Book Nerd Interview
Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I can’t remember a defining moment, which is odd because I have always wanted to be a writer. I grew up reading The Saddle Club and Nancy Drew. I would even read my grandmother’s Nora Roberts’ books when I was in the sixth grade (racy!!). My medium for expression has always been words. So it’s hard to think of one moment in my youth, because I think that desire was always inside me.
Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
I think storytelling is more important now than ever. We are a society inundated with endless amounts of stimuli and information. It’s impossible to process everything so we become numb. Television builds on that even more. We become so used to seeing a story played out in front of us that we lose our ability to feel, to engage. I think when we read books and immerse ourselves in the storytelling, we rediscover our emotions. It snaps us out of this zombie-like mode we use to shuffle from day to day. In storytelling, we find our humanity again.
Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
Okay, this is super hard! I thought about this one for a while, but I think I would say Weep No More My Lady. It’s this totally random mystery novel by Mary Higgins Clark, but it’s my favorite because it was the first book that truly captured me. I can remember where I sat in my grandmother’s house as I devoured it. I remember the way the house smelled. I remember the way I felt as I read the book. I’ve reread that book so many times, and I still can remember all those things from so long ago. It transports me not just into the story, but also back in time to that little girl who was learning the love of reading.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
I interviewed Jenn Lyons, author of an upcoming novel entitled Blood Chimera, for my blog. I asked her what her advice to new writers would be. She said, “Be fearless. Keep writing. Write as much as you can, as often as you can. Write to defy the little goblin in your own head that wants to tear you down. Write in spite of everyone out there that wants to silence your voice, or worse, doesn’t seem to think you even deserve to have a voice. Write for yourself, fearlessly. Write with the knowledge it doesn’t need to be perfect: it just has to get on the page.” Those words really stuck with me, because I’ve struggled so much with self-doubt. I know how those voices in your head can really tear you down. Jenn said it beautifully: be fearless.
In your book; The Hunted Ones (The Hunted One), can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
The Hunted One was a concept I came up with about six years ago. I wanted a story about redemption and rising through the dirt and grime of one’s own life to become something extraordinary and special. After tons of drafts, it became a story about a powerful Archangel named Michaela who makes a terrible mistake. She is set-up to take the fall for something horrible happening in Heaven. In The Hunted One, Michaela battles to reconcile her mistakes and her doubts with herself in order to expose the dirty angels who set her up. Along the way, she struggles with her changing love for another Archangel, Gabriel, and her friendship with a human named Clark, who is helping her discover the secret she was framed for. It’s basically a book about choosing to fight for the right cause even if you have lost all faith in yourself.
For those who are unfamiliar with Michaela, how would you introduce her?
Michaela is my version of the Biblical Archangel Michael. Since her creation, all she has ever known is the line between good and bad, holy and fallen, Heaven and Hell. But she learns that on Earth, that line is ever changing. She gets beat around a little, but she’s tough. She can take what a lot of us can’t. She’s a fighter until the end even though no one believes in her. Brick by shaky brick, she will rebuild her faith in herself. And when she does, watch out. Because she is coming after those who wronged her.
What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
Right now, I’m writing book two in the End of Days series. It’s called The Lost One, and will continue to follow Michaela and Gabriel’s journey. It will release in March of 2014 most likely. I plan one more book in the series. After that, I will probably do a couple novella’s from other characters’ perspectives. I have ideas for other series, but I’ve lived in this world of angels for so long that I think I will need a while to let it go.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Oh! This is a really cool question. Andrew Davidson wrote this book called The Gargoyle. I LOVED it. It’s about this character named Marianne who sculpts gargoyles. The current story-line runs parallel to her past life. It’s a heart wrenching story, but Marianne is a beautifully written character. I think she really would’ve been a great friend to Michaela.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Clark?
I was shocked at how easy he was and still is to write. Michaela has always been a part of me, but sometimes she is hard to understand and I stumble a lot with her. But I was really surprised at how easily Clark came to me. I always know what he will say. And that is super helpful sometimes.
When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
I don’t think I am the only one who does this, but I always lie and say, “I’m fine,” when someone asks the generic, “How are you?” It’s one of those stupid questions people throw out without ever really expecting a truthful answer. So I lie. