Welcome our Guest, Author Allison Merritt

Today’s guest is Indie-Author Allison Merritt. Her debut novel, TREASURE HUNTER’S LADY, is available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.

Romy Farrington seems to have the perfect life—a world-famous archeologist father and upcoming marriage to a wealthy businessman. But to Romy, her new life in the city is a punishment.

For years, she traveled the world at her father’s side, exploring new lands and uncovering ancient secrets. It was everything she ever wanted, until a near-fatal encounter with hostile natives forced her and her father into a life of retirement in Boston and an undesired advance into proper society.

Everything changes again when she’s saved from an accident by a brash Texan in a back alley. Abel Courte may act like a care-free cowboy, but he’s harboring a secret—he’s searching for the Diamond of Uktena, a legendary jewel that can cure any disease known to man. He needs information Romy’s father has in order to get to the jewel. When he traces the origin of the Diamond to Dakota Territory, he sets off to claim the treasure, only to find the archeologist’s fiery redheaded daughter stuck to him like a bug in sap.

 In a race against time, Romy and Abel must learn to trust each other as they undertake a cross-country journey that will expose them to lands uncharted by white men, a deadly battle against the fearsome creature in possession of the Diamond and a fight to return to civilization where they might make the greatest discovery of all—love. 

Sounds great! Allison was kind enough to answer some questions for us.

 •      What story haven’t you told yet that you want to tell? What is holding you back?

I grew up and still live in the Ozark Mountains. When I was a teenager, I worked at a theme park that illustrated the history of the area. I was a ride operator at an indoor roller coaster called Fire In The Hole that centered around a town destroyed by Baldknobbers–a vigilante group after the Civil War that gained too much power and abused it. The ride attendants were “volunteer firefighters” and the riders had to help put out the fire. It was so goofy, but a lot of fun. The sad thing is that the Baldknobbers were a guerilla organization that terrorized the Ozarks. I’d love to write a historical romance centered around that. I actually started a chapter a couple of years ago, but haven’t found the motivation to write a novel about it.

      What is the most surprising thing that has happened in your writing career?

The decision to self-publish. I’ve pretty much shouldered the entire process, from writing to making my own covers. Thank God for critique partners willing to beta read. They’re true miracle workers. From the time I was a teenager, I wondered how I’d ever make it in the publishing world, but the way the Internet has welcomed indie authors, I feel like I’m home.

      They say that every author has a partially completed, quite-possibly-terrible half a story shoved in a drawer somewhere. What is yours? What is it about? What makes it terrible? Would you ever consider picking it up and finishing it?

Yep, I definitely have one of those. Mine is called The Convict & the Cattleman. It’s set in 1840 in New South Wales, Australia. It’s about a woman sentenced to transportation for stealing and a cattle grazer who needs a nurse for his orphaned niece. The thing that made it so terrible is that the heroine is whiny, the hero is way too cranky and there’s an antagonist that is so cheesy, you just end up rolling your eyes at her. I worked on that novel for over a year and eventually felt that it was sucking out my soul. I’d love to rewrite it, but I don’t know if I’ll ever find the time.

      Do you have a word related pet peeve?

When I use Open Office, it refuses to accept armoire as a word. That is a legitimate piece of furniture and it drives me crazy. Also, negotiate. I argued with spell check for ten minutes one day trying to spell negotiate. I was spelling it wrong, of course, because I wanted it to say “negociate.” “Ti” does not spell “she.” I’m a victim of writing the way I talk.

      What is your junk food of choice?

I make this great sour cream dill dip to go with tortilla chips. I can’t give you an exact recipe because I never measure the ingredients, but it goes something like this: a 16oz tub of sour cream, onion powder to taste (the longer you leave it in the fridge, the more the onion flavor comes out), table salt, a whole bunch of dill (I use dried) and a splash of red wine vinegar or Worcestershire sauce. It is delicious! I can eat almost the whole tub at one sitting.

      What’s the most dangerous or risky thing that you’ve done?

I’m afraid of heights. Well, not heights so much as splattering on the ground (kind of like the hero in my novel, Abel). In 2010, after I lost my data entry job, I took a job interview at one of those zip-line places. I thought maybe I could work the cash register in the gift shop. They actually had the interviewees do the zip-line. I closed my eyes, stepped off the platform and swore a blue streak across the 100-foot cable to the next platform, but actually kind of enjoyed it. It wasn’t until we were ready to get back on the ground that I almost lost it. For some reason I assumed there would be stairs to get down. Nope. They want you to step into thin air and drop 100 feet to the ground. Why I was okay going across, I don’t know, but I balked big time at dropping. I forgot to keep my legs straight and ended up landing on my knees when I finally stepped off. Needless to say, I didn’t get that job.

      What is your guilty pleasure? {Remember: this is a ‘G’ rated blog!}

There’s a restaurant in my hometown called The Springfield Pasta Company. It was formerly The Pasta House Company, but who’s counting how many times it changed names, right? They have cheesecake that is to die for. It comes in huge slices with a layer of sour cream and a layer of cream cheese with strawberry topping. It’s the perfect reward after meeting a word count goal or finishing a novel.

 Thanks for being our guest!

You can follow Allison Merritt at:

Blog – http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/allisonmwrites

Twitter – http://twitter.com/allison_merritt

 

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10 thoughts on “Welcome our Guest, Author Allison Merritt”

  1. Love the post Paula. Thanks. Allison, this Zipline activity why do you do it? Did your knees hurt when you landed? But I do understand cheesecake. Thanks for the fun interview with Paula.

  2. Thanks for stopping in, Gail. I did zip lining in Costa Rica and LOVED it! The guys working the ropes make sure you have a soft landing. It takes a bit of faith, but it’s a little like writing without plotting…if you can have a bit of faith, it all works out in the end and the journey is a blast.

    Thanks for being with us today Allison. Good luck with the book!

  3. This novel sound like it’s right up my alley – archaeologists, treasures, romance and adventure. Best of luck with it, Allison!

  4. Thanks for having me PJ!

    Gail, the zip-line looked like one of those opportunities where I thought I could overcome this horrible fear and it was a relatively new concept to our area, so I wasn’t even sure what it involved. I would almost go across it again, provided they get me an alternative to get down. I’m sure they won’t. 🙂

    Fear of heights is actually some I share with the hero of the story, Abel. There’s a scene where he’s also climbs up high and does some verbal sparring with Romy. It was a fun scene to write and a little more hair-raising than my own.

  5. Speaking of the next one, I’ve been kind of slacking on writing the ending, but I think it’s because I don’t want to part with the hero. I’m picturing Chris Hemsworth as the model for the way Captain van Buren looks and he’s just uber-delicious.

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