About MR Merrick:
M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer, and author of Exiled, the first installment in The Protector Series. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he’s usually found at the computer, between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.
I’m not even sure “obsession” begins to cover it! I have already read both books that MR Merrick (Matt) has come out with and I’m
NEED, MUST HAVE, impatiently waiting for more books from him. Seriously, it is at the point where I might just drive to Canada to beat down his door for book three because that is how serious I am about The Protector series and Matt’s writing. If you have not yet read his books then you are sadly missing out on a great YA series brought to you in the male perspective! Gasp say what!! Yes, we always get stuck in the mind of female main characters but this time you purely get inside of Matt’s main character, Chase. Let me tell you it is refreshing to read a story not told from a female’s POV. I really don’t know what else to say other than you have to give Matt and his characters a chance!
Now I grill Matt about the male POV in a YA book!
What made you decide to write a teen book vs. an adult book?
Well the characters in the story start at age seventeen, but for the most part, it was just the story that I had to tell. At the same time, I wanted to create a book series that appealed to the broadest audience possible. The Protector series thus far, is suited for anyone aged 14 and older, but there is a little something in it for everyone.
In the female character driven YA market, why did you decide to make your main character male?
The first reason and probably the most obvious; I’m a guy. It’s naturally easier for me to write from a male’s perspective. Second, you said it yourself; “female character driven YA market.” It’s hard enough to stand out with any story you write. There is nowhere near the same amount of books told from a male’s perspective as there is those told from a female’s. And even those that do exist are not regularly written by men.
When I started this series, I couldn’t envision it from anyone else’s point of view. That being said, I knew although it was going to be told from Chase’s perspective, this story wasn’t just about him. It was about all of them. It’s true the focus is mostly Chase and Rayna, but everyone is there for a reason. They all play their part in the grand arc, and none of them are replaceable. I saw this ensemble cast with a story to tell, and that story just happened to be told through Chase’s eyes.
Does a book unfold differently when the reader gets to see inside of the male mind vs. the female mind?
That’s a tough question to answer. I’m going to say no. The story is the story, no matter whose mind I tell it from. The story has to unfold the same way because that’s the story that is being told. For example, if I were to rewrite Exiled from Rayna’s perspective for you right now, to show you how she perceived things, the experience would be somewhat different for the reader, but the story would unfold the same.
Now, if I had written the story from Rayna’s perspective to begin with, and she was in control as I created other worlds and explored magical boundaries, it would be an entirely different story. Because I didn’t use an outline with Exiled, the story was told based on Chase’s past, his experiences, and who I knew he was. To have written a story from Ryana’s perspective with no outline would be a major game changer.
Since your audience is mainly female, is there any pressure to include a certain amount of romance in Chase’s story?
There is so much pressure to put more romance into it, some of it from you :). There were vague hints of it in Exiled, and a little more teasing in Shift, but in all honesty, The Protector Series are just not romance books. They’re a mash-up between Epic and Urban Fantasy. They have action, adventure, magic, violence, death, laughter, friendship, sometimes tears, and bits of romance, but the romance plays such a minor role in the story I’m telling. And in honor of sticking to the story I started with, I don’t plan on branching out and making it a romance-fulfilling series too. Will future works contain more? It’s possible, but at this point in time, I’m staying with the vision I had for these books.
What can your readers look forward to in Chase’s story?
If they’ve read Exiled & Shift, they have already experienced most of what I listed above. Many have laughed, some have cried, others have been lost in the action and adventure, but there is so much more coming. I can’t give any sort of spoilers for what’s in store for book 3, but I can tell you it’s going to take you all over the map, both imaginatively and emotionally. What you’ve felt from the first two books, is about to be combined and magnified. A lot.
Thanks for joining me Matt!