Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! As you all know by now, Mondays are reserved on the blog for the lovely authors who’ll be attending UtopYA Con 2014. If you don’t have tickets yet, be sure and click the name to pick yours up today. They go fast. Between now and then, these ladies will tell you about themselves, give you little tips and tricks for writing, publishing, and marketing, and we’ll have a ton of photos for you to look at so you’ll know them at a glance when you meet them face to face.
Today, I have with me Ms. Megan Curd, author of a number of YA titles. So grab your coffee (she’ll appreciate that one), pull up your favorite comfy chair, and let’s get going!
Jo: Hiya, Megzie! Okay, I won’t call you Megzie again; I just always wanted to say that. Sorry. *grin* Backing up! Hiya, Megan! Thanks for joining us on the blog today and agreeing to this interview. I do hope my research on you doesn’t freak you out too badly.
Megan: Hiya back! And no, it doesn’t freak me out…I think! We’ll have to see how in depth you got before I give my final verdict. *smile*
Jo: My readers are like rabid animals (please don’t feed them or poke them with sticks), and we don’t really want to take too long to get to the meat of the interview, so I’m gonna start off by asking you something they can sink their teeth into. I see you’ve lived in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, and South America (those are the ones I could find). I mean, South America? Wow. I’m impressed. You move around some. I can’t imagine living in so many places. Tell us why you lived in each place, if I missed any, and what your favorite thing about each was.
Megan: Oh, wow, you really HAVE done your homework! Most of my friends forget half the places I’ve lived, haha! Well, I was born and raised in Fairborn, Ohio. When I was 18, my grandparents took me on a missions trip to Quito, Ecuador with them, and right then, I knew I wanted to do something with missions work. I went on another trip to Ecuador as a short-term missions worker, but then when I went to college (in St. Paul, Minnesota!), I was given the opportunity to intern as a missionary and have it count toward my degree! So I went down to Quito, Ecuador for a semester, and then also had the opportunity to spend an additional three months in Cochabamba, Bolivia and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Those were amazing experiences, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Then, after finishing college, I married my best friend, and we lived in Wisconsin for a few years, before his job moved us down to Kentucky, where we now reside. Lots of moving, as you said! :) As for my favorite things, Ohio will always be home (GO BUCKEYES!), but I really loved living in Wisconsin. There’s so much to do outside, and the people are so kind. I love snow, so I was the weirdo that loved when we got loads of snow. However, if I was ever given the chance to go back to Ecuador, I would in a heartbeat. I loved the people, the way of life, the fact that they aren’t focused on the next big thing. They’re content, and that is just such a wonderful feeling to experience. Plus, my mentors live there as the missionaries, and I would love to spend more time with them. I miss them very much. (Phew, was that enough for you? Ha!)
Jo: *grins* I like to dig around for info on my authors. You’re lucky to have been able to visit and live so many places. Oddly, I’ve been to almost all of the fifty states; but never to any of the ones you’ve lived in. Haha! Onward! You’ve published four books since 2009. From what I’ve read, you can crank out between 2k and 3k words in a sitting. Is there a reason you’re only up to four or do you have a ton of partials (like so many of us do)? If so, what are they?
Megan: Ha, I have a few partials, but I also didn’t take writing seriously until this past year. It was more of a hobby, something I enjoyed and I loved sharing with others, but I wasn’t sure I could do as a career. When I attended UtopYA, I realized just how much I loved the writing community, and just how possible a career could be if I put my mind to it. So, I do assure you, there will be quite a few more novels in the future, and it won’t be one a year. :) But you asked what the partials were, right? I have one NA Paranormal Romance about the Grim Reaper (sitting at around 30k), I have Steel Lily’s sequel, IRON PENDULUM, which will hopefully release around Christmas, that is sitting at 66k, and then I have an idea that won’t leave me alone, whose main character is a very handsome pirate. But…that’s all I can tell you about those. :)
Jo: That sounds awesome. I can’t wait to wrap my eyes around your pirate story! What degree do you hold from Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and what led you to pursue that particular vein of study?
Megan: My degree is in Intercultural Studies with a minor in Bible. After I started participating in missions work, I knew my heart was there and that I wanted to serve cross-culturally. I still do, and I hope at some point that I will be able to go back to Ecuador or another South American country and serve with my family.
Jo: Sounds like an honorable mission. It looks like you haven’t updated your personal website in a little while with links to your new books. Is there some reason for that?
Megan: Yes – because I have been running like a chicken with my head cut off! It’s about time for a personal assistant, ha. But thanks for reminding me! ::jots down on to-do list::
Jo: When you get a PA, lend him/her to me for a week or so, mkay? *grin* So, according to an interview I read, you say you can’t cook. What made you realize that? Was it some embarrassing moment? *crosses fingers* Did you ever have a desire to cook?
