Blair Merrin’s been a bit of a whirlwind since she learned how to walk! She’s always had a tremendous amount of energy, and is interested in experiencing everything that life has to offer, and then some. Merrin’s domineering and downright regal cat, Binx, is her constant companion, and thankfully, because she’s a writer, every day is “bring a pet to work” day. Binx often tries to copyedit for Merrin by pawing at, or laying on her keyboard at the most inopportune times. Quite obviously, she is the inspiration behind Cassie’s cat, Xerxes, in Merrin’s Bandit Hills series.
When Merrin’s not writing, drinking coffee, or watching Netflix with Binx, she takes dance lessons, because it’s way more fun than jogging, and Merrin loves anything that involves water. Merrin swims, boats, waterskies, surfs, and snorkels – yes, she is a bit of a fish…maybe that’s why Binx and Merrin get along so well.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?
Practice makes perfect. I write every single day, even when I think I’m “too busy.” Writing is part of my routine and I get roughly 2000 words written every day – except Sundays, everybody needs a day off. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what I write as long as I’m writing. A rough first draft is better than no first draft.
How has this helped you as a writer?
I believe that making a habit out of writing has helped me tremendously. I am able to keep procrastination at bay and meet every deadline, without fail. It’s gotten to the point that if I finish a day ahead of schedule and don’t start on the next book, I feel guilty.
Mac or PC?
Oh, I am a Mac girl for sure. It easily syncs with all of my other devices, so when I am out and about, which is often, I can always be connected!
Do you use Word or Scrivener?
I use Word but I plan on looking into Scrivener.
Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?
I do enjoy my iPad. I currently have Word on my Mac and iPad so I am easily able to switch back and forth to get my writing done anytime, anywhere.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Coffee, coffee, coffee. I can’t get anything done without it! If I am writing, I always have a coffee in my hand, usually a soy caramel latte. There is a great little cafe not far from where I live and I make my way over there a few times a week to do some writing and get my caffeine fix. It’s a relatively harmless addiction. 😉
Do you start by writing or researching first?
I am a stickler for procedure when it comes to my writing. I always create an outline first, research anything that needs to be researched, and then begin my writing process. I keep my outline pulled up while I write so that I make sure that I stick to it. I very rarely allow myself the luxury of diverging from it, once I’ve determined the path that I’m going to take through a story.
Favorite spot to write in the winter?
Well it gets pretty chilly here in Massachusetts in the winter, so I spend a lot of time in my reading and writing nook. It’s right by the fireplace, on my chaise and generally with my furry baby curled up at my feet.
Favorite spot to write in the summer?
The bookstore. I absolutely love going there on a nice hot day, grabbing my coffee, people watching and getting my stories down on paper. There is something about being near all of those books and hustle and bustle of readers – it gives me a bit of a thrill.
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Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco