Best Known Works: The Merlinian Legend
Where Can You Find Her?: Website, Website, Facebook
Top Writing Tip: Just DO IT. No matter what. Set a plan. Set a writing schedule to accomplish (my goal generally is a chapter every 2 weeks). Then edit, edit, edit. Get your friends to help you edit. Ask your smart family or friends or people who like the subject matter to help you edit. Stick with it. Do it even when you don't want to, but stick to your schedule. Then all of a sudden, one day...you have a BOOK in your hands!
Hi Merlyn, thank you for taking the time to talk to us!
Tell us a little about yourself, what are the main life experiences that have led to this book?
As a feminist, eclectic spiritual person, writer and Arthurian legend freak from way back, I have finally done what needed to be done. I wrote the book I desired to read when I was 16 years old and when I was first waist deep in fairy tales, myths, magic and fables.
With my book The Merlinian Legend, I can finally face my 16 year old self and say “Here, hon. Read THIS.” And she will devour it, thank me for finally fixing the misogynistic Arthurian legends and in the same breath find that it relates to today and what she can do to fix the world
When did you realize that you were Pagan?
Hard to say, I think when I went "church hopping" with my mom to many churches when I was 11 after she left the Catholic church. She was trying to find answers to some deep questions about life...brought on by the fact that we lived on the same road as a serial killer, but that is all in my first book, "Fairy Tales & Horror Stories: A Memoir" as well as many funny stories about me being a Renaissance faire minstrel around the country. I remember welcoming in Spring with my little sister on the Spring Equinox at the exact time and shouting "Welcome Spring!" together and dancing around. So that was probably the unofficial date.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing when I first grabbed a pencil and pretended to be a newspaper writer when I was little. I wrote stories and tried to sell the stories to my family, friends and neighbors. This was back when there was triplicate carbon copies and I didn't type yet, so I had to hand write everything. The copying got tiresome. Gods bless medieval monks who copied manuscripts. But if I don't write, it will squirt out some way, some how!
How did the topic of your books come to you?
My first book, Fairy Tales & Horror Stories: A Memoir is one that I had to write to sweep out of my psyche. It is a wild ride filled with amazing stories, all true. There is murder, religion, spirituality, magic, sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, and music in it and also hilarious stories about being a mother and being on the road.
My second book, The Merlinian Legend as I said, is the book I wanted to read, as I am a Merlin freak. My stage name "Merlyn" is a spin off of my given name "Marilyn" which was given to me 40 years ago or so, in high school because of my devotion to the subject matter. The name "Merlyn" and is under my senior pic as my nickname there.
My latest book A Rose By Any Other Name: Shawna Rose & her Family's Story of Down Syndrome is the book I needed to read when she was born, but I couldn't find. It is a comprehensive book about what we went through, what we learned, how we coped and how we all thrived. She is an amazing person and I wanted to encourage other families who get thrust into this new demographic of insight and abilities.
Tell us a bit about your story, key characters and plot.
It's the story of Merlin, but redone with more emphasis on the Divine Feminine. In olden Arthurian legends, folklore and tales, (which my work is based on), Merlin traditionally got screwed out of having a love relationship with an equal, was punished for being magical, and was delivered a fate worse than death. In all fairness to him, and my female sisters, I have reworked the tale to include more of the Goddess, strong female characters, a HOT Merlin, true love found, winsome magic and real hope for the future. Traditionally in Arthurian legends, women were either young, beautiful and daft or evil, old and ugly. I wanted to change that up!
As with the tales of olde, the characters remain basically who they are. Of the former character names, Ninianne and Vivienne, I have combined the two names instead, and I call this new character, Nivienne. She is unlike her former incarnations, in that she is not conniving, but rather, she is a strong, earthy, pagan leader who is a match for Merlin and who is devoted to him (unlike her historic, literary counterparts who only used him and entombed him). She loves him totally and in the story, both she and Merlin together advance humanity towards the Divine Feminine. This is a new twist.
Have you ever met one of your characters in real life?
Many, especially at Renaissance faires! But I hold out hope that women will find their own Merlin man for a paramour who is as mercurial, stable and magickal as my Merlin character is.
Do you plan out your stories before you begin?
Absolutely, at least my book outlines are done and set in stone. These show me the direction I need to go from chapter to chapter. The chapters, how'ere, have a life and an agenda of their own. I don't always know what the finished chapter will actually look like, but I have had a plan for what I want to accomplish within it. As long as I accomplish my outline needs, the rest is gravy on top.
Do you socialize with other writers or are you a solitary writer?
The answer is both. Writing by its nature is a solitary thing. We create with just our thoughts and a blinking screen and a keyboard. How'ere, I am supported by going to poetry nights or open mics for writers and can listen to their works and their thoughts. They inspire me with their creativity and bravery to keep going and speak up myself. Letting out your inner voice onto paper and then into a mic is one of the best feelings ever.
Who encourages/inspires you?
My mate, Harry and my daughter Jesse and my fans encourage me. Their words and their reactions to my words and writings keep me going. Life experiences, and old folk tales inspire me.
Is this your first published piece or have you had work published before?
The Merlinian Legend is my second book. I now have three books out with my latest book just being released this week.
Are you published or self published, and what has been your experience of this process?
I am self-published mostly because I am also already a traveling renaissance faire musician with the duo, Merry Mischief and have a website, fan base, blog spots and mechanisms in place to sell all kinds of product. I also do not possess the time, patience and willingness to submit all the queries, gather the traditional rejection letters that all authors must receive, nor did I want an editor to change main characters or decide my cover art. I love self-publishing because I can do what I want, when I want and how I want. My finished product is what I dream it to be.
What are your future plans for writing?
My plan is to keep cranking out books. My goal is to be at festivals and faires, with patrons finding that one of my books is just right for them, and my booth is having something for everyone.
There will probably be a children's book, a pirate book, a self help book, mayhaps a book about magick. I don't want to get pigeon-holed into any particular genre. I'd like to try them all on for size and continue new ways of expression! I'd like to continue writing until I can't do it anymore, Gods willing and the creek don't rise.
Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your passion and your process Merlyn! We wish you all the best with your future books and your musical career!