Megan: Oh Lord, there were an array of embarrassing moments, but one that sticks in my mind was when my husband and I were dating, and he came to visit me at my college. I wanted to make a good impression, so I attempted to make spaghetti…which SOUNDS easy. Problem is, with me, no cooking is easy. I burnt the spaghetti to the bottom of the pan and set off the fire alarm. I think that was the moment in time he knew that if he married me, we were either going to starve, or he would have to cook. :) I personally don’t really care to cook, and I’m glad he loves it. Every once in a while I’ll get a surge of domestication and try something, but it’s not often, and people are probably happy about it. Last time I tried something, I forgot to take the toothpicks out of the bread holding the whole piece together…and then had to warn everyone to be very careful about their sausage rolls, since they might be booby-trapped. Luckily everyone knew the fact I had even tried meant I really liked them, lol.
Jo: Oh my… Thanks for being brave enough to share that one with my readers! You say your husband is a science guy. Expand on that, please. Tell us what it is he does and how that could relate to your writing.
Megan: When we first met, my husband was a high school science teacher. He taught AP Bio, Biochemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, and a touch of Chemistry. He has a master’s degree in Biology as well. He taught for 11 years, and I can tell you this much: anytime we went outside on a date, if we hiked or anything, it was a science trip. :) I love watching him with our 2-year-old son. Now, he’s a pharmaceutical rep and he’s really enjoying that as well. For me, I always ask him the science-y questions for my books, but I also ask him for his opinion with “guy” stuff. He’s a very straightforward answer type of guy, so he is always honest with his opinions. It helps me know if I’m on the right track with an idea or not.
Jo: Wow. Sounds like a super intelligent guy. Your son is the cutest little man! Okay, I’ll be honest with you. I went through almost every review on every one of your books. Some people rave about them, other people can’t stand them. It seems no matter what, you never respond. I understand that you feel it isn’t really your baby anymore once it’s published; but, I’m wondering if people ever contact you to see if you saw their review and what you feel inside when it’s a less than stellar write-up.
Megan: First off, I will say that I strive to read EVERY review on GoodReads and Amazon about my books. I appreciate every review, no matter what the opinion! I do have people contact me about their reviews via other routes, and when they do, I always thank them for their time, no matter what the review was. It takes time to read a book, just as it takes time to write a book! In my mind, like you mentioned, I feel that once I press the publish button, it’s out of my hands. I’ve done what I can, and now it’s up to the people who are reading the book. Will there be positive reviews? I sure hope so! And when those come, I do a little fist pump, touchdown dance and what not. Will there be negative reviews? If I didn’t expect those, I would be fooling myself. Not everyone will love every book, and that’s a GOOD thing. It means the book industry is diverse and giving people options. Does it hurt to read those reviews? I would be lying if I said no. It bums me out to a degree, but I also know that I’ve read books that I didn’t like, and others absolutely love. It’s a matter of opinion, and I think the best thing about books is that they elicit emotions in the readers. Not everyone will like a book, but if I’m giving them some emotion about it, then I feel as though I’m on the right track. :) I also want to say that I strive to be extremely accessible through Facebook and Twitter. If they would like to chat with me, I’m definitely around, I just choose to allow the reviewers their space to review, without them needing to worry about me censoring their opinions one way or the other. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and review my books. That’s how I know if I’m on the right track with the books or not. :)
Jo: I’m the same way. I go so far as to thank every reviewer, too. As a fan of great coffee, I have to say I admire your Starbucks mug collection (over 100!). I have a couple of very special ones myself (yes, they’re from SB). Have you been to the first Starbucks store in Seattle? In your best writerly voice, tell me what you think it would be like to go there. If you’ve been, tell me what it was like.
Megan: Oh man, you have mugs too?! You need to show me which ones you have sometime! I’m up to around 175, if they all show up! My husband is starting to get a bit concerned (I think he was long ago, but now he’s *really* concerned, ha!). I haven’t been to the first Starbucks store in Seattle—yet—but I hope to get to go sometime in the future! That’s like the mecca of all things coffee. I have heard the store isn’t as big as some people imagined it to be, but I don’t really know much else besides that. I would love to experience it. That’s also where the Starbucks Headquarters is, which I think would be neat to see. One of my favorite mugs is the Pike Place Market icon I have–a long, very hilarious story is behind it, but it’s best saved for another day. If you’ve been there, please show me pictures!
Jo: Yes, I was there. If you go, you’ll be shocked. It’s packed! Wall-to-wall people. That’s a lot of mugs, dear! I have nowhere near that many! Quick! What’s your theme song?
Megan: Ha! I’ll be very honest, lately I’ve been in a writing funk, and I keep listening to Imagine Dragon’s “Amsterdam,” since the lyrics are, Your time will come, if you wait for it, if you wait for it, it’s hard, believe me, I’ve tried. I think a lot of times it’s the patience and the continuation to drive forward, even when the words aren’t flowing as easily as they do other times. I am hoping to get back on track this week.
