GUTGAA – Meet and Greet!

As previously mentioned, I am participating in the Gear Up to Get An Agent event this year, hosted by the wonderful Deana Barnhart. And the very first thing to do in an event like this is, of course, so participate in the meet and greet, to get to know other writers and let others get to know a little about me!

Deana Barnhart

Interesting in signing-up for GUTGAA? There’s still time! Just check out the information by clicking the badge above!

And now, onto the meet and greet.

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About Me:

I am Mere! I am 24, Canadian, and a librarian by day (and sometimes night)! I am married, and live with my husband, plus our black cat and Border Collie/Australian Shepard puppy (who is almost not a puppy anymore!)

In addition to writing, and reading, I am a big film fan. Like my reading interests, I love family films (children’s classics especially) and horror movies! I also love reading books based on movies I’ve enjoyed. I write whatever stories come into my mind. So far, that has been mostly YA, with a bit of middle grade fiction. I love creating characters, even if they don’t always do what I think they will! Writing stories is like glimpsing into a different world. Sometimes you know the characters extremely well, and you understand everything about them. Other times, you are stumped. The characters are mysteries to you, and trying to figure them out is so much fun!

And now, the questions:

-Where do you write?

    – Anywhere. I have always dreamed of having a “place” to write, but it doesn’t work like that for me. My mind decides it needs to get writing whenever, wherever. However, I tend to do a lot of writing on our dining room table, because I am usually on the first floor and so is the table and my laptop. I also quite enjoy writing in my reading room, which smells like candles and has a nice comfortable little couch to sit on.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?

    – My dog. If I’m downstairs, no doubt the dog is nearby….usually staring at me from the couch, and groaning because he doesn’t like it when I pay attention to the computer, and not to him!

-Favorite time to write?

    – When it’s raining.

-Drink of choice while writing?

    – Earl Grey Tea, with ginger snaps or orange chocolate on the side.

-When writing, do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?

    – Depends on my mood. Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I have nothing. And sometimes the television is on in the background, which occasionally doesn’t work at all, but which usually I can tune out fairly easily.

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?

    – My current manuscript is inspired by a fairy-tale. I kept reading fairy-tale retellings, and absolutely loved them. And I kept thinking “I wish I could write a story like that”. And then I finally found one that I could. I did a fairy-tale retelling, but after a bit of querying and re-examining the story, I rewrote a lot of it in a major revision. Now, it is more its own story, but it definitely still takes inspiration from a bit of an obscure fairy-tale.

-What’s your most valuable writing tip?

    – Write what you love, not what you think will sell. This actually may not be the best advice for selling a manuscript, but I think it’s important. If you love writing what might sell, that’s great. But don’t just write because of the marketing value. Make sure the story is always something you love, from beginning to end, even when you want to virtually rip the pages from your computer and throw them off a tall building!

49 Responses so far.

  1. Hi Joyce. Nice to "meet" you! That's funny how your dog feels neglected when you write. My cat doesn't like when I ignore him either. He usually tries to knock the mouse off my desk while I'm writing.
  2. Pk Hrezo says:
    Nice to meet you! I love fairy tale retellings too! I've always wanted to try it, but waiting for the right one. I know what you mean about the dog. Mine does the same thing. 🙂
  3. Hi Joyce, your dog sounds like my brother's black lab.

    I agree with you on writing what you love. 😀

  4. Carrie-Anne says:
    I agree about writing what you love. I don't understand people who seem to be writing to trends, much like (as a name nerd) I have a hard time believing people who all suddenly claim they always loved a certain extremely popular name that no one had ever heard of 5 years ago.
  5. Mere Joyce says:
    Haha, glad to know I am not the only one with annoyed pets!

    @Carrie-Anne – I definitely agree. Trends are great, if you happen to already like whatever is trendy. But I don't like it when people *love* whatever happens to be the current trend of the moment, and then forget about it as soon as it's not trendy anymore!

  6. Oooooh, I love Early grey! I'd forgotten just how much until I read your post! hahahaha. You've made me in the mood for it.

    So true about writing what you love, not just for the market. I've written paranormal before and though I loved my story, every page was a struggle. It wasn't until I stopped querying that old project and started writing contemporary YA that I realized where my true voice really was. Haven't turned back since!

    Best of luck to you with GUTGAA!

