Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Talking with Libby Mercer

I'm happy to have author Libby Mercer here today to talk about her chick lit/romance novel, Unmasking Maya.

About the book:

Defamed, Disgraced and Displaced...

Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?

Not so much.

She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.

As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?

Welcome, Libby. Tell us how long you've been writing, and how did you start?

I’ve been writing for almost my entire life! I penned my first “book” at the age of seven. A picture book called Big and Small. It’s a gripping tale that goes something like this: “Apartments are big. My dollhouse is small,” and “Dad’s hat is big. Mine is only little.”

You had talent from the start. How would you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters or less.)

Fallen fashionista Maya finds refuge in the tech world. Cold, robotic Derek is immersed in his own world. Will their two worlds collide?

Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants, or let your characters tell you what to write?

I’ve always said I’m a seat-of-my-pants kind of writer. I think rather than allowing the characters to tell me what to write, the story takes charge and writes itself. In any case, I’ve never been able to stick to an outline. I’ve tried, but the story always goes off in a completely different direction.

Have you ever bought any books just for the cover? Did you enjoy the book(s)?

Absolutely. I’m a sucker for fabulously bright and pretty covers. I’ve done this a few times and usually I enjoy the book. Not always, though.

When you start a new book, do you know what the entire cast will be?

Definitely not. Since my stories are pretty much based on romances, I always have a vague idea of what my main characters will be like, but I make up everyone else as I go along.

What would your main character say about you?
She would probably tell me I’ve got a sadistic streak! I haven’t given her an easy time of it, but what can I say? It wouldn’t make for an interesting read if she’d had a charmed life with no complications.

Very true. Tell us one weird thing, one nice thing, and one fact about where you live.
I live in San Francisco, so there are a lot of weird things to choose from! I’ll go with the park/plaza in the Castro district where nudists regularly congregate. Fact: it’s the first (and I think the only) non-beach clothing-optional park in an urban American setting.
One nice thing about San Francisco is that it’s very non-judgmental. If I wanted to, I could walk around in my pajamas with messed up hair or fully decked out like a Klingon with the makeup and everything. I might get an amused smile or two in the Klingon costume, but I wouldn’t get any attitude or nasty remarks for that or for looking like I just rolled out of bed.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

To be honest, my favorite quotes are about as far from profound as you can get. They’re the ones that make me giggle, like this one from the movie, Daddy’s Dyin’...Who’s Got the Will? Two of the sisters are fighting and one of them says: “Chisel off that makeup and you’re looking at nine miles of bad Texas road.” I just think it’s the most hilarious insult. Tee hehe.

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? (Don’t worry about the money. Your publisher is paying. )

I have always wanted to go to the Caribbean. I’ve heard such lovely things about it: the relaxed atmosphere, the fact that you can stand knee deep in the water and still see your feet… Plus, I love the food! Sigh. Someday…

What are you working on now?

I’m writing a rancher romance, but of course it’s got chick lit elements. Texas cattle rancher wants his enterprise to “go green” so he brings in a sustainable farming expert – a woman from Northern California (who also happens to be a vegetarian) to help him transition the ranch. Romance ensues. I’m having a lot of fun writing it, but the amount of research involved is insane!

Sounds great. Good luck with it, and stop back when it's done and tell us more about it.

About Libby:

Born and raised in the Midwest, Libby Mercer’s adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school, and she’s since lived in Boston, NYC and London. San Francisco is the city that she currently calls home. For several years, Libby worked in fashion – first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper. She also dabbled in design for a while. Even through the crazy fashion years, Libby never let go of her dream of being a published author, and has since developed her signature writing style, crafting quirky chick lit/romance hybrids. Fashioning a Romance was her first published novel, and Unmasking Maya will be her second. Libby has a third novel, The Karmic Connection, scheduled for release in 2013.

Connect with Libby:
Facebook page
Goodreads author page