Guest Author: Mercedes M. Yardley

Mercedes YardleyI am excited to welcome Mercedes M. Yardley, who is celebrating the release of her debut novel, 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.


Having Faith in a New Character

Writing Nameless: The Darkness Comes was a truly amazing experience for me. I usually write short stories, so I’m constantly jumping from character to character, story to story to story. But a novel is a different beast, of course. You settle in comfortably with your characters, and like any relationship, it can become routine. You’re not immersed in the novel’s world for a few days. You’re there for months and sometimes years. Sometimes you need to shake it up.

One of the best ways to do that, at least for me, was to introduce a new character. But the character needs to be a natural fit. I’ll tell you a secret about Nameless: it originally included a small child named Sprite. He was a ward of Reed Taylor’s. He was blonde and sweet and had a genetic disease called Williams Syndrome.

My son has this syndrome, so thoughts and feelings about Williams constantly fill me. I worry and wonder about this and that. I thought Sprite could help me work through some of these feelings while also bringing some insight and attention to the WS world and those who live in it. After all, this child is open, honest, and unflinching. Who better to interact with a very prickly Luna? And Reed Taylor would absolutely be the type of man who would choose to care for him. Little Sprite would ride on the back of his bike. It would be amazing!

But it wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t natural. The story, which was flowing so quickly and beautifully at a chapter a night, screeched abruptly to a halt. Luna came to Reed Taylor’s house and met Sprite. The demons tried to touch her bike and…

It didn’t work. I deleted that scene.

Luna is at work one day when Reed brings in a frantic, terrified little boy. Blood draws are traumatic but oh-so common in the William Syndrome experience, but for some reason he was abnormally…

Nope. Delete.

Luna is arguing with a demon when a tiny voice pipes up and introduces himself as Sprite. Then…

Curses. He didn’t fit. He simply did not fit.

I had never, ever in my tried to shoehorn a character into a book, and now I was trying to do so. Clumsily. To no avail. He’s a dear character, but he doesn’t belong in the Nameless world. He had to go. And it hurt to cut him because of so many different things. He was darling. I felt like I was missing out on the emotional release he could provide. There was an opportunity to gently expose readers to something so very, very dear to me.

There was a mourning. A letting go.

There was also a lesson learned.

The very next time I sat to work on Nameless, Luna was pulling weeds. A demon saunters by and starts sassing. I had no idea who he was. I had no idea if we’d ever see him again. He just opened up his big, demonic, smarty-pants yap and let his opinions fly.

Luna referred to him as “the mouthy demon” and that’s how Mouth appeared. He’s fun and sardonic and leery. He thinks the entire book is his story, that he’s the hero, and perhaps he’s right. Who am I to say no? Mouth does what he wants.

He keeps the book fresh. He added a new dimension that didn’t exist before. He belonged here while Sprite didn’t. I got out of my way and let the story flow. I quit holding my breath and instead I trusted that my unconscious mind would pull the perfect character out of thin air. This happened, and it was lovely.

Mouth helped make the story. It’s infinitely better because of him. I just had to have confidence in myself and let the process be organic.

Meet Mercedes M. Yardley!

MYardley-NamelessMercedes M. Yardley wears stilettos, red lipstick, and poisonous flowers in her hair. She likes to do a little bit of everything, and writes dark fantasy, horror, nonfiction, and poetry. Mercedes minored in Creative Writing and worked for four years as a contributing editor for Shock Totem Magazine. She is the author of the short story collection Beautiful Sorrows, the novella Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love and her debut novel Nameless. She often speaks at conferences and teaches workshops on several subjects, including personal branding and how to write a novel in stolen moments. Mercedes lives and works in Sin City.

Contact Info: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Want to purchase Mercedes’s novels?
Nameless: The Darkness Comes
Beautiful Sorrows
Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.

1 Comment

  1. Great post! I definitely know that pain of trying to shoe-horn in a character that just doesn’t fit and I hate it when it’s a great character and I can’t make it work. It must have been incredibly hard to let go of a character that had so much personal meaning for you! Congrats on the release of Nameless – it sounds fantastic!

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