Monday, April 15, 2013

Christina Mercer and Arrow of the Mist

Today I want to introduce you to my critique partner (from back in the days when we were working on revising our first books), Christina Mercer.

 Christina Mercer writes fiction for children and young adults. She earned a degree in Accounting from California State University at Sacramento and a Certificate in Herbal Studies from Clayton College of Natural Health. She took Writer’s Best in Show at the 2012 SCBWI CA North/Central Regional Conference and was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakout Novel Award Contest. Christina resides in Northern California enjoying life with her husband, two sons, four dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees. You can find her at and she tweets at @cwritebuzz

About her new release, Arrow of the Mist:

Terror strikes the Celtic inspired kingdom of Nemetona when barbed roots breach the land and poison woodsmen, including 15-year-old Lia’s beloved father. Lia embarks on a quest to the forbidden land of Brume to gather ingredients for the cure. She relies on her herbal wisdom and newfound gift as a tree mage through a land of soul-hungry shades, trickster creatures, and uncovered truths about her family.

“Ancient magic and herbal lore mark this engaging, fast-moving fantasy with a botanical bent. Lia, 15, is a winning heroine, discovering and wielding her magical gifts. Smoothly crafted writing conjures up a wondrous world where trees impart wisdom and dwarves tend ancient and powerful crystals. Well-developed characters, elegant dialogue, trickster creatures, exciting scenes of mystic battle and intriguing riddles stir up a powerful potion that will charm readers.” –Publishers Weekly

 I got to go to Christina's very first signing of her book, and I have some pictures and interview questions to prove it!

ARJ: You did a great job of incorporating your own herbalist background into Arrow of the Mist. How did you make the leap from studying herbs, and deciding herb lore would be the perfect twist in a fantasy book for teens?

CM: Thank you! I've read lots of fantasy where elements of the natural world were used to bring about magic, but for me, herbs and trees carried so much "real" magic that it wasn't too far a stretch to enhance their power. Plants have always had the ability to heal or kill, and tees were especially revered in Celtic mythology. I wanted to bring a little of that ancient lore back into the minds of readers.

ARJ: You joined the Indie-Visible group before you published Arrow of the Mist--what kind of benefits are there to belonging to such a group for you and your book?

CM: I honestly don't think I'd be having this interview had it not been for the consistent support by my fellow members at Indie-Visible. So many details are involved in the publishing process, from cover design to copyediting to formatting to promotion. The collaborative efforts through this process were/and still are invaluable to me. I am humbled by the many talents found there and honored to be a part of such a powerhouse.

ARJ: It seems like it's crucial in the world of self-publishing to release titles as close together as possible, and the sequel to Arrow of the Mist is scheduled for this fall. Has your writing process changed as you moved into self-publishing? Any tips you'd like to share for efficient drafting and revising?

CM: In addition to my regular critique partners, my fellow Indie-Visible members will help with vetting the manuscript for necessary revisions. I'm lucky in that the sequel was close to being finished before I published the first book, but I'm also well aware of how much work it is to revise. I would tell anyone who plans to self/indie publish to make sure you have solid critiquers and then hire a professional copyeditor to clean up errors. And yes, you have errors, no matter how much you've combed through the manuscript!

And now the fun questions!

ARJ:What's your favorite herbal tea?
CM: I drink tons of black and white varieties of tea, I love chai tea, and I enjoy a sleepy time blend of chamomile and mint in the evening.

ARJ: Your favorite honey treat?
CM: A giant spoonful of honey suits me just fine, though I love baklava because of all the honey & carb goodness combined.

Hope y'all enjoyed meeting Christina and her new book!


Angela Townsend said...

I love the cover! And the website is wonderful! Sounds like a fantastic read.

:) Great Job Christina! Congrats!

Nancy Herman said...

A sequel! How exciting, Christina. Great interview, Angelica!

LinWash said...

Wow. Sounds great! I promptly added it to my wish list!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Thanks Nancy!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

I love Christina's website too! It fits her and her books perfectly.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Enjoy, Lin! You can start with the free sample of the ebook, and I bet you'll want to keep reading!