Merrillee Whren interview

» Posted on Jan 31, 2008 in Blog | Comments Off on Merrillee Whren interview

Don’t forget to email me at if you want to be entered in the drawing for Merrillee’s new book. The drawing ends Sunday, Feb. 3rd.

The interview:

> 1. What made you start writing? I started writing because I always liked to make up stories. For years I had characters and stories in my head. I finally decided to do something with them.

> 2. How long have you been writing? I wrote my first novel when I was in high school, but I never thought about writing something for publication until I was in my thirties. When did you sell your first book? I sold my first book twenty years after I started submitting manuscripts. It was my eighth book, if you don’t count the one I wrote in high school.

> 3. How do you handle rejections? Rejections are a little easier to handle now that I’m published, because I know that it isn’t about my writing. I may get rejections because the idea isn’t right or the publisher’s list is full. I also have other projects going, so it’s easy to go on with those. Before I was published, the rejections hurt more. I often had to step back and reevaluate where I was going. The rejections that said I was almost there were the ones that bothered me the most. I always asked myself whether I had what it took to get “there.” What could I do to make that last step? Could I keep going? When the answer was “yes,” I started writing again.

> 4. Why do you write? As I mentioned previously, I started writing because I had stories in my mind. Now I write because I have a purpose. I realize that God has given me a vehicle to share my faith. I love being able to share God’s goodness through stories.

> 5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
I would be reading. That’s the one thing I miss most about my writing schedule–the time to read for pleasure.

> 6. What are you working on right now? I’m working on the book that is the third in a series about the three Dalton brothers, Wade, Matt and Peter. The first book in the series is FOUR LITTLE BLESSINGS. It is Wade’s story and a February release from Steeple Hill Love Inspired.

> 7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters? I don’t think I put myself into the books or characters, but I put people and places that surround me. I do draw on my emotions to see how the characters might feel in a certain situation. I use incidents that have happened to family or friends. For instance, in FOUR LITTLE BLESSINGS, my February book from Steeple Hill, one of the children is injured. A very similar thing happened to my younger daughter. I used that memory when I wrote that scene in the book.

> 8. Tell us about the book you have out right now. FOUR LITTLE BLESSINGS is the story of a man who has started a new job and is looking for peace and quiet in his new home at the beach. He doesn’t count on meeting the young woman next door, who has taken in her two nieces and two nephews. With four little children in the mix, there isn’t much peace and quiet, and he soon finds he was wishing for the wrong things. Here’s the back cover blurb.

The four little noisemakers who’d moved next door to Wade Dalton came with a bonus: their beautiful aunt. Raising the children herself due to some tough circumstances, Cassie Rankin impressed Wade with her selflessness and her beauty. But she was also at least a dozen years his junior–she was too young for him, wasn’t she? Besides, Wade came with a secret that would only make life harder for Cassie and the children he’d come to adore, which meant keeping his distance. Something those four little blessings weren’t about to let him do!

> 9. Do you have any advice for other writers? I don’t like to give advice very much. I feel as though I’m still learning so much about writing. I would say to any unpublished writer–DON’T GIVE UP. I wrote for many years without selling, but perseverance paid off in the end.

> 10. How important is faith in your books? Faith is very important in my books. My characters either come to faith in Jesus, regain a lost faith, or rely on their faith to help them through life’s problems.

> 11. What themes do you like to write about? The theme in several of my books is forgiveness, because God forgives and so should we. Another frequent theme in my books is second chances–second chances with God, with the people in their lives, or love.

> 12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why? Oh my, that’s really hard to answer. That’s like asking which one of my children do I like best. I guess my favorite is always the one that’s on the shelves now, but then I look back on my other books and have reasons for them to be my favorite, too. Maybe after I’ve written twenty, I’ll have one that jumps out as a favorite.

> 13. What is your writing schedule like? I have no regular schedule. I am more productive with my writer in the afternoons and evenings. So most of the time, I spend my mornings running errands or doing housework. My best writing time is at night, but when a deadline is looming, I may write from morning until I go to bed, which may be very late. I tend to be a night owl.