Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Conversation with Meradeth Houston, Author of COLORS LIKE MEMORIES and CHEMISTRY OF FATE

Meradeth Houston, Author of Colors Like Memories and Chemistry of Fate

Hi Meradeth! I'm so happy you agreed to stop by the blog for a chat. I've had so much fun watching your career with Muse It Up Publishing develop, along with your Sary novels, Colors Like Memories and Chemistry of Fate. What attracted you to a digital publisher?

Goodreads Link

Hi JRo! Thanks a million for asking me to be here today! And a very good question here, right out of the box. I'll admit, I'm totally debating on how to answer this--there's the very honest answer, and the answer that sounds more professional. But, as one of my students told me the other day, I honestly have no filter, so I'm going with the honest one :) I wrote Colors Like Memories and went through a million rounds of revisions, had a ton of agent requests, several revise and resubmits, and was planning to go the traditional route. I really felt the book was good enough, but I'm probably a *bit* biased. Anyhow, it came down to trunking the thing, which I just couldn't do, or finding my own publisher. MuseItUp had a ton of complements from writers who'd gone with them, and after looking into them, I decided it was worth a shot. I've really loved the community the house has, but I am seriously praying to go with something more traditional on the book I'm currently shopping. The main reason? Marketing. I know I'll still have to do a ton on my own even with a larger house, but as it currently stands, I'm getting no help. And it makes me feel like I'm drowning most days. I can't help but think all the time I put into it could be time I'm writing. *Sigh* Okay, yeah, I know, break out the tiny violins, right? Still, it's a whole other ballgame on the other side of the publishing fence.

Wow, that was a whole lot of randomness! Sorry! I guess I had a lot to say :/

I'm glad you answered honestly! It's different for each person. I chatted with an author who chose the self-pub route a few weeks ago and she's super happy with her decision. But I know you, like me, have a demanding 9-5 career as well as your writing career. Marketing help is crucial. 

So, you teach college level anthropology. And your books I mentioned in the last question are about the Sary (simplifying, but they are guardian angels), a bit time-travelish, and thus a bit historical. (Confession - I haven't yet read Chemistry of Fate but it's on my Kindle) Are the two related? Or is writing an escape from the former?

Goodreads Link

The two are kind of related, but mostly that's because I work with college students and teens a lot. This really helps while writing NA and YA. I get to be a fly on the wall for the stuff they talk about, their language, and tastes. It's really a ton of fun! (Until I have to grade papers...then I kind of wonder about the future of our country...but, yeah, I won't go there!) Writing did start out as my release and escape though, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't still serve that function. After my insane 60 hour weeks, I'm desperate to get back to my own little world. Or sleep. Lately, sleep has been winning a lot :)

Ah sleep, one of my favorite activities. So, your Sary books are some ridiculously low price over at the big A - why don't you explain a bit about how you came up with the concept and where the idea came from so my readers can run out and add them to their e-readers!?

Yes, do go add them to your e-readers! :) LOL! And there's even a paperback in the mix now, for those who like that kind of thing ;) Anyhow, let's see, I came up with the idea of the Sary when I was about 11, after reading Many Waters by Madeline L'Engle. I was really curious about some of the characters in there and wished there were more to learn and read about them. So, one minor epiphany later, I decided to write it myself! And many, many changes, drafts, and other shenanigans later, the Sary were born. Now they inhabit my brain and generally don't get out enough to play.

And though you can read about it in her book descriptions, the Sary are angels who have been assigned to watch over certain humans who may have slightly higher risk factors than others? Correct me if I'm wrong. Okay, so you mentioned in your first answer that you're working on something that you hope to find a traditional publishing route for, is it another paranormal or are you tinkering in a new genre?

You're totally right! The Sary are kind of like cosmic counselors :) Except, I don't get into the nitty gritty of the psychological side of them helping the people their assigned to. Anyhow, the book I currently have out is a sci-fi New Adult. It's light on the science side (even though someday I will write a really science-y book!), but has aliens, an invasion, a hot guy, and well, it's a lot of fun. Plus, lots and lots of amazing Mexican food (which I crave all the time since I moved to Montana where their idea of a good Mexican dish comes with tatertots...). Shoot, now I really want a tamale! 

Great. Now I've got the craving. But it's sort of a good segue into our fifth and final question (though I have to pause to say aliens and mexican food - that sounds like a tequila night to me!). So tell us -  the next three books in your TBR pile, what liquid is in your cup, and what's playing on repeat. And thanks so much for stopping by for a chat!

Margaritas at my place--any time! And, let's see, next three books in my TBR mountain are: a cute Christmas collection for a blog buddy, Eleanor and Park, and...I don't actually have a plan for the next. That has to actually be a first! The liquid in my cup: hot chocolate. As always. I'm addicted to the stuff. What's playing on repeat: the iTunes 3 of a kind channel for The Killers, Imagine Dragons, and Neon Trees. iTunes radio and I have started a rather intimate relationship lately--I kind of love their selections. 

Thanks a million for hosting me! This was definitely a ton of fun :)

Thank you, Meradeth!

Next week be sure and stop in when I'll be chatting with author pair, Lindsay Currie and Trisha Leaver about their co-written novel, CREED.


  1. Thanks SO much for having me here today! This was seriously one of the most fun interviews I've ever had the pleasure of doing :)

  2. Thanks for having Meradeth over! Outstanding answers!

  3. What a great interview! I loved hearing about why Meradeth chose her publishing route and it was fun to learn more about one of my favorite people in the blogging world. Having read the first two Sary books I can't wait for the 3rd! Such fun and entertaining stories. I was a huge Madeline L'Engle fan growing up, so I can understand how they inspired Meradeth to write this series. I also have Eleanor and Park on my bedside table waiting to be read! SOON!

    Thanks for sharing and best of luck to Meradeth. :)

    1. Stephanie, you're too sweet! I hope you like the 3rd book :) We'll have to compare notes on Eleanor and Park when we get to it--soon!!


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