It’s Time to Answer Your Questions~

Hallo folksies!

Today I’m going to answer your questions from last week’s blogiversary Q&A! I’m more than slightly disgruntled that I started my blog like a week before NaNoWriMo because that doesn’t give you many of you much opportunity to read my November posts… which makes me wonder if I should just take a hiatus every November… That’s a good thought…

But anyway, let’s get to the questions. Now that I think about it, if a lot of people had asked me questions, it would take a long time to answer them all xD

Shine’s Questions

What inspired you to write [Book Title]?

For this question, I’m going to use my sort-of current WIP, the Faithless Empire series. I wrote the first draft of the first book last year but haven’t been able to rewrite or continue yet (which I’m trying hard not to regret, lol).

This series is actually inspired by several fantasy JRPGs (Japanese Role-Playing Games)! I will always hold to the opinion that video games, specifically RPGs, are some of the best ways to get your story gears kicking, especially with worldbuilding. For TFE in particular, I got the main idea for a fantasy adventure story just from games like Dragon’s Quest and Octopath Traveler, and if you look closely several of the characters portray common fantasy RPG tropes xD However, if you look even closer, you’d find that all of the main characters’ backstories are in some way or other inspired by a fairytale. As for the world, each culture that appears is based off a real-world setting, but I try not to borrow too heavily. The most obvious one you’d find is there’s a looottt of ancient Roman influence in my world!

Your favorite character(s) from [Book Title]?

Oof, that’s a hard one. First of all, there are many characters in TFE! Second, I always suck at choosing my own favorites xD So… I’ll just say Pax, my MC, for now. If you know, you know. If you don’t… why, you can always ask me πŸ˜‰

What’s your favorite scene and part of the story?

That’s another hard one! I can’t honestly answer it without giving away some spoilers, so I’ll be vague: any scene that introduces a new major character was the best kind to write 😝

What are your favorite books, movies, music, etc.?

My favorite book… is the Bible. *thumbs up* Okay but really, that’s too hard for me to answer. My current obsession is anything by J.R.R. Tolkien, if we’re going with that. I’m also still in the Second Age of Retha by A.M. Sohma mood. As for movies, I don’t really have a favorite either, though the Kung Fu Panda and Night at the Museum series will always have a special place in my heart!

My new and current obsession is K-pop, actually! But I am very soon going to turn on my favorite Christmas music. Also video game soundtracks! Guys, good video game OSTs are the best. Some of my favorites are Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Genshin Impact, and Octopath Traveler, to name a few.

How would you deal with writer’s block?

by giving up and moving on to another project Well to be honest, I don’t remember the last time I had a really bad case of writer’s block. I’ve always been able to squeeze out something no matter what, probably because it’s so rare for me to actually settle down on a single project. It could also be because I have the tendency to angrily switch to drawing when I feel I can’t write, lol. But in the case that I’m really having a hard time writing, it will take a lot of prayer for me to be able to pick up the pen again.

I find that if you lessen up the stress over one main writing project, it’ll be easier to keep yourself going. Write short stories or little scenes or keep a “sketchbook” or even the occasional fanfiction πŸ˜‰

Are you planning on continuing your stories?

Absolutely! Without a doubt xD Lord willing, I’ll have time to buckle down on a project in the spring of senior year. (Though I really don’t see that happening until I’m in college, lol…)

Diamond’s Questions

If you had to come up with your own fairytale, what would it be about?

I… do not know πŸ™‚ It would probably be one that spans the course of several years. There’s nothing I love more than a story in which the hero/heroine has to suffer for years at a time before being able to reunite with their loved ones! *cough* Uh… never mind.

Don’t… don’t look too hard at my writing projects for this, please.

Reading or writing?

Uh… writing is more fun but more stressful, but reading is a bit more necessary for life? I think if I weren’t able to write, I’d find some way around that, haha.

How has blogging impacted your life?

It brought me into such a lovely community of fellow Christian writers, and for that I am so thankful! It also introduced me to some of my dearest friends, even one who doesn’t live on the other side of the globe. You all know who you are.

And of course, I’d be remiss not to mention how fun it’s been to interact with like-minded writers who actually find my rambles and rants about storytelling interesting!

