Where did you grow up and attend school? Are there any other authors in your family?
I grew up “on the Bayou” in south Louisiana in a small community about sixty miles southwest of New Orleans. I graduated from South Terrebonne High School whose mascot is the Gators. Many years and life changes later, I graduated with a B.S. in Physical Therapy from South Alabama University. It’s been an unconventional life and as I get older, I realize I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I have two children and neither one has been bitten by the fiction-writing bug, but my daughter-in-law is currently in a screen writing course at UCLA so I’m hoping to have a professional screenwriter in the family.
How did you get started writing? How old were you? What made you want to start? What did you enjoy reading as a child?
I’ve always been a writer of sorts. As a child, I made up stories, wrote poetry, and expressed my deepest thoughts in a journal. I read anything I could as a child. Some things I probably shouldn’t have, but the diversity has helped me find MY voice.
In 2003 I decided to take the desire burning in my heart to a higher more serious level. I committed to myself and to The Lord that I would answer the call He placed on my heart. I attended a writer’s conference and stepped out into this crazy writing world.
How and when did you and your husband meet? Was it love at first sight? What does he think about your being an author?
In 1986 my husband and I met when we moved to a start-up location for the company we worked for. Love at first sight? NO. I was a single mom, he was a carefree bachelor. I remember thinking, there’s no way I could fall for this guy.
Well, all these years later, I’m still falling for this guy and can’t imagine being with anyone else! He’s my biggest supporter and helps me plot, develop characters, and gives me feedback on ideas.
How do you research the communities and people you write about? Do you find yourself having do a lot of research?
Many of my books are set in south Louisiana. Because I was raised there, very little research is required. I have a book set near Steamboat Springs, Colorado and one set in Cavazzale, Italy. Both places, I’ve visited and spent time in. I don’t do a LOT of research, but find that there is a certain amount of research involved in every book.
Which is your favorite book? Do you have a character in your books you identify with the most?
Well, saying I have a favorite book is tough. That’s like asking which of my children is my favorite! Each book is “my favorite” for many different reasons. As with childbirth, each book is a labor of love.
SOUTHERN FRIED CHRISTMAS will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first to be published. The book I feel I’ve poured so much of my heart into would be THE MOON HAS NO LIGHT.
One of my favorite characters is Nonc Lester the great “uncle” of my heroine in A CAJUN CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. He had a no-nonsense way of speaking truth and relating to the autistic boy in the story. Every time I wrote a scene with him, I envisioned Morgan Freeman!
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Marian Pellegrin Merritt writes stories that blend her love of the mountains with her deep Southern roots. Her tagline, Where the Bayous Meets the Mountains, grew from both loves.
This Louisiana native writes her Inspirational Christmas romances and Southern women’s fiction with a Louisiana/Colorado connection from the Texas home she shares with her husband and a very spoiled Labradoodle.
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Buy links to Marian’s Books: http://www.marianmerritt.com/#!/cnec