Book Talk: Exiled angel on journey back to her past

Wed Dec 8, 2010 12:32am EST
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By Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - She has no memory, not even a name. She calls herself "Mercy" each time she wakes up in a new body on earth, something that happens without warning. She is an exiled angel who doesn't know why.

"If I get too comfortable, I will wake one morning and everything around me will have shifted overnight. All I knew? I know no longer. And all I had? Vanished in an instant," she says.

The prickly, steely heroine of Rebecca Lim's "Mercy" -- the eponymously titled young adult novel -- awakens one day in the body of a petite high school student and a town where a serial kidnapper is poised to strike again. When he does, she is forced to act.

Lim, an ex-lawyer in Australia who has three children under six, sees Mercy's journey as a four-book saga in which she slowly remembers who she is, and what she has done to be exiled.

Q: From lawyer to author is quite a career change.

A: I'd been trying to write a book for a very long time and when I was a lawyer it interfered with that whole creative side of things. I'd sort of reached a point in my career where I thought: should I become a partner and just basically work myself to death for the rest of my life, or should I actually take some time off and try and do the writing thing before it slips away?

It was really good to have some time to clear my head and actually sit down and plot things down properly rather than just jot them down haphazardly on the edges of legal pads and then try to patch it together later on.

Q: What inspired "Mercy"?   Continued...