Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{February 1, 2012}   A Guest Post and Giveaway by M.R. Merrick–Author of Exiled and Shift

What Led M.R. Merrick To Write The Protectors Series? A Guest Post and Giveaway.  

First of all, I want to thank Shana for being so kind as to host me on her blog. After doing some talking, it was decided I would come onto her blog today and talk a little bit about what led me to begin writing this series. To be honest, it all kind of happened by chance.

I’ve always written as a means of venting, but I’d never tried my hand at fiction. In the weeks leading up to the start of Exiled, I’d been getting into the routine of making up bedtime stories for my oldest daughter, so the creative juices were flowing on a regular basis.  I can’t remember exactly what was going on in my life at that point, but I was feeling down and the need to write had flared inside me. I sat down to write but for some reason, I didn’t want to just vent. I wanted to escape. Disappear into another world, another person’s life, where the worst things in life weren’t just personal problems, they were things that went bump in the night.

I’d never written anything like this before, so there was no plot, no outline, no ideas really. I had always had a dream about how incredible it would be to be able to harness the powers of the earth, and take control of the powers Mother Nature wields. So I started there. I tried to think of who this story was about, and one idea continued to circle in my mind, over and over again. In Exiled, it’s the scene where we see the first vampire that Chase fights in the street. It’s your first taste of the demon world and I wanted to create something familiar, yet unique. I took the vampire, a creature whose history and mythology has always fascinated me, and put my own spin on it. Yes, they’re demons, but they’re people too. What I wanted to do was show how scary it could be when the human faded and the monster came out. I needed more than fangs. I needed…power. So my version of the vampire was born.

Everything was built around that scene. I know that probably sounds really strange. How can an entire book, let alone a whole series, be built around 5 pages? Well, it’s simple really. I watched Chase walking down the street. I could already feel what he felt. Alone. Abandoned. Exiled. I had to ask myself: “Why does he feel like this?” When the answers came, the Circle was formed, Riley was created, and his mother…the only stability his life was born. Then the story took off from there. Everything came to me as I wrote. I’d write 10 pages, and the next 30 would unfold inside my imagination. I’d write those 30 and 50 more flew through my mind. Before I knew it, I had written an entire novel.

Exiled was an unexpected journey for me, and probably one of the best things to ever happy to me. Not only did I get this story out of me that must’ve been dying to be told, but I discovered a new part of myself. I became a different person while writing this book. I learned more about myself in the 6 months it took me to write the first daft, then I had in the past few years. I discovered a new passion I had in life and a dream I wanted to follow. 

Shift is the next book in the series and although I really hated writing it at some points, the story came naturally. Maybe more so than Exiled. The world was already built, the rules had been formed, and the characters had taken on a life of their own. All I had to do was sit back like a cameraman and watch the events unfold. I did hit a few road blocks along the way, and I went back to add different elements to enhance characters and thicken the plot, but for the most part, it just came to me. Shift took me only 6 weeks to write the first draft, and that was because I’d spent a little time writing an outline. But even during the outline, it was like I was just writing down what the story told me to. There was very little I had to dwell on and try to figure out.

The third book in the series which has yet to be titled, is sitting in my mind still. I have about half of the outline written, but I haven’t been putting much focus on it lately. The series isn’t finished in my mind and that’s where I’ve left it. I know how the story was supposed  to end, but a few months ago a new set of events unfolded in my imagination, and if the story goes that way, there may be a few more books in the series than the original 3 that I had planned for.  So that is taking some time to sift through and I’ll have to decide which direction this story is going. Until then, Chase, Rayna, and the gang are screaming at me to tell more of their story. Whether the Protector is a trilogy or a series, I don’t know, but right now, the characters that live on the pages are demanding I tell more.

And so I shall.

Read my Reviews of Exiled and Shift by clicking their links!


And now for the giveaway!!

All you have to do is enter your name and email to win, but there are extra entry options if you’re interested!

To enter you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)
-Fill in the form with your name and email (extra entries optional)

Click this ENTRY FORM to enter!

This contest is open internationally and will end at 11:59pm EST on February 14th. Please only enter once. The winner will be announced on February 15th, and will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave us a comment!


[…] face ß True story. Also, MrSArmChairCat told me to say thank you as well. You know, in his way.  Shana @ ABook Vacation – You’ve been raving about my story since you first finished Exiled. You’ve reached […]

Another great guest post! Thanks Mr. Merrick!

Stella Chen says:

Thanks for this giveaway! Always love reading fellow Canadian author’s novels!

Vivien says:

Thanks for the fabulous giveaway! Cannot wait for this sequel :)

He’s done it again, Exiled was Awesomesauce, now I have to think of a new word for Shift, soon as I read it .Love ya Mr Matt Man xoxo

Denise Z says:

Thank you so much for sharing this giveaway fun! I have spread the word and really want to read Exiled and Shift :)

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