Claire Cray on William (Sequel to Merrick) ~ Interview

Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Claire Cray for taking the time to talk with us today.


Title: William (Sequel to Merrick)
Author: Claire Cray
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date:01/11/2015
Genre/Sub-Genre: M/M Romance


The story of William and Merrick continues in this sequel to the spellbinding bestseller Merrick. In the summer of 1799, young William Lacy watched his carefree life go up in smoke when a night of mischief landed him in shackles. Beaten, jailed, and sentenced to a long apprenticeship in the dreary woods of upstate New York, William was braced for the worst.

But he wasn’t prepared to fall in love with his master, a renowned and reclusive apothecary — a man — by the name of Silas Merrick. And he damn well never expected Merrick to be a blasted vampire.

Now, nearly one year after that summer of mystery, longing and unspeakable pleasure, William is still waiting to begin the future with Merrick he was promised. But it’s not easy becoming a vampire. Not only has Merrick become more secretive than ever about his nature and his past, but his feud with the beautiful and ruthless vampire Theo raises ever more troubling questions about the dark world William is about to enter.

William is determined to unravel the mysteries and find his happily ever after. But to do it, he must resolve Merrick’s doubts for himself. Can there be love and joy in this life of death and darkness? And will Merrick ever learn to open his heart?

Set in New York and Boston several months after the events of Merrick, William is a haunting, sensual story of love and desire in the shadows…and the adaptability of the human spirit.


1. We are here today to talk about William. What can you tell us about it?

William is the standalone sequel to my first book, Merrick. It’s a historical paranormal romance set in New York in the year 1800. The story follows the love affair between a young book peddler, William, and the mysterious apothecary and physician to whom he was formerly apprenticed. As readers of the first book know, there’s a major complication in their romance: Merrick happens to be of a certain non-human nature, one that involves quite a bit of death and darkness.

2. Tell us more about your characters William and Merrick?

William Lacy is a clever young guy who was born and raised on the New York waterfront by his widowed mother, a half-Seneca barmaid. Despite his humble upbringings, he’s known for his wit and his love of the written word. Before he met Merrick, he was making a career for himself as a peddler and appraiser of rare books while also drinking his nights away with a rag-tag mix of bohemians and bad kids.

Merrick is more of a mystery. Tall, dark, handsome; intimidatingly quiet, but extraordinarily gentle-mannered. One would never guess what he does at night.

3. What about William makes you the most proud?

Finishing it! It’s my first real sequel, and I was terrified of writing it. But besides that, I’m proud of the setting. I did a lot of research of Boston and New York in the year 1800, which turned out to be incredibly difficult. Most of the early American history we’re familiar with takes place a generation before or after that point. But I always thought it was an incredibly fascinating time, that shift from the Revolutionary era toward the madness that quickly defined the 1800s. It was kind of the eye of the storm, in a way. I thought that really suited this story, and I’m proud of getting that atmosphere in there.

4. If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?

Write, hard and often. Also, don’t ever get down on yourself for not being as good as you want to be. It’s a craft. It takes practice and experience and a whole lot of work. But if you stick to it, you’ll improve. Just like if you lift weights every day, you build muscle. Don’t spend more time worrying about being a genius than you spend worrying about being a writer.

5. What can readers of Merrick expect in William? Will readers need to read book one to understand William?

You don’t have to read book one to understand William, but I would highly recommend it. Book one explored the genesis of this relationship, and ended on a somewhat regrettable (I admit it) HFN cliffhanger. In book two, you can expect a lot of questions to be answered: How is William going to adjust to being a vampire?Who is Merrick, really? Can they bridge their substantial differences to achieve a functional, happy relationship?

Also, expect more Theo. Theo only appears in person in the first part of the book, but his presence in the story is significant.

6. How do you keep characters consistent through a story? Do you write out extensive character bibles?

I do not. I am the worst at that. I do keep notes on Merrick and Theo, because their lives are so damn long and there are, like, numbers and historical events involved. But other than that, I don’t know — I’m an extremely character-driven writer, but I kind of keep it in my head and in the pages.

7. What are you reading right now and what is next on your to-be-read list?

Right now I’m reading Edith Hamilton’s mythology. Haha. (Extra tip for writers: Review your mythology regularly.) Next up I want to read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.

8. Rapid Fire Time

  • World of Warcraft or Everquest? Neither.
  • Coke or Pepsi? Root beer!
  • Porsche or Prius? Porsche.
  • Train or Plane? Train!
  • Vanilla or Chocolate? BOTH
  • Sweet or Savory? Rich
  • Beach or Mountains? This is actually torture
  • Handcuffs or Rope? Rope.

9. What are you working on? What is next?

I’m working on a few things right now. I’m not sure which one will be published first. But I’m in the early stages of a book three to go with Merrick and William. Which means I’m spending a lot of time with Theo. And the other project is a sexy gay redneck werewolf extravaganza that I’m deeply excited about.

About the Author:

Author Links:

Buy Links:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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