Jo: If your passion is writing, let nothing derail you from that dream. In your photo on Twitter, your website, and Facebook, you have blonde hair. Is there a major reason you changed it?
Megan: Ha! Does it look blonde? I’m going to have to look at that closer. They’re actually highlights. I’ve always been a brunette…and I think I’ll stay that way. :) I used to do highlights quite often, but I got tired of having to go touch them up, so now I’m all brown, and in the summer, it looks almost black. The Native American/Spanish genes kick in during the summer, which is okay by me!
Jo: It does look blonde. Haha! Interesting to know. You write with a pen name. Any particular reason why?
Megan: It’s actually my maiden name, and I began writing before I got married. When we got married, I thought about switching it, but then I realized I’d have to build up my audience again under my new name, so I just kept it as Megan Curd. The only time it gets confusing is if I’ve signed a lot of books, then try to write a check or something. Then people give me strange looks as I scribble out my last name and put my married one. Oops!
Jo: Ahhhhh I know the feeling. I use a pen name to protect my anonymity. My books are kind of controversial and I don’t need people knocking down my door. Haha! I know of your distaste for the whole querying and long waiting process thing. I agree; I’d rather be writing and letting folks read my work than waiting! What would it take for you to take the leap to a trad publisher?
Megan: I would never be opposed to a traditional publisher, if the offer was right. It would be nice in many ways to not have to be a jack-of-all-trades. I love having creative control over my covers and over my pricing, but I would love to have the opportunity to be in a brick-and-mortar store. I’m happy with being an indie right now, but I would never go so far as to say I would never go traditional. It’s a bridge I’ve yet to cross, so we’ll see what happens in the future. :)
Jo: Amen to that. You can still get your book into brick and mortar stores, it just takes money. Time to ask the alien question of the interview! You know the theme for UtopYA Con 2014 is aliens so we just have to! Are you planning to wear or bring a costume to the event? Is there something special you’re gonna do so we know who you are at a glance?
Megan: I don’t have a costume planned, but I’m pretty sure anyone can tell you from last year, I’m a jeans and a t-shirt kind of girl no matter what the occasion! I love being comfy, so I will definitely be in jeans and a t-shirt all of next year, too. I’m actually plotting my awards outfit, though, and I’m thinking I’ll spice it up a little bit…and put a jacket-vest over my t-shirt…you know, maybe bust out a fedora. You never know, ha. I’m pretty simple, though. I can count on two hands how many times I’ve worn a dress!
Jo: I love my jeans, too. Time for you to tell us about your featured book of the week! What’s the title, why did you write it, and why does it hold a special place in your heart?
Megan: STEEL LILY! This one is near and dear to me because of the effort that went into it. I wrote it in two months, but then between querying, revisions, then having to part ways with my agent, revisions, book cover, etc., it was nearly a year and a half before it released. (Hence that delay in books coming out, ha!) This book was close to never coming out. I had become jaded with the system, and I’d decided that I was fine with not doing much in the writing arena. Then my very good friend (and amazing author—just wait until you read her debut!) Mindy Ruiz pushed me to go to UtopYA, and it changed my life, quite literally. I was renewed and excited about writing, and I realized how much it meant to me. I released Steel Lily two months later, and now we are here today, with me almost finished with the sequel and planning a third for early next year. :)
Jo: Anything I didn’t ask that you wish I had?
Megan: I must say, you are the most in-depth interview I’ve had, and I loved it! I think you covered everything.
Jo: That’s all the time we have for today. Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us, Megan! I look forward to meeting you in person at UtopYA Con in June.
Megan: Thank you so much for having me! I’m honored to get to be here today, and get ready for your tackle hug at UtopYA Con! :)
Jo: I’m so ready to be there already. LOL
Now for some information about the featured book!
Title: Steel Lily
Author: Megan Curd
Genre: Dystopian with hints of Steampunk
Length (print): 314 pages
Links to Purchase: Amazon—$2.99 Kindle B&N—$2.99 Nook Kobo—$2.99
AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs.
She's a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Four: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life.
Or so she thinks.
That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Four. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued. But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn't any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better.
...Which means digging deeper.
When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, she learns that while some secrets are better left concealed, humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything...including the fate of your world.
You can pick up a copy at the links above. While you’re here and clicking on stuff, why don’t you give this little lady a follow on her social media platforms!
Facebook: Author Megan Curd
I do hope you all take the time to pick up one of Megan’s books. She’ll be featured on the sidebar of the blog for the next two weeks so if you didn’t get to take all this in today, come on back tomorrow.
Get on down to the comments and ask her a couple of questions. Seriously. Do it now.
Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!