Author Interview w/ Mercedes Fox
When did you decide to become a writer?
When I was in college I was majoring in Media Arts and Animation. I was always a story-teller at a young age, but I never really knew what platform I wanted to use to tell my stories. It wasn’t until I took a class called Screenwriting for Animators that I knew what I wanted to do. So instead of doing the logical thing and changing my major, I dropped out of college completely and self-taught myself how to write screenplays. Writing novels came years later.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I was getting frustrated with the screen writing because I wasn’t where I thought I should be in my eyes. So one day my wife and I were laying on the bed and she said, “I think I want to write a book.” But my mind translated it into, “YOU should write a book.” And I thought to myself, “You know what? Maybe I should.” So I did the research about self-publishing and a year and a half later here we are. My wife still jokes with me about me stealing her idea.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I think I’ve gone outside my comfort zone. A lot of what I previously wrote was in the scope of what I knew. The subject matter, the characters I created, and sometimes the stories all banked on things that went on within my circle. Now I move towards more sophisticated plots and multileveled characters.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you?
I definitely outline my work with the beginning, middle and end. Then when those things are set in stone, I put my plot points where they need to be. I also write detailed back stories for the main characters. Novels are a little different than screenplays because you have a little more freedom. In a screenplay, certain things have to happen at a certain point or it just won’t work. There is definitely room to play with in a novel and I love it.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Two things. Number 1, just start writing. When I tell people I wrote a book someone always tells me, “I wanted to write something, but (insert excuse)”. If you want to take writing seriously, just put something down on paper and do it consistently. And number 2, chase the dream, not the dollar. I had to learn that early because I’m very hands on when it comes to sells. To be honest with you I check at least 7 times a day. It’s not because I’m money hungry, it’s just I want to know what going on with my book like any other author. But I had to take a step back and really focus on putting quality work/time into building my brand. That includes blog posts, networking, marketing and anything else that comes with being discovered. If you’re doing it for the money and fame in the beginning, then you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Eventually everything will come as long as you’re being true to yourself and putting out quality material.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
Daisy is someone that can get along with anyone. She has a sense of humor, but is somewhat of an introvert. You do have to earn her trust and it makes her friendship that much more valuable because she will never take you for granted. She has a way of making people gravitate towards her whether she wants the attention or not. And I think it’s due to her creative spirit. Even when she doesn’t have it all figured for herself, you can never tell her who she is or what’s best for her because only she can give you that million-dollar answer (inside joke from the book).
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas can come from anywhere. From personal experience, a story someone else told me, I’ve written stories from a dream, or just building a story from scratch. It just depends on the day.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The hardest thing about writing is just getting started. Period.
What is your favorite movie or TV show?
I’m kind of all over the place. For TV shows I have: The Blacklist, Bates Motel, Modern Family, Archer, The Office (US Version), Lost, Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones.
Movies: Django, Inglorious Bastards, Memento, I Saw the Devil (Korean film) and plenty more that I can’t think of right now. I’m just a fan of amazing writing.
What is the current book you are promoting?
THE COLOR OF LOVE. Right now I’m on a virtual book tour with Enchanted Book Promotions. Here’s the link for the schedule. http://www.enchantedbookpromotions.com/deluxe-tour-schedule-the-color-of-love/
Do you have any formal education in creative writing? If not are you planning to go to school?
This is a very good question. I did go to school for creative writing a few years after I dropped out, but only for a short time. We live in the information age where you don’t necessarily have to go to school to be successful. Don’t get me wrong, it helps to go to school, but everything you need to know is right there on the internet. And if you have to pay for the information, I guarantee that it will be cheaper than a semester of classes in your major. After I stopped going to a traditional college, my schools of choice were Google University and YouTube Tech. They taught me everything I needed to know and if I needed more information they always pointed me to a book I could read or a forum I could join or a webinar I could sign up for. The process was a lot faster and more hands on. I wrote 7 screenplays and a book just from reading screenplays of movies I liked, listening to professionals talk, reading books on the subject, and networking.
If your book were made into a movie, whom would you cast?
Daisy- Logan Browning
Mike- Lance Gross
Al- Donald Glover
Roc- Brian J. White
Alex- Scarlett Johansson
What is your next project?
I haven’t decided if I want to do a sequel to The Color of Love or turn one of my other scripts into a book. We will see.
Do you have any fur babies to brag about? You can include a picture if you like.
This is my angel Maya. She’s a beagle born in Germany and needs all of my attention.
Do you ever feel self-conscious when writing love/sex scenes?
Usually I don’t, but with this book I did have second thoughts because majority of the sex scenes were from the perspective of Daisy. Being a heterosexual male, I had to say and think some things that I would never think, but as Daisy. It wasn’t even about being self-conscious about myself. I was more worried if I was conveying the thoughts and feelings of a women who’s engaging in sexual activity correctly. My wife corrected me on a few things, but I just wanted it to be natural.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are everything because I’m always looking for that reaction. Whether it’s happiness, sadness, shock, fear or whatever I like seeing people react to a story I tell. I also like it when they give me feedback. I can’t better without it. I love to hear the praise, but also the constructive criticism. Only a true fan can do that and I appreciate that.
Author: Ty Mitchell
I write books and help writers get through their literary journey. I am the author of The Color of Love. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity. Follow me on Twitter @Ty_Mitchell or on Facebook @the-vpf.