Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Beth Merwood’s newest novel. Happy Publication day to The Ultimate Village Game!
About the book:
The Ultimate Village Game
Riddled with guilt and tormented by desire, Lucy Short keeps notes about newcomers to the village, but why? The misfit with the rescue dog has a mysterious past. She’s been biding her time, plotting and scheming, and now she’s determined to get what she deserves. It won’t be straight forward. Someone is sure to be watching her every move, and there seems to be something more sinister going on.
Mr. Lester Senior is dead. The family is in turmoil. The future of the famous village treasure hunt is in doubt, but for Lucy a new world beckons. She must stick to her task. The rewards could be huge, but will there also be a price to pay?
Q and A with Beth Merwood
Have you got a writing routine?What do you find most enjoyable about writing?
I aim to find a few hours a day when I can leave everything else behind and become totally absorbed in my writing. If I can achieve that I’m happy!
I think I enjoy writing because of that absorption. I’m able to become completely immersed, and I can lose track of time when I’m working on a story. I enjoy escaping into the world that I am creating.
Has the pandemic situation influenced your writing process?
I don’t think anyone would choose to be in lockdown, but to be honest, I believe it helped me in some ways. I had more time on my hands; I was able to spend more of my day writing, and there were less distractions. I’ve not introduced a lockdown or pandemic into my work so far, though. I don’t think I’m likely to want to incorporate either into a novel, but I believe the experience we all went through influenced my thinking in some ways and also helped me to recognize what I value.
Why did you choose to write in this genre?
That’s a great question. In fact, I think I write what comes naturally. I believe my first and my current novel fit more than one genre. Both are mysteries, but neither is a typical mystery. In my eyes, my debut novel was more literary and my new novel is more cozy. I have written some magical realism in the past, and that’s a genre I would like to explore a little more.
What kind of research do you do for your books?
It depends on the particular novel. For The Ultimate Village Game, my research was mostly people watching, taking note of interactions and snippets of conversation. I searched out some inspiring settings too.
There is more background reading to do for the novel I am working on at the moment. I have collected a pile of books and am looking for a number of experts to consult on some subject matters. I’m not intending to write anything overly informative, but I feel I need a more thorough understanding of certain subjects to be able to create authentic characters.
Were there any parts of The Ultimate Village Game or any characters that you found difficult to write?
Lucy, the protagonist, was difficult to write at times. She’s struggling with internal conflict, in the throes of a personal psychological battle, and the novel is written in the first person, so I needed to feel that I was inside her mind at all times and that I fully understood her thought processes.
I always find it challenging to write the more tragic parts of a story. In effect it means that I am choosing to create dreadful events for the characters. It sometimes seems cruel to put a character into a place that will cause them anguish or introduce an event that hurts or damages them. After writing a scene such as this, I can also feel disturbed. In the real world I prefer to avoid difficulty wherever possible!
What’s in the pipeline? What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a mystery with a touch of paranormal.
Thanks for the questions and for having me on Reading Tonic.
Beth Merwood is a writer from the south of England. Her debut novel, The Five Things, was published in 2021.
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Thank you to Beth Merwood for answering the questions and thank you for dropping by and reading the post! Have a wonderful Wednesday!