Interview with Meriam Wilhelm

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am blessed with a really wonderful life, but I wasn't always sure it would be that way. About 25 years ago, I was diagnosed with MS. I'd only been married a few years, my kids were all small, I had a full time job that I loved and I was terrified that I was going to lose it all. I made a promise to myself that everyday, as soon as I woke up and my feet touched the floor, I would say thank you for being able to walk to the shower. Fortunately, after the early episodes of the disease, the MS went into remission and I have had no further occurrences. I continue to be grateful each and every day. Every day is a new challenge, a new opportunity to live life, to tell my husband and kids that I love them and to enjoy the simple pleasure of walking on the beach.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I am not writing, you will find me either walking on the beach or in a fabric store in search of the right fabric to finish off a quilt or two. My husband and I recently retired and we have been doing quite a bit of traveling. We started off with a trip to New England. Having read many historical novels about the Boston and Salem areas, I enjoyed walking the streets and visiting all of the historical sites. I always have a book tucked in my purse as I am an avid reader and love reading mysteries, historical romances and anything on mediums and witches. More recently we've just returned from a trip to Alaska and will spend some time in Florida as well as Palm Springs. Everywhere we go I take pictures - some of which you can find on my website www.meriamwilhelm.com. When we are not traveling, we have 3 great kids who have grown into wonderful adults with interesting lives of their own. We love spending time with each of them.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I am constantly in search of a good book and belong to a couple book clubs. I live to read the reviews on Smashwords and enjoy sampling multiple genres at one time.. My sisters and I also share our favorite stories and recommend authors to each other.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My first attempt at writing professionally was almost 25 years ago. I wrote a piece on traveling mothers who were feeling guilty about having to leave their kids. It was becoming more common for women to travel for work and the emotions were flowing. I thought it was good. Unfortunately, the magazine that I submitted it to did not agree!
How do you approach cover design?
Creating book covers has been a work in progress. My husband created each of the covers for my parenting books. But when I moved to the world of fiction I sought out professional support. I realized early on that if your cover does not look inviting - readers will go elsewhere. I spend a lot of time looking on I-stock for photos and graphics. I send my choices to my cover designer who works her magic from there.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love mysteries, stories on the occult and historical romances. I guess you could say my tastes are eclectic! I am always reading at least two books at a time and pick up a new one as soon as I finish the last. Lately, I have been spending a little more time educating myself on the ways to market via social media. So much to read - so little time to do it!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love, love, love my Kindle Fire. I passed my first Kindle (an original) down to my daughter who has grown fond of it as well. I love the fact that I can do just about anything on my Kindle Fire and wherever I go, it goes too!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
As a relatively new author I am still learning about marketing strategies. There are so many angles to approach that I am a bit overwhelmed . I have two websites - one for my parenting books www.project-parenting.com and one for my witch books www.meriamwilhelm.com. I also use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and I blog.
Describe your desk
My husband recently built me a beautiful multi-purpose office. One side of the room provides a dedicated writing space and the other side is filled with sewing machines, baskets of cloth and tons of sewing paraphernalia . It is my dream come true! And to top it off, a murphy bed tucks neatly into the wall, assuring that we will always have enough beds when our kids come home. Although I have more than enough shelf space and file cabinets, my desk is always a cluttered sea of paper. I like to have everything close at hand to refer to when I am writing. Yellow file folders, filled with news clippings and articles litter the space. Brightly colored, cloth covered, bulletin boards surround my dueling computer screens and hold pictures and motivational sayings. I find great joy in this colorful chaos.
When did you first start writing?
It seems that I have been writing all of my professional life. Generating reports, writing newsletters and researching articles was a normal part of being a teacher, dean and principal. However, when it comes to the world of eBooks, I am a relative newbie. During my first three years of retirement I wrote five parenting books and recently I have written a three part fictional series - The Witches of new Moon Beach.
Who first encouraged you to consider writing an eBook?
For years my sister-in-law, author Rebecca Forster, encouraged me to write. She believed that my many years of experience in education provided me with insights and experiences which should be shared with parents everywhere. When I retired I realized that I had gathered a great number of strategies that I wanted to share parents of elementary school aged children. With Rebecca's guidance and the support of my family I launched my website www.project-parenting.com and a number of eBooks. She was also the one who encouraged me to jump ship and move into the fiction market. I am very grateful for her encouragement, prodding and support.
What are you working on next?
I am writing a sequel to The Witches of New Moon Beach and a spin off series.
Why did you switch from non fiction to fiction?
