Author Interview: Orren Merton, author of The Dawning of Firebird Alex

Posted on April 28, 2015 «
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author interview orren merton

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in the spotlight question

Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Orren! Thank you for agreeing to do an author interview. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. Author interviews have become my favorite feature here. So let’s get things started

In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.


in the spotlight orren merton



Just another urban fantasy YA writer and musician with two huge dogs, a cat, a love of mysticism, post-punk, and old school British metal.




in the spotlight question


That’s a quite an eclectic list! I’m sure that you draw quite a bit of inspiration from those things and others. So what inspired you to write the Firebird Alex series?




in the spotlight orren merton

I had wanted to write a YA series about an 18-year old heroine for a while. Then I started imagining a half-demon teenage girl—what powers she’d have, how she’d feel about herself, what the world would think about her, etc. And pretty soon, Firebird Alex was born!





in the spotlight question

Series are all the rage right now as they keep readers engaged over the course of several books. The downside is the wait between books. When someone finishes the Firebird Alex books and wants more, what books do you suggest they read next?



in the spotlight orren merton

Why, “Stinger and Bow,” my forthcoming Book 4 of The Sedumen Chronicles, of course!

Until then, however, my two favorite recent urban fantasy series are The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne, and The October Daye books by Seanan McGuire. Both series are more “adult” than “YA” but I’d say that any reader mature enough to handle a bit of vulgarity and a couple steamy scenes could handle these series.



in the spotlight question

I just attended Mini-Con and Seanan’s name came up during a discussion on the use of fairy tales in literature. I know that Kevin just had another book in the Iron Druid Chronicles release as a good friend was looking forward to it. Great suggestions!

What’s your favorite thing about being an author? Least favorite?


in the spotlight orren merton

My favorite part about being an author is world building. I get to create entire universes and cultures and make all the rules! It’s the closest I’ll ever get to being omnipotent.

My least favorite part has to be trying to fit into categories. What exactly is “YA,” you know? YA is just “A” without less sexytime, blood, and F-bombs? I list The Sedumen Chronicles as YA because I make an effort to make sure it’s appropriate for younger as well as older readers, but I think these categories ultimately aren’t very useful.



in the spotlight question

As a blogger, sometimes I do find it hard to classify books because many will appeal to all ages because of the message that is being delivered. As a reader, nothing is more frustrating for me than trying to find a book in the bookstore based on reading level and then genre! Sometimes I can’t find what I’m looking for.

If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your novel(s) or getting published that you’d change?


in the spotlight orren merton


I think the main thing I’d change is that I wish I’d been more disciplined about writing sooner. I was pretty flakey when I first started writing a novel!






in the spotlight question

I’ve talked to a lot of authors lately and discipline comes up a lot! I’ve found it helpful as a blogger as well. Setting aside time every week to do certain tasks is rewarding and once a habit is started with certain tasks, when I don’t do it I feel like I’m going through withdrawal. Perhaps that’s just me and my OCD tendencies.

What’s your current obsession?

in the spotlight orren merton



You might laugh, but guitar pedals. Seriously! I have a lot of great gear, but very few guitar pedals. Slowly but surely I’ve been building a small collection of them, to go with my collection of left-handed guitars!





in the spotlight question

Have you by chance run into my husband lately? He was just talking recently about investing in something for his electric guitar. I suppose it is no different than my obsession with books.

Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?



in the spotlight orren merton

Uh oh, now I feel like I better say something worthwhile! Okay, here are some hopefully wise words: if you want to be a writer, the most important thing is to keep writing. Do your best, hone your skills, build your catalog of written works, and keep writing.





in the spotlight question

That’s wonderful advice, Orren. You keep writing and I’ll keep featuring great authors such as yourself.

Thank you for stopping by today and good luck with The Dawning of Firebird Alex and the upcoming fourth book in the series. I hope you’ll stop by again after it releases!


author interview orren merton

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The Overview

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Alexandra Gold is a Seduman: her humanity and compassion come from her deceased human mother, and her powers over spirit fire and super-human strength from her demon-like Sedu father. Collecting the first three novels in The Sedumen Chronicles, this volume includes:

Firebird Alex: When Alex unearths her father’s Sedu blade, it sets in motion a journey that challenges everything she thought she was. Rescuing her friends from another Seduman gives her a taste of the heroine she might become.

Lady Firebird: Her old nemesis, down but not out, executes a horrific plan to conquer both Earth and Sediin. It’s up to Alex to assume the mantle of Lady Firebird and hunt her adversary across universes.

Firebird Vengeance: Just when Alex thought she’d won, she discovers her victory has unleashed a horrible vengeance that threatens to destroy human and Sedu alike. In order to save everyone, she must convince skeptics in both universes that she truly is the heroine that she claims to be.

Also in this collection Firebird Manor: In this bonus novelette, Alex and her friends unwittingly awaken a murderous eldritch horror in a beachside manor. They must defeat the monster before it kills again.

About Orren Merton

orren merton author

Orren Merton started writing fantasy and science fiction at an embarrassingly young age. In high school, he picked up guitar and start playing up and down California in a few bands, culminating in his industrial rock band Ember After. During that time, magazines, developers, and corporations began to pay him to write and edit music software related articles, manuals, and books. Since then he has written the urban fantasy novel The Deviant and the science fiction novel Skye Entity before working on his current series of YA novels. He lives in Southern California with his family, pets, collection of sci-fi/fantasy memorabilia, and curiously large stuffed animal collection.

author interview orren merton



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10 responses to “Author Interview: Orren Merton, author of The Dawning of Firebird Alex

  1. Wonderful interview! I agree that the Iron Druid Chronicles is great. I also agree about the genres and ages. It does us a disservice to have things in boxes. But as a parent I understand what we can’t just let our kids read any old book. Though I guess that’s one area my parents never really directed me so maybe it’s not so bad. I learned a lot from books but they never made me want to go out and do bad things they just helped me learn more about the world, the good, the bad and the ugly!

    • My parents really didn’t direct my reading much either, but since I attended a small Catholic school, I’m not sure I had access to “scandalous” books as a young child. However, once I got to junior high and moved over to public school I picked up V.C. Andrews.

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews
      Twitter: @2ndRunReviews

  2. I haven’t heard of the author before but his books do sound interesting. Big dogs are the best, that looks like an Irish Wolfhound-which are awesome dogs. I really like the answer about world building, especially since it’s so important in fantasy books. Great interview!

    • Terri

      Being a shorter in stature, big dogs do scare me a bit because most that I have met are jumpers so it can knock me off balance. I love most animals. Horses and cats are my favorite!

      • What’s funny is that we have two dogs. Reilly, the Irish wolfhound would never hurt a fly (nor is he a jumper). But when we walk him down the sidewalk, some people will walk out into the street to avoid him, because he’s so big. Luna, our giant schnauzer, weighs only about half as much as Reilly. Nobody worries about her, yet she is the sharp tempered, protective dog, not Reilly! (and yes, we have a cat too, a Maine Coon, and he rules both dogs with an iron paw!)

  3. Orren Merton

    Hi Alise, thanks for the kind words! And you’re right—that is our Irish wolfhound. His name is Reilly, he’s 14 months old as of last week. He’s a complete sweetheart, kind and gentle, generally a goofball but when he runs, he has a really majestic gallop. He can be a crazy puppy, which can be challenging at his size, but he’s really a ton of fun!

      • Good question! Our little man is pretty lean, he’s got that greyhound/runner type of physique, so we’re not quite sure. His dad got to 150 pounds. I’m guessing Reilly won’t get quite that big, but I’m guessing he’ll be 140 or more. He’s 127 pounds currently.