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Grab The Mers: Book One of the Mer Chronicles for only 99 cents! Click image.

Ready to dive into something a little different? Ami Blackwelder’s THE MERS is a YA paranormal making waves as a mermaid dystopian. Don’t hear that every day, do you? And it gets better! Ami has been kind enough to bring along an e-copy to give away, so find a nice sunny spot of beach and try not to kick sand on my towel. *grin* Details of the giveaway follow the interview!

NOTE: The Advanced Readers Copy of THE MERs is what is available now on kindle from Oct 31. 2011-Feb 2012. The final and professionally edited THE MERs will be out hopefully by mid-Feb and latest March 1. 2012.

Welcome, Ami, and congratulations on the release of THE MERS. Can you give our readers a brief introduction to the book?

The book is really about personal discovery, finding one’s identity, coming-of-age. This is book one and so Mira lives amoung Mers. She knows she is different and others know she is different, but no one is rude enough to say anything. When she turns seventeen though a desire to find out who she really is (as with many orphaned children) draws her to leave her land and family and go across the forbidden lands in search of her real family. What she finds is an adventure of pirates, magi, commoners, aristos and along for ride is also her good friend Nerin and his sister Nerissa.

What an incredible journey! Describe (without spoilers) which scene you feel is most important or has the greatest impact on the story. Why?

I love the scenes where comes to the truth. There is a set of dots she is putting together and slowly she and the reader begin to unravel the mystery of who she really is. Mu favorite thought is when she realizes everything. That is the best.

Considering her truth, I can imagine that must be a powerful moment, indeed! I’m going to switch gears just a moment because there’s something I just have to ask. On your blog you have a photo of your secret writing process. Is that real? ;c)

NO:) It is a joke…LOL. But it is a hyperbole. I do in fact have many words I like or phrases I like that I keep on papers throughout the day. But these papers are organized on my shelf, not piled upon my walls.LOL

I am so relieved to know that’s not real, LOL! (That blew.my.mind.) Let’s have some fun with THE MERS.  How about an excerpt … three or four sentences long! Yep, that’s it. *grin*

“Very well, Mira.” Poseidon responded. The sound of his scratchy voice grated on Mira’s nerves, but she couldn’t, didn’t let her irritation show.

With a wave of his hand, the King commanded the guards to release Mira. Within seconds after her ties unwound, she rushed into Nerin, her hand lingering for far too long on his.

Oooh, I love that hint of romance! Which scene of THE MERS was most difficult for you to write? Why?

The ending scene. I wasn’t sure how just to end it just yet…but knew there was so much more to write.

The right ending can be so tough, but isn’t it sweet to nail it? *happy sigh* LOL. If a reader is unfamiliar with your work, which of your books would you suggest he or she read first?  Why?

If you like historical read The Day the Flowers Died (readers love the characters, plot, history) If you like scifi, read Shifters of 2040. (It also has an unpredictable plot with twists and characters you fall in love with as well as passion). If you like paranormal, I’d read She Speaks to Angels (coming soon) or The Mers.

Wow! You’ve got quite a list there. Your backlist is incredible! Looking back over all of the intimate moments you’ve created between characters, which scene would you most like to experience for yourself?  What makes it so alluring?

I would love to experience the scene where Mira is swimming under the water with Nerin and she feels she is about to loose her breath and he kisses her. Romantic. But from all my books? I’d choose a scene between Rebecca and Eli from The Day the Flowers Died. The one where he first tells her he loves her.

Both sound sooo amazing. Then there’s the flipside, LOL. Have you ever battled with any of your characters over their personality traits?  If so, who won – you or the character?

YES! In Hybrids I battled with Bam and she was supposed to die, but she was too stubborn and won and so she fell in love instead. Yes, that happens a lot. Characters have minds of their own.

The stronger the character, the more stubborn they tend to be, so that’s a definite compliment for you as the author. ;c) How do you keep track of plot elements or twists?

I write them on my lab top along with notes between each chapter title. For instance, I’ll write what I want to happen in the next chapters underneath their titles.

I adore that idea. It fits in well with my jotted notes, LOL. Which of your novels most reflects who you are as a writer?  Why?

So difficult to say. I write in a variety of styles. I write one way for historical, another for scifi, and yet another for YA paranormal. Still I also write another way for children’s book and then spiritual books. They all reflect me in different ways.

I love how versatile you are! What are you currently working on?

She Speaks to Angels. Finished. Needs editing. Will be out April 2012.

That’s right around the corner. Yay! But there’s no need to wait to check out Ami’s work. Here’s the scoop on the featured book today, and following Ami’s bio you will find the giveaway info. It’s easy to enter, so don’t go away!

THE MERS | blurb

What lies beneath the surface?

One hundred years from now the world has

changed and brought with it new forms of life.

Who are the Mers? Who is Mira?

Mira always knew she was different. Growing up with Mers, she never quite fit in. When Mira breaks the rules and takes Nerin across the border that divides Ellis Island, AKA Liberty shore and New Jersey, a border that divides two vastly different worlds, she thought the journey to find out who she really was would be an easy one.

But as the world in Jersey proves to be a convoluted mix of Aristocrats who hate the Mers, Pirates who want to sell them, and Magi who want to use them, finding her true identity will be a challenge, especiallywhen her best friend Nerin is a Mer willing to fight to the death.


AMI BLACKWELDER | bio & links

Ami Blackwelder is a forbidden romance writer in the paranormal, scifi, and historical genres. Growing up in Florida, she went to UCf and in 1997 received her BA in English and teaching credentials. She travelled overseas to teach in Thailand, Nepal, Tibet, China and Korea. Thailand is considered her second home now. She has always loved writing and wrote poems and short stores since childhood; however, her novels began when she was in Thailand. She also wrote three nonfiction spiritual books at this time.


In university, having won the Best Fiction Award from the University of Central Florida (Yes, The Blair Witch Project University;), her fiction From Joy We Come, Unto Joy We Return was published in the on campus literary magazine: Cypress Dome and remains to this day in University libraries around the country. Later, she achieved the Semi-Finals in a Laurel Hemingway contest and published a few poems in the Thailand’s Expat magazine, and an article in the Thailand’s People newspaper. Additionally, she has published poetry in the Korea’s AIM magazine, the American Poetic Monthly magazine and Twisted Dreams Magazine.



Ami has quite generously offered up an e-copy of THE MERS for your reading pleasure. If you’d like a chance to win, simply comment with your email address and you’ll be entered into the random giveaway. Any tweets or other shares of this post would be awesome, and there are buttons at the end for your convenience if you are so inclined to do so. Thank you all so much for being here. Y’all show Ami some love! And Ami, it’s been a pleasure. I’m so glad you were able to join us today!