Sunday, September 04, 2011
Meradeth Houston - Colors Like Memories
by Meradeth Houston
Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of. In order to save her best friend's life, she's going to have to face her past, but her ghosts won't make it easy. Especially his.
Since Meradeth's cover isn't available yet, she's provided us with the celebrity faces who most match her characters.
Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.
When Edison arrives at school, Julia's plan to focus on her work is thrown into chaos. Somehow, he knows way too much about her past. To make matter worse, Edison sparks more than just her curiosity. But he's one more distraction, and Julia has no time, especially when she accidentally reveals her true identity to her assignment. To help her grieving friend, she'll have to face her past—it’s the only way she, and her best friend, will heal. But to do so she’s going to have to return to the scene of crime and relive every vivid detail of what happened the day of the accident. If she can’t accept what happened, she’ll be forced to leave the Sary and lose any chance she had at saving her assignment’s life. It’ll take learning to trust Edison, and herself, to face the true color of her memories.
(Q) Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, please tell our readers where they can find you.
(A) Thanks for having me! I’d love to have people stop by. Here are my links.
Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/MeradethSnow ) and Google+, where I’m always interested in meeting new people!
(Q) Tell everyone a bit about your books including buy links.
(A) My debut novel, Colors Like Memories will be out in May of next year with MuseItUp (I know that’s not for a while, but it feels like it’s creeping closer and closer!). CLM is a book that is near and dear to me, and I’m so happy it’s found a home and will actually go out into the world for other people to read—and hopefully enjoy a little too ;).
(Q) Where did the concept for the book (or books) come about?
(A) The Sary have been in my head since I dreamed them up when I was 11 (I think that’s how old I was—it’s been a while!). I remember pretty clearly being on a camping trip with my family and thinking about some creature in a book I’d just finished, and how I’d really liked a couple of aspects about them, but if I could change things, they’d be a little different, and viola, the Sary came about! Well, there’s been some refining of their world over the past few novels I’ve written in their world, but they’re pretty much the same. (Maybe it’s time to start dreaming up another world? ?)
(Q) How long did it take you to finish, from concept to final product?
(A) I started writing this book about 2008, I think. I remember listening to the song “Shadow of the Day” by Linkin Park and having the concept just show up in my mind. I started the story as soon as I got home, writing the two halves of the book in a few months. Then, it languished in my hard-drive for a few years while I worked on another time-travel book that has since been shelved. So, all told, I have no idea how long it took to write this book. A looong time!
(Q) Which authors have most influenced your own writing?
(A) So many! Madeline L’Engle is my biggest influence. I still read A Wrinkle In Time when I’m in need of a pick-me-up (I love Meg!). Other influences have been JK Rowling, and Stephanie Meyer, both because I love their books, but also because they weren’t afraid to just go out and DO it, despite all the obstacles. I really started thinking that maybe I could actually get my stories into the world by watching their careers. (Now, if only I could figure out how to be that popular, haha!)
(Q) What do you do for fun other than writing?
(A) I read. A Lot. I keep a log on my blog of the books I’ve read, and especially the ones I’ve enjoyed. Also, I am a runner and am completing my doctorate (the latter doesn’t exactly count as fun, but it does take up about 90% of my time).
(Q) Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?
(A) I always am listening to music. My iPod is glued to me ?. As I mentioned, Linkin Park was a big influence for Colors, but I also listen to a lot of The Black Keys, Coldplay, and Snow Patrol (along with a million others—I have very eclectic taste and am always looking for recommendations!).
My muse is strongest near the ocean. I dream about a cottage near the sea, where it’s foggy in the mornings sometimes, and I can hear the waves and gulls. I get some of my best writing done when I can sneak away to the beach—thankfully it’s only about an hour away from me here.
(Q) Do you secretly want to write another genre, but don't think you can do it?
(A) I would like to write a book for adults revolving around some of the concepts that I’ve worked on for my doctorate. It’s just something that kind of scares me, as I know how picky I can be about other people using science in their books when they don’t know what they’re talking about (I don’t want to sound harsh, but it’s just been my observation that some things can stray a little from reality, and that rubs my inner scientist the wrong way). So, if I can find a way to keep true to the science, I’d love to write a good story about something really science-based. Someday!
(Q) Plotter or pantser?
(A) pantser, 100%. I like a little mystery in where my story’s going—even if it’s just for me!
(Q) Coffee or tea?
(A) Pepsi ?. I don’t drink coffee or tea, but sometimes a jolt of caffeine and sugar totally gets me going!
(Q) Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they? (optional if you don't have a WIP to talk about)
(A) I have a manuscript I’m revising that is also set in the Sary universe. We’ll see what happens with that, but I love the characters! I’m also in the process of drafting a sci-fi book that I’m currently describing as Buffy meets the creepy shadow monster from Lost (though the little oily squiggle things in X-Files might be a better description). I’m really loving the story, and hope to finish it soon!
(Q) What do you do to market your work? How did you start and where do you learn to market?
(A) This is a very good question! I don’t know how to market at all, and I’m really trying to learn. Taking part in this interview, and the others in the blog-fest are my first real entry into the marketing realm. I do blog and keep up on my social media (facebook and google, etc), but I’m all ears for other good ideas!
(Q) If you'd like to add anything, please do so.
(A) If you’re interested in a copy of Colors Like Memories when it comes out, please leave a comment here or any of the other blogs I’ll be visiting this month. Or leave a comment at each of the blogs, for more entry chances! I’ll draw a winner from comments and announce it on my blog at the end of the month. Please leave me a way to get in contact with you!
(Q) How about an excerpt to tantalize the readers?
(A) Umm, how about the opening (it’s probably my favorite part):
I greeted his tombstone the way I always did—with a swift kick. The release of frustration was more than worth the sharp pain in my toes. The polished marble tilted to the left because of all my visits; a crooked tooth in the rows of pearly white graves.
I folded my legs under me, shuddering as the chill of the damp grass seeped through my clothes. “I keep hoping one of these days you’ll be here waiting for me.” The words were tradition. Some small part of me still clung to the hope I’d come over the hill to find him leaning over his grave, wearing a sly smile. He died so very long ago, but I couldn’t stop wishing.
Leaning forward, I rested my forehead against my knees and closed my eyes, longing for a few minutes of rest. A few minutes to pretend it was someone else buried beneath me. I tried to explain this to him, but tonight I didn’t have the will to pretend it was more than starlight that listened.
It took a long time to notice, building imperceptibly until I finally looked over my shoulder. Someone was there, watching me. It hadn’t been a sound that alerted me so much as the feel of their gaze, heavy in the darkness. After so many nights spent here, I knew the difference.