OSWEGO, NY – Merlyn Fuller is a Renaissance Faire and traditional musician – and now author.
Fuller has written and published Fairy Tales & Horror Stories: A Memoir, recalling her North Country childhood and her counter-cultural adulthood.
She grew up in rural upstate New York, outside of Brownville, which is up north by Watertown.
It was an idyllic pastoral childhood in many ways, roaming fields and pastures and picking cowslips and catching tadpoles. Her favorite hobbies were being out in nature, dressing up her cats in doll clothes, pretending to be an actress and putting on shows in the garage.
Her current hobbies “are pretty similar as I tend to love to be outside by water a lot, I play in my costume (garb) rack and enjoy writing and performance and am a period piece movie-holic of sorts,” she said.
She and her husband work the Sterling Renaissance Festival as Merry Mischief. They have worked in other states as well.
“We always do the Fort Myers Medieval Faire in January, every year for the past 10 years. Hey, somebody’s got to do it. Tough job that it is, faire in Florida in January,” said.
Fuller’s musical and literary talents will be on display June 14 at 2 p.m. as the CNY Arts Center will feature her as part of its Fulton Arts Fest. Her music and a book reading will take place at the Arts in the HeART Gallery located in the heart of Fulton, at 47 S. First St., across from the city’s gazebo.
Her book finds her pondering love, sex, music and spirituality. Shy as a child, she was vexed by her mother’s incessant spiritual seekings as they drove from one church to the other like lost pilgrims. Regardless, those seekings would come to define Fuller’s ride through life.
“I write,” she told Oswego County Today, “because if I didn’t, I’d explode. Why this topic? Memoir is so personal. We all have a story to share and help the world fit its puzzle story together. By looking at your own life through a microscope and being brutally honest about things in your life, your feelings, the experiences that you’ve had, it helps you realize why you are the way you are.”
You can be less critical about your Inner Self by really seeing how you ended up where you are by looking at how you got here, she said.
“We are creating our own reality and making choices every step of the way. When you look back, you can go a little easier on yourself if you are really honest with the facts and deal with them, instead of hiding them, repressing them, or changing the facts,” she explained.
How does it feel to share this with – basically – everyone?
“I wrote this memoir originally as a gift to myself. I had a test audience, if you will, with a list of close friends and family, whom I bounced some of the original rough draft stories off of. When their reactions were as strong as they were to the writings and when they begged for more from me, I just kept going. And going,” she said. “When I was finally done and had the finished product in my hands – the next hurdle was letting go of it. Just letting it go out into the universe to have its own life. Like a child growing up and becoming Independent. You have to LET GO of it, and let it take on a life of its own, for the greatest and highest good of all.”
There were some tough patches during the writing process. Did she ever think, ‘yes, I will finish it – and then stuff it in a shoebox and hide it under the bed?’
“Absolutely! There were some patches that were like crawling through a briar patch. I got scratched and bled. I cried while writing. But when I got done, I wiped my tears, and reread it and said, ‘Wow. That rocks. That is really raw … and good,’” she admits.
However, there were other patches that were like “a kitty in a patch of catnip, too,” she quickly adds.
“Those were the stories that I laughed my butt off as I wrote it and doubled over and got a real kick out of. Those made me feel just as giddy!” she said.
Fuller said she thought about going the route of putting out queries and finding an editor and a major publisher.
“My story IS noteworthy as I had run-ins with a documented serial killer in our region. However, my life is so busy as a musician that my mate, Harry said, ‘Let’s just try to put it out there ourselves and get it going for the good of others and put it in our CD basket and start carrying it as product at our gigs,’” she said.
He was right.
“We already have a cottage industry going with our Indie publishing with our music. Adding the book has given our fans another way to enjoy what and who we are,” the new author said. “It’s less hoopla, but it is more readily available to others to do the same!”
It is difficult to write a book, she admits, but adds, it is possible.
“A writer just has to commit to a little every day and just keep going forward. Pretty soon, the book is DONE!” she said. “Then there is the next step which is editing. The next is picking title, cover, font; all the many diverse decisions…can be daunting. But if a person just tackles one detail at a time, it will happen.”
She is currently promoting her book on social networks, Facebook, her websites, local bookstores and it is up online at Createspace.
Here’s the link anyone can use to get a copy: https://www.createspace.com/4565558
“The reviews coming in have been phenomenal! There are several fabulous reviews up on Amazon and the book is already making a good impact on those folks’ lives,” she said. “I think it’s because I have a very conversational style to my writing, which has been labeled as creative non-fiction. Some readers have said that it’s like sitting down with me and having a drink and hearing my tales. It’s a very approachable style and sort of addictive when they get started reading it. They don’t want to put it down, once into it, keep turning those pages and really getting in tune with the stories.”
Now that it’s all done, what’s next for Fuller?
Right now, she is really focusing on trying to get the word out about the book.
“I truly feel that readers will gain some healing from the reading of it and the digesting of some of the spiritual and metaphysical components of this book,” she told Oswego County Today. “There are moments detailed in the book that are universal. People are relating to it and identifying with it.”
“I promise that it will make you laugh out loud. It will also scare the devil out of you. It’s a roller coaster ride, but one that you will be glad you took and may even want to reread it again and again,” she added. “I have learned much about myself, and I share it with others in hopes that they will be blessed by the insights and the intuition of my story.”
She wants to protect the reader from danger and to infuse them with their own self worth and to empower them with being their own beautiful unique self.
“It’s important to me that folks know that their spirituality is their own journey and one that may be eclectic and yet, right for them. I want to make good ripples in this world,” she explained. “So, for me, getting this book out there for others to find is of major importance for the good of humanity and its process of spiritual evolution.”
Other than that, her wish is to keep writing, playing music and using humor to heal.
“I love dressing up and making our circle of good friends bigger and bigger,” she said. “I want others to feel safe and empowered in being their own unique self, too.”