USA Today Bestselling author Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Justine and Peter. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized she didn't have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. Her books have reached the top of Amazon's charts, and have been named finalists for several prestigious awards, including the RONE Award for indie romance.
In today's interview, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Merry Farmer about the latest Brotherhood novel!
What inspired you to write this novel?
MF: I wrote the original, Victorian series of The Brotherhood starting about three years ago, and I just fell in love with those men and that club. Last year, I wrote a Regency series about the origins of The Brotherhood. And then, while I was on a cruise last December, thinking about where I wanted to go next with my career, it dawned on me that The Brotherhood still exists today! So I just really needed to write stories about The Brotherhood as it is in the modern world.
What is your writing process like?
MF: I’m really disciplined about my writing. I’m a big outliner, to begin with. I spend a lot of time planning out where my book is going to go and what the characters all want. Since writing is my full-time job, I treat it like a job, and I work all morning, from about 6am to 11am, Monday through Saturday. And then I do marketing and other things in the afternoon. But I love writing, so it doesn’t feel like work at all!
How do you approach writing your characters and bringing their relationships to life?
MF: I’ve had a lot of experience forming characters and stories, so I’ve learned what things really bring my characters to life. I like to think about what has happened in their pasts to make them who they are, what they want out of their lives, and what’s standing in the way of getting that. Once I figure out those things, the plot and relationships between characters really flows from there.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
MF: I will never forget when I was just learning to write in first grade. I learned the word “grasshopper”, and there was something so magical about that big, important-looking word! It felt so powerful to learn how to write such a big word. And a few years later, when I was in third grade, I realized I didn’t have to wait for a teacher to assign a creative writing assignment for me to write something. That was a super powerful moment too! And the rest is history.
What is the most challenging part of your artistic process?
MF: Edits! Both when I decide to change and improve something, and when my editor tells me I need to change something. It’s really hard to accept that the first draft isn’t perfect sometimes! But editing always makes a book better.
What do you hope readers take from this story?
I just hope the readers enjoy Heath and Aubrey’s story and that it touches their emotions. I’ve become really fond of the characters, and I hope everyone else loves them as much as I do.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
MF: To just keep on going, because things will work out in the end. This is what I was born to do!
What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?
MF: Of my own novels, I think any of my MM Historicals would fit the bill. I think a lot of queer romance readers steer away from Historicals because they think everything in the past had to have been gloomy, repressed, and horrible. But the truth of history, especially in the 19th century, when my Historicals are set, is very different. There was a thriving, underground LGBTQ community in the 19th century that too many people don’t know about because that history was deliberately repressed in the mid-20th century. I hope people will read my historical novels and not just be entertained, but learn something good and beautiful as well. I recommend starting with Just a Little Wickedness.
What would your advice be to any aspiring writers?
MF: Just write. Get as many words under your belt as possible. You learn writing by doing it. Write whatever comes to you, even if it feels weird, even if you’re not sure people will like it, even if you don’t think it’s any good. I actually wrote a ton of Star Trek and Indiana Jones fanfiction when I was in middle school and high school, but I think that was a great way to learn and practice the art of writing. But don’t publish fanfiction. (That’s just my humble opinion) The more you write, the more you’ll improve.
What are you writing next?
MF: I’ve already finished the second book in The Brotherhood: Legacy series, Billionaire Breakdowns (and I made myself cry several times while writing it), and I’m currently working on the third book, Professor Problems. And there’s no escaping it, I’m going to have to label this one as erotica, because it includes some fun and intense BDSM elements (which I don’t usually write) that are going to leave readers reading it one-handed.
Will a bi-reawakening be what this single father needs to heal his wounded heart? Looks like a job for nanny….
When Heath Manfred is left in a lurch after an acrimonious divorce, he turns to the Brotherhood for help with finding a nanny for his three-year-old daughter. But the last thing he expects is for the nanny who shows up to interview for the job to be a hunky man. Correction, the last thing he expects is for Aubrey to assume the nanny position is live-in…and for him to go along with that and have Aubrey move in.
Maybe Heath’s attraction to men wasn’t just part of his wild university days after all…
With few other options in life due to a shameful event in his past, Aubrey is overjoyed to move in with Heath and his daughter. He adores Eugenie…and he adores Heath as well. It’s against the nanny code to fall in love with your employer, but Aubrey is helpless when faced with Heath’s grumpy ways and the smoldering attraction between them.
But when Heath’s ex shows up again to cause trouble, Heath’s and Aubrey’s budding love will be put to the test. Can the Brotherhood help them weather the storm, or are the two men too different to form a lasting relationship in the face of struggle?
Nanny Negotiations is the first book in The Brotherhood: Legacy series…which tells modern-day stories of the men of The Brotherhood. It involves a grumpy/sunshine relationship that includes class differences, a bi-reawakening, unexpected living arrangements, a really great dad, a really horrible ex, love saving the day, and, of course, the nearly two-hundred-year-old organization known as The Brotherhood. You can read more about the origins and Victorian doings of The Brotherhood in The Brotherhood: Origins and The Brotherhood series.
Thank you again to Merry for a wonderful interview. Make sure to grab a copy of Brotherhood Legacy's Nanny, Negotiations now!