Today I’m excited to have an interview with Merry Brown on the blog, author of Gold Manor Ghost House!
Did something inspire you to write Gold Manor Ghost House?
I finished my first novel, The Knowers, and was looking for inspiration. I started writing a book about dreaming, but 10,000 words into it, it was going nowhere. I remember sitting at a coffee shop, facing facts, and making the hard decision to start over.
So I had the idea of the main character experiencing some kind of interactive dreaming, but I was looking for more. The more came from my kids. Their TV watching habits gave me the idea I needed, the place in which my characters would live. Once I found the backdrop to Gold Manor Ghost House, which is a teen drama TV set, the story began to crystallize in my mind.
What did you find most challenging about writing Gold Manor Ghost House?
I think it was a cross between containing my ideas and the discipline to actually do the writing. In fact, the hardest part was definitely wrangling my body and mind into a chair, opening the computer to the GMGH document, and writing. Even when I knew where the story was going, even when I was excited about how it was unfolding, still… it was hard to do the actual work of writing.
Have you been influenced by any particular writer’s style?
I’m sure I have, but can’t tell you whom. I think my style is a mixture of the YA lit I’ve read mixed with the pop culture I’ve consumed over my life.
If you had to choose a place to haunt, where would you be and why?
Well, I suppose I’d find a beautiful cathedral or basilica. Possibly the St. Louis Basilica. Why? I’d want to be close to the beauty, art, reverence, incense, and divine.
On a side note, I don’t think this will ever be a real concern for me. I know I wrote a book that suggests there are ghosts (maybe they do exist in the GMGH world, and maybe they don’t), but in real life, I don’t think ghosts are metaphysically possible.
If you could meet any fictional character who would you pick?
I’ve loved so many fictional characters in books, TV, and film, it’s difficult to choose! I love Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. From books, and this may sound self-serving, but I’d like to meet Lizzy from The Knowers. First of all, she’s from my mind, and I’d like to meet her in the flesh. Also, because of what she is.
What was the most exciting aspect about writing Gold Manor Ghost House?
I had a lot of fun writing Gold Manor Ghost House, but the most exciting aspect is sharing the book. I get so excited when someone reads it! I get butterflies, tongue-tied, and sometimes I sweat. It’s such a natural high to know others have been in this world and become invested in Anna, Adam, Corey and the gang. If you could see me right now, you’d see the huge grin on my face.
What is the last book that you read?
Right now I’m reading The 5th Wave by Richard Yancey. Before that, I read Fox Forever, the last book in the Jenna Fox Chronicles by Mary Pearson. Next up is either Clockwork Princes by Cassandra Clare, Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, or A Million Suns by Beth Revis. So many great books to read!
Thanks so much for answering my questions! Now here’s a little more about the book:
Anna thought life was going to be awesome. She was right…and wrong.
Won her dream job acting in a hit TV series. Check.
Working with her best friend. Check.
The set’s haunted and she’s in the middle of a supernatural war. Uh, check?
Anna Rose Ellington is sixteen and living in Hollywood, hoping to be a star. Anna just landed a major role on Ghost House, TeenTV’s new fall drama. A show promising to be so hot, Meg Sweet (the reigning teenage diva), signed on for the lead, and Adam Lewis (international rock sensation) is a principal player.
Her dreams are falling into place until she gets on set and begins questioning her sanity. It’s true she has an unusual dream life, where once in a while her dreams literally come true. But it’s been a while. On top of her dreams not staying put in her brain, including the guy she’d been dreaming of for years, the house they’re filming in, Gold Manor, might actually be haunted. But that’s the least of her worries.
If that’s not enough to interest you, here’s an excerpt!
As a special treat on this, my 11th birthday, Aunt Melinda invited me for a sleepover. The promise of pizza, painting toe nails, and having the attention of my favorite person in the world, all to myself, was the perfect way to celebrate.
I remember sitting on the dusty rose laminate countertop of her kitchen as she kneaded the dough. She listened as I told her about school and the drama of the playground. I remember her strange reaction as I recounted a vivid dream I had about a boy with an English accent, dark curly hair, and jade eyes.
Her hands dripping with tomato sauce and chest covered in flour, she hugged me, holding on tightly. I was trying to figure out why she was acting so strangely when a heavy knock on the front door broke the moment.
I remember the look in her eyes as she made me promise to stay out of sight in the kitchen, no matter what I heard or what happened. She made me promise, yet again, to never tell the secret she made me keep. She knew I didn’t understand what the big deal was, but I promised.
“Swear, on my life,” her voice too urgent.
That was the last word she ever heard me say.
I heard the door open from my hiding place under the sink.
I heard her gasp in surprise.
I heard a shot and her fall to the ground screaming, and a rough, low voice say, “Check.”
I heard her cries turn to gurgling.
Fear ruling my brain, I had to see what was going on. Creeping out, yet remaining hidden, I looked.
I saw her on the floor, bleeding.
I saw a tall, broad man standing over her, smiling.
I saw this man bend down, rip out, and eat her heart.
I saw Aunt Melinda standing in the doorway as pale as a ghost… and on the floor, dead.
Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour or to comment below! The author is giving away a $25 amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter! You can follow the rest of the tour here.