Meet Mercedes M. Yardley
Hello. Thanks for being a guest on my blog today. Can I offer you a virtual cookie?
MMY: Thank you so much for having me! And yes, I’d love a virtual cookie. May I offer you an actual cookie? Seriously. I have about two dozen cooling on the counter right now.
Of course. I love cookies. Thank you. Pretend for a moment that your books are your children. Please introduce us. We’d like names, ages, quirks, birth story, any details you would like to share.
MMY: Oh, wow! Welcome to my brood!
This is Shock Totem. Well, these are the Shock Totem Sextuplets, I guess. ST is a dark fiction magazine. I originally submitted a story to their first issue as a contributor, and now I’ve been on staff for about four years. Mommy loves you, darlings!
That mass o’ children over there, they’re my short stories. Too many to count, in a bunch of wonderful magazines and anthologies. I can’t remember them all or where I’ve placed them. They run around too much. They have skinned knees and wild hair, but I love them fiercely. “Murder for Beginners” and “Blossom Bones” are some of my favorites.
This is Beautiful Sorrows, the baby of the bunch. She’s my first full short story collection, and was just released in October. I cried when she was born. I think she’s beautiful. Don’t you think she’s beautiful? Here, I have about 200 pictures of her saved to my phone.
At home, I have two novels that need revision (they’re angry adolescents, both of them), one that’s ready to be shopped (she’s the golden child. My favorite one. But shh, don’t tell the others) and my current WIP is in its revising stage. I can’t wait to kick that one out of the nest.
That is quite the clan. Somehow I'm thinking of the old woman that lived in a shoe, but you don't look old at all. And thanks for the cookie by the way. It was awesome. Please give us a peek into your writing life. How much time each week do you spend writing? Is your desk messy or clean? Do you have a schedule or are you sporadic? What helps you stay motivated? We want to know what makes you tick as a writer.
MMY: I spend all day, every day doing writing-related things. I read slush for Shock Totem while I eat breakfast and lunch. I turn the computer on and leave it running all day so I can hurry to it whenever I have a few minutes. I write with my 18-month-old on my lap. That isn’t super conducive so the art, but it’s necessary.
I have difficulty separating family and writing. They both merge together, and that works for me right now. I take about a two hour break when the baby naps. I take another break to watch an episode of The X-Files with my husband every night, and I don’t write during dinner. The rest of the time is free game.
And my desk is clean. Probably because I hardly ever write there. Wherever the kids are, whether the living room or the bedroom or outside, that’s where I’m writing. I just wander around after them.
I write because I have to. I have that inner desire. If I’m not writing, I feel like part of my soul is missing. The lovely part, the important part. Writing is how I process. My biggest difficulty is finding time. I have a wonderful, loud, boisterous family. They come first. They always come first. But writing comes second.
That sounds crazy busy, but I have to admit, writing is that much a part of my heart as well.
Please tell us some of your favorites.
Favorite treat: Coke Zero, hands down. Slit my wrists and I’ll bleed the stuff. I also love marshmallow treats made with Honey-Nut Cheerios. They’re sweeter than Rice Krispies. I have an insane sweet tooth.
Favorite stress reliever: A bubble bath with a magazine and no children. It never happens. I also bake when I’m stressed. It’s soothing and makes the house smell wonderful.
Favorite office supply: Notebooks! Cute little notebooks. Ugly notebooks. Big bulky ones, sleek ones, ones with colored pages. I can’t get enough of them. And colored pens.
Favorite punctuation mark: Exclamation marks! I’m naturally enthusiastic. (Me Too!) Favorite day of the week: Tuesday. Usually I hate my Tuesdays, until Tuesday nights. Thursdays are nice, too.
Describe for us what your surroundings would be if you walked into your favorite piece of art. Feel free to be as literal or figurative as you would like.
MMY: The ambiance would be very much like my work: dark, slightly sinister, but with a touch of the sweet and innocent. I think you’d walk into my favorite piece of art and you’d be torn about whether you’d want to run away, screaming, or stay and explore.
Sounds irrevocably creepy. Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today! If you would like to know more about Mercedes and her writing, check out her blog.