1889 Labs Makes Reading Rewarding with New Paranormal Thriller Series MERGE From May 28th to June 18th, MERGE will give readers the chance to win an iPad. Ontario, Canada – Independent publisher 1889 Labs has announced the release of an innovative paranormal thriller series entitled MERGE. The thirteen-story series, written collaboratively by four authors, will launch on May 28th and run for four weeks alongside a blog tour, giving participating readers the chance to win a brand new iPad, Amazon and iTunes vouchers, and a host of other prizes. Set in a world reeling from the discovery of transhumans, MERGE is a series of thirteen short stories that charts the loves, the betrayals, and the struggle for survival in a world where humans and transhumans are uneasy neighbours. Tensions are high, riots are brewing. The human race is about to come undone. As a collaborative effort from authors AM Harte (Hungry For You), Kit Iwasaki (Intern With A Vampire), MCM (The Vector), and Yvonne Reid (Ascension), the thirteen stories will be released over the course of four weeks. 1889 Labs will publish a total of four stories every week, one from each participating author. The final piece of the series will be released on June 18th, culminating in the inevitable intersection of each author’s unique storyline. “The Romantic myth of the solitary author genius is long overdue an overhaul. Working with other authors challenges your creativity and pushes you past your comfort zone—MERGE would be half the story it is today without all that artistic tension, and we’re looking forward to sharing the results with our readers,” said AM Harte, one of the participating authors. 1889 Labs is running a blog tour in conjunction with MERGE, securing several book blog sponsors who will release accompanying interviews, excerpts, guest posts, and reviews. Participating readerscan enter to win a brand new iPad, e-copies of MERGE stories, and iTunes or Amazon gift vouchers by subscribing to the 1889 Labs newsletter. Comments on blog tour posts, #merge1889 tweets, and Facebook likes will count as additional entries into the prize raffle. Publishing is changing, audiences are changing, but 1889 Labs continues to bring the very best of speculative fiction to the wider reading public. From its inception in 2006, 1889 Labs now publishes an average of twelve titles a year, boasting a great and growing roster of authors, and a catalogue of titles that illustrate just how amazing storytelling can be. For more information, visit http://1889.ca/merge/.
Set in a world still reeling from the discovery of transhumans, MERGE charts the loves, the betrayals, and the struggle for survival as transhumans are rounded up and sent to live in ghettos. Tensions are high, riots are brewing. The human race is about to come undone. Written collaboratively by AM Harte, Kit Iwasaki, MCM, and Yvonne Reid, the thirteen-story series will follow four distinct, stand-alone storylines, and will be published in quick succession between May 28–June 18. Only by reading the final instalment will you understand how the stories merge. The blog tour sponsors include: A Bit of Dash; All-Consuming Media; Attack of the Book; Black Sun Reviews; Bookittyblog; Books N Beans; Full Moon Bites; Reviews by Molly; The Next Best Book Club; and The Pen & Muse. About 1889 Labs 1889 Labs is an independent publisher dedicated to producing the best strange fiction conceivable by the human brain. Catering to a specific demographic of men and women between the ages of 3 and 97, we print everything from kids books to serious stories for adults. Our goal is to bring you on an amazing adventure onscreen and off. We hope you’ll take us up on the offer. For more information and our full list of titles, visit http://1889.ca.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
Born in San Francisco, grew up in Chicago, and now live nowhere and everywhere at once. A long time ago, I was sure I was going to be a doctor. Then halfway through being a premed student I realized that I didn’t really love medicine, so much as love doctors. Writing had always been a side-hobby of mine, squeezed between classes, and when I dropped out it somehow took over my life. That’s how I started writing stories like Vampire General, a paranormal medical drama somewhat like True Blood meets Grey’s Anatomy. And of course I’ve brought my medical niche to the MERGE series, too…. I prefer it this way. Fictional blood is way easier to clean!
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Which book? 🙂 The Vampire General series was inspired by a friend of mine, who’s allergic to garlic. We always joke that he’s a vampire, and one day I wondered: what if there really was a medical condition that could scientifically explain vampirism? What if all ‘transhumans’ are actually just people with genetic conditions? That idea kicked off the series, and then MCM approached me to participate in MERGE. When he mentioned that transhumans were involved, I couldn’t resist. MERGE’s premise is actually quite similar to the Vampire General world, with the added tension of ghettos and segregation… It’s how I imagine the Vampire General world would be if humans knew about the transhuman population. The medicine behind the stories fascinate me the most. That’s why for my stories in the MERGE series (5 Days At A Time, Gentle Cruelty, and Who I Really Am) I decided to play with the transhuman-human relationship, and explore what it meant if a transhuman had a real condition like Alzheimer’s. How do the two conditions affect each other?
How do you create your characters?
They create themselves! Seriously. Spring out of my ear fully formed, and demand that I pay attention. It can be fairly disruptive! What inspires and what got you started in writing? Puzzles inspire me. Seriously, puzzles are what got me into this in the first place, and it’s what keeps me going. There are medical puzzles (“Why is he bleeding there and how do I stop it?”) and bigger human questions (“How do I cope with this degenerative disease?”), but also juicy ones, like affairs of the heart (“How do I get him to notice me?”)… The best part of writing is finding a fun sampling of these puzzles, and wrapping them all up together. It’s what made me start writing, and what keeps it interesting!
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?) Coffee in the early morning. Something stronger late at night. And if it’s in those odd halfway hours between night and morning, I sometimes combine the two! I don’t mind music now and then, but it really has to fit the mood of what I’m writing. If I hit on a song or album that captures the scene, I end up listening to it on repeat until I’m done writing. Otherwise I sit in silence… as silent as a busy city can be!
How do you get your ideas for writing?
Well, I interned at this transhuman hospital, so… just kidding! I was one of those odd kids who used to dissect teddy bears (Mr Higgins never did recover from that kidney transplant…) so thinking about medical situations, and the associated family drama, comes naturally. I like to try make things as real as possible. In Vampire Generals, there’s a mermaid who’s run over by a boat, so I spent hours researching fish and dolphin anatomy to make her case realistic! What I like about MERGE, though, is that I get to explore the intersection between transhuman and real medicine in a more emotional way. Beth, the protagonist, doesn’t have a medical background. To her, what is happening to her husband is incomprehensible and frightening, and I think that makes the situation ten times more powerful.
What do you like to read?
Books, for the most part. Cereal packets when I’m eating breakfast in the morning, but I’ll sink as far as nail polish ingredients when I’m trying to avoid writing. Oh, you mean genre? I enjoy anything speculative, especially supernatural fiction (Charlaine Harris, Anne Rice, Laurell K Hamilton…). But I won’t say no to a gritty thriller or detective story… anything that has love stories and drama rocks my boat.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
When you’re starting out, don’t waste money in fancy tools or dictionaries or notebooks. The only thing you need is sheer stubbornness, and the “get ass in chair” ability. Be patient, stay motivated, and write. Write often. Write more. Keep writing. Even if you hate everything you write. Trust me: we’ve all been there.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Thanks so much for having me today, and thanks to the readers for following along! If you want sexy vampire doctors, you know where to find me.