Check out this author spotlight for fantasy writer Merri Halma!
You can find all the links for where to find her furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!
1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!
Thank you for having me. I’m Merri Halma. I’m originally from Central Washington State. I now reside in the Treasure Valley in Idaho with my husband and son. I’ve been a writer since I was eleven years old. I write fantasy with metaphysical visionary elements. I have four novels out in the Indigo Travelers world and a paranormal/romance called The Haunting of Powell Hall.
2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!
Winter, spring, summer or autumn?
I love spring and summer because the days are warm. I rather be warm than freezing in the snow and ice of winter.
Cat or dog?
Cat, most definitely. When I was a kid, we had dogs. I showed them in 4-H and AKC. After I grew up, I fell in love with cats because they are more independent and love on me in a way that dogs don’t. Though, I miss walking an animal. My son tried to lease train one of our cats when we first adopted him. But he was too old. He just flopped down in the street and wouldn’t move any further. We were disappointed. When I think about it, it is quite funny. I should have taken a photo of that.
Library or museums?
I like both. I could spend hours in each place because they both inspire me to dream. Museums house art, history and I can learn about civilizations that thrived eons ago. I can also learn about artists that might not have gotten the respect and admiration of their time, like Van Gogh. I can do the same in a library. In addition, I can sit in a study room or at a table and write or roam the floors looking at books and researching in subject possible. Both are places to inspire dreams and stories.
Witches or wizards?
I would say it is a tossup. Though, I do lean towards Wizards because they encompass so many possibilities, like education, wisdom and knowledge of ancient paths or civilizations. Though, witches have the same possibilities, it is just their true stories have been tainted with undermining the wisdom of the divine feminine. Witches or crones used to be the women in the village or tribe that kept the knowledge and stories of how to heal, travel between worlds and which herbs and plants to use for healing. As civilizations matured and grew more male centered, the knowledge of wise woman became feared. There needs to be a balance – Witches and wizards can be either gender.
Mountains or beaches?
I love mountains because of the beauty of the majesty of them rising above the flat lands. Though, I also love beaches, even though I haven’t been to a true beach since I was five years old. I love being by bodies of water, even if it is man made.
Plotter or pantser?
I’m a mix of the two. Though, I lean towards panser. I usually have a rough idea of what I want to happen, and get started on it, then pause, do more research and go back to write more.
Pen and paper or computer/phone?
I like to use the computer to write. I store my manuscripts on USB drives. My husband complains that I have too many of them, but I do label each one.
Standalone or series?
I have one standalone book, Haunting of Powell Hall and one series that will have four books in the main series (The Indigo Travelers) and three companion novels. I have one companion novel (Lynx on Fire) and I’m working on the second companion novel.
Book or ebook?
I prefer to read books. It is hard to be reading on an e-reader tablet. I like flipping paper pages, too.
3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?
I usually go to the fantasy /science fiction genre. I love dragons, comedy, like Terry Pratchett, Discworld, and series like Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson. Though, almost any book with a dragon and other magical beings are good, too.
4. What do you write?
I write Fantasy with metaphysical/visionary elements in it. My target audience is middle grade/YA.
Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!
I’m currently working on the second companion book in the Indigo Traveler world. It’s called Ian Temple and the Search for the Wisdom Trees. It centres around Ian Temple, who hears the call of the trees, but wherever he goes, he cannot find them. Then a strange cat shows up in his backyard and tells him he is an Indigo teen, but Ian doesn’t understand. The strange cat offers to introduce him to others who are indigos, too, that can help him. Meanwhile, the shadow people in Arbor are destroying the Banyan Trees. Ian sees the shadow people out of the corner of his eyes. One tells him not to pursue looking for the Wisdom Tree Temple, but if he does he will die. But the trees need him. I don’t have a release date, yet.
5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!
My latest link is Lynx on Fire, An Indigo Travelers Companion Novel.
Lynx stares into the bonfire flames, seeing a young werecub being bullied by his oldest brother. Later, he dreams of that cub being burned alive and grizzly bear dancing around the flames, eager to see the cub punished for being a demon cat without a soul. Lynx tries to safe the cub, but whenever he gets close, he sees himself on flames, whimpering, “I’m not a demon cat.” Lynx, a shapeshifter who prefers to look like a Main Coon cat, doesn’t know his true shape since he doesn’t remember his world of origin. A bear who thinks he’s a god seeks to give Lynx the soul he is missing. Lynx ends up in world of werecats and more bear gods. He learns he must go through an initiation of fire to become his true self. Will he become the demon others believe him to be? Or will he harness the flames to become something else?
6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!
My first character originally was based on my son when he was younger. As I wrote and developed Xander Veh, he took on a life of his own. Though, there is likely more a part of myself in each of my characters, with a few exceptions.
The book I am currently writing started with one line from the Moody Blues Tuesday Afternoon: “The Trees are calling (or drawing me near) to me. I got to find out why.” I wanted to know why the trees are calling to the person in the ballad.
7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!
I’m usually up early- 6:00 am or earlier- feed my two cats, do some other necessary things and fix myself breakfast and then sit down to read that morning Doonesbury strip and scan Facebook and scan the news headlines, than log off those sites and start writing. I’m trying to spend about two or more hours writing and thinking about what I’m doing. Then I do household chores and run errands before trying to figure out dinner for the evening.
8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to become an author, what would it be?
Read those Writer’s Digests your dad ordered for you when you were a teen. Try harder. Embrace your desire to write and be published and see it as possible. Ignore those who say you cannot do it or make money at writing.
9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!