I have always had a fascination with witchcraft and wanted to take the plunge, writing about a family of witches. It has been so much fun and something that I have greatly enjoyed doing. Talking about naughty witches is a far cry from talking about naughty children. And so much more fun!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Initially I wrote because I knew I had strategies that could really help parents. Now I find great joy in creating a town and a family of witches and watching them come to life. My characters are with me all of the time. I am constantly thinking - what would Olivia do? Is this a place where magic would work? How can I make them more interesting?
What do your fans mean to you?
As a new writer I look forward to actually developing some fans!
Who are your favorite authors?
Rebecca Forster, Amanda Lee, Paula Hawkins, Deborah Harkness
What made you switch from non fiction to fiction?
When I first retired I continued to write books about what I knew - how to help parents to enhance their parenting skills. For over 35 years this is what I had done as an educator. And although I loved doing it I felt a longing to jump into the world of fiction. I have always had a fascination with the world of white magic and knew that this was the area in which I would begin my story telling, It has been such a kick to create a family of witches and to generate a beach community similar to the one in which I live. I have loved writing these three new books and hope you will enjoy reading them.
Published 2016-07-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Murder By Magic
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 62,160. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Cozy
Fate has dropped Ola Mae Masters into a cauldron of mayhem and there's only one person who can save her - if only she knew who that was.
Sea Dreams
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 49,670. Language: English. Published: February 12, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
New Moon Beach is a mess and it’s up to resident witch and City Mayor - Harmony Merriman, to make some immediate changes. After promising not to use her own magic, Harmony’s forced to recruit the assistance of a few other ladies of witchy persuasion, several dozen enchanted cupcakes, her wave walking great-aunt, and a whole lot of luck to bring prosperity back to her little city by the sea.
Sunset Spells
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 31,560. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy, Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Join us for the long awaited wedding of Olivia Merriman and Jonathan Maxwell. I’ll bet you thought it would never happen - well neither did Olivia! Dealing with her new found super-powers, a demanding Coven, jealous sisters, an on- again, off-again relationship and an evil wizard who just won’t go away has put a real damper on Olivia’s wedding plans.
Midnight Madness
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 39,210. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
As if Olivia Merriman doesn’t have enough to do in her beloved town, New Moon Beach, now her grouchy great-grandmother has recruited her to head up their coven of witches. Her sisters are miffed, the coven is pushing her to accept the job, and to top it all off an evil wizard is messing with her love life. ​What's a witch to do?
Night Flight
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 39,900. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
For young witch, Olivia Merriman, life is nearly perfect in her beloved town New Moon Beach. But Olivia, she fears that something is amiss when her spells go wrong, she’s developed an uncontrollable habit of night flying. If she doesn’t get it under control soon Olivia's afraid that she is going to lose it all.
Morning Magic
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 52,470. Language: English. Published: July 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Olivia Merriman is a beautiful young witch with more magic than she knows what to do with. She'll need that magic when a selfish land developer, who's also the father of the man she loves, attempts to destroy her business & ruin her love life. Let's just hope she can save her shop & her boyfriend without destroying her beloved town of New Moon Beach
Parent/Teacher Conferences: What Every Parent & teacher Should Know
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,480. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Reference
Avoid all of the school year drama by establishing a positive working relationship with your child's classroom teacher. Knowing how, when and where to meet with teachers, counselors and principals will make the school year flow more smoothly and result in success for you and your child.
The Kindergarten Train
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 25,430. Language: English. Published: July 7, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Childhood development, Nonfiction » Children's Books » Readers / Beginner
As the time for Kindergarten approaches many parents are filled with happiness, anticipation and perhaps a little bit of anxiety as they wonder if their child is truly ready to enter school. The Kindergarten Train provides answers parents are looking for.
Homework Hang-Ups Tips for Helping Your Child with Homework Demands
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 7,230. Language: English. Published: January 29, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Reference, Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Elementary
Don't let homework demands ruin your child's life. Find the formula for your child to conquer their homework chaos and deal with any homework hang-ups.
Bath, Book & Bed
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 8,360. Language: English. Published: December 26, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Childhood development, Nonfiction » Education and Study Guides » Parent participation
Kids can be ingenious as they search for new and different ways to push back their bed time. Before you give in or give up, learn a few new strategies to make bedtime a calmer, happier experience for your whole household.
Bully Maze Finding A Way Out Revised Edition 11/15
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,270. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Childhood development, Nonfiction » Parenting » Reference
Bullying happens in every school and community and the effects can be devastating for the child , family, school and neighborhood. The good news is that, whether your child is a bully or a victim, there is a way out of the bully maze. Identify the warning signs, and empower your child with strategies, language and skills they need to find their way out.