down as far as taking care of the bad guys. Marcus as usual is the voice of reason and keeps everyone in check. I could keep going about how much those three characters make this book and the series as a whole awesome. But one has to be fair and give big thumbs up to Willy and Tiki. Both of those characters give the series the necessary balance.
The relationship between Chase & Rayna is complicated. They are quite different but that’s pretty much what brings them together. I will stay away from spoilers about their relationship but I can’t help and share some of my favorite quotes from Vincent. I will add this much. I LOVE CHASE & RAYNA.
Vincent, one of the most powerful vampires on Earth, after some serious developments he has had to make some attitude adjustments. I think his sarcasm and attitude was so well crafted by Merrick that I couldn’t help but like him more and more.
“Forgive me if I seem hesitant. I am a born vampire. If you haven’t put two and two together, that means I’ve never set foot in the sunlight unscathed. Can you even fathom this moment for me?”
I stared blankly at him. I didn’t really care what he was going through. We were on a tight timeline. Time on Drakar moved much slower than it did on earth. I couldn’t afford to be away longer than absolutely necessary. Vincent shook his head and released a low growl. “Five hundred years I’ve lurked in the shadows, always cautious and aware of the moment the sun might rise. I’ve never enjoyed what I imagine is the beauty of a sun setting over the ocean. Never known the warmth it can provide on a hot summer’s day. I’ve spent over five centuries in darkness, and now the moment I can walk in the light has come. I apologize if my desire to savor this hinders your patience.”
Merrick creates creditable scenarios and he is able to easily switch scenes from terrorizing to funny. Some scenes had me laughing out loud.
“Fire!” I yelled. “You’re on fire! You’re melting, Vincent, you’re melting!” Vincent didn’t stop. He launched himself back in the forest. Orange and blue leaves shot into the air as he dove into the bushes. Branches shook and leaves fell from their stems as he struggled to pull himself through the other side. I couldn’t contain myself; laughter spilled from my lips and I bent over, gasping for air. I dropped down to one knee, trying to catch my breath, but it was too much. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. Tiki’s disapproving glare aside, I basked in this moment: the panic that had covered Vincent’s face, the fear that filled his eyes…it had all been worth it.
“Thank you, Mr. Williams. Only you could manage to destroy a moment so beautiful.” “I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.” I smirked. That wasn’t true; I wasn’t sorry at all. In fact, I’d happily repeat that moment in my mind for the rest of my life. “I’m happy you find amusement in what would otherwise be a life-changing moment for me.”
Release is an adventure into the unknown. I love the descriptions, the details and the voices of each character. The reader will have no problem transporting themselves to the worlds Merrick has created. I could imagine the colors and the smells. I could picture the creatures and the magic, I am not often left in awe after reading a book but this has left me wanting and craving more.
Merrick is a fantastic author, and he has earned a place among the best in the genre. The Protector Series has everything I enjoy in a paranormal/urban fantasy series. It has tons of action, likeable characters, awesome world building/travels between worlds/kick-ass heroine/hot hero and a great group of secondary characters that bring the necessary spark and balance to the story. Release brings a lot to the table and I couldn’t help but feel sad once it was finished. I love every page of this story, I am sure readers will love it too.