  7. I love writing in the rain too, there is something extra dramatic about a good storm happening outside your window. I should move to Washington, then I might write more, lol!
  8. VikLit says:
    A fairy tale retelling, sounds interesting!
  9. My dog is always near me when I write as well. Great inspiration if he isn't snoring. LOL! I'm following you now. Very nice to meet you!

    AA
    http://anallegedauthor.blogspot.com/

  10. Fel Wetzig says:
    Hi Mere. I'm currently in a Library Sciences program, so I'll be checking out your posts on librarianship. It's nice to meet you.
  11. Angie Sandro says:
    My dog is usually sitting on my legs if I'm writing on the sofa. Don't you just love the long suffering sighs of neglect and sad puppy eyes? She definitely keeps me company while writing late at night.
  12. Dear Mere,

    Nice to meet you. I enjoyed your answers to the GUTGAA questions. I can hear your dog groaning. Also, I remember those orange chocolates with all the wedges. I like the raspberry ones. And Toblerone. And Ghiardelli.

    Happy Writing! I'm working on a fairytale retelling in a French steampunk world currently.

    Warm regards,

    Don #138

  13. Kelley Lynn says:
    Hello! *waves*. So nice to meet you!

    Your writing advice is SPOT ON. I tried writing for the market twice and they just weren't my best stories. The two that I didn't write for the market, though difficult sells, did manage to make it. We can only do our best work if our hearts are truly in it.

  14. I LOVE fairy retellings. Some of my favorite books. Just dropping by from GUTGAA, nice to meet you!
  15. Hi Mere. I also am a fairy tale fan. My WIP is Little Mermaid but now. And without the tail. 🙂

    Love your blog! 🙂

  16. Mere Joyce says:
    Haha, so many dog lovers! And it's so true…they want all the attention. (But you gotta love them!)

    So happy to meet so many new people. Especially all you lovely fairy-tale lovers, chocolate fanatics, and writers!!

  17. Livia says:
    Nice to meet you, too! *shake hands*

    I'm also a big film fan. I really dislike horror films — they scare the heck out of me and I end up having nightmares. Yes, yes, I love watching films that are based on books. Those are my favorite besides romance films.

    "Write what you love.." Well said! I love film so I write film reviews, basically. I'm not your typical writer in the Blogosphere but I'm fitting in the best I can 🙂

  18. Hi I'm Katie just popping by from the GUTGAA.
    I love fairytale rewrites too! Ella Enchanted was one of my favourite books growing up, and Ever After is one of my favourite movies. I've done a sleeping beauty one myself, so good luck with your MS!
  19. Orange chocolate…YUM!
  20. I love orange chocolate! I just found it this year. I was suspicious, but it turned out to taste so good! It's nice to meet you!
  21. Kathleen says:
    Great advice!

    And that poor puppy, getting no attention, lol!

  22. Hello from GUTGAA! I only just created my writing space this summer, but truth be told, with a laptop or a pad and pen, I'll write just about anywhere too. Great to meet you!
    A2Z Mommy and What’s In Between
  23. Jeannette says:
    Nice to meet you fellow Canadian! I agree with your tip wholeheartedly. It would it be hard to forecast trends in the first place, and if you're not totally in love with what you're writing, I think it would show. Have fun at GUTGAA!
  24. Nice to meet you. I am a new follower from the meet and greet. You have shared a valuable writing tip. We have to be passionate about what we write. Besides, what is trending now, probably will not be by the time we finish a manuscript, polish it, land an agent and finally get published. Good advice.
  25. Oh I agree we should write what we love. Those are the best stories when the author loves it too. That's cool that your dog is beside you when you write. Me too most days (when the dog and the cat aren't trying to lay on the keyboard). Nice meeting you.
  26. S.P. Bowers says:
    I love fairy tale retellings. Several of my books have come about through fairy tales.
  27. Mere Joyce says:
    I am not a massive orange fan or anything, but I love orange chocolate!

    Yes, it's so true that what's trendy now likely won't be by the time we finish our MS (not to mention even if we did get representation and sell the book)!

    So nice to meet everyone!

