Welcome Merry! Please tell us about your current release.
My latest release is The Courageous Heart. It’s the third book in the Noble Hearts trilogy (which begins with The Loyal Heart and continues with The Faithful Heart). This book is about the love story of Ethan and Joanna which has, in many ways, been brewing since the trilogy started. A lot of this book is about the consequences of Ethan’s actions in the first two books and about his redemption.
What inspired you to write this book?
Well, there are two big things that inspired me to write The Courageous Heart. On the one hand, I’m fascinated with the true history of the time period, which is very different than what everyone thinks they know from the Robin Hood legend. In fact, Richard was a terrible king who didn’t speak English, hated England, and only spent 6 months of his entire reign there. This novel take place during the three-month span in 1194 when he was actually home. Prince John, however, was devoted to England and because of his feudal obligations was actually responsible for administrating a large part of it. I’ve always loved the paradox between what people think they know and what actually happened. The theme of the entire trilogy revolves around that inconsistency in “common knowledge”.
On the other hand, I wanted to write a book about redemption. My editor (Alison Dasho) and several others commented after reading The Faithful Heart “How on earth is Joanna ever going to forgive Ethan after what he’s done?” The answer is simple. There has always been so much more going on with Ethan than the first two books in the series have let on. Now the reader will get to see what it all is!
Who is one of your favorite characters that you have written?
Without a doubt, my favorite character so far is Jack. Jack is the “side-kick” in The Loyal Heart and the hero of The Faithful Heart. Jack was born a peasant, but through luck, determination, and attitude managed to rise up to the rank of nobility with his own land and title. He’s just so much fun to write! I love having a character with a distinct way of speaking. His dialog always gives me a chuckle. I should also note that even though The Courageous Heart marks the end of the trilogy, I have so many more ideas for books that happen in this world. Jack figures prominently in some of those.
When and how do you find time to write in your daily life?
Oh boy! Finding time to write is my biggest challenge as a writer. I would love it if writing were my full-time job, and someday it will be, but for now I have to struggle to find time to write. When I knew it was time to get serious about writing, the first thing I did was stop watching TV. That freed up a lot of time. I also get up at 5:30 every morning and work for about an hour before I start to get ready for work. When I’m in the final throes of a novel I will work over my lunch at my day job and in the evening between dinner and bedtime. Which brings me to….
Any advice to aspiring writers?
If you’re going to be serious about writing then you have to be serious about it. That means making sacrifices, like getting up early, working on your lunch break, and not going out at night because you have to write. It’s hard, hard work, but if this is what you were born to do then it’s hard work you will be happy to do. My other piece of advice would be to keep a very open mind when it comes to the writing and publishing process. The publishing world is changing so fast that none of us can say “I’ll never self-publish” or “I’m never going to go the traditional route”. Try both. Try submitting to agents. Try publishing something on your own. Each path can only help the other. But never say never.
Yes - great advice! What is one thing that you could not live without?
My iPhone, whose name is Oliver. It’s sad, I know. I’m completely addicted to it. But hey, smart phones can do anything! I have the internet, Facebook, Twitter, music, books, maps, weather, shopping, basically everything right in my hand. Oliver is my boyfriend. He’s always there for me, he knows how to help me in any situation, he entertains me, and he always gives me his undivided attention.
I love that! I think I'll name mine too! Do you have any hobbies?
Actually, I do, believe it or not. I am a massive cricket fan. Yes, I’m American, I’m a girl, and I love cricket. I don’t play, but I am the official scorer for a local club team in the Philadelphia area. I’m also working on becoming an internationally certified scorer.
That's pretty cool! If you could have a superpower what would it be?
I was just thinking about this the other day, believe it or not. If I could have any superpower I would want the ability to heal people by touching them. Scratch, sudden illness, gaping wound, chronic condition, anything. I lost my Granddad to a heart attack when I was 8, my Mom after an 8 year struggle with breast cancer in 2001, my Grandmother to Parkinson’s Disease in 2007, and my older brother to cancer very suddenly in April of this year. I would give anything to have been able to heal all of that for them and for everyone who suffers.
That would definitely be an amazing super power! Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I hope that I’ve intrigued you enough that you’ll rush out and buy my books, but I definitely advise starting with The Loyal Heart before moving on, in order, to The Faithful Heart and The Courageous Heart. They are a true trilogy and not really stand-alone stories.
But if you’re interested in Western Romance, my aim is that each novel in my Montana Romance series will stand alone. The first one of those, Our Little Secrets, is out now, and the second, Fool for Love, is my next project. I’m shooting for a Spring 2013 release date.
Where can people find you and your books online?
All of my books are available as eBook pretty much wherever eBooks are sold.
To Learn More About Merry Farmer and Her Books:
The Loyal Heart
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005R4K75W
B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-loyal-heart-merry-farmer/1106051739?ean=2940011541537
Sony eReader Store - http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/merry-farmer/the-loyal-heart/_/R-400000000000000527599
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/92993
The Faithful Heart
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006PUDD44
B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-faithful-heart-merry-farmer/1108068341?ean=2940032960553
Sony eReader Store - http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/merry-farmer/the-faithful-heart/_/R-400000000000000592585
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/117240
The Courageous Heart
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/dp/
B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
w/the-courageous-heart-merry- farmer/1113712615?ean= 2940015912661
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/
Our Little Secrets
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0087KI4T4
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/167282
B&N - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/our-little-secrets-merry-farmer/1111649170?ean=2940033267514