Meet the Author: Q&A with Libby Mercer

Hey there! Today I have the privilege of welcoming a fellow chick lit-writing, -loving, and -reading author to the Blog with a fun Meet the Author: Q&A with Libby Mercer.

I met Libby online through a chick lit Blog Hop last year and she’s such a doll and is so entertaining and witty. When she hosted her Girly Book Blog Hop a few months back I just had to pounce! It was so much fun, and the response was so fab that she’s bringing the Girly Book Blog Hop back for round 2! This time it’s all about Location, Location, Location, and you can get the scoop on that Hop that occurs this weekHERE. (It’s going to be smashing!)

So, lovely readers, please help me welcome Libby Mercer, author of Fashioning a Romance and her latest release, Unmasking Maya. 

Thanks so much for having me here today, Savannah! I’m so excited to be here chatting about Unmasking Maya, my new romance/chick lit hybrid. I had a lot of fun writing it and I’m having even more fun talking it up!

About Unmasking Maya, by Libby Mercer:

Defamed, Disgraced and Displaced...

Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?

Not so much.

 She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.

As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?

It sounds fantastic, Libby!!

Please share with us about where you found the inspiration for Unmasking Maya, and your fashionable leading lady (Maya) and biz-wiz leading man (Derek).

  • I actually came up with the idea of Derek first. I knew I wanted for the love interest of my new story to be a super brilliant tech guy – I’d only been in San Francisco for a few months at that point, and the whole Silicon Valley tech culture fascinates me. So Derek was born, but he needed a leading lady. I thought to myself: what sort of woman would he not get along with? And that was my basis for creating Maya.

I love it! Usually with chick lit we can get caught up in developing the leading ladies but starting with the gent first…nice!

Though you’ll be chatting about Location in your upcoming Blog Hop (yay!), why did you choose San Francisco as the place to set your story?

  • It’s where I live, and aside from the fact that this saved me from spending a lot of time Googling location info (definitely a plus) I really wanted to set a story here. It is such a great city. Also, since one of the two main characters runs his own tech company, it made sense to have the HQ be in Silicon Valley.

Your first book, Fashioning a Romance, also featured a fashion-loving protagonist—Caitlyn Taylor. With a personal background in fashion and design are your readers in for some more fashionista fun in your upcoming novel, The Karmic Connection?

  • Actually, no. The heroine of Karmic is a wellness expert/yoga and Pilates instructor, so she spends all her time in tee shirts and yoga pants. Before she came to the wellness center, she had a very different sort of career, but I can’t tell you what it was without revealing a major plot twist. I will say that it had absolutely nothing to do with fashion.

Ooo Pilates and yoga and a plot twist that sounds juicy… I’m hooked!

How long have you been writing, and when did you know you wanted to make authoring a career?

  • I’ve been writing stories since I was a small child. And I think I’ve always wanted a career as an author, but it wasn’t until I got laid off from my last job a couple of years ago that I decided to buckle down and throw every last ounce of energy into making it happen.

How about those funny writing quirks or habits?

  • Nothing too strange, but I do need silence when I’m at the computer in order for things to flow. I also find it really helpful to go for walks when I’m stuck. Something about getting away from the computer sort of frees up my mind and often when I return home, I’m good to go.

If you were stranded on an island, which three books would you bring and why?

  • Good question! Okay, I would bring Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell because it’s my all-time favorite book. Next I think I’d have to bring I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella because I’d need something to make me laugh. It’s not my favorite Kinsella book, but it’s the longest one and I do really love it, so it’s all good. And for the final book, I’d have to say War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I haven’t read it yet (gasp!) but I’d be happy to have such a whopper of a story in my hands to keep me busy.

Time for some fun Pick One Questions!

Plotter or Pantser?

  • Pantser

Edit as you write or write-write-write until draft one is done?

  • Edit as I write.

Word count goals or write when the muse calls?

  • Word count goals when I’m in the middle of a project. When I’m starting a project, I’m afraid I have to wait for the muse.

Title’s come quickly or they take forrreeeever?

  • Depends. Usually they take forrreeeeever but sometimes they just appear. The Karmic Connection was a gift. It just appeared to me.

Early bird or night owl?

  • Haha. Night owl. Big time.

The leading lady or the best friend?

  • This depends too, but I’m leaning towards the best friend. I think authors have more freedom to be a bit whimsical when it comes to secondary characters.

Hot and steamy love scenes or “use your imagination”?

  • Ah… use your imagination. I’m still a bit of a wimp about that – my mom reads my books.

The dashing gentleman or the rugged bad boy?

  • Can’t decide! (In fiction, I mean. Bad boys don’t really do it for me in real life.)

Happily ever after or surprise twist ending?

  • Although a happily ever after is the most stringent requirement in romance stories, it’s those surprise twist endings that I remember the most. And the most fondly. When authors combine the two, it’s the best of both worlds.

Anything else, Libby, please share right here!

  • I just wanted to say thanks for having me on your blog, Savannah! And thanks to your readers for taking the time to check out this interview.  Happy reading, everyone!

Thank you, Libby! It’s been a fun Q&A and I think I, too, will have to finally put War and Peace on my list of to-reads. ;) I wish you all the best with Unmasking Maya and your writing. I’m looking forward to being a part of your Girly Book Blog Hop this week. And, readers, you should definitely check it out. There are lots of freebies you can win, including a Grand Prize package that is super-awesome-sweet!

Where can you find Libby Mercer and her books?

Pick up a copy of Unmasking Maya at Amazon or a paperback version at Createspace

Pick up a copy of Fashioning a Romance at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble

Check out Libby's Blog

"Like" on Facebook

Follow on Twitter (@LibbyMercer1)

Stay tuned in to the Blog over the next couple of days because you won't want to miss out on the Girly Book Blog Hop, a new When Girlfriends... book, a special When Girlfriends... promo, and more! All coming this week!

Happy Reading!