Wednesday, 1 July 2020

A Slice of Cake With... Mercy Hollow

This week I am delighted to be having a slice of cake with author Mercy Hollow.

Mercy was born in Florida, where she was terrorized by alligators, fire ants, rabid raccoons, sharks, drunken college students, 100% humidity, and mouse-ear-wearing, heat-loving tourists. She has lived on three continents (four if you count the foreign realm of her imagination) and planted her feet in San Francisco. She has a love of hockey, motorcycles, and anything deemed weird.

She is a freelance editor, workshop presenter, avid facilitator of late-night read and critiques, and slinger of whimsical, on-the-edge humor. 

What kind of stories do you write?

I write about broken heroes, gritty underworlds, and villains you long to hate, with a punch of sarcasm. My Legions of the Claimed series is set in a modern-day Chicago you’ve never seen, with twists, deception, strong men, and stronger women. Fantasy that grips you by the neck, heart, and balls.

Can you describe your writing why?

Writing fantasy allows me to escape reality and at the same time dive deeper into issues. Exploring topics that we face today through fantasy and characters has a freedom to it. It’s time spent with friends and foes. People I care about that are going through struggles in life and striving for a better future. And that helps me gain understanding of myself and the people in my life. Plus, I get to make up cool shit. 

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

This section is from Scythe and is the only scene in the Legions of the Claimed series that is from a child’s point of view. It’s from the point of view of Smoke, one of the current Rulers of the Legion, when he was ten. The scene sets up the stakes of that character as well as the stakes of the series.
The Curator’s voice resumed, small hitches in his speech. “A man is as good as those who serve him. Loyalty, once it chooses you, once given, cannot be exchanged or borrowed. It is earned, and it is permanent.” He motioned to the five Shields and pointed to the stage floor. Each Shield got down on his knees. The Curator picked up the straight razor and approached the back of the first Shield in the line. “We honor your service and loyalty. Your loved ones will be cared for.” He reached around the man’s neck and drew the razor across his throat. Blood dripped from the opening. The man clutched his neck but remained in position. The Curator stood behind each man in turn. Repeating the statement. Slitting the man’s throat.
Smoke’s mother sniffled, dry and empty. “Why do they have to do it like this? It takes so long. Honor them by ending their suffering.” 
The men remained stoic. 
Smoke counted. 
Every five seconds or so a small pulse of blood would drip from their wounds, run down their chests, and trickle over the emblem branded on their stomachs. 
Smoke gripped his father’s hand. “Did they do bad things too?”
“No.” Rubidium turned Smoke to face him. “They served their Ruler well. They served us all, selflessly. They are good men.”
“Then why did he do that?”
“Tradition. Beliefs.”
“Beliefs make people kill?”
His father stared at the men. “Yes.”

Tell us about your latest project

I’m currently working on Vegan, the third book in the Legions of the Claimed series and a new YA Fantasy trilogy, but the next projects I have coming out are the audiobooks for Scythe and Grim, the first two books in the Legions of the Claimed series, both narrated by the amazing Melanie Hooks. 

What is your favourite cake?

My favorite cake is yellow cake with old-fashion, buttercream chocolate frosting. 

You can connect with Mercy at her website

Join me next week when I interview Erik Wicklund.

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

You can also support my writing endeavours and buy me tea & cake - it's what makes the world go round!  

Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop.