September 23, 2019

Blog Tour: Merged by Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl – Interview and Giveaway

Hello Readers! Welcome to our Tour Stop for

Merged by Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl

presented by Month9Books!

We have Jim and Stephanie on the blog today for a quick Q&A.

Click on the banner above to follow the rest of the tour,
and be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Seven of our country’s most gifted teens will become Nobels, hosts for the implantation of brilliant Mentor minds, in an effort to accelerate human progress.
But as the line between what’s possible and what’s right draws ever blurrier, the teens discover everything has a cost.
Scientists have created an evolved form of living known as Merged Consciousness, and sixteen-year-old Lake finds herself unable to merge with her Mentor.
Lake, the Nobel for Chemistry and Orfyn, the Nobel for Art, are two from among the inaugural class of Nobels, and with the best intent and motivation. But when Stryker, the Nobel for Peace, makes them question the motivation of the scientists behind the program, their world begins to unravel.
As the Nobels work to uncover the dark secrets of the program’s origins, everyone’s a suspect and no one can be trusted, not even the other Nobels.
As the Mentors begin to take over the bodies and minds of the Nobels, Lake and Orfyn must find a way to regain control before they lose all semblance or memory of their former selves.

Merged by Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl
Release Date: September 17, 2019
Publisher: Month9Books

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Thanks so much for taking the time and spending time with us here at Chapter by Chapter!

Thank you so much having us. This is an exciting time, and it’s great to be able to share it with readers.

Describe your book in 140 characters or less (like a Tweet)

Extraordinary teens are implanted with the minds of dying geniuses with the same aptitude, but great minds don’t always think alike.

What was your inspiration for writing this book?  Was it in a dream? A thought while taking a walk?

A number of things came together to create the story. We had a friend who was dying, but before he passed, he told us story after story about himself that we didn’t know. It made us think about all the knowledge and experience that evaporates when someone dies. What if that didn’t have to be the case? We were also quite surprised at the extent the doctors went to keep him alive before he decided he was ready to move. That led to thinking about how science might actually be able to keep consciousness alive someday, which led to “Merged.”

Tell us about the main character(s).

In “Merged” there are two protagonists with alternating chapters. Orfyn is a sixteen-year-old street artist who can re-create masterpieces in one night. He lives in an orphanage and is somewhat famous, though nobody knows who he really is. He wonders if he’ll ever be known as a true artist, which leads him to make a decision that changes his life. Lake, also sixteen, is a chemistry prodigy who believes she’s graduating high school early for a full-ride scholarship, which is the only way she could afford college. When her beloved grandmother is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, her dreams are shattered. She chooses to be the caretaker, although she can’t help but think about what her life could have been.

Do you have a favorite quote or specific part in the book that you really love?

One of the characters is a sixteen-year-old literary prodigy. He was meant to be the comic relief because he barely speaks and generally uses one-word sentences. It was really a goof on writers. But at some point, we decided to show his writing, which would give a glimpse into the internal struggles he’s going through. This was both intimidating and not just a little cocky. Jim spent most of a whole night pulling first paragraphs out of air. It wasn’t so much us doing Hemmingway or John Green; just letting the ideas flow, and it worked. It was tons of fun, but we were certain it would be cut at some point. Every draft we got back from our publisher, we expected it to be red-lined, but we never got a single edit in that part. It might be the only section of the book that nobody ever touched. 

Was there a specific part in the book that you had an especially difficult time writing?  If so, why?

Getting Lake’s voice right took a lot of work. While Orfyn came to life right out of the box, we did countless drafts and back-and-forths with our editor to get Lake to be the character she needed to be. She had to be super smart and scientific, but not cold. She had to be hurt, but not bitter. And she had to struggle with romantic feelings, but not seem boy crazy. We’ll never forget the email we received from our publisher when we finally got it right. It was the last piece of the puzzle. 

What sort of projects do you have going on right now.  Any new books coming out?

We are working on the sequel to “Merged” which we’re calling “Re-Merged” as a working title. Also, Jim recently won a contest with a dystopian short story about a small religious group that goes out to the Pacific Garbage Patch to develop a new homestead as the continent has basically fallen apart. Our plans are to developing that story into a novel.

It was great having you on the blog today!  We hope you’ll decide to stop by again someday, and we wish you much success!!

Thank you. It was great fun, and it’s always wonderful to connect with people who love books.

Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl are a husband-and-wife team who write stories of mystery and adventure from their cabin in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. When they aren’t dodging moose, their story ideas appear during their walks with their dog, who far prefers chasing balls to plotting novels. Jim and Stephanie are world travelers who seek out crop circles, obscure historical sites and mysterious ruins.

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1 Comment

  1. Teresa D Kunberger

    This cover definitely pulls me in!

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