The short answer:
I don’t know for sure, but at this time, there are no new Gertrude books in the pipeline. Sorry.
The longer answer:
I love Gertrude as much as anyone (maybe more), and I would love to write about all the adventures she’s been having since we last checked in with her. However, there are so many stories to tell and so little time!
Book sales pay my bills, so the better the Gertrude books sell, the more likely I am to add to the collection. So, if you want more Gertrude stories, tell your friends to buy Gertrude books! Or even better, someone with film connections, get her onto the screen! Then there would be more adventures for sure! (And don’t you just think Lesley Nicol would make the BEST Gertrude?!)
Have you ever looked into a yarn bag after the cat's been in there?
Then you've seen how the thought processes in my brain work. It's a tangled mess. Not only do I have trouble staying in one lane, I have trouble seeing the lane. As Gertrude would say, I bounce around like a fart in a mitten.
Plus, pen names are fun!
But here's the scoop:
Robin Merrill: Original recipe. Christian fiction: romance, women's fiction, and Peretti-style supernatural goodness.
R.E. Merrill: Mysteries that don't take themselves too seriously.
Penelope Spark: (Retired) Sweet romance
There may or may not be others which I may or may not reveal in the future. 😉
We all have our favorite stores and brands, right?
I am grateful for all the bookstores, but yes, Kobo is my favorite. It's the one I usually use to buy my books.
Here are some reasons why Kobo is awesomesauce:
- When I publish in the Kobo store, my eBook becomes available in more than 190 countries. That is so awesome.
- I can hook my Kobo ereader directly up to my OverDrive library account and then borrow books from my library right on my ereader. So easy. I love finding a book to read and then having the option to "buy" or "borrow." (This might change when they complete the switch to Libby. I hope it doesn't.)
- Kobo takes very good care of authors.
- Kobo allows me to sell auto-narrated audiobooks.
- The Kobo store is a clean, simple interface that makes shopping easy and stress free.
- I love the Kobo ereaders.
- I love the Kobo app. It makes listening to audiobooks simple and convenient.
- My Kobo audiobook subscription is less expensive than a lot of other subscription options.
- Probably other reasons I can't think of right now. 😉
Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s eBook subscription program, is tricky. In most cases (unless a big publisher works out a special deal for you) an eBook must be exclusive to Kindle in order to be included in Kindle Unlimited.
Please don’t take this explanation as a criticism. This is just the way it is.
So, if I have an eBook in Kindle Unlimited, it cannot be sold by Kobo, Nook, Apple, or anywhere else. I’m not allowed to give them away or sell them on my website. And most disappointing, I’m not allowed to have them in libraries.
A special word about Kobo: I’ve worked as an editor and writer for missions organizations for more than a decade, so I’m pretty nations-minded. Kindle books are only available in a handful of countries. Kobo eBooks span the globe. Seriously, I don’t even know how many countries Kobo reaches, but it’s most of them. So, as an author who writes Jesus-stories, I do want my books to be available in all countries.
Hence, nearly all of my books are not in Kindle Unlimited so that they can reach more readers in more places.
However, the Kindle Unlimited "store" is huge, and so I do want to reach those readers too. Lots of authors launch new books into the Kindle Unlimited program and then later move them to the other stores. I am doing this now too, as a sort of experiment. I'm not sure how long it will last.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause a reader. I understand that subscription programs can save avid readers some money. However, this one does restrict what an author can do with a book.
At this time, Greater Life eBooks are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, which means I am not allowed to offer the eBooks anywhere else. (See FAQ #1 for more info on that.)
Before each book's release on Kindle, I offer it for sale on this website, but once it goes live on Kindle, the eBook is only available there.
The series is available in paperback everywhere, and Book 1 is available in auto-narrated audio (which is available via this website or Kobo). (I am working on auto-narration for the rest of the series as well.) Eventually, I will remove the eBooks from Kindle Unlimited and release them everywhere.
Thank you for your patience as I figure this out, and I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
Only in the sense of Tim O’Brien’s brilliant “Story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.”
I’m not sure where or how this rumor started, but no, Commack is entirely fiction.
Commack was inspired by an image. When I was young, my grandfather told me about something he’d found in the woods: a ring of stones with bones in the middle. That image stuck with me for years and served as the genesis for the novel.
But Commack is fiction, and Commack is a fictional town.
For that question, I refer you to this page: https://robinmerrill.com/the-ben-fuller-connection/
Creating audiobooks is incredibly expensive and most of mine have not made enough money to cover the cost of creating them. (Not to take anything away from the professional narrators--they are worth every penny.)
I hope to be able to get all of my books into audio one day, but as of now, I just can't make it happen. (So tell everyone to read my books, and then I'll sell more books and be able to afford audio!)
I am currently working on getting some of the books into audio via AI narration. Some of them are available now via this website, Kobo, YouTube, and Google Play. Please stand by for more auto-narrated books in the future.
I'm not really sure what's going to happen with my YouTube channel (Free Christian Audiobooks, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMU0ggh5_LKoy7ItxFhJdpQ).
For now, I'm experimenting. I am grateful for the technology that allows for the auto-narration, which is time-consuming for me to do, but affordable. I guess we'll see where it goes, but for now, I'm having fun playing with it and giving away good stories.
And please, subscribe, like, and comment. 😉
I've been getting this question a lot lately (which is cool; no such thing as too many stories), so I thought I'd answer it here.
To put it super simply, there are currently two routes for a book to go: traditional publishing or indie.
I've done both. Each path has its rewards.
To publish your book with a big publishing house, you will need to find an agent. To publish with a smaller publisher, you will need to find that publisher's specific submission guidelines. For all of your traditional publishing needs, I recommend Writer's Market: https://amzn.to/3ij9Jn1
Publishing your book by yourself is a lot of work, but it can be advantageous. Author Joanna Penn knows everything there is to know about this process, and she graciously shares this knowledge on her website here: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/
Both of these resources can help you more than I can.
But I do want to issue one tiny warning to the prospective publisher: Be careful of paying someone to publish your book. There are companies out there who will charge you to publish your book for you. Almost always, you can do it yourself for less money. Also watch out for any publishing deal that sounds too good to be true. Vanity presses do still exist.
I wish your story the very best, and I look forward to seeing your book in the stores!