I’m on tour with Dark & Stormy an Adult, Romance, Suspense by J. Mercer. AND, I get to chat with J. Mercher!
First of all, let’s see what Dark and Stormy is about.
Faryn Miller wants to build a new life in a small town. It’s her last chance to figure out, of all the roles she’s played in her thirty-some years, which one truly fits. Her aim at simplicity sounds like the perfect medicine until she meets Kai Allen, who’s spent his life doing everything the hard way and never bending for anyone. Lucky for Kai, Faryn has no preconceived notions about what he’s done and who he is, unlike the rest of town.
When cryptic messages start sneaking their way into Faryn’s apartment, then blatant threats, the two of them compile a long list of who could be stalking her. Unable to keep his frustration and rage hidden any longer, Kai explodes on everyone in his path, and Faryn can’t help but wonder if the storm is closer than she thinks.
What readers are saying:
“Complex characters give way to a brilliantly written story… Incredible writing from a first time author.”
“Great small town setting with an awesome cast of characters. J Mercer masterfully takes you on a journey full of twists and reveals that are woven so skillfully into the story you’ll want to read it again and again.”
“J Mercer combines her gift for poignantly haunting characters with a plot that is intriguingly complicated.”
“I couldn’t put this book down! When I reached the last page, I sat, breathless, stunned.”
“This book had me hanging on page by page. With thought provoking character development and surprises at every turn.”
Hi, J, and thank you for taking us on Tour with you, and for this interview! What are you working on now?
My next project (nearing completion) is not a suspense novel actually, but women’s fiction. It’s a large family drama set in a small, coastal, tourist town, a transitional year in the life of three sisters and their mother, all coping with change and expectations—things not turning out how they expected, and the pressure of other’s expectations on them. The story is about how, and if, they struggle out from under them to find who and what they’re really meant to be.
Do you have a day job?
My husband and I own a couple of dog daycares. Mainly I’m behind the scenes there now, bookwork and accounting, which was my college major. I took a sort of random meandering path, from an accounting degree to a dog daycare to writing nearly full time.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I get the kids off to school (or my husband does), and immediately sit down at my computer. I write best first thing in the morning, for sure, and wring those hours for whatever they’re worth. I’ll break to shower or kickbox, especially if I’m done writing for the day—because often, particularly when drafting a new story, I need something to shake me out of my head before I can focus on the rest of the world. After lunch is day job or household tasks, and my workday usually ends around 4 when my kids get home from school.
How do you keep from resenting your duties when you have to stop writing to take care of them?
Ha! Well, this is easier at some times than others, but my best tactic is to be super melodramatic about it, to both make fun of myself for being whiny and to help my perspective—we can’t climb into a hole every day, as comfortable as we might be there, or we’d have nothing to write about in the first place.
Has your environment or upbringing colored your writing?
I think so. Complicated relationships have honed my interest to people, relationships, and psyche, which is always the meat of the story for me. Either I’m aiming to really dig into a psyche and explore why a person would do things—my goal being to convince the reader that a questionable or terrible action makes total sense when seen from inside the character’s head—or wanting to illustrate the dynamic of a relationship so deeply that the reader feels it, where they’ve been with someone, a common human condition to remind us all we’re not as alone as we think.
What does your writing space look like?
Computer at center, a second monitor on my left (to display a novel’s Pinterest board or Scrivener outline), a ten-key on my right (day job), and a million pictures of my family and places I’ve been on the bulletin board in front of me/behind my computer. A lot of pens (multi-colored and not) and pencils and highlighters, a few dictionaries (one French, because why not?), a drawer of brainstorming notebooks, and two drawers of day job business files.
Which kind of scenes are the hardest for you to write? Action, dialogue, sex?
Sex! I don’t really like writing sex scenes, to be honest. It feels like too much, even when I barely bring it there, and I’m often uncomfortable reading the more explicit ones. Ironic, right? Because Dark & Stormy has them, and multiple friends have asked for more in my next book. Arguably, most stories can do without sex scenes, and one might suggest I don’t have to write them at all, but to be true to the character’s relationships, it sometimes feels wrong to leave out—if two people have the kind of dynamic that’s moving there, for sure, especially in an adult novel, it’s almost more glaring when absent, than the sex scene itself.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Edit and read! J I also like nature and good food and exploring new places, all of that with my family. I like to slow down and enjoy the moments, no hurry, as best I can.
What are your top three favorite books of all time?
I have a list of favorites on my website, but to narrow it down, choosing a representative from multiple genres and points of my life, I’m going to say:
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo—a sweeping story with almost all of life packed into it. This was my first favorite book, going back to high school.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson—this one gutted me completely, so beautiful and painful at the same time.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor—the trilogy really, because the reveals and world-building only got better and better and blew every last corner of my mind.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and can have only 2 people with you, a person from your books and a person from any other book, which would they be?
Karou from Taylor’s DoSaB, because she knows all the languages, which is most excellent and hopefully she’d teach me, and Kai, because he’d be helpful with the building and food procuring situation, but also just in case I got really, really bored 😉 (And gave up all hope of ever getting off the island and back to my husband, of course!)
Thanks so much for having me! Happy reading!
If you want to follow the entire Tour, here’s the link to follow:
The AUTHOR: J. Mercer grew up in Wisconsin where she walked home from school with her head in a book, filled notebooks with stories in junior high, then went to college for accounting and psychology only to open a dog daycare. She wishes she were an expert linguist, is pretty much a professional with regards to competitive dance hair (
J. Mercer grew up in Wisconsin where she walked home from school with her head in a book, filled notebooks with stories in junior high, then went to college for accounting and psychology only to open a dog daycare. She wishes she were an expert linguist, is pretty much a professional with regards to competitive dance hair (bunhawk, anyone?), and enjoys exploring with her husband—though as much as she loves to travel, she’s also an accomplished hermit. Perfect days include canceled plans, rain, and endless hours to do with what she pleases. Find her on Facebook @jmercerbooks or online at www.jmercerbooks.wordpress.com.