Mercedes Yardley: Five Things I Learned Writing Nameless: The Darkness Comes

LUNA MASTERSON SEES DEMONS. She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day. Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’ After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together…even until the end. This is the volume one in The Bone Angel Trilogy by Mercedes M. Yardley, author of the award-winning novella, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love.

Write the Book You Want to Read.

You hear it all of the time, but oh, hey! Wow! It’s true!

I was in a reading rut. I wanted a fast, urban fantasy tale, but I’ve become disenchanted with these amazing, ball-busting woman who are perfect with a knife or gun or katana. They’re born with The Gift, or they’re brought into demon-killing when their parents were murdered. The fire of ungodly revenge stokes their souls.

I wanted something different. Give me a book about a socially awkward girl who is more of an outcast than a lone wolf. Make her clumsy and give her hair like Siouxsie Sioux.  Oh, and maybe she’s tone deaf.

Such a character doesn’t exist? Well, then. I’ll create her. Then I’ll read the heck out of this book.

The Recipe for Marmalade.

It’s easy. I make it in a bread maker because I’m a writer, and I’m writing Big Important Novels and my brilliant self is strapped for time. Or I’m lazy. That’s more accurate.

Take three oranges and a lemon. Zest one orange and that lucky little lemon into the bread maker pan. Juice the lemon. Peel the oranges (very important) and cut them up. Add the lemon juice, oranges, 1 ¼ cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons pectin to the bread pan.

Start the bread maker. Let everything mix. Stop the bread maker and set it on bake. Let it cook for an hour.

Voila, you clever, clever thing! You have made marmalade.

Why You Need a Recipe for Marmalade

Writing a book is wonderful and amazing and sometimes all-consuming. Especially if you have other things going on in your life, like a family or work. You can find yourself living on cold soup eaten directly from the can with a spoon. But some soft and gentle touches can make everything happy and homey, and make you feel loved. Warm homemade bread made in that same bread maker with melted butter and marmalade will remind you why you write in the first place. You write because there’s some joy or obsession there. You write because there’s magic in the world. Every writer in the world should have homemade bread and marmalade. It will improve your quality of life, and you’ll want to live again.

Also, your family will appreciate you more if you ply them with delicious treats.

 I Learned How to Ride a Motorcycle.

I grew up riding on the back of bikes, but I didn’t know how to drive one. I’m not a backseat type o’ person, and I always wanted my own bike, so I decided it was just time to do it. I was the only woman in the class. I learned how to hop over boards and zip around and accomplished something that was important to me. I now have a motorcycle license, and decided that when Nameless come out, I’m buying a motorcycle. Guess what? It’s here!

I’m scouring the ads for my own bike as we speak.

“But the main character in Nameless rides a motorcycle!”  Yes, she does. It was absolutely directly influenced. I learned that a bike was everything I ever wanted and more. I felt happy and free.

Writing Can Be Fun.

Of course, it’s supposed to be fun. But sometimes we lose that aspect of it. There’s so much pressure to create, to do it fluidly, to add subtleties and nuance and make everything a deep, dark mystery. To have your work kissed by the gods. To stay true to your voice and style and niche and not disappoint the people who expect a certain something out of you. I realized that I was approaching my writing with trepidation and fear.  Fear of writing something that I wasn’t proud of, or something nobody understood, or something simply “unworthy”. Nameless was written for a dear friend, so I threw all of my apprehension aside and just wrote. The characters were snarky and fun. The demonic entities were creepy. I had a ball writing this book. So much fun! I didn’t ever think it would be my first published novel, and instead of stressing about it, I let it be my playground. This was perhaps the best lesson of all.

Mercedes Yardley: Website | Twitter

Nameless: The Darkness Comes: Amazon

6 comments

  • Three things make me want to read this book: the cover, the title and the main character! Also the mentioning of Siouxsie Sioux ( I fancy myself to be a goth) And now I’ve lost some “goth points” for saying that I fancy myself to be a goth 🙂

  • That is one badass book cover you have going on! I like the sound of what’s inside it too *puts it on Kindle wish list.*

    And many thanks for the marmalade recipe. I may have to convert, for those times when chocolate is psychologically good for me but probably catastrophically bad for my insulin levels. 😉

  • Thank you three for the comments! You make me happy. 🙂

    Oh, the marmalade isn’t super fantastic for the insulin levels either, but there’s this definite feeling of, “Oh, hey, I made something. Now I’m fancy and practically homesteading.”

  • In your short story collection, Beautiful Sorrows, and your novella, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu, you used third person to tell your stories. What made you change to first person for Nameless?

    • Gabriel, that’s a great question. I think a lot of it had to do with the voice. Beautiful Sorrows and Apocalyptic Montessa both have a more ethereal and poetic voice. Nameless is a little more gritty and in your face. I also wanted to be directly in Luna’s head.

      I’ve also noticed that when I tend to use this snarky voice (Nameless, Murder for Beginners, Daisies and Demons, The ABCs of Murder), I usually write it in the first person. Luna’s voice is as much a part of me as the more ephemeral Beautiful Sorrows voice. But then, I’m a Pisces. It’s all about duality.

      Thanks for asking!

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