Saturday, 5 July 2014

Author Interview | Meghan Riley

Hi guys,
I had the chance recently to interview Meghan Riley. I'm excited to be able to share that with you today, and I should have a review of her book Anna within the next couple of months.

The Interview
  • When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
It’s been so long, I honestly can’t remember. I was a wee little one when I decided I wanted to write. I have stories saved that I wrote in kindergarten and first grade. I was writing sci-fi back then too.
  • How do you come up with ideas for your books?
The idea for Anna was seeded by own experiences. As a kid, I had freckles on my leg in the shape of the Big Dipper. It got me thinking, “What if there was something more to them?” In Anna, the lead character has freckles in the shape of the Pleiades.  
  • Do you have a set time of day that you like to write?
I write in the evenings after my daughter goes down for bed. It’s the quietest time of day. But my daughter didn’t exist when I was writing Anna. Back then, I liked writing in the morning. I’d jump start each session with a cup of coffee and two Oreos.
  • How extensively do you plan out your novels before you start writing?
I know the beginning and the end, possibly a bit in the middle, but I don’t outline. I just go with it and learn about my characters like I would a new friend. It’s more fun that way.
  • Which authors inspire you the most?
Arthur C. Clarke inspired me to write science fiction and Holly Black’s unique approach to storylines inspired me to look at story ideas from a different perspective. Anne McCaffrey inspired me to fully develop a world, so it becomes its own living, breathing being.
  • Are you working on anything at the moment?
I’m working on the sequel to Anna.
  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
No matter what, write. Even if it’s just 200 words a day. Pausing to deal with daily life will make it 10x harder to start again. If you get stuck, highlight the paragraph and move on or skip to another chapter. You can always go back and the change may inspire you to look at it from a different perspective.

About the Author

Meghan Riley
Meghan Riley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland and immediately pursued her lifelong passion for the written word. Her debut novel, Anna, presented itself as a way for Riley to inspire teenage girls to expand their interests beyond the typical teenage quandaries, ultimately encouraging females toward an interest in science. She is currently hard at work on the sequel to Anna. Riley currently lives in North Carolina with her significant other, her mother, two clingy cats, and an opinionated dog. 

About the Book

To the outside world, Anna appears to be an ordinary high school senior...

Anna has a lot of questions. Should she pursue her desire to leave home for college and live out her dream of becoming a physicist? Or should she stay home and help care for her family, which has struggled ever since her father died in Afghanistan? Is her crush, Steve, really interested in her, or is he only using the highly intelligent Anna to try and boost his grades in school?

These questions, plus the ordinary trials and tribulations of high school, distract Anna from noticing some very... strange things that are beginning to happen to her.

For as long as Anna can remember, she has had a haphazard smattering of freckles on her arm. But these freckles are starting to change, and cause a series of unnerving hallucinations and odd side effects that only Anna seems to notice. When a strange shadow man starts to haunt her nights, she decides to go on a hunt for the truth to discover, once and for all, what is happening to her. The hallucinations continue growing stronger, however, and each new visit by the shadow man appears to become more and more threatening. Eventually, Anna realizes that she can no longer hide from her friends and family what is happening to her.

But as she shares her secret with those closest to her, Anna never imagines that her very life, and the lives of those she loves, will be put in jeopardy.

Thanks so much Meghan for coming to The Book Tower. 

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