Thursdays with Taryn
Please help me welcome my fellow KY author (who is also an Indie) C.C. Marks, author of The Mercy Series. She just recently released the first book in the series- Edge of Mercy and is currently working on the next one (which I'm eager to get my hands on). I had a chance to sit down and read Edge of Mercy the weekend before last and all I can say is that it pulled me in from the start.
I'd never really given much thought to what dystopian meant before, but as I read Edge of Mercy, I could see the story playing out in my mind's eye as the characters came to life. The setting is in our world, but in the not so distant future, which they call home. It's a far cry from the world we know now.
I found the story in the same vein as movies I love such as Night of the Comet, Mad Max, Prayer for the Rollerboys, Aeon Flux, City of Ember, Logan's Run, Akira, The Fifth Element, I Am Legend, Book of Eli, and The Chronicles of Riddick. The list could go on and on of ones I hadn't realized were dystopian in their own way and I found that I LOVED this story just as much and could see this as a movie in its own right someday.
From the beginning you feel a kinship with Charlie and the seriousness of her plight. Survival means deception and secrecy, even to those she's grown to care about. Her life, her baby sister's life and her very existence, hangs in the balance of the day-to-day and striving to keep her secret from all in the community. Her secrets are just the tipping point when compared to the secrets of the Council and the horrible deeds and truths that are behind the infection that has turned humans into monsters. This is not a world I would ever wish to face, but at the same time, I found myself rooting for Charlie to find a way around the "rules" of the Council, to find a way to escape the horrid fate she will face if the truth of her identity is revealed and hoping that she can evade the dire consequences and come out unscathed on the other side. Being this is a series, that journey is only just begun and I look forward to reading the next book in the very near future.
Please enjoy C.C.'s answers on this Thursday with Taryn and if dystopian stories are your thing- check out Edge of Mercy. You'll enjoy it!
What book(s) most influenced you as a writer?
That’s a toughy. So many books were influential. As a romance writer, I loved reading books by Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, and more recently, Kresley Cole and Rachel Gibson. But most influential would have to be Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It was probably the first romance (*spoiler alert: doesn’t have a happy ending) that really wrung me out emotionally.
What book do you read over and over again?
As a card-carrying book-nerd, I have to admit the book(s) I’ve read over and over again are the Harry Potter series. I just love the humor, the hero journey, and the imaginative world shared in these books. Such great reads every time.
1) Movie- Shakespeare in Love
2) Music- Anything by Paramore
3) Decadent Dessert- Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
What’s the most interesting or bizarre bit of trivia you’ve learned from researching for a novel?
For my short story, Into the Fire, about two top chefs with a romantic past who go head-to-head on a televised cooking competition, I had to research so much about the terminology used by a professional chef. Devices like salamanders (the heat lamps that keep food warm while it’s waiting) and cooking methods like suvee (where food is sealed in a bag and put into a hot water bath) were interesting to learn about. I haven’t attempted what I learned in my own kitchen yet, but I understand the chefs on the Food Network a whole lot better now.
Novel on your Nightstand:
Who/what are you currently reading?
J. M. Madden’s A Needful Heart
Whom would you cast as your Hero & Heroine if your book became a movie?
Charlie is the heroine, and I picture Chelsea Kane (she had a short stint on Disney Channel’s Jonas Brothers show) with a very short hairstyle.
I have two heroes—Thomas would be played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zeke would be played by Zac Efron.
Charlie hides her true identity, but her very presence places everyone around her in danger. With no other choice but to remain where she is, she stays with a community that might not be as benevolent as it appears. In this new and dangerous version of the world, where a friend might be an enemy and an enemy might be a friend, seventeen-year-old Charlie protects her baby sister and herself from grotesque monsters outside the community as well as human ones inside. Will the truth she discovers about her protectors save her or ultimately doom her to a fate worse than death?
Also available from
You can also find out more about C.C. at her
and you can follow her on