Thursday 17 January 2019

Interview: Sourpuss by Merricat Mulwray

Merricat Mulwray
Publication date: January 20th 2019
Genres: Comedy, Contemporary, New Adult
Sourpuss is a blistering satire of the depraved and entitled culture that pervades college campuses.
Mallory Wahl loathes the campus party scene . . .
She’s sprinting through her senior year obsessed with winning a spot on the US Olympic track team. But she runs straight into a hurdle in the form of fraternity president Graham Patterson, an intern assigned to help her recover from an injury – one she blames on him.
Once Graham’s therapies begin to work, Mallory pretends to fall in love but traps herself in her own scheme and tailspins deep into his debauched world. When a scandal erupts which threatens to shatter her Olympic dreams once and for all, Mallory must finally face the dark truth she’s been running from since freshman year.
In the style of a ’90s dark comedy flick, Merricat Mulwray’s debut brings an insightful and humorous perspective to the reckless behavior college students perpetually get away with. Mallory, herself a flawed heroine, is backed by a self-serving cast of athletes, party girls, townies, and fraternity brothers so hilariously dark that the book will leave you wondering if anyone ever gets what they deserve.

Now, to start, what inspired you to write the Sourpuss?
The idea floated into my sister's head and we decided to write it together.  

How would you describe the story to someone who hasn't read it yet?
 It’s a dark comedy that tackles rape culture on a college campus, amongst other things. 

Describe Mallory and Graham in 3 words each.  
Mallory – bold, fearless, unpleasant
Graham – na├»ve, complacent, complicit

What do you think makes Graham appealing? How about Mallory? 
They are both very messed up people. They make you want to be nothing like them.

How did you create your characters? Were they inspired by real people?
All of our characters are composites of people we met throughout our lives. 

What scene did you have the most fun writing?
The scenes between Darius and Mallory, it was fun making her squirm, and go against herself. Darius is who she respects the most. He makes her face the facts and shows her that’s she is full of it without directly confronting her. 

Excerpt – Darius Gives Mallory A Ride
Darius yelled back that he couldn’t have his girl ride the campus shuttle and turned his Jeep perpendicular to the street, driving up to the curb. Passing students and campus commuters blared their horns in protest. He jumped out of the driver’s seat and waved them all past. “Kenny, come get these crutches,” he commanded to the huge second lineman in the car. Before Mallory could protest, Darius had already picked her up.
“Is your leg properly elevated?” he asked when he set her down in the front seat. “Are you comfortable?” She shifted as the chorus of large men now squeezed into the back seat asked if she was comfortable enough.
“What did the doc say?” Darius asked.
“Nothing much, it’s fine. Just a lot jabbering on about proper care.”
“I thought you got the all clear. Callie told me you were starting physio.”
“Oh, did she? Did she also tell you that Coach Green is trying to have me rehab with some joke of a student intern?”
“Oh, they’re putting you in the Horace program? That shit is bomb.”
“Are we talking about the same thing? The interns?”
“Oh, hell yeah. I did that when I had my hamstring injury. Yo. It’s so much better. You get to work with someone on your own level. These guys are all into the latest. They do way more for you than some old-ass man telling you to stretch or just sit in the ice bath. I got back to form faster than when I’ve been out before. I have the same injury all the time. But not since I worked with my boy from Horace.”
“I hate to tell you but the program must have taken a serious shit dive since you were in it.”
“Really? It’s a hard program to get into. Who you with?”
“That condescending asshole that was bothering you during the meet. I doubt you know him personally. A total piece of work. President of some shitty frat. Not only did he insult me, but he also had the nerve to think he was actually gonna put me on a supplement program.”
“You mean Graham Patterson? He’s not the president of some frat, he’s president of the frat. Graham’s my dog! See, they always put the best with the best,” he said to the backseat.
Mallory stared at him. She wasn’t sure if he was ignoring her or just preferred to listen to himself speak.
“No, you don’t understand.”
“What’d he do?”
“I told you. He insulted me.”
“How?” Darius asked again with a side eye.
“It was more of an underlying attitude.” Mallory paused.
“Sounds like he was trying to get to work. Already came up with a supplement plan.”
“No, I can’t. He’s an asshole.”
The Jeep pulled up to her place, and Darius looked at Mallory. He was giving her the pained look every student gave to the one kid asking questions when everybody else wants to move on. “Asshole? Yo, do you guys know Patterson to be an asshole?” The consensus returned a no vote.
“Yeah, he’s not an asshole. You’ll do well to work with him. You’ll vibe with him.”
“I really prefer to just get myself together.”
“Look. You know I don’t fuck around when it comes to this shit. You’re a few months away from trials. You and I know both know that Kathy Voss just broke your fastest time.”
She’d heard the news yesterday after her interlude with Graham. The news made her so upset she’d hid in the bathroom, alternating between screaming and biting into a towel.
“Oh, you think no one knows about that? Everybody does. You need to get back and you need to get back quick. She’s not better than you, but she’ll take what’s yours if you don’t get your mind right. If I tell you to work with the guy, then work with the guy.”

Why do you write satire?
It feels best. It’s the way we most accurately articulate our sensibilities. 

How did you start writing?  
We’ve always written on and off through our lives.

Do you listen to music while you write?
For both of us, it depends on where we are in the process of writing. If editing or revising we can listen to music but if we are writing from scratch, absolutely not. We are both easily distracted, background noise is fine actually appreciated but we can’t be engaged in too many auxiliary things until we are “in it”. 

Did you always want to be an author? 
No, it chose us.

Does your family read your books? 
Yes, we are sisters so we both read everything we write. LoL. Yes, for the most part they do. 

What did you read as a kid?
I read everything as a kid. My favorite part of the day was when the teacher read to us after recess or when we had silent sustained reading. I don’t remember learning to read. My paternal grandmother saw to it that I was reading before kindergarten. I think that’s one of the greatest gifts I was given as a child. It has been the basis for every great thing in my life. And gave me a sense of confidence. But as far a specifics go, I remember in elementary school switching between Raoul Dahl and Stephen King.  I have a son he’s only a few months old I can’t wait to share every single book I’ve ever loved with him. 
Luckily I had a well-read older sister, who read aloud to me. She still does. On my own I remember reading Charlottes Web repeatedly, it still means a lot to me.

Can you tell me some of your favorite authors? How about books?
We love that you’ve separated out those two questions. Sometimes your favorite authors don’t write your favorite books.
Some favorite authors: John Cheever, Flannery O Connor, Marquez, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, Sarah Vowell, Orwell. 
Books: Anna Katerina, The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, Gods Little Acre, Cannery Row, The Sellout, I’ll be gone in the dark.

What are you currently working on?  
We’ve got a few things in the hopper. 

A few short answer questions:
Tea or  coffee ?
Tea, nothing like a cup of builder’s. White teas and chai lattes are great too.

Do you prefer the sea side or the mountains?
I surf, so the ocean. 
Depends on who I am with, never where I am. 

Sweet or salty?

Print or ebook?
Print. But I appreciate both. And would like to shout out the audiobook. As a new mom, sometimes that’s all I get. 

Movies or TV shows?
I love a good true crime documentary.  

Author Bio:
Merricat Mulwray is the collaboration of two sisters. They live in Los Angeles where they hatch plans and develop schemes, sometimes these turn into novels.


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