An Interview with Merry Farmer

Please help me welcome Merry Farmer to my blog today. Merry is giving away a copy of her ebook, The Loyal Heart, to one of you who leaves her a comment, so be sure to if you want to be entered to win.

The_Loyal_Heart_small_2Tell us about your current series.

The Noble Hearts trilogy is set in one of my favorite time periods, the High Middle Ages. I incorporate a lot of themes from the Robin Hood legend in the first novel, The Loyal Heart, mostly because the legend has the actual history of the time period so wrong. I wanted to tell a story that was truer to history while at the same time telling it in a voice that was modern and relatable. With the second book, The Faithful Heart, I wanted to give the hero’s sidekick from The Loyal Heart (Jack) his own story. As much as I love alpha heroes, I often feel like beta heroes have even more interesting stories to tell. I explore that in The Faithful Heart along with the idea of a peasant becoming a noble. And in the third book of the trilogy, The Courageous Heart, which has just come out, I wanted to give the trilogy’s anti-hero a chance to redeem himself. So really the Noble Hearts is my sampler of heroes, alpha hero, beta hero, and anti-hero. There’s a little something there for everyone. And sword fights. Lots of sword fights.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I write Romance, mostly because I can’t write anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried, but in the end everything always comes back to love. I love to see happy endings, to see men and women who deserve each other get together in the end. Too often real life – certainly my real life – isn’t like that. Granted, I also write Science Fiction. I describe it as Social Science Fiction with strong romantic elements. I haven’t published any of it yet, but I will soon.

How did you get started writing?

I’ve been writing since I was ten years old and realized one day that I didn’t have to wait for my teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of my life. I then continued to entertain myself all through childhood, adolescence, and yes, even adulthood, by writing. I always knew I wanted to write as a living, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that “want” to write for a living has turned into “could seriously do this whole writing for a living thing”. Everything changed the day my voracious reader of a best friend commented about a bestselling book she’d just read that my writing was better than that author’s.

What is your next project and when will it be released?

I’m currently working on the second book in my Montana Romance series, Fool for Love. The first book, Our Little Secrets, is set in Montana in 1895. This one follows a minor character from that first book. Whereas the Noble Hearts is a true trilogy in that each book builds on the last one, with the Montana Romance series I’m trying to make each a stand-alone with strong ties to the others in the series. It’s a challenge, but a fun one! My plan is to have Fool for Love released sometime this spring and to have the third in this series out by the end of the year.

Do you write under a pen name? Why or why not?

I deliberately made the decision to publish under my real name, Merry Farmer, because I wanted to see my name on bookshelves. That decision was either vain or a cathartic response to all the girls who used to bully me throughout school. Although it’s kind of a catchy name anyhow.

How far do you plan ahead?

Well, if I stopped coming up with new ideas right now and only wrote the books that I’ve already imagined and jotted down notes about, I would be writing for years. I know that in 2013 I will finish and publish Fool for Love, I’ll be polishing the two books of my Sci-Fi series, Saving Grace and Fallen from Grace and testing them in the waters of traditional publishing, and I also have an idea for a somewhat comedic Regency Romance called A Duke and A Pirate that I’d love to finish in time to pitch traditionally during conference season next year. And those are only the books that I’ve either already started, finished, or extensively outlined. A writer’s work is never done!

The_Courageous_Heart_small_2How has your experience with self-publishing been?

Self-publishing has been everything I ever hoped and dreamed and more. No, seriously! I had toyed around with the idea of traditional publishing a few years ago, but the whole process always left me cold. There was something about it that just didn’t fit with who I was or what I wanted to do. I finished the first draft of The Loyal Heart in 2008 and sent out a few weak query letters, but my heart wasn’t in it. Then came self-publishing. I began to learn all about it at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference in 2011 and knew it was for me. So I researched the whole process, built my online platform, found a professional editor and cover designer, and went to town.