Name three books that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime.

The… Bible?

I can’t really think of anything else, since I know people who would hate them. Heheh.

How do you define a β€œclean” book?

I’ve always disliked the fact that there isn’t a universal standard for “cleanliness” in books. There’s only one universal truth, so to have to have varying definitions of what makes a book clean is just illogical to me! Even so, I know it’s necessary in this day and age, so I’ll keep mine short and simple: a book that doesn’t contain any cuss words, sexual content, weird magic, or graphic violence.

However. My reading standards are not limited to what I consider a clean book. Obviously, I have set limits based on what I believe is healthy and true as a Christian, but that doesn’t mean I don’t only read books without, say, any f-bombs at all, because, as I am sorry to report, there are many good books that do in fact contain f-bombs. I still would prefer not to read anything with vulgar swearing, and I won’t unless the book is really worth reading, which is a discussion for another time πŸ™ƒ

Okay, sorry about that, Diamond–you probably didn’t want such a rambly response xD

Libby’s Questions

Over the last year, what is one way God has been working in your life?

He has been clearly working in my relationships with the people I’ve met since first coming to Shanghai. I’m glad, because otherwise I’d be absolutely miserable (and to be honest, I was for a time last year, but luckily that season has passed~~)!

Why do you write?

It’s simple, really. There is something incredible about the way a person can bring glory to God by applying a certain combination of colors onto a piece of paper or stringing together black-and-white marks on a page. He vests in us an ability to create; with that ability comes many burdens but many rewards. In writing, it’s how entire civilizations filled with living, breathing characters inhabit my mind and when I spill them onto paper they can become a cohesive something that somehow conveys a bit of truth, no matter how great or small, into a big bad world.

Or at least, that’s what I see when I read amazing books, and that’s what I seek to replicate. Heheh.

If you could go back in time and meet one person from history, (not including Jesus ;)) who would you pick?

Oh no… Who?? I have no idea. If not Jesus, then maybe Paul? I don’t know.

Classics or contemporary? – if you had to choose πŸ™‚

Noooooooooo. I refuse to choose. I cannot choose.

Grace’s Questions

What is your favorite fairytale retelling story?

If I had to choose, it would be The Princess Fugitive by Melanie Cellier. It’s a unique twist on Little Red Riding Hood featuring a villain-turned-heroine, a faithful bodyguard hero, and a wonderful redemption arc! I just love all of Cellier’s retellings though.

What is your favorite fairytale?

The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen!

What book really impacted your life and made you want to write?

The first two books in Shannon Hale’s Ever After High trilogy (I haven’t read the third). Honestly, it was the whole EAH franchise that got me into writing as a kid!

In your opinion, what is the worst book trope?

Oof. I don’t think there’s really a worst one, but I’ll say that love triangles are one of the trickiest and to date, I haven’t read a single one that I’d call any good.

What is your favorite book that you have read this year?

Ahhhh! No. I mean, does manga count? Because if so, the Haikyuu!! series is undoubtedly #1. And I’m guessing this question doesn’t apply to rereads either, so I can’t say the Second Age of Retha series (which I know you’re all tired of hearing me talk about). Let’s just go with Calculated by Nova McBee or Rogue by Moriah Jane. Either works.

But I am currently reading Lord of the Rings for the very first time in my life, and I am loving it so far! It will definitely make it to the top of my list by the time I’m finished. (I’m counting the “trilogy” as one book for this answer.)

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Definitely the interactions with other bloggers and my readers! Again, it’s the coolest thing that you guys find my wordy nonsense interesting πŸ™‚ And yes, that means I love it when you comment, so please do!

Mya’s Question

What are your favorite things about Kuroo?

*looks at Mya* You… wow. Of course you did.

So for those of you who are not Haikyuu fans (in which case somebody needs to change something about their life ASAP), Kuroo Tetsurou is this person:

Let’s see… My favorite things about Kuroo are his cool-dorky personality, his particular brand of leadership, and his role in the story. He’s just… so much fun. He looks like a gangster or whatever, and it’s true he basically scammed his best friend into playing volleyball as a kid, but he’s also a chemistry nerd who watches over his kouhai like a chaotic dad and basically adopts the saltiest member of his rival team? And speaking of rivalries, his relationship with Daichi is everything.

