Welcome Guest ~ Merrillee Whren

8 May

Merrillee Whren

Welcome Merrillee Whren! I love chatting with fellow authors. Thanks for answering my questions. And be sure to check out Merrillee’s latest release, A Place to Call Home.

1. I love your story of perseverance on your journey to publication. Can you share a little bit about how you kept going in the face of rejection to eventually find publishing success? In the early years, I expected rejection, and I was too ignorant to know that receiving a rejection five months after I submitted was not a sign that the editor had actually read the whole manuscript. Although I had read a couple of books on writing romance and a couple of others on writing novels, I learned so much more after I joined Romance Writers of America and the local chapter, Georgia Romance Writers. Also being part of a critique group helped keep me going. A year after I submitted my third manuscript to a publisher, I got a request for revisions. It took me too long to do the revisions because I had just started a new teaching job. Anyway, nine months later I got the rejection, but it was a very good rejection. Sometimes, when I got overwhelmed with discouragement, I would pull out the rejection letter and read it and remind myself that an editor had said some very good things about my writing. Another thirteen years passed before I made my first sale. During that time, I stayed active with my local RWA group wherever that might have been since I moved numerous times. I entered writing contests for feedback and began to place or final in them. My best win was the RWA Golden Heart that I won in 2003, the year before I made my first sale to Love Inspired. I somehow worked my way through the bad news and rejections and clung to the good news. As I look back over that time, I see that God was leading me to write Christian stories.


2. What is your writing process like? I’m mostly an organic writer (seat-of-the-pants). The kernel of an idea—either a character or a setting—comes to mind in a beginning scene. I take it from there. I have a difficult time seeing the whole story, so it is hard to plot things ahead of time, but if I want to sell on proposal, I have to come up with that synopsis. Even after a dozen books, it doesn’t get easier.

3. Describe your perfect day. A perfect writing day would include completing 2500 words. That doesn’t happen very often because I am not a fast writer. Otherwise, a perfect day includes a long walk during which I think about the story I’m writing, a visit with my granddaughters and an evening watching my favorite TV shows with my husband.

4. I love the cover of your new book, A Place to Call Home. Why did you decide to “go indie” when you published it? Thanks, Alison. I love the cover, too. Kim Van Meter did an excellent job helping me capture the concept of the story. I decided to “go indie” with this book because it is the manuscript that won the Inspirational Golden Heart in 2003. It is too long for Love Inspired, since they lowered their word count a number of years ago. I don’t believe I could place it with other publishers because it isn’t a story that would work as a single title. It lacks the subplots necessary for a single title book. Thankfully, authors have choices now that allow stories that fit nowhere else to find a home.

5. What’s coming up next for you? I’m waiting to hear on a proposal that I have with Love Inspired. While I’m waiting, I’m working on a book that looks like it’s also going to be an indie book. It’s what I call my “basketball story.” I think it has some elements that are very relevant to today in college athletics. Again it is a story that is difficult to place, but may find readers in the “indie” market. It is also a story that requires a lot of research.



WEB MERRILLEE WHREN for FB (427x640)After serving six years in prison for the false charge of manslaughter in the death of his wife, Kurt Jansen must overcome a world of bitterness if he wants to start a new life. But his first priority is securing a restoration job to pay a private investigator to find the real killer and a lawyer to get his kids back.

Hiring a convicted wife-killer isn’t what kind-hearted Molly Finnerty bargains for as part of the prison ministry she supports. However, she begins to believe Kurt’s claim of innocence and gradually finds a great deal to like about him—perhaps more to like than she should.

Can they overcome the past and find forgiveness and love?

Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble

A Place to Call Home looks wonderful. Congratulations. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

All the best,



5 Responses to “Welcome Guest ~ Merrillee Whren”

  1. Merrillee Whren May 8, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Thanks, Alison for hosting me on your blog.

  2. Heather Ashby May 8, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    This looks like a wonderful book, Merrillee. Thanks for sharing it with us. And thanks for sharing your journey. Wow. That thirteen year part made me sit up and take notice. But it’s obvious that God had a plan for you all along. I especially liked the following verbiage: “I got the rejection, but it was a very good rejection. Sometimes, when I got overwhelmed with discouragement, I would pull out the rejection letter and read it and remind myself that an editor had said some very good things about my writing.” I know what you mean about a “very good rejection!” 🙂 I found that I was getting closer to selling when the rejection letters kept getting better and better! Thanks for sharing today. God bless.

    • Merrillee Whren May 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Heather, thanks for taking the time to read my interview. I love sharing how I believe God was guiding me in my writing journey.

  3. Ronnie May 8, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    I see you’re still working on your basketball story. Good luck with that.

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