This month I am happy to welcome Debut Author Regina Merrick. Join me as we all get to know her.
All about Regina Merrick.
Regina Merrick began reading romance and thinking of book ideas as early as her teenage years when she attempted a happily-ever-after sequel to “Gone With the Wind.” That love of fiction parlayed into a career as a librarian, and she is currently the director of a small public library in Marion, KY. She began attending local writing workshops and continued to hone her craft by writing several short and novel-length fan-fiction pieces published online, where she met other authors with a similar love for story, a Christian worldview, and happily-ever-after. Married for 30+ years and active in their church, Regina and her husband have two grown daughters who share her love of music, writing, and the arts.
Tell us about your writing history.
I began writing fan fiction about 10 years ago, when I discovered a site that celebrated the TV series “Sue Thomas FBEye,” a crime drama with a Christian worldview. The series struck a chord with people looking for clean, edifying stories, and when it ended after 4 seasons, the stories began. From this, I met some fellow authors who were seeking publication, and members of the American Christian Fiction Writers organization. After finishing my first original manuscript, I went to the ACFW national conference, and began trying to find a place for my novel. After giving up on publication, I became a part of the Ken-Ten Writing Group where I met other Christian authors and the owners of Mantle Rock Publishing, who ultimately published “Carolina Dream.”
Why do you write?
I write because I love to read. As a librarian, I am surrounded by books. Some are good, and some could be so much better. When I found fan fiction that I felt could be better, that’s when I began writing, mainly to prove to myself that I could finish something. I did.
What is your favorite book to read?
Asking a librarian what is her favorite book is like asking who is your favorite child! At this moment, Laura Frantz’s Christian Historical “A Moonbow Night” is right up there. I could swoon just thinking about it. When I re-read a book, it’s usually one of these: A Little House book, a Grace Livingston Hill book, or an old Harlequin romance by Kiwi author Essie Summers.
Do you have a favorite thing you like to do when you write? (eg music, tv etc.)
Since I’m also a musician, I have a hard time listening to music while I write. I find myself listening instead of writing. Sometimes I find a soundtrack of nature sounds – ocean waves, birds singing, etc. THAT, I can handle. No television. Too much distraction! I do like to make sure I have something to drink nearby.
What drew you to the genre you write in?
Christian Romance has been my favorite genre for as long as I can remember. When I was 12, my grandmother handed me a Grace Livingston Hill novel, and from that point on, I had a standard for reading, and ultimately, for writing. I knew early on that romance does not have to be graphic or suggestive, but that God-centered romance reflects the romance between Jesus and His bride, the church.
What does your writing time look like?
At this time, my writing time is scattered. It’s usually deadline driven, even if it’s my own deadline. Evenings, weekends, a few minutes here and there during the day – that, unfortunately, is what my writing time looks like!
How do you fit writing into life, working full time?
THAT is the issue I’m dealing with, now. My first novel is out, and readers are consistently asking, “When is your next novel coming out? We’re ready NOW!”