Friday, June 22, 2012

Colors Like Memories, Meradeth Houston

AUTHOR: Meradeth Houston
BOOK TITLE: Colors Like Memories
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing

1)    Tell me a little about your book. 
Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of. 

Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.

2)    What gave you the idea for this particular story?
I got the idea for this particular story from a song, actually. It is based in a world I’ve written several other stories in, so that was already set, but I was listening to Linkin Park’s “Shadow of a Day” (I know, an old song, but books take a long time to write and be published!), and the story just kind of came together from that. It was one of those stories that felt like it was already there in my fingers, just waiting for me to write it (and then revise the heck out of it!).

3)    Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I am a part-time writer, meaning I sneak in writing whenever I can. While writing Colors Like Memories, I was also a full-time graduate student balancing teaching classes, writing papers, and working in my lab. I was pretty busy! But I needed time to relax, too, which is when I wrote. I don’t have any set schedule, just whenever I can find the time!

4)    When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t know if there was ever a time I thought to myself “I want to be a writer” but then again, I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid, so maybe I just don’t remember! I do remember thinking to myself, “Hey, I can write a story about all the things I want to read about”, so maybe that was my “aha!” moment :).

5)    What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I’ll admit, I’m not really looking for people to learn any big lesson, or have some kind of revelation from my stories. I write because it’s fun, and I hope readers get lost in my stories as much as I get lost while writing them. So, really, I hope people just enjoy reading them!

6)    Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I write YA paranormal, generally with some romance thrown in. I admittedly write the genre I enjoy reading most! I like the genre because it’s a fun escape, and I’ve always liked reading about the real world that incorporates a “twist” of some kind that makes things a bit magical, and lots of fun!

7)    What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
If someone had asked me this before I was published, I probably would have said the rejection that is inherent in trying to sell your work (either to an agent, a publisher, etc.). Now, I’d have to say the fear of everyone hating my book! Honestly, it’s giving me nightmares. I know I shouldn’t be hung up about what others think about my stories, but that’s nearly impossible. So, I stress about it :)

8)    How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
Okay, I’ve never actually thought about this! I’m sitting here going “hmm, that’s a good question!” Honestly, I don’t think she’s much like me at all. She’s kind of one of those people who really doesn’t like being alone much. Sure, she handles it okay, but she’d much rather have a partner in crime. Losing her soul-mate threw her into a tail-spin much more than I think it would me (but let’s not test that, m’k?). She’s also much more emotional than I am, too. But, she’s also pretty hard on herself, and I think I identify a lot with that. How’s that for a complex answer?

9) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
I spent a lot of time researching the Civil War, because about a third of the novel is set during that time period. Reading about different battles, and what nurses did during the war, was a lot of fun. I pray I managed to get the details right!

10) What about your book makes it special?
Well, a few things may not be completely original, but they are different from the standard I suppose: the main character knows she’s different (and she’s older), so the story is told from her perspective, not from a human coming across her world. Also, the Sary are completely original—I made them up (so googling probably won’t help much!), which I found to be a lot of fun, and I hope other’s enjoy exploring my world!

11) What is your marketing plan?
My marketing plan… Um. Okay. I have been working hard for the past year to build a blog base, and a twitter following. I am also on several other social media sites, and have been doing my best to set up a platform. It is never too early to do this! I have done quite a few giveaways to draw attention, too. I set up a blog tour, as well, to get things rolling, and have contacted a lot of book reviewers (based off of several lists I found and put together) to get my name out to more people. I have participated in a Book Blast (done by I’m A Reader Not A Writer), and other forms of advertising. Basically, anything and everything I can think of. I’ve read hundreds of blogs about what to do, how marketing should be done, and really, what it comes down to is doing what you are comfortable with, and what you have the time for!

12) Where can people learn more about you and your work? (teaser trailer) (book trailer)

13) What’s in the future for you?
Lots! I have two more Sary books in the works, and am also revising a sci-fi novel that’s been lots of fun!

Thanks so much for hosting me, Penny! It’s been fun!


I greeted his tombstone the way I always did—with a swift kick. The release of frustration was more than worth the sharp pain in my toes. The polished marble tilted to the left because of all my visits; a crooked tooth in the rows of pearly white graves.

I folded my legs under me, shuddering as the chill of the damp grass seeped through my clothes. “I keep hoping one of these days you’ll be here waiting for me.” The words were tradition. Some small part of me still clung to the hope I’d come over the hill to find him leaning over his grave, wearing a sly smile. He died so very long ago, but I couldn’t stop wishing.

Leaning forward, I rested my forehead against my knees and closed my eyes, longing for a few minutes of rest. A few minutes to pretend it was someone else buried beneath me. I tried to explain this to him, but tonight I didn’t have the will to pretend it was more than starlight that listened.

It took a long time to notice, building imperceptibly until I finally looked over my shoulder. Someone was there, watching me. It hadn’t been a sound that alerted me so much as the feel of their gaze, heavy in the darkness. After so many nights spent here, I could tell the difference.

For just a second, I thought I saw Frederick’s tall form step from the shadows. My heart stopped, and I started to scramble to my feet before the breeze scattered my wishful thinking. Scanning the rest of the cemetery, it was clear no one else was around. The sprinklers were hissing their rhythmic beat in the next section over, and it was better to leave before they started watering the grass over his grave. It had to be just my imagination—no one was watching me. It was for the better. If anyone saw me here, there would be problems I couldn’t face.

I kissed my fingertips and touched the top of the smooth white stone, anxious now to leave, alert to any movement in the cemetery. “I’ll be seeing you,” I whispered, wishing it were true.


  1. Yeah, rejection's always bad. I wouldn't worry about people liking or not liking your book. Reading's like anything else: very subjective.

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me, Penny! I'm sharing links :)

  3. My pleasure, Meradeth. Hope to see you back again in the future!