Friday, January 22, 2010

Making Up Stuff

Merrillee here, thinking how much fun it is to create characters and places--in other words making up stuff. Ever since I was a kid, I've had imaginary people in my head who had conversations with each other. I didn't know that those voices would one day lead me to become a writer. I didn't plan to be a writer when I was young. I wanted to be a teacher, and I became one. But I had always enjoyed reading a good story, and one day I decided I should write one of my own and try to sell it. I wrote for years without making that sale. A little more than a year before I made my first sale, I received a rejection that made me question whether this dream of becoming a published author was something I should continue to pursue.

I decided to quit.

That was in November 2002. In January 2003 after I had put away the Christmas decorations, I started writing again. I started again because Jillian and Sam kept telling me that I had to write their story. Those imaginary people wouldn't let me quit. So I began writing their story just to get rid of them. After I did that, then I'd quit. I had no idea that Jillian and Sam's story would become my first sale to Steeple Hill. The Heart's Homecoming came out in August 2005. I had created a town for Jillian and Sam that I called Pinecrest. My imaginary town is located near Spokane, Washington. I wrote two more books set in that location.

In February, the first book of my new Kellerville series, Hometown Promise, will be available. My latest imaginary town, Kellerville, is located in Ohio near Cincinnati. Juliane and Lukas are the imaginary people who brought me to that little town, so I could tell their story. I hope you will take a journey with me to Kellerville. Check out the cover where you can see the town square with its gazebo and clock tower.

Using your imagination is fun whether you are a writer or not. What kinds of things do you like to imagine?


  1. I have read "Hometown Promise" and really enjoyed it. Kellerville looks and sounds like a nice place to live. I really felt the anguish that Lukas went through and poor Julianne, she had some really tough decisions to make. I'm looking forward to the next story set there.

  2. Ellen,
    Thanks. I'm so glad you enjoyed Hometown Promise. The next book Hometown Proposal comes out in August. I'm just starting to work on the third book.

  3. As I've told you, I can't wait to read this, Merrillee!

    I'm a hopeless romantic and it probably doesn't help that a lot of my reading time is spent reading the LI books, so I imagine a lot of just "happy ending" situations....I don't know....dorky I guess! Mostly it's in dreams.

  4. Hannah,
    I love happy endings, too. That's why I write romance. Reading LI books is a wonderful way to pass some leisure time.

  5. I have to agree with you there, Merrillee : )

  6. Thats cool about your imagination.
    I do the same.
    I tend to have conversations in my head only I have someone im talking to and telling my problems not always the same one and its a good way to work things out when you dont have someone to talk to.
    I also have a very vivid imagination but I am not good at putting it into words on paper.

  7. Ausjenny,
    There's nothing like a good conversation with yourself.

  8. Merrillee you are so right. I am a bit of a loner having been a carer for so many years you tend to not have the contacts and you tend to be forgotten to a degree so you tend to talk to yourself. I have been doing this for many years. even from the time I was young and use to ride to school.
    I still have an active imagination

  9. Merrillee,
    I like to imagine a big paycheck for stories. Just kidding, the joy is in the creation, but getting paid is fun, too.
    I look forward to reading your book soon.

  10. I like to imagine beautiful settings or macro flowers for watercolor paintings I hope to paint someday. Ah, to dream, to try, to do!

  11. Merry, I would love to paint, too! My dad is a wonderful painter.

    I also have characters parading through my head, sometimes when i least want it!


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