Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Greg Meritt, age 57 (wow, that sounds so old)
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.)
After high school, I attended community college where I studied business, but I never did get my degree (life got in the way). I am the Regional Director for a company that franchises commercial cleaning services. I have been with the same company for the last fifteen years. For the past eleven years I have been married to my soulmate (corny, but true). Eight years ago, we adopted three children, all siblings. Two boys and a girl: Curtis age 12, Coara age 10 and Cannon age 9. I also have a thirty-two-year-old disabled son from a previous marriage.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
The Adoptionis the 2017 Book Viral Millennium Award Winner in the Suspense Category and one of seven finalists overall.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in 2013 as a means of relaxation and escape. I have been an avid reader all my life and always wanted to write, but never found the time. And then the bug bit me hard and one morning I just started. I have over forty short stories (my first love), a novella and my full-length novel, The Adoption.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my short story, The Attic, was chosen out of 5,900 entries for inclusion in the 2013 Writer’s Digest Short, Short Story Competition.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My adopted children. I was in the shower one day and this thought struck me: What if the adoption wasn’t anything at all like what we’d thought? What if it was all contrived, planned out for some purpose unknown to us? So, I sat down and wrote “The Adoption.”
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I think the answer to this question is self-evident. But I did have to add the tag line: A Psychological Thriller so readers would know it wasn’t a non-fiction book about the process of adopting your own child.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m a panster – I don’t plot much of anything. I get an idea and then the story just takes over and I transcribe the eventsas they unfold in my head. I do, however, find the editing process challenging sometimes.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think the characters are realistic in the way they interact, especially Claire and Logan, who are loosely based on my wife and myself. But large chunks of the novel some might find unrealistic – it has paranormal and science fiction elements woven throughout the story. Some have said it is a bit far-fetched, while others have said that these things are certainly possible. And isn’t fiction about exploring new territory and suspending your beliefs?
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, I only travel in my head. However, I LOVE road trips with the kids. And if I need to go somewhere, there is always Google Earth!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did. I love everything about the creation process, including cover design.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. That love is everything and good always prevails. And things are not always what they seem – anything is possible.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Michelle Kidd is a new author that I love to read. Her book, Timeless Moments, is fantastic and her writing is superb. My all-time favorite author, though, is the King himself, Stephen King. What fascinates me about his work is the way he makes a story so intriguing you forget you’re reading a story. Compelling. Mr. King deals with everyday life, which I think is what makes his work so appealing. It is relatable.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Michelle Kidd – she encouraged me to publish when I didn’t want to.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’m hopeful, yes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
There are many, many distractions. Do not check email, or play on the internet and turn off your cell phone when writing. It is too easy to become lazy. Discipline is required.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Michelle Monaghan for Claire, Lucy Liu for Sylvia, and Josh Duhamel for Logan.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Grow a thick skin. And don’t write what you think people want to read, write what’s in your heart. Be true to yourself.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
The support and kind words you’ve given me mean more to me than I can say. You guys are the best!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Stand by Stephen King.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh? Great stand-up comedy like Jeff Dunham, Tim Allen, Bill Burr. And cry? – Chick flicks. Sad endings: Million Dollar Baby, Grand Torino, Titanic, Ghost – that sort of thing. Kids being bullied, homelessness and love lost also make me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Mark Twain. So I could pick his brain about writing and life in general.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Racquetball, movies, reading, road trips!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Guardians of the Galaxy, Mindhunter, Ozark, Life in Pieces, Stranger Things, Criminal Minds, CSI
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Steak, pizza, purple, blue, REO Speedwagon, Creedence Clearwater, Katie Perry, Taylor Swift, Bryan Adams, Billy Joel.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
If there were books available, I’d read. And play sports.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N56RWEE
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N56RWEE
And here is a link to Book Viral for the 2017 Millenium Award Suspense Category Winner and Finalist Overall: http://www.bookviral.com/2017-book-award-long-list/4594057364
Oh, one more (ha ha) – Readers Favorite: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-adoption