Michael Merriam is a writer, performer, poet, and playwright. He is the author of the steampunk series Sixguns & Sorcery, and his essays and stories have appeared in such magazines and podcasts as Uncanny Magazine, Cast of Wonders, and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. His scripts have been produced for stage and radio, and he has appeared in the Minnesota Fringe Festival and StoryFest Minnesota. Like most artists, he has worked a variety of odd jobs over the years, including short order cook, late night radio disc jockey, and manager of a puppet troupe. He lives in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two cats. Visit his website at www.michaelmerriam.com
|Michael Merriam, Photo credit Paul Weimer|
1.What book are you currently reading?
A Snake Fall to Earth by Darcie Little Badger. I picked it up on the strength of her previous book, Elatose, which I read on a long car ride to a vacation cabin we’d rented up near the Canadian border. I’m really enjoying both the story of Nina and Oli and structure of story itself. I suspect, like Elatose, it will be one I give to people as a gift.
2. What upcoming book am I really excited about
I’m going to cheat just a little because this book came out last month, but I’m really looking forward to When Women were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill. I’ll pretty much read anything Kelly Barnhill writes. Both her use of language and her ability to weave a surprising narrative brings me back to her works time and time again.
3. Is there a book you’re currently itching to reread?
I am planning to reread City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett in preparation of reading the entire trilogy in one go. I’ve only read this first book and then right after it came out. I was dazzled by the world building and character growth and look forward to immersing myself in that setting again.
4. A book that you love and wish that you yourself had written.
Anyone who’s known me for more a few days will be able to guess my answer will be a book by Roger Zelazny, the trick is figuring out which book! Most would probably guess A Night in the Lonesome October and that would be a good guess, but I really wish I’d written Roadmarks. The incredible interweaving of the stories and use of a non-traditional structure (Are you getting a sense I’m a sucker for unique narrative structure?) all brought together in the end where everything makes perfect and logical sense – it’s an amazing book.
5. What's one book, which you read as a child or young adult, that has had a lasting influence on your writing?
Watership Down by Richard Adams. In so many ways this was my gateway book as both a reader and a writer. Watership Down taught me you can write from a different point of view (Rabbits!), that the primary hero can win though being clever and wise (Hazel!). It taught me about creating a mythology that felt real, and I fell in love with the idea of a big ensemble cast of characters.
6. And speaking of that, what's *your* latest book, and why is it awesome?
Queen of Swords Press is publishing a reprint of my novel Last Car to Annwn Station. This will be the first time the book is in print and I’m super excited. It features Welsh mythology, phantom streetcars, a race to save an endangered child, bargains with Death, and a Sapphic romantic subplot, all told over the course of one week. It is a love letter to my adopted home of Minneapolis. At the core, this is a story about the power of love, be it romantic, platonic, familial, or something else entirely.