I feel that I’ve been very successful as a self-published writer. But more important than the numbers and paychecks is the knowledge of everything from craft to marketing that I’ve gained through the experience. I have definitely become a better writer, both through working with my awesome editor, Alison Dasho, and through the criticism, both fair and ragingly unfair, that my novels have received through reviews. I will always self-publish, but I also consider it just one of many roads for my books to take to get into reader’s hands. I would like to have the experience of publishing with a small press as well as pursuing the brass ring of an agent and contract with a Big Six publisher. I’m a firm believer in the fact that authors can and should pursue all of those paths, even simultaneously.

The_Faithful_Heart_small_2Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?

Don’t think of a traditional contract as the be all and end all of writing. The publishing world is wide open now. Pursue all paths. Do whatever it takes to get constructive feedback that will make you a better author. They say self-publishing is the new query letter. I believe that. I also believe that a query letter that can cite previously published works and hard statistics to go along with them carries more weight with agents than those that don’t have that base of experience.

And of course, you can do this! Really, you can!

Excerpt from The Loyal Heart

Crispin paced the hall outside of the library. Every noise spiked his nerves. He was a fool for being skittish over shadows. Buxton wouldn’t find out. And if he did it changed nothing. The risks he took now were for Aubrey’s sake.

His breath caught in his throat at the memory of her standing in her doorway, her robe loose around creamy shoulders. She hadn’t even tried to cover herself. If he didn’t know better he would have said she had let him look at the curve of her hip, the rise of her breasts. His body ached for her. He could imagine making love to her for hours, sweet and slow.

The thump of footsteps on the other side of the door snapped his back straight. She burst out into the hall, her expression troubled.

“Did you have a good conversation with your friends?” He cursed the gravel in his voice.

“Oh, yes, brilliant. Thanks.” Sarcasm spilled off her words. She raked him with a hard glance then marched down the hall.

She was silent and agitated. He kept his mouth shut, matching her pace and watching her as she stormed through the halls to her room. Her robe skewed across her shoulder with each step she took, exposing more of her rosy flesh. With the fire in her eyes at that moment he figured he could throw her up against the wall and take her right there and she would love it. Frustrated by the heat that pounded through him he turned away.

“You’re awfully quiet,” she broke the silence when they were in the stairwell.

He cleared his throat in vain. “I have nothing to say.” It was true. He didn’t want to say anything.

“Oh.” She sounded disappointed.

They continued up the stairs and along the hallway in silence. When they reached her room Aubrey entered and started to shut the door behind her. He stopped it from closing and stepped inside.

She turned and sighed at his boldness, crossing her arms. “I did not invite you in.”

“Aubrey, I-”

“I thought you didn’t have anything to say.” One eyebrow quirked up over flashing eyes.
She stood firm but didn’t order him out.

He left the door open as he approached her. The smooth line of her shoulder stood out in sharp relief against the lightning-split sky. His mouth watered to taste the salt of her skin. “Buxton has agreed to our marriage. He has set a date. Saturday.”
He searched her eyes for panic, fear, rejection. He found steel. “Buxton has given his consent.” She repeated his statement with a flat stare, crossing her arms.

“Yes, he-”

“Buxton.” She blew out a breath and shook her head.

Her hair had dried and spilled over her shoulder in warm brown waves. One curling lock had settled between her breasts as she crossed her arms. He couldn’t remember what she had said. “Is something the matter?”

“Do you have to ask his permission to piss?”

The question withered the coil of heat in his gut. “He gave me land and a position of power and respect.” He couldn’t meet her eyes as he gave his worn excuse.

She took a step towards him. “That’s in the past. How much control does he have now?” He turned away. She didn’t give him time to gather his raging thoughts into an answer. “Could the Council of Nobles really vote to take Windale from you?”

His eyes snapped up to meet hers at the apparent change of subject. Suspicion constricted his throat. “Theoretically the Council could overturn any decision Buxton has made if they have the support of the crown. But it isn’t likely. Buxton has most of the nobles in his pocket and Prince John is his friend.”

“And what about you?” She took another step towards him. The fire in his blood flared again. “Does he have you in his pocket?”

Yes. He did. The truth twisted his stomach.

“No,” he answered her, stepping closer. She was a breath away, eyes flaring up to meet his. He could feel the heat of her anger spark the air between them. “Buxton does not control me.”

