Monday Motivation: Interview with Action and Adventure Author Brianna Merritt

Hi, Brianna! Thank you for joining us today! How long have you been writing? What inspired your quest to become a writer? I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, actually. It started out as something I would ask new people I met: “Would you like to write a book with me?” Of course, young kids will say yes to just about anything so I started a lot of co-authored books, but never finished any. I didn’t finish a novel until 2012 when I did the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum. From there it sort of spiraled into a passion and love I couldn’t contain. Since then I’ve written around twenty different projects (most of them will never see the light of day, or at least, not until they see the scathing tool of editing) in all different genres.

Being a huge fan of writing naturally inspired me to create my own literary worlds, I believe. Call me a bookdragon, but I’ve always loved living in books, and the idea of creating my own imaginary worlds to play in was just too much to pass up.

Tell us a little bit about Quinn Rogers and your upcoming series! Quinn Rogers, or the Dragonfly as her targets know her, is a former sniper turned assassin living in modern-day London. because of her bloodstained past, Quinn is emotionally shut off to the world and everyone in it. The only person to ever manage an emotional response from her is Rourke, the master assassin who recruited her. And that response only leads to more killing.

During a seemingly normal assignment, Quinn is suddenly faced with the impossible reality that a civilian witness and a team of FBI agents have caught her in the act. Forced to flee, she kidnaps the witness, a Christian teenager named Nathan. But in doing so she unknowingly sets off a chain of events that will either change her for the better or get everything she comes to care about killed.

The series is a current work in progress as I plan on publishing Book One sometimes before the summer. But for the sequel and any other books afterwards, I have plans to showcase more of Quinn’s struggle with redemption and introduce characters that will challenge everything she holds to be true.

What is the greatest praise you’ve received about the series so far? This is a great question. I get a little teary just thinking about it, actually. 🙂

Sometime last year, I sent the rough draft for Book Three in Quinn’s series to a friend of mine who doesn’t like to read. Being a rough draft, the story was full of all kinds of errors and unfinished side plots. But my friend read the entire manuscript (WAY over 100,000 words) in under 24 hours.

Remember, she doesn’t like to read.

Biggest compliment and encouragement I have ever received for my writing by far. The note she sent along with the text message letting me know she’d finished it still makes me cry when I read it. Warning: Book Three of Quinn’s story is going to be an emotional rollercoaster!

Describe your writing style in three words. I don’t know. Honestly.

I don’t know what I’m doing half the time. Although I have found that what books I am reading shape the way I write.

Recently, I’ve noticed that the short sentences and quick action beats that are typical in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels show up in my own writing. Pairing Child’s style with the longer, more fantasy-inspired style of Sarah J. Maas, I’ve started to develop my own. (Go figure, I’ve been reading both of these authors a lot lately!)

What is your favorite thing about writing? What is your least favorite? Awesome questions! There are so many wonderful things about writing that it’s hard to choose just one. But if I have to pick, I would say being able to live any life you want to.

I started writing Quinn’s story because it was the kind of book I wanted to read. Any project I work on (ranging from a redemption story about an assassin to a Western time travel novel) comes from a desire to live in the story world I create. I like dragons and castles, so I have a book that has both. I find assassins and the way they affect the world intriguing, so I have a series about that very thing.

On the flip side, my least favorite thing about writing is finishing a project because (like finishing a good book) it’s so hard to leave the story world. Editing is low on the totem pole too, but it gives  you more time to spend learning about your characters, which in the long run is fantastic.

Your most creative ideas come when. . . When I’m supposed to be doing something else?

Seriously, though, my ideas come from just about anywhere and at any time. I can hear a new song on the radio and come up with a character or a single line of dialogue in a movie can inspire a new plot line. I spend far too much time creating aesthetic boards on Pinterest and putting together playlists for both books and characters.

Strangely enough though, I never have any good ideas in the shower. 🙂

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Keep writing. There are millions of books out there, but not one is the same as the one you can write. Just like everyone’s fingerprint is different, everyone’s story is different.

Also, don’t be afraid to “throw up” your first draft. Its only purpose is to be the mess you clean up later.

If you’re too afraid to get your hands dirty cleaning up the mess of your writing, you’re never going to write anything.

Can you give us a teaser about your WIP? Of course!

“How far back are they?” I asked my hostage.

He didn’t respond. He was slack with shock and crushed into the corner of his seat, as far away from me as he could get. He stared through the windshield, right hand braced against the door. Pale skin, long fingers—fingers stained from paint. An artist’s fingers.

“How far back?” I asked again. The engine roared in my ears.

“You killed them,” he said. “You just killed them.”

If you could become one fictional character, you would choose. . .  Saving the hardest question for last, I see. 🙂 There are so many cool characters to choose from!

Here are three (because I can’t possibly choose one): Celaena Sardothien from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series, Wendy Darling from J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (as long as I can stay in Neverland), and Bonnie Silver from Bryan Davis’s Dragons in our Midst series.

Thank you for having me on your blog, Jacqueline!

Thank you for stopping by, Brianna!

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About Brianna

Brianna Merritt is a thriller and fantasy author who drinks too much tea, loves long books, and does ballet to rock music.

You can find her on her website: https://briannamerritt.com

 

Coming Next Week: Final Crossings: Dealing With Character Deaths

 

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