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The Wilson Writers Group in collaboration with The Wilson County Public Library is sponsoring a presentation by a successful local novelist, Merry Simmons, on Tuesday night Oct. 23, at 7. Simmons, who writes under the pen name Hannah Meredith, will be discussing how goals, motivation and conflict shape her characters and their worlds.
The PowerPoint presentation is open to students and teachers, readers and writers interested in learning more about the creation of a successful character-driven novel.
Having published in 14 major magazines and authored five novels, Simmons grew up traveling with her Air Force family and loved reading from an early age.
“You write what you love to read,” she said.
She laughs readily and adds, “I loved reading about horses as a child, and now, there is a horse in each of my books. All of my heroes ride horses.”
The author still loves traveling and incorporates her research into some of her vacation time. However, she and her husband put down roots in Wilson 27 years ago, and they have stayed here longer than in any other location.
Even though Simmons earned a bachelor’s and an master’s degree in English from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, her career path led her to become a real estate broker for First Wilson Properties until she retired in 2011. At the age of 50, she got serious about writing short stories both fantasy and science fiction.
After entering a contest, Writers of the Future, Simmons was flown out to Los Angeles along with 11 other finalists. When her name was announced as the contest winner, Simmons was bowled over, honored with the L.A. red carpet treatment. The financial prize validated her work especially in the eyes of her husband, Bob, but more importantly, the award opened doors for her after being named the contest winner.
Simmons moved from writing short stories to trying her hand at novels; her emphasis shifted from science fiction to romance. Unlike the traditional Harlequin press romance paperbacks where the author follows a formula, Simmon’s historically-based novels are less predictable; the reader doesn’t know if the characters will end up “living happily ever after.”
Her latest work, “Song of the Nightpiper,” is a fantasy romance set in an imagined Medieval milieu, which incorporates the author’s fascination with science fiction. This past spring, her novel was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Romance Writer of America Rita Award, a highly respected and distinguished award.
In addition, Simmons has also worked with three other authors on a series of annual Christmas anthologies; like her other books, their fifth novella is available now through Amazon.com. For more information on Merry Simmons or her books and novellas, visit her website: www.HannahMeredith.com, or check out her books, which are available at the library.