Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Author Interview – Megan Hart

I am excited to welcome Megan Hart to the My Writing Life blog. Her 2010 release of Precious and Fragile Things made it to the top of my list of top reads for the year. Welcome Megan!

Most of your books fall into the category of romance fiction, but Precious and Fragile Things is a departure from that. Did your approach to this novel differ from your other books? What was the hardest part about writing this novel? What was the easiest?
The hardest part about writing Precious and Fragile Things was finding the time to do it, because I was writing around nap times and preschool. See, I actually wrote this book long before I wrote most of the others anyone who's read my work would recognize! So it's not as much a departure as it seems. However, when I actually sold it and began to rewrite and expand it, I didn't approach it differently than I did my romances or erotic novels. It's still a book about a relationship. It's just not a romantic or sexual one, so the pacing of it was a little different.

Precious and Fragile ThingsHow did you get started writing romance fiction?
I always loved reading romances. I started off writing horror, science fiction and fantasy short stories, but when I decided to go for longer works, the ideas I had were for romances. I like writing about relationships.

How much do you plan your novels before you start writing? Do you know how they will end before you begin to write?
I don't plan very much at all, maybe no more than a chapter or two in advance. I know the beginning, I usually know the end. The middle...not so much. How the characters get from one place to another in the story...that's a surprise. On the other hand, sometimes I have an idea about where it will end and something happens along the way that changes it so I finish in a very different spot than I'd imagined. I just started using Scrivener, which is a writing program that has a lot of bells and whistles for plotters, though. I might like to try some of them out.

Selfish is the Heart (Order of Solace)What is your writing schedule - do you write every day?
I write Monday - Friday while my kids are in school. This means that I have from about 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. I spend too much time fooling around on the internet (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) but I'm basically "at work" all day. I try not to work too much on the weekends but it just depends on what I've accomplished during the week. I also might write in the evenings if I feel I need to push through on something. So, basically, I work all the time, in between long breaks in which I just stare at the computer and wonder why I'm bothering with this career.

How aware are your kids of what you do? How do juggle responsibilities of being a mother, wife, and writer?
My kids have always known me as a writer. I've been writing and publishing for mostly their whole lives - though I didn't start getting bigger contracts until they were in elementary school. As for juggling...I'm not very good at it. I drop a lot of stuff. I don't bake cookies for the bake sale, I sometimes chaperone trips, but I hardly ever volunteer at school. My house is often pretty messy though I try hard to clean it at least once a week. Hey, we all have food and clean clothes and the bills are paid. Beyond that, I think my family can certainly make a peanut butter sandwich and put away laundry when the need arises. I do try to finish up when they get home from school, at least long enough to ask them about their days. Have dinner. Spend some time in the evening watching tv or something.

What books are you reading right now?
Right this very moment in time I just finished The Walking Dead: Volume 6 and I'm about to start whichever issue came after that. I also have Jon Stewart's EARTH and David Wong's John Dies at the End going.

Is there a book that you’ve read that you wished you had written? Hmmm. No, because if I loved it that much, I'm glad to have the chance to read it and love it instead of having created it.

What authors inspire you?
The ones who write good books and aren't morons on the internet. ;)

If you had a young writing protégé, what one piece of advice would you offer?
Don't talk about writing, sit down and write. Write some more. Get better. Learn that not every word you write is gold. Don't be a jerk. Pay attention. Pay your dues. Don't pay to be published. Know your place on the ladder, we all start somewhere far from the top.  

As a prolific writer, how are you able to sustain such an incredible pace? How many books are you scheduled to release in 2011?
Hummmm..., well, I sustain my incredible pace by writing all the time. And I'm fortunate enough for writing to be my full time job, so I don't have to squeeze it in around something else (well, other than LIFE.) But at the moment I'm heading into a gloriously deadline free period in which I plan to decadently play the Sims all day long and watch the entire first, second and third seasons of the X Files, a bunch of horror movies on Netflix, and various episodes of Queer as Folk. I might even....NAP. I have three novels coming out in 2011, two in 2012 and so far one in 2013, but I hope something comes along to make it more. After my time "off" I'm going to be diving back into my contracted work and writing some new things just because I want to, and can. No idea if they'll take off, but golly, it's gonna be fun.

Megan Hart has written in almost every genre of romantic fiction, including historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, futuristic, fantasy and perhaps most notably, erotic. She also writes non-erotic fantasy and science fiction, as well as continuing to occasionally dabble in horror.
--from the author's website
For more information about Megan Hart and her books, you can visit her website at: http://www.meganhart.com/

1 comment:

Lea Garretson said...

Thank you, Michelle, for recommending Precious and Fragile Things. I'm half way through it and only put it down when exhaustion takes over. I can relate to it in many way and really enjoy reading it. Thank you as well to Megan Hart for my escape from, "MOM! I have to do tinkles."