Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the forty-ninth, is of multi-genre novelist Merlin Fraser.
Scottish born Merlin Fraser, displaced from a smoky traffic-filled city to a green and rural setting at a very young age, thinks he may have been the inventor of culture shock way back in the 1950’s.
Escaping back into the real world at the first opportunity, he joined the Royal Navy only to find that like Admiral Horatio Nelson he was a chronic seasick sufferer and spent the next nine years throwing up on his way to and fro from the exotic parts of the world.
Career two was much more to his liking and he carried on his worldly travels for nearly thirty years in the Oil Industry where he became a successful Logistics ‘Trouble-shooter’.
Becoming an author was a dream of old but not one that he ever though he could make a living from so he stuck to the more convention ways and he admits to being sucked into the ‘Rat Race’.
As you will see from his first published effort ‘Inner Space’ is an exciting trilogy of Murder Mystery novels where he has instantly hit upon a wonderful cross-genre blend of the paranormal, science and murder. A heady mix for his hero detective who isn’t, by Merlin’s own admission, not the sharpest pencil in the box!
After a lifetime of work and world travel he is now semi-retired and back in the very rural setting he once longed to escape working as hard as ever with novel number four and a series of children’s stories in the works.
Morgen: I’m a terrible traveller – two miles from home to primary school (apparently) was as much as I could cope with, which is why I only get as far as Germany every other year now! And I love the sound of Merlin’s detective; a character we can all bond with, I’m sure. And now from Merlin himself, on why he is an independent author:
Two things I really like about being an Independent author is that I get to break all the rules set by mainline publishers and the literary agents who pander to them.
“Write what sells.” “Stick to one Genre and don’t wander away.” “Don’t mix genres.” That and about ten other rules and I guess over the last ten years I’ve broken them all.
Let’s face it the mainstream is in business to make money and the easier the formula the happier they are and if all their authors are in nice neat little genre-based pigeonholes then they know where to go and find them when needed.
Then along comes a rebel like me who does his own thing and writes something a little bit different and the doors start to slam and the rejection letters come flying. “Not what’s selling right now.” “Mixed genre is hard to promote because of it has to be marketed to two or more audiences.” “You are a Murder Mystery author why are you sending us Young Adult Magical Fantasy?” So on and so forth….
We all know there are authors who have sold their souls and become story factories and I suppose if all you are in it for is money then why not? But surely there has to be something more. True I have spent a lot of time and effort developing a readership for my Murder Mysteries and I love them all and will continue to write for and give them what they enjoy to read.
Problem is that I also have other ideas rolling around in my head which do not fit neatly into that genre. For example, a few years back during a visit to the States I was introduced to the American term ‘Dust Bunnies’. At the time I had no idea what it meant but instantly my over developed sense of imagination kicked in and suddenly my head was full of tiny characters living on top of wardrobes, under chairs and beds. Obviously these poor creatures must live in perpetual fear of ‘OOMINS’ and their fiendish machine ‘OOVER’ not to mention his army of cleaners ‘HISST’ and his duster friends.
From that moment onwards it was obvious, well at least to me, that these guys needed a champion, someone to bring their plight to the attention of the World! I immediately accepted the challenge, but when I mentioned the idea I was asked, “you write mysteries what do you know about writing children’s stories?”
My answer… “Nothing…. but surely I can learn?”
Sure it’s a completely different market and a whole different audience, and obviously a brand new set of challenges ones that if I were to travel the conventional route would require me to prove myself to a new agency and probably a new publisher as well. Or in other words start all over again, but of course that’s not entirely true. I already have a loyal readership, many of whom have children and grandchildren of their own.
They are my marketing army, one that I know will help and take up my cause because I’ve just solved one of their future Christmas present problems!
Morgen: As a multi-genre self-pub eBooker myself, with a quirky imagination, I’m right there with you.
You can find more about Merlin and his work via… his website: www.merlin-fraser.com (which links to his books), his articles on www.Hubpages.com, and a new group he’s just started up (and has great hopes for) http://www.indiependents.org. I’ve seen it, it’s great.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with novelist, humorist, short story author, columnist and writing guru Jane Wenham-Jones – the two hundred and forty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can read / download my eBooks from Smashwords (Amazon to follow).