Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
I'm Ro! I write contemporary, paranormal, and historical horror stories both straight and LGBTQ. I'm from the East Bay and love living in this crazy place.
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
It was an accident? I got sick, went through a rough time in my career as an educator, and I decided I needed to do something to purge myself of the bitterness. The first book took three years and when I was finished I said whoa. I wrote a book. So I wrote more. It felt great. My next book will be my 25th published work since 2014! Besides my kids and my marriage, I feel my authory accomplishments have been my greatest.
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
October has been busy! Summer of Hush, an contemporary gay romance set during a summer music festival was out October 8th and on the 21st, my second book in the Shifted/Magic and Mayhem Universe will be out. Ghoul Me Once continues the story of gator shifter, alpha Garrett Cocodri and his lovely mate, water witch Layla as they navigate their new responsibilities and help an old friend deal with his new, uh, affliction. After that? In December my holiday story from Dreamspinner A Peace Offering will be available! Then...well, I have four books to finish between now and October 2020!
What is the most challenging part of writing paranormal romance?
Walking that fine line between crazypants and just plain awesome. Also, keeping the tone you want. I tend to get a little dark and the series I've been writing needs to remain light. It's hard to be funny when you're going through some stuff in your life.
What kind of research do you do when you set out to write a new book?
Oooo depends. I'm headed to Virginia City soon to research a new paranormal series I want to start. I like to visit a place, read about it, watch film for inspiration...but it always starts with music. Music inspires all of my writing.
Please share one piece of advice to aspiring authors - what do you wish someone would have told you?
Write what is in your heart, find a process that works for you, and don't let anyone tell you no one will want to read it.
Do you have any work experience involving the elements of paranormal?
Work experience... The school where I work is haunted. I believe it. Weird shit happens all the time. Strange items show up in the bathroom with no explanation and are left there, sort of like in Poltergeist when they throw the tennis balls into the squishy pink portal and they come out the other side? But so does other stuff? Yeah, I think our bathroom is a portal. Flickering lights, strange noises. That feeling that someone is touching you? Yep. It's not evil, there's no bad intentions. But it's there.
What is your favorite paranormal-related (horror or fantasy can be included!) books, author, or movie?
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice is my favorite. TV show? Hmmm Love Stranger Things, loved the first three seasons of True Blood. Evil Dead 2 is my favorite!
If you could be any paranormal creature for a day, which would you be?
No clue! Vampire would be pretty awesome. Kind of want to find out if the whole bit being a sensual experience is true haha
Any last words before we go into the speed round?
Yeah! LoveRomanceReads rocks and thanks for having me!
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate? Milk Chocolate dude
Wine, whiskey or punch? Whiskey
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, or other?
HALLOWEEN Although my birthday is on Thanksgiving this year haha
Boxers, briefs, or commando? Commando...
Cats, dogs, or exotics? All! I've got two cats, a dog, a ball python and a crested gecko plus Cichlids and Skeleton Koi.
Ghoul Me Once
The Magic and Mayhem continue as Garrett and Layla, along with their allies from Assjacket, return to the Bayou in a new Shifted adventure...
Clarabelle Cocodri has a lot on her plate as guardian of her teenaged gator Shifter brother. When her favorite cousin—and new alpha—returns to Terrebonne Parish, she's not too sure it's for the best. He's mated to a witch, and the congregation has been done dirty by magic users. But when she finds a gorgeous stranger in her garden shed with a magical malady, she knows she'll need Garrett's help.
Johann Bastien is a lonely, down-on-his-luck musician in the French Quarter looking for a change in his life and a break from his bullying bandmates. He gets more than he bargained for when he's compelled to take a walk into the darkness and wakes up in the St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery a new—but definitely not better—man. He flees to the Bayou and finds solace in a quiet garden shed until he can figure out what he'll do next...that is until the most beautiful woman he's ever seen opens the door.
Garrett Cocodri and Layla Du Mer are fated mates who just want the opportunity to strengthen their bond. But Garrett's father left a mess for them and everyone and their gator needs their help. When an injured Shifter is found with a strange bite, and Garrett's childhood best friend shows up unexpectedly, Garrett is forced to put his bonding on hold to face challenges he never saw coming.
Can Johann be saved from his debilitating condition? Can Clarabelle learn to trust her cousin and overcome her fear of witches? Will Garrett and Layla become the leaders Terrebonne Parish not only wants but needs? These witches and Shifters will have to work together and try to ignore their hopped-up hormones in order to rebuild their struggling congregation and survive a powerful foe who threatens them all.
*Can be read as a standalone, but reading Shifted will enhance the experience.
18+ for sex, hex, and compulsive movie quoting...
More About Ro
Once upon a time... A teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock 'n' roll kinda gal opened up a doc and started purging her demons. Several self-published books and a debut from Dreamspinner Press later, with more tucked away in her evil lair, R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after. You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, being a mom-taxi to two brilliant and busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock 'n' Romance.