Ask an Author: December 2022 Edition Featuring Megan Mackie
To end the year, I want to do something different. Instead of answering the questions myself, I interviewed another writer, Megan Mackie, who I've tabled with and have gotten to know over the last year. She is a prolific writer, and she's got that je ne sais quoi that makes you want to dive into her books.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I have been a published author for five, almost six years. I have traveled around the country (when that was allowed) promoting and selling my books, meeting fans, and thoroughly enjoying getting to know the different parts of the country through their comic cons. I currently have two series out with two more starts to series coming out later this year. I write in a bevy of genres including, urban fantasy, cyberpunk, zombie horror, dystopia, superhero, and epic fantasy.
2. Do you try to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I want to write the stories I need to write. When I get through that list in my head, I may focus more on writing to genre, but right now, I’m writing the books I want to read and then figuring out how to market them from there.
3. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I’m always building a series. I like to write about characters that grow and mature over a course of several adventures. I may end up writing a solo work or two to challenge myself, but right now, my focus is more on continually building long-term stories.
4. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I was already good with dialogue and character arcs because I was previously a playwright, but once I published and continued writing, I figured out how to balance the descriptions and POVs better.
5. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Depends on the day. When the words are flowing, or I have a problem to solve, I can’t get it down fast enough, and I’m often so pumped, but there are days when I’m teching my way through just to hit my word counts and keep going. Strangely enough, you can’t tell the difference in the writing between the two days.
6. What is your writing Kryptonite?
People trying to talk to me when I’m obviously reading or writing. Drives me absolutely nuts because it disturbs the flow in my head, and it can make it very difficult to get that flow back, especially if the interruptions are back to back to back. I don’t have a dedicated office yet, and I’m mom and wife and, in some cases, daughter, and it’s really easy to come over and interrupt me. But I suppose it’s good for my zen practice, lol.
7. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
That they have to reinvent the wheel. If there is something you really want to do or write or twist in your story, definitely go ahead and do it, but don’t think you have to make every plot point out of whole cloth yourself. Use the tropes and do what excites you, that you want to read in the book, and the passion will come through either way.
8. What is your writing Kryptonite?
Being asked the same question twice, lol
9. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Ummm… none now. I’m actually publishing all the half-finished stuff I had. I do have a lot of proposal documents for stories for myself to get to later, but that’s not exactly the same thing. I’m doing pretty good getting my stuff out as my skill increases.
10. What does literary success look like to you?
People know my name and know my work. My sales are good and steady. When I propose a project, people want to get on board with me. I can afford a personal assistant and have my own office.
11. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Depends on what it is. I’ll do a bevy of research both before and during the writing process and keep a doc with it all in it. Sometimes fresh ideas can come while you’re doing.
12. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Yes, though I know I need to not. Most of them are good, and the bad ones are irrelevant half the time because they are personal opinions and are usually about things I can’t control. I know what I need to work on and improve, and there is always the next book.
I will go looking for a good one to use with marketing every so often, but the best ones are when the people who read my book really got what I was going for and reflect that back to me. That’s when I really feel like I “did it.”
13. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Oh hell, yeah. All the time. And no, I’m not going to tell you what they are. But it has been funny to me when people tell me I made a typo or a continuity error, and I’m like, no, I didn’t.
14. Any other thoughts?
It’s not easy, but it is worth it.
Would you like to check out Megan's books? Click HERE.
Happy holidays! I'll see you in late January with news and a scene from Scorching Magik, to be released on February 1, 2023.