Mercedes M. Yardley wears stilettos, red lipstick, and poisonous flowers in her hair. She likes to do a little bit of everything, and writes dark fantasy, horror, nonfiction, and poetry. Mercedes minored in Creative Writing and worked as a contributing editor for Shock Totem Magazine. She is the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love and her debut novel Nameless: The Darkness Comes, which is the first book in THE BONE ANGEL TRILOGY. She often speaks at conferences and teaches workshops on several subjects, including personal branding and how to write a novel in stolen moments. Mercedes lives and works in Sin City, and you can reach her at www.mercedesyardley.com.
How to find Mercedes:
Don't forget to check out the rest of the interview with my fellow hosts:
Part 1 @ Terri
Part 2 @ Teresa
Part 3 @ Emily
Part 4 @ Sandra
Part 5 @ Vicki
Section #3: The Creative Process
BRoP: Do you have a specific writing style?
MMY: I have two very distinct styles, yes. One is very ephemeral and lyrical. It’s quite feminine. The other has more smart aleck swagger and is written in first person. It took me a long while to recognize that I coming out with two different voices, but what can I say? I’m a Pisces. It’s all about duality.
BRoP: How do you deal with writer’s block?
MMY: I just took a workshop from Orson Scott Card and he said something interesting. He said that writer’s block is your subconscious telling you the scene you’re about to write is fundamentally wrong in some way, and it’s refusing to let you destroy your story. I thought about that, and about the times I’ve really been blocked, and his observations held true for me. I’d never thought of it that way before.
Writer’s block tells me that I need to fill my creative well. Step back from my project and spend more time in other creative pursuits. It means I need to watch movies and listen to music and play outside. I need to make crafts and bake cookies and do things that make me happy. People underestimate the difficulty of creating art. We think it’s easy. It’s a joy, and it’s supposed to be a joy, but it’s also difficult and can take a physical and mental toll. It’s necessary to take a breath and enjoy other creative forms.
BRoP: How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
MMY: I don’t use any set formula. I know a lot of authors who use the 66 point character sheet to help develop character. That’s too rigid for me. I need fluidity. I need the freedom to change as the characters change. I’m a discovery writer. I sit down at the computer and see what happens. It’s a lovely surprise, this amazing journey. I grow close enough to my characters that I know what they would and wouldn’t do, what feels authentic and what doesn’t. By being true to my characters, plot is easy to figure out because I know how they would react to certain situations. It’s organic.
BRoP: Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not?
MMY: I have the best writer’s group in the world! We call ourselves the Illiterati, and I’m sure they’re tired of being mentioned all of the time, but I simply adore them. They’re my beta readers. They know every story I’ve written. They know where I shine and where I struggle as a writer. I know the same about them. They won’t let me turn in anything subpar. We attend writer’s conferences together. We plan birthdays together. They make my work better, and that’s why I use them.
BRoP: Is there anything you find particularly challenging to write?
MMY: I’ve never tried to write a mystery, but I’d love to. That seems particularly difficult for a pantser like me to do. Everything would need to be plotted out so carefully. It’s daunting, but I plan to do it someday. I dearly love a challenge!
Luna Masterson sees demons. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day.
Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’
After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together...even until the end.
Nameless is in print and in ebook
The Blog Ring of Power (BRoP) is a consortium of five speculative fiction writers who have banded together to bring you highlights from the current speculative fiction market--news, reviews, and interviews with speculative fiction authors--with an emphasis on small-press and self-published authors. So grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and relax. Have we got a story for you...