Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's All About the Author... with Mere Joyce and Blank Canvas ~ #giveaway @MereJoyceWrites @evernightteen

It’s All About the Author…

1)     Please tell us 5 interesting facts about yourself that readers might not know about you …

1.      I write under the name Mere Joyce, which is actually the first half of my first name (Meredith), and my middle name.
2.      I recently got my first ever tattoo. It’s a raft floating on a river, with a quote from Huckleberry Finn (for my son, Finn) on my left foot.
3.      I am a big Alan Rickman fan. So much so that I currently own 44 of his films (and counting!)
4.      I’m Canadian, but I spent my adolescent years in the U.S. (mainly in Oklahoma). I also lived in New Zealand for a year when I was four!
5.      I’m left-handed, =)

2)      What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m a big homebody, so when I’m not writing (or working at the library) I’m usually at home playing with my 9 month old son, reading, or watching something with my husband. We’re big movie-buffs, particularly when it comes to horror movies, so we’re always collecting and watching new and old favourites.

3)      Is there one book that you love to read over and over again?  If so, what is it and what is it that keeps you coming back to it?

I’m not a re-reader, generally. But the one book I have read several times is J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. It’s my all-time favourite read. Even though it’s a work of children’s literature, I’ve only ever read it as an adult, and I’ve adored it from the first. It’s funny, sweet, full of magic, and it’s surprisingly dark, which I love.

4)      How did you get started writing and have you always wanted to be an author?

I don’t know exactly when I realized I like to write, but I was writing poems and stories by the ninth grade. I’ve definitely always wanted to be an author. Writing is part of who I am, and I never feel as complete as I do when I’m creating stories.

5)      If you for some reason couldn’t be an author, what would your other choice be?

Well, when I’m not writing I work as a librarian (which I love), so I would definitely stay in that world. Not only do I get to spend my days surrounded by books, but I also get to be at the heart of my community, which is fantastic.

6)      Did you like school?  Were you a good student?

I hated school! I was always a good student...I was quiet and got good marks...but I never enjoyed it. I found school boring, and I moved a lot so I didn’t usually have many friends. Really, I was typically part of the “invisible” population. I can’t complain because I was never bullied, but half the time if I missed a class, the teacher wouldn’t have even noticed (and often marked me present anyways!) I just never felt like I belonged there, and while I love learning, I much prefer doing it on my own.

7)        When you write, is there a specific way you have to write, ie:  certain room, noise or quiet, computer or paper etc…

I always wanted to have a writing routine,’s never happened! I write on my laptop, usually sitting on the couch, often with a baby on my lap. T.V., music, a conversation, or no noise at all...I’m pretty adaptable.

8)       If you could write a collaboration with another author, do you have one in mind and what would you write?

Hmm...that’s a tough question. I’ve never thought about collaborating before, but if I were to pick a dream author for this, I’d choose Meg Rosoff. I don’t know what the plot would be, but I’d love for each of us to write one half of a couple!

9)        How do you come up with your story ideas? 

My inspiration comes from many different sources. Dreams, songs, pictures, my own life...there’s never been one source of inspiration in particular, although I’m fond of musical inspirations because it gives me an excuse to listen to the same song over and over again =)

10)  Do titles stump you or do they come easy?  When do you pick a title, before the story is written or when it’s done?

Writing titles is not my favourite activity...I usually pick a title early on, and then fret about it the entire time I’m writing the book. I also force my husband to help with brainstorming! The final title is typically put in place during edits.

11)  Do you keep a notebook near you for when new ideas pop into your head?
I have a writing journal, but I only use it sporadically. I try to take it around with me, but it’s big, so often I end up leaving it at home. Sometimes I’ll copy notes from random sheets of paper into it, but sometimes I end up working directly on the computer.

12)  If you write a series, do you re-read your previous books before you begin the new one?

I’ve written a few potential series-starters, but so far I haven’t reached the writing stage for any ‘Book 2’, so I’m not sure whether I’d re-read or not!

13)  How does your family feel about your writing?

My family is supportive, none more so than my husband. He’s fantastic with helping me brainstorm ideas or work through problems. Plus, he’ll watch our son if I need a few minutes of uninterrupted writing time, which is definitely appreciated!

Thanks for sharing “you as an author” with us !  We hope you’ll come back and visit again soon!

