Today, I have fellow author Meggan Connors in the house. I'm pretty excited to hear all about Meggan and her new debut release, The Marker, out now at Soul Mate Publishing.
It’s so great to have you here to chat, Meggan! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a wife and a mom to two little kids, six and four. I'm also a speech pathologist, and I have a lot of preschoolers on my caseload. My secret talent? I can sing a mean "Twinkle, Twinkle."
What is the most romantic thing your significant other or anyone has done for you?
I could go with the obvious, where my hubby asked me to marry him on a beach in Hawaii at sunset. But honestly, I think it was when I decided I was going to write a novel. I mentioned vaguely that I'd like to go to a certain conference (my first!), and he investigated it, signed me up, booked a hotel and flight, and arranged for a babysitter so he could go with me. All with no prompting from me. I never would have gone to that first conference if it hadn't been for him.
Do you ever write in your PJs?
What are your pet peeves?
What are your pet peeves?
They are too numerous and varied to list here! J
Cats or dogs?
White wine or red?
Heavens, you want me to choose? That's so not fair!
Coffee or tea?
Coffee, absolutely. (This book is brought to you by Starbucks).
Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
Chocolate, the darker the better. Mmm…. Chocolate.
What are 4 things you never leave home without?
Cell phone and purse (which always has a set of matchbox cars and crayons, but may or may not contain my wallet and my keys… Sigh)
Laptop or desktop for writing?
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I usually write between 8:00PM and midnight in my bed. Hence the PJs and the laptop.
If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
1. Viggo Mortensen, because a girl's got to have something pretty to look at, if she has to be stuck on an island.
2. Jon Stewart, because he's funny, and we'll need some quality entertainment.
3. Cody Lundeen, the primitive survival expert. Not only will he keep me and the boys alive, but once I tire of Viggo and Jon, I'm sure he could figure out a way off the island. I also find it oddly endearing that he never wears shoes, though I don't know why. Granted, he'd have to agree to be my puppet, which, if you've watched the show Dual Survival, would never happen, but it's my fantasy and my deserted island, so…
I do so enjoy being the puppet master. It's awesome.
An actor you have a crush on?
Oh, Viggo… (stares off dreamily into space)
What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?
I recently watched Anonymous, and this former English major was in Lit geek nirvana.
What made you decide to be an author?
I've always told stories to myself to help me get to sleep. Before I went to graduate school, I used to write a lot, but once I finished my thesis and the professional articles I had to write after that, I stopped for a while. One day about two years ago, I woke up and told my husband, "You know, I think I'm going to write a romance novel." And so I did.
It was terrible. No, seriously. Terrible. But it was a start, and we all have to start somewhere. I still love that book, though.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
You mean, I have to choose? Rats! I write whatever strikes my fancy, though they are all set in the west. Right now, I'm so interested in western steampunks. They're not so different from the Victorian-era historicals I've been writing, I suppose.
Are you a pantser or a plotter and why?
Both. I tend to have a general arc that I follow. Typically, I will have three or four things carefully plotted out that have to happen. How the characters get there is up to them.
Is there a particular author who may have influenced you?
I can safely say that Johanna Lindsay, the author of the very first romance novel I ever read, definitely was an influence.
What is your all time favorite book?
I could never pick just one, but Trinity by Leon Uris makes me cry every time I read it. So does The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. And the Lit geek in me loves Wuthering Heights and MacBeth (I know everyone else likes Hamlet, but I love MacBeth. Maybe it's the influence of all those Scottish historicals I read as a teenager). I really enjoyed Karen Moning's Faefever series, too.
What is your favorite sentence or quote in your new release?
I love this exchange:
He broke the kiss first, his breathing ragged. Beneath her fingers, his pulse drummed to the same mad beat as her own. He cupped her face in his big hands and said softly, “You’re a goddamn liar.”
“What?” she breathed.
He gave her a small, sad smile. “A woman doesn’t kiss a man like that unless she loves him…"
How much trouble did your characters give you while writing your new release? Which one?
Nicholas gave me some trouble. My early readers told me Nicholas was unsympathetic. I kept trying to make him sympathetic, but every time I did, he dug in his heels and refused to change. In some ways, he got even more reckless. So I entered The Marker into a contest and wound up winning my category. If Nicholas hadn't insisted that he stay the same, I doubt that would have happened.
Where do you get your ideas from?
Beats me. The ideas show up and I write them down. I've gotten ideas from looking at maps and from watching shows on food trucks. The ideas come from crazy things that wind up having nothing to do with the story that gets written.
How did you choose your title?
The title is a reference to my heroine. She is the marker her father bet in a card game.
How do you cure writer’s block?
I usually write something else. Or, if I'm stuck, I'll skip ahead and write the scene that's bugging me.
Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer?
Keep writing. Keep trying to improve your craft, and get to know other writers. And, for the love of all you consider holy, get a critique partner. I was late to the party on this one, but I can't even tell you how much having a CP has helped me with both my writing and my confidence.
What sacred advice have you been given by another writer?
I think the one thing piece of advice I was given that really struck a chord with me was advice I got from the first contest I ever entered. The judge said, "Write the scene from the point of view from the person who has the most to lose."
Now, each time I start a scene, I think, "Who has the most to lose, and why?" It's helped.
Where can your readers stalk you?
I would love to hear from readers! They can visit my website/blog at www.megganconnors.com. They can also like me or friend me on Facebook! I'll be having a contest soon with some giveaways coming soon, and Facebook is the way to get in touch with me to find out more details!
Tell us about your new release:
When her father loses her in a poker game, Lexie Markland is sent to work in the household of Nicholas Wetherby for one year to pay off the debt. Innocent but not naïve, she is savvy enough to know she must maintain her distance from this man who frustrates her with his relentless teasing but whose kisses bring her to her knees. Because although she may be just another conquest to him, the marker he won at the card table, it’s not just her heart in jeopardy should she succumb to Nicholas’s considerable charms.
Since his brother’s death almost a year before, nothing has held Nicholas’s attention for long–not women, not booze, not even an excellent hand at cards. Nothing, that is, until he meets the woman he won in a drunken night of poker. Intrigued by his prize and her chilly reserve, he makes it his mission to crack Lexie’s cool demeanor. But even as passion explodes between them, the question remains: will Nicholas be able to take the ultimate risk… and gamble on love?
Thank you Meggan for being here and sharing a little bit of yourself and your new release The Marker with us. Congratulations!!
You can purchase The Marker over at Soul Mate Publishing beginning today.
AVAILABLE NOW @ Soul Mate Publishing: The Swan Cove Murders Release Date December 28th: Secrets of Jenkins Bridge