“Then do something!” she seethed, gripping his arms as if she could steer the course of the world through his muscles. “Stop placating him. Set my friends free whether he gives his permission or not. Don’t let him-”

His mouth crashed over hers before she could finish. He pulled her against him, one arm tight around her waist while the other cradled the back of her head. Her body was rigid in his arms as he tasted her, curled his fingers in her hair. She shuddered and her fingers dug into his biceps as he softened his kiss, teasing his tongue across hers, nipping at her lips. The hand on her waist caressed lower, splaying on the contour of her bottom, between her legs, pressing her hips up against his. He tipped her chin up and lowered his hungry mouth to her neck, licking her fiery pulse. Her nails burrowed harder and the groan from deep in her throat snapped him to his senses.

Gasping Crispin stepped back, pressing his wrist to his mouth and whipping away from her. “I’m sorry,” he panted, “That was inappropriate.” His voice was gruff with shame as he tore past her.

“Crispin-” She called his name as he fled into the hall, slamming the door behind him.
The room was spinning. Aubrey staggered to her bed as the door banged and grabbed the post with both arms to hold herself up. Her legs were weak and liquid fire sang between them. Her lips still burned with the taste of him. She was sure she had a molten handprint on her backside. She closed her eyes and forced herself to breathe to steady herself.

She had no idea what had just happened. It had been her intention to pry information out of him, to see if he could give her a hint about whether Ethan’s plan for the Council of Nobles had a hope of succeeding. She wanted to test him to see if he would free her friends without Buxton’s permission if it came to it. The last thing she expected was to become a part of him for one blinding moment. Ethan had kissed her plenty of times and it had been nice. Crispin had ignited her soul.

She glanced to the door, biting her lip and hoping that he would storm back into the room to throw her on her bed and finish what he had hinted at.

With a gasp she stood rod straight as if someone else had just thrown a lewd suggestion at her. Bitter guilt washed over her. She loved Ethan. If she was going to work herself into sizzling knots over anyone it was going to be Ethan. Crispin was her pawn, nothing else. She pushed away from the bedpost and staggered to the rain-lashed window. Throwing it open into the waning storm she thrust her head out into the rain. She wouldn’t have been surprised if steam curled off of her skin.

best_headshot_2Merry’s Author Bio

Merry Farmer is an award-winning novelist who lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Butterfly and Torpedo. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized one day that she didn’t have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. She then went on to earn not one but two degrees in History so that she would always having something to write about. Today she is a giant History nerd and a hopeless romantic waiting for her own love story to start. Her first book, The Loyal Heart, is a swashbuckling Medieval Historical Romance involving a love triangle that will keep you guessing. Both The Loyal Heart and its sequels, The Faithful Heart and The Courageous Heart, are available wherever eBooks are sold. She has also begun a new Western Historical Romance series set in Montana in 1895. The first of that series, Our Little Secrets, is now available. The second, Fool for Love, will be released in early 2013. Merry is also passionate about blogging, knitting, and cricket and is working towards becoming an internationally certified cricket scorer.

Social Networking links:


Twitter: @merryfarmer20


Book links:

The Loyal Heart

Amazon –

B&N –

Sony eReader Store –

Smashwords –

The Faithful Heart

Amazon –

B&N –

Sony eReader Store –

Smashwords –

The Courageous Heart

Amazon –

B&N –

Smashwords –

Our Little Secrets

Amazon –

Smashwords –

B&N –

12 thoughts on “An Interview with Merry Farmer

    • Thanks Norah! I love the designs my cover designer (Jonathan at Pehr Graphic Design, plug plug) came up with. I especially love the fact that if you look closely you can see that’s a map of England in the background. 😉

  1. Loved the interview. I enjoy learning a little about other authors and the paths they chose. Your books sound amazing and I hope all your dreams and achievements come true in 2013.
    Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas

  2. Great interview. Nice to meet another Philly gal.

    Love the time frame/period and after reading the except, I think I’ve just added another author to my TBR pile. Well done!

    • I love this time period too. The High Middle Ages is so unlike anything that most people think it was like in the modern world. It was actually quite advanced and enlightened. I try to capture the truth of the era in my books. Let me know when you’ve read more! =D

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