Thanks so much for hosting me and my book! It was a pleasure, =)

* * * * * 

Blank Canvas
Mere Joyce
Evernight Teen Publishing
@50K ~ Romance/Suspense/Contemporary

Three years ago, sixteen-year-old Maddie Deacon was abducted on her way home from her school’s Art Showcase. Five months ago, she escaped the madman she calls The Painter. Before being taken, painting was Maddie’s life. Now, it’s her nightmare. 
Maddie wants to forget her years in captivity. She’d rather spend her time getting reacquainted with her parents and her sister, not to mention her cello-playing, beautiful boy next door and childhood best friend Wesley. But paint is everywhere, and tormenting shadows linger in every portrait she encounters. 
When the yearly Art Showcase once again approaches, Maddie has the chance to win a scholarship and start planning a future far away from the horrors of her past. She knows she has to make a choice–confront her memories of The Painter and overcome her fear of the canvas, or give up painting forever. 

Buy Links:      Evernight Teen     Amazon     ARe

“Hello, Maddie,” Tim says, taking a sip from his Healing Expressions coffee cup. I’m glad he and Juliet call me Maddie instead of Madison, like Klara does. I’ve gone by Maddie since my days in preschool, and being called it here makes the office seem slightly less institutional.
Of course, it doesn’t make this moment any less awful.
“H-hi,” I stammer, my voice thin. My feet ache as I force them across the threshold. Tim prefers it if I close the door behind me, but I need to see my escape route. Shakily, I cross the room and sit on the bench along the wall of windows that look down over the parking lot. The cushions are soft, bright orange, and there are pink and green and blue throw pillows scattered along the seat. I grab the blue one, and hug it to my chest as I stare at the world on the free side of the glass panes.
It’s a strange sensation, watching the world like this. In elementary school, at recess, I would sit by the fences backing the neighborhood houses. With my head tilted into the cool fall or warm spring breeze, I would close my eyes and picture the people in those houses: people not working, people working from home, people driving the streets or watering their lawns or relaxing in front of the TV, while I remained stuck at school for another several hours. I have the same thoughts now as I gaze over the parking lot, far out to the park, the townhouse complex, and the streets beyond. So many people sleeping, reading, shopping––all while I’m here, trapped behind a wall of glass.
It helps to keep my back to the easel. Slowly, the panic of my arrival subsides, and I take full gulping breaths until I’ve settled into muted unease.
“How are you feeling today, Maddie?” Tim asks. He remains seated. I get antsy if his six-foot-three inch body looms over me.
“I’m fine,” I lie. I’m never fine. Not anymore. But declaring it is like stating the obvious.
“How’s school?” I can hear a smile in his voice. I like Tim’s voice, with its deep, quietly enthusiastic tone. I’m fairly certain I like Tim, too. Or at least I would, if the circumstances were different. If he didn’t have the task of prying, of guiding me into frigid, infested waters every time we meet.
“It’s fine,” I say, shrugging my shoulders.
Tim’s chair scrapes across the floor as he stands. I keep my eyes fixed on the parking lot outside. I’ve found Wesley’s tiny van, and I watch it intently.
Tim approaches, sits on the bench a ways off. “Did you read any papers this week?”
“No.” The tension I nearly shed on the ride over here is creeping back again. I hate therapy. I don’t understand how digging into every unpleasant crevice of my subconscious is supposed to make my life easier.
“How about the news? Did you watch any?” Tim asks, even though I’m already shaking my head.
“Y-You know I didn’t,” I reply, and Tim breathes out, the resulting sound just short of a sigh.
“How many times have you had to avoid his picture?” he asks, and I squeeze the pillow until my fingers are white.
“S-Seventy … S-Seventy-two,” I choke out.
It’s become a habit keeping track of the number of times I stop myself from seeing him. When I go to the drugstore and see the papers lined in a hideous row. When the news comes on, and reporters rehash what happened.
In the beginning, it was far harder. There were articles all over, news stories, constant threats to my sanity. Five months on, most of my count comes from the personal attacks, the times I remember something, imagine something, and his face almost manages to push its way in.
“Good. An improvement on last week,” Tim says, the pleasing smoothness of his voice giving the achievement a more respectable air than it deserves. Last week there were seventy-eight occurrences. Having six fewer episodes means nothing, except Tim is trying to be as positive as possible.
Plus, there’s the phone call to consider. Last week might have been an improvement, but I’m certain my methods of diversion will fail to keep me from replaying the conversation I wasn’t supposed to hear this morning.

Author Bio

Mere Joyce lives in Ontario, Canada. As both a writer and a librarian, she understands the importance of reading, and the impact the right story can have. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and holds a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario.

When she’s not writing, reading, or recommending books, Mere likes to watch movies with her husband, play games with her son, go for walks with her dog, and drink lots of earl grey tea with orange chocolate on the side.

Twitter: @MereJoyceWrites

Tourwide Giveaway:   $20 Evernight Teen GC

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interview, and for being a part of the tour!