Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Author Tale's: Merita King

People often ask me how and why I started writing and it’s one of the questions writers get asked more often than any other.  Some of us know from childhood that we have to write, some of us want to but don’t know how until years later and others have slightly quirkier tales.  I am a combination of all three; I always knew I was good at writing and I wanted to write a book since I was a young teenager but I had neither the grammatical knowledge nor the sophisticated vocabulary with which to achieve this dream.  The few times I allowed my mother read my early attempts to get my imaginings down onto paper met with gales of laughter at my poor spelling and grammar and not a word about the plot or basic idea, which crushed any sense of being worthy of achieving such a dream so I gave up trying.

Now fast forward thirty five years to June 2011 and there was I, a devoted fan of a very well known science fiction movie character and the famous actor who portrays him.  I found his official facebook page and joined in with all the other adoring female fans.  Back in those days facebook pages had discussion boards and us gals spent hours on this actor’s page and the threads on his discussion board were many and varied.  He’s famous for playing several well known characters but my favourite was the science fiction character.  Fictional characters are always very real to me and I guess it’s because of my autism that I connect with them more easily than I do with real people.  This character quickly became my best friend.

One of the threads on the discussion board was from one gal who suggested we all try to write a brand new scene for this science fiction character.  It could be anything we wanted, so long as he was the main guy.  A few of the gals had a go and it was fun reading their scenes.  Most of them were pretty awful and were just their own personal lightly veiled erotic fantasies concerning this guy but it was fun to read them.  For ages it never occurred to me to try writing a scene; I’d been writing poetry for years and I’d done many poems inspired by this character and I always believed that’s all I could do.

Then one night, mid June 2011 as I sat reading a particularly bad scene by one gal, a thought leapt into my mind.

“I can do at least as good as this trash, if not better.  Dammit I’m gonna have a go.”

It was early evening by then and so I sat at the computer and began to write my extra scene for my favourite character.  I finally forced myself away from the computer at 4am after 5000 words and I knew I had only just scraped the surface of the story; it had miles to run yet.  A few days later, when it reached 20,000 words I sat back and sighed as I realised that this could run and run.  Another thought then trickled through my mind.

“This could be a book.  I’ve only just started and look how long it is, this could be long enough for a book.”

I then had a dilemma.  This character had already been invented; he was a trademark, he was copyrighted and I knew that if I wrote a book about an adventure with him and tried to publish it, I’d be some serious brown stuff.  I don’t have the money to risk being sued by a multi millionaire Hollywood movie director so I made a decision that changed my life.  I would start at the beginning again and take the story far away from anything to do with this already famous character.  The plot could remain the same and the peripheral characters could stay as they were, but my protagonist had to change.

And so Vincent was born and his story was told.  That first novel is dedicated to that fictional character who is still a great friend to me.  I owe him everything for it was my affection for him that helped me open the door to my destiny as a writer.  Eighteen months later, the fourth volume of the series was published and brought his story to a close.

I now have a new series beginning, the first volume of which will be out in February 2013 and I still look back in amazement at how the universe arranges things to make sure we follow our destined path.  It seems like such a tenuous chain of circumstances that encouraged me to write and how easily things might have been different.  Some might say luck or coincidence but I say no it’s not luck and there’s no such thing as coincidence.  The universe wanted me to be a writer and they used a fictional character to get me to do it; someone I loved and trusted and admired.  Who better?

Author Bio:

Merita King has loved the science fiction and fantasy genre in both books and movies since she was a young child.  She has been greatly inspired by years of watching movies and reading books and has wanted to make a contribution to this genre for many years.  Her stories all contain a strong spiritual thread  as she believes that spirituality is universal and crosses all boundaries.  She believes that the creative process is largely intuitive and can be very effectively blocked by too much pre-planning.  “Plot lines, characters and events all come to me intuitively,” she says, “and this makes the act of writing a constant pleasure.”  She is a psychic medium and lives alone in Hampshire, UK.

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