Anyway, I just love how Furudate introduces characters who are cool and intriguing at the beginning but turn out to be total weirdos. It’s somehow both very anime and yet very realistic at the same time. I mean, how many high school athletes have YOU met who are cool and intriguing and remain only thoroughly cool and intriguing for as long as you know them? I don’t know about you, but most of the high school boys I know, athletic or otherwise, are pretty normal people. They’re not much like the ones that feature heavily in YA contemporaries these days.

Yes, yes, that’s right, I’m calling you out with an anime character right now.

But yeah, Mya, you already know why I love Kuroo. None of what I just said should be news to you. I could probably add a lot to this, but it’s already a miniature essay at this point, and I don’t want to write something I’ll cringe deeply at in a few years.


And that’s all we got today! Thank you everyone for your questions; I had much fun answering them πŸ™‚ And thank you for following me all these years! I know this blog is still in its youthful stages, but it’s still pretty impressive to me that you guys would stick with it for this long. I mean… I’m basically always talking about the same thing xD

Until next time,

~ Merie

6 thoughts on “It’s Time to Answer Your Questions~

  1. Happy blogiversary Merie! I’m a little late, but these are excellent answers!

    That is so cool that the “Faithless Empire” series is based off of JRPG’s! I don’t get to play a lot of video games, but I have heard of good things about “Dragon’s Quest” and I think that it really cool of what inspired your series! Also ancient Roman culture is the BEST!

    I can’t remember too much of what you told me about Pax, except that I LOVED him. Pax is great! =D

    Introducing characters is always fun to do.

    “Kung Fu Panda” and “The Night of the Museum” series are excellent, masterpieces, you can’t change my mind, I 100% agree with you.

    I’m not sure if I had listened to the video game sound tracks that you had listed, but I do agree with you that video game sound tracks are really good, they are so epic sounding and really put you in the scene that you are writing.

    Okay, though that fairytale would be painful, but the ending would be so happy, and now I want you to try to write a fairytale, because I think that this idea would be so cool!

    Well, I mean the Bible is more than one book, so I think it can count as more than three πŸ˜‰

    I really like how you described a “clean” book and I agree with you that there are worthy books out there that might not be “clean”. It all depends on the book and what each person personal boundaries are.

    The way that you write about the reason of why you write is very inspiring and so true!

    Paul would be so cool to meet!

    I really need to read “The Princess fugitive” by Melanie Cellier! It sounds so good!!!

    “The Wild Swans” is great! I don’t think I have read the whole version, but I might have read the abridged version on Wiki one time or something, and I really liked the premise of the story. I need to read the whole thing sometime. Really good pick!

    Shannon Hale’s books are great! Though I have never read the “Ever After High” trilogy by her yet. But that is really cool that was the series that got you into writing!

    I have read some love triangles that have been okay, but for the most part I could go without them. I think I hate Insta-love more though. =)

    Mwahahaha!!! Of course manga counts! =D I honestly have never read any manga before, as I never knew what was good, but I keep hearing you guys talk about “Haikyuu!!” so maybe I should pick it up someday? I just don’t have a library card right now, so it might be a while XD

    I honesty haven’t heard of any of the books that you have mentioned, and they all look fantastic!

    I have read the first book in the Lord of the Rings though. =) Just the first one, because they are dense books and I have to pace myself with them, lol. I’m so happy that you are enjoying them!

    Aww! ❀

    Wonderful answers, Merie!

    And you're not always talking about the same thing. You usually talk about books, writing, and worldbuilding, and those things are very broad. And I really enjoy what you write about. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Grace! Your comments always make my day; thanks for taking the time to answer ❀ You should DEFINITELY read… everything I have recommended in this post xD I think you would really enjoy them (especially Hiakyuu!! ahem…). And please do give "The Wild Swans" a read. It's on the longer side for a fairytale but obviously, still counts as a short story.

      Thank you again! Have a great day~

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your answer to the “why” behind your writing – although all your answers were fun.
    Yes, “The Princess Fugitive” is so enjoyable : ) I think I was first introduced to Melanie Cellier’s books through your blog… so thank you for that, haha πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

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