Joshua Allen Mercier was born in the seaside city of Biddeford, Maine—a city which shares its name with an Irish sister, but is steeped instead with Quebecois ancestry. A curious little city with a curious little nugget of fact unknown to most history books: it was the first settlement in New England, established in 1616 by physician Robert Vine—that's four years before the Mayflower landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, although Joshua's a descendant of that stock, too, on his mother's side.
Although his mother and sister read to him as a child, his love affair with fantasy came with a treasured copy of Katherine Patterson's Bridge to Terabithia, given to him by perhaps one of his favorite teachers, Mrs. Carpenter, and since that time he's been hooked on speculative literature. It was Mrs. Carpenter, as well, who encouraged the budding poet inside of Joshua.
|Webster Plantation, Maine|
At the age of eight, Joshua's mother and step-father moved to north-central Maine, otherwise known as the middle of nowhere. Literally. That brownish-red area surrounding the farmhouse circled in the picture to the rightcase you were wondering—is miles and miles of potato fields! Perhaps the best part of all: the farmhouse in the center of that red circle was haunted! Maybe it was a catalyst for Stephen King, too, but let's just say that surrounded by the complete LACK of civilization lent itself to an overactive imagination.
Because there are only two seasons in Maine—Winter and Mosquito—going outside was often impossible. Joshua was content being cooped up in his room, however, as there wasn't much to do in the middle of nowhere anyway. His face was always buried deep inside the covers of a book. There was something about being drawn into a book, another world, a world different from his own, to which he could escape...and each book (or series of them) transported him to yet another.
Joshua's love for reading has never changed, but around the fourth grade, his new love became writing. His obsession with speculative fiction continued through the words he excitedly scribed. In seventh grade, he began writing his first novella, The Haunting Truth, about the haunted house in which he lived for four years of his childhood.
In high school Joshua, through the encouragement of another teacher, Ms. Drager, founded and maintained the school's newspaper, The L.A. Times. After a year and a half as the paper's main contributor and editor-in-chief, Joshua decided that journalism was not for him, but he knew he still wanted to pursue a writing career.
After high school, Joshua moved halfway across the country [latitude-ly speaking], leaving all his family and friends to attend Alma College in Alma, Michigan. There, he swooned many a lady with coffee in exchange for tantalizing, late-night discussions about life and literature, who later were saddened to learn men were more of his cup of tea. It was at Alma that he honed his writing craft and worked on the beginning stages of his manuscript, The Assassin of Aldarhaij; and, through the support and critiques of his professors and peers, he began to mould his manuscript into its current state. Although he had to leave after his third year, his time spent at Alma College are among the fondest of his memories, and the friends he made there will be friends for life.
|Jeremiah and Me, December 2005|
Although it devastated him to leave Alma, doing so was a blessing in disguise, as most things turn out to be. Joshua met the love of his life, Jeremiah, who has been nothing but supportive and has constantly encouraged him to keep writing. (It's hard for him to believe it's been almost 11 years of having his soulmate by his side!). In 2004, Joshua and Jeremiah decided for a change in scenery and chose to move across the country [this time longitude-ly speaking] to Atlanta, Georgia. They now have a beautiful house just outside of Atlanta, which has a gorgeous library retreat and a relaxing deck upon which Joshua likes to occasionally read or write.
In February 2012, after finally completing his manuscript the previous fall, Joshua decided to launch The Bearded Scribe in hopes of connecting with other fans and writers who shared his love of speculative literature. It is upon its launch that Joshua re-connected with his college friends, Sara and Elizabeth. Elizabeth's passion for the blog landed her the position of Assistant Editor and Most-Esteemed Beta Reader, and with her, Joshua has accrued an un-repayable debt. Since its launch, Joshua has added several members and friends to the team; and although Elizabeth finds it rather comical that a gay bloke has managed to acquire a harem of leading ladies, he wouldn't change his staff for anything :)
When he is not blogging, reading, or writing, Joshua enjoys singing (in the shower, car, or en plein air), cooking, crafting master cocktails, traveling to the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina or the white-sand beaches of Destin, Florida (covered in sunblock, of course), landscaping, movies, and playing Words With Friends.