  28. I'm an Earl Grey drinking writer, too 😉 Nice to meet you!
  29. Deana says:
    I think your advice might possibly be the best way to sell a manuscript, because it's from the heart. Nobody wants to read a contrived piece just because it's what sells. At least I don't:) Your reading room sounds simply divine! Thanks for being a part of this blogfest! It's so great to meet you:)
  30. Nicole says:
    "My mind decides it needs to get writing whenever, wherever"

    Ha, mine does that too! Nice to *meet* you. 😉

  31. "Write what you love, not what you think will sell". That's great advice!
  32. bethhull.com says:
    I love that advice, as well! I interviewed Katherine Longshore on my blog a few months ago, and she said something similar. She wrote a YA historical, which wasn't very popular when she was querying. But ended up selling it in a 3-book deal. Passion for our stories shines through, beyond genre and trends.

    Also, I hadn't ever thought of it, but a rainy day is the best writing day! (Well, any day that I can write for more than an hour without interruption is a great day for me.)

    Best of luck in the contest!

  33. Hi says:
    Hi,
    GUTGAA blog hopping. Thought I'd stop and say hello. I like your writing tip, to write what you love. Your dog sounds cute. I have a cat, and he does the same.
  34. Hello, GUTGAA hopping. I love fairy tales, but I think that is hard to rewrite. I love the show Once Upon A Time and they know how to do it. Good Luck with your writing.
  35. Hello. I've got my blog hopping shoes on! Nice to meet you
  36. Johana Vera says:
    Hi! Nice to meet you 😀
    I so wish I had a job like yours.. It´s like the booknerd`s ultimate dream job!
    And my characters surprise me more often than not, too.
    Stop by to say hi:D
    Read you around!
  37. Larissa says:
    Nice to meet you! I love when my characters surprise me. 🙂
  38. D. D. Falvo says:
    Oooo, yes! Rain makes for great writing ambience– as do your lovely scented candles. Great stuff! Enjoyed meeting you. 😀
  39. Trisha says:
    Hey, nice to meet you – I too am a librarian! 🙂
  40. Ellie Heller says:
    There do seem to be a plethora of librarians about!! Nice to meet you. 🙂
  41. Stacey Nash says:
    My characters surprise me too, often with cliff hangers at the end of chapters. Nice to meet you Joycee:) Happy GUTGAA
  42. Mere Joyce says:
    Nice to see some other librarians! Yes, it is sort of the ultimate motivator to write…you are surrounded by books all day, and you see people reading them, requesting them, devouring them…you definitely want to be a part of that!

    Characters are the best, eh? Even the ones you love/hate.

    Nice to meet everyone!

  43. cleemckenzie says:
    I love writing when it's raining! And I miss not seeing my dog who used to shadow my every move.

    Good luck with your agent stalking, er hunting . . . no, I mean search. Darned words just won't come today.

  44. Earl Grey and rain – what a fantastic combination. I love fairy tale retells! Best of luck with GUTGAA – we're in for a nerve-wracking 6 weeks…
  45. Nice to meet a fellow canadian! I love your writing tip, I think it's super important to love what you write, if you aren't passionate about it, how could you expect someone else to be, right?
  46. Earl Grey is the best! I have some streusel teacakes on my blog you might want to check out (midwesternfarmgirl.wordpress.com) Best of luck with GUTGAA!

    Writing blog: themysteryofwriting.wordpress.com

  47. Oh, I love fairy tales! Nice to meet you – I'm a new follower!
  48. Tamara says:
    Nice to meet you. I too love Earl Grey tea and my dogs. I have you beat on that front though, since I have four of them staring at me morosely when I forget to give them tummy scratches and cheese. 🙂

    Australian Shepards are beautiful dogs, I've always wanted one. You'll have to post a pic sometime. (I love dogs, can you tell?)

    Its so cool that you wrote a fairy-tale retelling. I've always wanted to try that as well. I'm curious as to which one you based it on? Did you read "Kill Me Softly?" That was pretty neat, and based on a bunch of different fairy-tales, which was really cool.

    So, after getting inspired by all the great blogs on GUTGAA I finally started my own. I'd love it if you'd stop by. It's http://www.onemagicbeanbuyer.blogspot.com Since I'm new to this I'm kind of in desperate need of followers. haha. Good luck with GUTGAA!

  49. I've always wanted to do a fairy tale retelling – the Grimm Brothers were the first authors I remember loving! – but I just don't think I could do it justice. I'm super impressed you got through it.

    I've always wanted a writing place as well but now that I finally have a study, I still find myself sitting on the lounge (or in bed) with my laptop propped up on my lap.

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