Something S’more About Beth Merlin!

More about Ink Monster author Beth Merlin and her inspiration for The Campfire Series.

And yes, all my blog posts are going to include the word S’more while I am writing this series 🙂

I’ll be the first to admit… I chose the road more traveled. Even though I wanted to pursue an MFA, I went the perceived safer route and got my JD. I took the NY Bar exam, practiced law for a bit, and somewhere along the way realized I was completely miserable. I remember coming home after a particularly brutal day at work and telling my husband I wanted a do-over of the last couple of years. I regretted my decision to not follow my passion for writing, and felt that pipe dream would now be forever out of my reach. I wanted something more.

My husband turned to me and said, “Do you need an MFA to be a writer, is that a prerequisite?” I shook my head no and told him I didn’t think it was. He then calmly asked me what I did need. I thought about it for a moment and answered, “Just a laptop and an idea.” He pointed to our kitchen table and said, “There’s the laptop. As for the idea, I have a feeling you have a couple you’ve been mulling over.”

About Beth Merlin, Author of One S'more Summer (The Campfire Series, Book One) | Ink Monster
 

He was right–I had one idea for a book I kept coming back to. I’d even written the first chapter of it on some scraps of paper while riding the New York City subway home. I kept imagining a story about a girl in her twenties who decided to run away from the problems in her life to her childhood sleepaway camp.

Growing up, I loved all the summers I spent at camp. There’s just something about sharing a cabin–creating a home for the summer with friends–that forms a completely unique bond. We weren’t just cabinmates, but a support system, a team, sometimes group talk therapy, and even a sisterhood. I kept imagining what it would be like to go back as an adult to try to recapture some of those same feelings. From those musings came the rest of the ideas for One S’more Summer.

It took me another ten years to finish the book on that same laptop my husband had pointed to on the kitchen table that day. Real life came calling and I did eventually find a career that made me happy, but I never stopped writing. At night, early in the mornings, on the subway–really every little amount of time I could scrap together–I worked on the manuscript. I wasn’t sure if anything would come of it but I kept forging ahead.

In just three weeks, One S’more Summer is getting released followed by Book 2 and 3 of the Campfire Series. In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined I would be the author of not just one but three novels. I think the greatest lesson I’ve learned is that calling yourself a “writer” isn’t about million dollar publishing contracts or throwing that particular title on your business card, it’s simply about wanting to write and the willingness to keep perfecting your craft.

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4 Responses to “Something S’more About Beth Merlin!”

  1. Diane Zamansky says:

    Can’t wait to read the first novel of what appears to be a wonderful new author.

  2. Vanessa Fleischmann says:

    On behalf of the book club that I moderate (in which your mother is a member), all of its members and myself cannot wait for your first book to be published! “One S’More Summer” is slated as the August book to be read, and we look forward to meeting you at the September discussion meeting at which you will be our honored guest and facilitator. Congratulations, Beth!

  3. Marlene Rosol says:

    Congratulations on your first novel, Beth!

  4. Ellen Caplan says:

    I anxiously await our September meeting to welcome Beth to our book club and discuss her first novel, “One S’More Summer.”

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