Thursday, July 14, 2016

Special Levels of Earthly Hell @goddessfish


Welcome! Thanks for being here and agreeing to answer a few questions for a Q&A.

Do you hear from your readers? What kinds of questions do they ask?

My books are either true or are based on or inspired by actual events. I do hear from my readers and most of them ask whether certain things actually happened because they seem to be so unbelievable. My answer is always: If the events weren’t true and I had manufactured them, they wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. The very fact that they are true is what makes the readers’ jaws drop.

What do you think makes a good story?

I love a story with twists and turns that really makes the reader think about what will happen next. It’s funny because my best friend likes books that allow her mind to relax. When she finishes a chapter she wants to already know what will happen next but enjoys discovering how it happens. Not me. I want to be teased and surprised by a plot. I want a plot with “oh-wow” moments that I wasn’t expecting. That’s the juicy part.

Hands down, I love “Grey’s Anatomy.” I could watch reruns over and over again just to revel in the writing, admiring it one more time. It is genius in its simplicity. This is not a “throw-away” answer. Let me repeat, I LOVE the writing on “Grey’s Anatomy.” I have a nephew who writes in a similar manner and I wish I could convince him to write a book. His writing is simple. Almost stark. But when you read one of his human interest stories you feel as though he has seen into your soul and put your feelings into words for you. Hard to explain. But I wish I could write like that.

What group did you hang out with in high school?

I hung out with the kids who knew how to live on the edge, perhaps because I didn’t know how to do that myself and it was so intriguing. That was just before the day when drugs and high school pregnancies were rampant, so I learned to enjoy cherry brandy brought home by a friend’s big brother, play hide and seek in the cemetery at night, and skip school. I had my share of detention, but I knew my limits and somehow. by the grace of God. managed to get into college, become a good student, and graduate.

What are you passionate about these days?

Animal Rights. Anything to do with how animals are treated. Every time I hear Sarah McLachlan sing while I’m watching television I have to look away and push the mute button. I can’t stand to see animals who have been abused, whether it be domestic animals or animals in the wild. It makes my day to see an article on Facebook about an abandoned or abused animal who has found its “forever home.” And yes, I’m a vegetarian (though I do eat fish, cuz I’d kill a fish – and have). :O

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I live on the coast, so I love to go to the beach just to watch the waves. I don’t go in the water. The ocean is best viewed from a little bit of a distance. I consider it a spectator sport. If you get too close you see how dirty the water is and have to look out for seaweed.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they? 

Don’t write because you want to make money (though it’s a nice collateral benefit if it works out that way). Write because you have a story inside you that makes you feel as though you will burst if you don’t get it on paper. Writing as an independent writer is a crap shoot. My first book burned in me for twenty years until I finally put the story up for public scrutiny. I still don’t know why it was so successful, because I had no idea what I was doing when I published it.  Do your due diligence before you hit the “publish” button, read books in your genre, be willing to flow with a flexible plan, and write for the love of it, not for the money you think you might make.


Special Levels of Earthly Hell
by Merry Freer

GENRE:  Horror, Supernatural


Drew Collins experiences the world in black and white. As an educated man of science, he rejects belief in the paranormal and the existence of demons. Until an evil energy he calls "The Beast" repeatedly enters his bedroom at night and takes possession of his wife's body.

What he witnesses at night in his own bedroom cannot be reconciled with science. And yet he sees it with his own eyes, feels its presence, ominous and evil, with his entire being.

Against every instinct, Drew reaches out for help. It is not just his marriage that’s at stake. The evil force has invaded his wife's family, tearing them apart and culminating in bloodshed and murder. Drew must face a stark choice: sacrifice his belief that the world is a rational place and fight an entity he doesn’t understand and is reluctant to label, or abandon his wife and her family.

Author's Note to the Reader: Sadly, the most frightening and brutal events in this book are factual. The story is loosely based on one family's experience with multiple tragedies, some of them "ripped from the headlines." It is also an excruciatingly factual account of one man's experience with a loved one who is possessed by a demonic presence. However, it transcends genre and is as much a tale of romance, of cultural barriers, of abuse, and of family drama, as it is of demonic possession. The link between the introduction of an evil spirit and the heartbreaking misfortunes that are visited on the family is left for the reader to decide.


Drew sat up straight and turned to her. He needed to see her eyes, her reaction to his experience. Almost imperceptibly he shook his head and took a deep breath. Then, surprising even himself, he poured out his story of the frightening drama unfolding in his home. He described the visions, the fear, and his most ridiculously implausible visitor. It came in the night, he told her, on multiple occasions, and appeared to possess Adriana. He described how it spoke through her, threatened him, threatened their marriage and the children.

“The presence has become a part of my life,” he said, “an unwelcome visitor in my own bedroom at night. I don’t know what to call it. I understand that in Judeo-Christian belief it might be thought of as a demon, a devil sent to defy their God. But I’m not a believer, so how do I name it? How do I label something I don’t understand? I can’t give it a name that identifies it as a specific entity to Christians. I’m not a Christian. I don’t believe in God and so I don’t believe in the devil or demons. I had an experience. That’s how I identify it. And I honestly don’t know what to do about it. I get that it’s not a battle of strength. It’s a battle of wills. But I don’t understand its intention – what it will take to make it go away.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Merry Freer is an author of memoir and fact-based fiction. “Special Levels of Earthly Hell: The Story of One Family’s Chilling Struggle with Demonic Possession”  was inspired by actual events that were experienced by her nuclear and extended families, tearing relationships apart and making national news headlines. This book comes on the heels of her first book, a memoir named “Doctor, Doctor.”  While "Doctor, Doctor" is her debut novel, she has been a writer and editor for many years, including work with the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Hall of Champions. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and has been a featured speaker for classes dealing with medical ethics.

Her controversial memoir, "Doctor, Doctor," topped the Best Seller List in True Crime/White Collar Crime for 10 months and received a "Best Books of 2014" award from "Suspense Magazine."

Visit her Facebook Page at


Merry will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Laura Thomas said...

I'm reading this right now and just now starting to get into the thick of it!

Merry Freer said...

So glad to hear that, Laura! I do hope you will leave an honest review on Amazon (Goodreads, too, if you are a member). I really appreciate your interest!

DanieX said...

Great interview and excerpt!

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing :)

Becky Richardson said...

How much research do you do?

Merry Freer said...

Hi Becky....."Special Levels of Earthly Hell" is a departure from my first book which is a memoir ( no research required). I have never experienced the paranormal so my research for this book was fairly extensive. I did deep interviews with the main character about his experiences and beliefs. I also researched demons and demonic possession, both as a religious phenomenon and a cross-cultural belief. Then I researched possession and the concepts of good and evil as they relate to physics. It was quite an education.

Ami Savitri said...

Thanks for sharing and the answer for the research question