Welcome to this week’s Blog Ring of Power guest, Mercedes M. Yardley. She wears stilettos, red lipstick, and poisonous flowers in her hair. Mercedes likes to do a little bit of everything, and writes dark fantasy, horror, nonfiction, and poetry. Mercedes minored in Creative Writing and worked as a contributing editor for Shock Totem Magazine. She is the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love and her debut novel Nameless: The Darkness Comes, which is the first book in THE BONE ANGEL TRILOGY. She often speaks at conferences and teaches workshops on several subjects, including personal branding and how to write a novel in stolen moments. Mercedes lives and works in Sin City, and you can reach her at www.mercedesyardley.com.
PART 2: THE WRITING PROCESS
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc.
MMY: I work on a computer. I’m joined at the hip with my computer, actually. I write much more quickly and efficiently with one. I do handwrite in a notebook when I’m doing poetry, but that’s the only time.
There’s no real routine for me. I write whenever I have a spare second. I sit on the couch in the living room so the kids can play or snack or whatever. It’s Grand Central Station in here, which makes it difficult to concentrate sometimes, but I can have an eye on my three kiddos. And I write, brush My Little Pony’s hair, write, get snacks, write, help with homework, write, answer questions about bugs and outer space, and then write some more.
How much time per day do you spend on your writing?
MMY: I spend literally every free moment. Right now I just released my debut novel, so I’m doing more promotion and that sort of thing. It’s a lot of fun and I’m enjoying it very much, but it’s cutting into my writing time. I try and spend about four hours a day doing writing-related things. It ends up being more than that, but it’s interspersed throughout the day.
What has been the most surprising reaction to something you’ve written?
MMY: I wrote a novella titled Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love. It’s about a man who kidnaps a woman with the intent to kill her, but along the way he realizes she’s special. It’s a story about love and revenge and people trying to do the best with what they have.
I received more emails about that story than anything I had ever written. People wrote that they identified with my killers and their broken, abusive backgrounds. There, but for the grace of god, go they. I received some of the most beautiful, powerful personal stories regarding that novella. It stunned me. It humbled me. It also made me realize that I need to be wary how I tread, because even though I’m writing fiction, I’m bringing up very real emotions in very real people. It was a potent experience.
What is the strongest criticism you’ve ever received as an author? The best compliment?
MMY: The strongest criticism was some wonderful advice from Mort Castle, whom I admire greatly. He said that I had beautiful writing and an ethereal voice, but I needed to tether it to reality. Ground it a bit more. I’ve been working on doing that in some of my more lyrical pieces, and I can see how that advice alone has strengthened my writing. The best compliment, I think, is when people complain that they stayed up all night to read my work, even though they had work in the morning. That makes me smile.
How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews?
MMY: Rejection is much easier for me to handle now that I’ve worked at Shock Totem Magazine and sat on the other end of the desk. I understand rejection from the editor’s standpoint. It isn’t anything personal. Something didn’t fit or didn’t click and it really isn’t a big deal. That’s helped me so much.
Negative reviews are a little harder because somebody took the time to read something and they still hate it. But every person is so very different, and their likes and dislikes vary. Also, perhaps somebody read something while in a bad mood. Perhaps the main character reminds them of somebody they can’t tolerate. I try not to let it affect me personally. One day I hope to reach the stage where I don’t read every review, but right now I’m excited to get feedback.
Is your book in print, ebook or both?
Please let us know where your readers can stalk you:
- Blog: www.abrokenlaptop.com
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mercedes.murdockyardley
- Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3084816.Mercedes_M_Yardley
- Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mercedes-M.-Yardley/e/B006B9MFA2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
- Ragnarok Publications page: http://www.ragnarokpub.com/#!mercedes-yardley/c19re
NAMELESS: Luna Masterson sees demons. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day.
Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’
After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together…even until the end.
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20431673-nameless
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nameless-Darkness-Comes-Angel-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00HWLX6RO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393133290&sr=8-1&keywords=nameless+the+darkness+comes
- BarnesandNoble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/nameless-mercedes-m-yardley/1118421829?ean=2940148357087