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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Welcome Meradeth Houston

The last visitor to my blog on the MuseItUp YA/MG tour is Meradeth Houston. Welcome Meradeth. Would you like to tell us about your new release.

Bio: Meradeth Houston is finishing her degree-to-end-all-degrees in anthropology. Don’t ask her how long she’s been in school . She is also an instructor at her university, and spends most of her time working in a laboratory. Please drop by her blog or website!
Description of Colors Like Memories (available May 2012): 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.
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.

Contest: 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!

Dream Weaving: (Oh dear, that’s a dorky title, but now it’s stuck in my head and I can’t come up with anything better…I guess it’ll have to do!) First of all, thanks a million to Sue for hosting me today! If you haven’t done so already, totally go check out my interview with her here on my blog . I’m really looking forward to Spirit Stealers!!

So, Sue asked me to put together a bit of a post about how I get my ideas, and then turn them into stories. Hmm, this is a very good question. One of those that somehow I think I should have a nicely articulated answer for. But, honestly? I don’t! (Lame, I know.) I can say where I tend to get my ideas: music. More often than not, I’ll be listening to a song and a scene/character/story will pop into my head. That’s what happened with Colors. I was listening to the then-current song “Shadow of a Day” by Linkin Park and suddenly I just had this story in mind. It was more of ghost of a story—a few tidbits of a character, a sense of overwhelming loss, and well, everything else kind of came together from there. I always kind of hate it when people say a novel “wrote itself” but in reality, Colors kind of did that. It was almost eerie how all the pieces clicked together.

My current WIP was the same way. I was listening to a song by The Black Keys (LOVE them!), and there was a story, waiting to be told. It’s taken some very random twists and turns, but it’s been a blast to write!

So, ideas kind of hit me out of the blue. I wish I had a kind of system worked out, but where’s the fun in that? Sometimes I like the surprise . And sometimes I find myself at my computer at 2am, wishing I could sleep, but knowing that if I don’t write this chapter down NOW, I’ll never get any rest. Yay for a creative life!

Anyhow, turning ideas into a novel is where the hard work is. It requires a lot of time sitting in front of a computer, getting into the rhythm of the story, and then many more hours tearing it all apart to make it stronger. If you can imagine, I listen to music during a lot of this, and regularly at the end of things I’ll have the one song that gave me the idea, along with one or two others, playing on repeat over and over. (I won’t say how many times “Shadow of a Day” has been played on my iTunes. Let’s just say it’s a lot. The number is actually kind of frightening to me…)

So, for me, inspiration is pretty random. Considering I am listening to music most of the time, it makes sense that every once and a while a song will trigger a story. Writing it down and creating a book from it is where the hard work is. I love it though!

How about the readers? Do you have a particular source of inspiration? A way that you weave it into a story? Leave a comment! (And remember, comments enter you into my contest, too!!)


Unknown said...

Inspiration for me is random,too. I always wondered if it was the same for others or if I was the only one walking around without a clue (ha ha). Your book sounds great!

Thanks for sharing,
Concilium, July 2012
twitter: michelle_kp

Unknown said...

I have a vision of hundreds of writers pecking away at their keyboards at 2 am. Why does our muses insist on keep these hours? lol Your new books sounds intriguing. Meradeth, I have two teen daughters who go through books like water. Will have to pick it up for them... and me *wink
Wavin' to Sue. Hi to you too!

Meradeth Houston said...

Thanks so much for hosting me, Sue! It's been a pleasure :) And thanks for all those who have stopped by!

Charlie said...

Hi Meradeth,
Your muse sounds almost like mine...give her any hint of a next topic and off she runs! Good luck with your new WIP. Can't wait to read your book.
C.K. Volnek

Sue Perkins said...

Thank you for visiting Meradeth. This month has shown me so many good books to buy I don't know where to start. Wave to Adelle too