Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today: Meraki P. Lyhne, real name Martin, is a Danish author spanning multiple genres and pseudonyms. Meraki P. Lyhne mainly writes contemporary paranormal LGBT fiction with various degrees of romantic heat, some with a HEA, some with a HFN, and some with white-knuckling cliffhangers. Mostly, he writes long series with focus on worldbuilding, action, and something epic.
Other than that, he’s a single dad to a teenage boy, the happy companion to a Rottweiler, and he lives in a very small village next to nowhere.
Information is best found on his website. https://www.merakiplyhne.com/
Thanks so much, Meraki, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
Meraki P. Lyhne: Storytelling always came natural to me, and I always wanted to. I just didn’t know how, and school had taught me that books was something to be hated as a chore that added no value but stole time for creativity. The first to let me know there was something to build upon was my high school teacher. I’d written a short story and gave it to him. He returned it with fire in his eyes telling me, “This is good. You need to write more. This is good! Really good!” Then my older brother showed the way by getting a trad publishing deal in Denmark. He didn’t pursue writing after that, but he showed the way, so I began reading and handwriting a story (1997), but it wasn’t until I connected with others with the same dream that I found my purpose. The only problems were that my chosen genre had NO market in Denmark, and my English wasn’t good enough to write and publish for the international market. I got really good at learning new things and stuck with it once I had my bearings.
JSC: Do you use a pseudonym? If so, why? If not, why not?
MPL: Meraki P. Lyhne is one of a handful of pseudonyms. I use pseudonyms because I view author names as brands, and a brand has the purpose of letting the reader know what to expect. Pseudonyms allow me to explore creativity and genres without confusing my readers, and I never limit my challenges when it comes to storytelling.
All books by a “Meraki” hold love, LGBTQ, and on-page sex.
Meraki P. Dark writes really dark stories.
Next month, I’ll add Enhyl (Lyhne backward) and books under that name will have females on page love/romance/erotica, too. If both names are on the cover, it’s bi-focused. I decided to add that because I learned I have readers who really want the “full Cubi experience” and that race of people are bisexual by nature, yet storylines in that and the Vargr world (same universe – World of Vidundr) has so far only seen MM focus.
I do write under my real name, too, which is non-romance but action-adventure and crime fiction. I’ve never really openly led attention to a connection because the two don’t really share that big a target audience. It’s Martin Svolgart if anyone’s curious.
JSC: Name the book you like most among all you’ve written, and tell us why.
MPL: That would be one of my first books under Martin Svolgart called A Game Called Payback. It taught me an insanely valuable lesson and move me as a person and as a human being by giving me insight that allowed me a greater capacity to forgive. It was a…soul search in the time that I needed to break out of imposter syndrome and recover from bullying that had quelled my creativity since late high school. The title hit me in the face as a flying brick in 2004 and sent me off on a mental path toward recovery. I wanted to share that, so I spun it in a short story first. It won an award. I built the novel around it and dedicated it to my high school bully—a great man. And yeah, that’s how much it moved me and why I’m so proud of it today. A few reviewers have even said it’s the book that everybody who’s been bullied need to read.
JSC: What’s your writer cave like? Photos?
MPL: My kitchen! So close to the coffee maker. And post-its are my writing schedule, success wall, stray ideas, motivational quotes, and my dog for moral support.
JSC: What book is currently on your bedside table?
MPL: Atomic Habits by James Clear (it’s a re-read) and The Dragon’s Runaway Omega by Connor Crowe.
JSC: What were your goals and intentions in Flaring Ember, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
MPL: I wanted to add a new spin to wolf shifters, I wanted to add my own culture (Norse), and I wanted to put a spin on Alpha, Beta, and Omegas that’s set outside a purely masculine/feminine hierarchy. And I wanted to poke at the understanding that mate bonds can be more than what can be equated heteronormalized and Christian thinking in the form of marriage and stuff. I also wanted to draw parallels and look at differences in that contemporary urban fantasy world, yet people who take political ideologies at face value hate the series even though it’s merely an early extreme set up to build upon as an analogy later.
