Friday, 2 March 2012

Friday Feature: Interview with Megan Miranda

Megan Miranda's fabulous Fracture was one of my favourite debuts for some time. I'm really pleased to present an interview with her!

1. When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

When I’m writing, I see the 16-year-old version of me. Also the *cough* 30-year-old version of me. Turns out, we’re not so different. I find it’s much easier (and much less terrifying), to write with one person in mind rather than an entire audience of people with different tastes and expectations and life experiences. I hope it appeals to many different audiences, but when I’m drafting, I go back to imagining one person again.

2. As well as obviously loving Fracture, I really enjoyed Eleven Minutes, the tie-in made available on the internet. How important do you think the internet is to the success of a YA novel today?

Thank you! It’s an interesting question, because I’m not entirely sure. I think there are plenty of books that can, and do, succeed without a “push” from the internet. But I also think most every book will benefit from said push. I really enjoy this side of publishing, so I’d do it regardless of whether it helped my book succeed. That said, I do think the internet has been a huge help for getting the word out about Fracture, and I hope the same is true for my next book.

3. What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

The advice I’d give is the advice I needed to listen to: Find people you trust to read your manuscript. Let them tear it apart. Do not fear the delete key. Keep on writing until you get it right.

4. As a former high school teacher, did you used to talk to students about the books they were reading?

I did. I taught science, but I’d often see students reading after a test. I loved to talk books. They would also suggest books to me that related to things we were discussing in science class (which is how I came to read My Sister’s Keeper).

As a teacher myself, I love discussing books with kids - and am a big fan of My Sister's Keeper!

5. What do you enjoy most about writing? What would you rather not do at all?

I love writing the first draft. I love discovering my characters and developing relationships. There’s something so exciting about that phase, like anything can happen still. As for what I enjoy least… it’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it’s just that it’s the most difficult stage of the process for me: stepping back and figuring out how to give an idea and characters a working plot. Ironically, the most difficult part is also the most exciting part (after I figure it out, anyway) – I usually end up tearing through a draft on pure writing-adrenaline, just to see how it all comes together.

6. It's about a month since Fracture's release. Is being a published author living up to expectations so far?

I’d say it’s exceeding expectations. I had this impression that being an author was a very solitary endeavor, but it’s proved to be very different. My day to day life is pretty similar to how it was before. I have a 3- and 5-year old, so I was usually doing the mom thing during the day and writing at night. Same story now. But I’ve also had the privilege of going on tour and talking to readers, and I’ve been doing school visits, which I love.

7. Which books inspired you when you were a teenager?

Hmm, well, the books that I loved—that made a lasting impression on me when I was a teenager—were the darker classics: The Stranger, Heart of Darkness, anything by Poe. Those things inspired me to write, to try and capture that feeling—that thing that makes a lasting impression—whatever it was.

I also love Poe - and am intrigued by the new film The Raven. (Partly in an 'are they really doing this?' sort of way, admittedly.

8. If you could ask any other author any question, what would you ask and who would you ask it to?

My first instinct was to say I wanted to ask Toni Morrison about the end of Song of Solomon. Or to hear more about the end of Lois Lowry’s The Giver. But I’m not sure knowing would change anything, other than to make me stop thinking about it…which kind of defeats the purpose. So I guess I’ll keep my questions to myself, and keep on thinking about it instead.

9. What's next for Megan Miranda?

I have another standalone YA psychological thriller set to come out in early 2013. It’s in the same vein as Fracture, in that it walks the line between science and paranormal, but it’s also pretty different. It’s about friendship, memories, and the thin line between the real and the imagined.

Thanks for having me!

Thanks for being such a great person to interview, Megan! Best of luck with the new book.

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