JSC: Let’s talk to your characters for a minute – what’s it like to work for such a demanding writer?
Present: Matt (young Vargr Alpha), and Nol-Elakdon (King of the Cubi people of the North)
Nol-Elakdon: I don’t find him demanding at all.
Matt: That might be because you’re a King and his head muse, and you whip him to work harder than anyone else.
Nol-Elakdon: grinning So you’re saying I’m demanding?
Matt: Absolutely. But it’s also why you’re his head muse. Other than constantly tossing ideas at him to challenge him, you encourage. Minds to explore and evolve need someone like you in their corner. A mentor. Someone who believes in us, pushes us to do better, to evolve. You are to him what my Pack Alpha is to me.
Nol-Elakdon: You are young, yes. I’m a thousand years old, so…let me impart with knowledge, young Alpha. I am head muse because I am part of his highest perceived self. So are you. We are all mirrors to let him understand himself and the world around him, and that is why I demand more of him than he does of us. The most important tasks are only accomplished after we worked on ourselves.
Matt: whispering You’re kinda rambling again.
Nol-Elakdon: whispering No, I’m provoking thought. Hopefully.
JSC: We know what you like to write, but what do you like to read in your free time, and why?
That definitely depends on mood, but I mainly read non-fiction. I like books that provoke thoughts or challenge my worldview. I read a lot of research papers or books on a wide range of topics, written by investigative journalists or experts in their fields. I go on topic binges, learning everything I can about a topic before my brain shorts out and needs something else, and then I delve deep into learning a new language or music theory while learning a song on the piano, and then I delve into everything business strategy or quantum physics or microbiology. I kinda rotate between those.
And when I need a break, I read some sweet smut that holds fantastic/speculative elements to challenge all that real-world stuff by offering new perspectives that push the limits of “the real world”.
JSC: What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?
That would have to be my own “World of Vidundr” (Vargr and Cubi and whatever else is to come in that constantly expanding world). I’d like to because what drives many is a sense of personal honor, community, and deep respect for the necessity for room for being different.
JSC: What are you working on now, and what’s coming out next? Tell us about it!
MPL: Oh, wow! That’s a long list, considering my publishing schedule right now sees at least one book out a month for the next two years.
I’m currently writing Brass Knuckles Season 3 (Martin book), and I’m preparing to launch Meraki P. Enhyl with a new series with Cubi where there’s a heavy focus on M/M relationships, but one of the MCs is bisexual and feeds on women. A female gets POV in book #2 and the romance spectrum widens.
And now for Meraki’s new book: Flaring Ember:
The belief in the old gods of Norse mythology may have been suppressed by Christianity, but that doesn’t mean the races of old didn’t survive. Like the Vargr wolves.
After a harsh time with both personal trials and developments, Matt is ready to start college among humans. However ill-equipped he feels around humans, a lonely Geri Freki pup at school pokes at the Alpha in Matt to step up.
Steffen and Tristan are struggling to keep up with the latest changes, and more are coming. With the Alphas of all rising and more and more details from the prophecies lining up, things aren’t slowing down. But Tristan brings an important ally with another piece of the puzzle.
Hati is finally with his Vargr mate, but his human side lacks a vital bond. The many changes since he found his mate and moved to a new pack are piling on, and the importance of balancing his Vargr and human side become more and more critical.
Then Völsung stops by and kicks everything to a new level.
All his Alphas were there, then. Shit! One is at school! Steffen fumbled his pockets. “I left my phone somewhere, but I pulled Matt.” A motorcycle roared in the distance, and Steffen knew that engine well, so he stopped and stared into the sky. “Shit.”
Matt’s bike rolled into Wolf Park, and the badass biker turned the bend a moment later.
Hati ran to him. “SPOILER REDACTED.”
Matt dismounted his bike, parking it in the middle of everything, and pulled off his helmet. Running his hand through his hair, it settled in a natural looking tussle and that superman curl he’d inherited from Rolf.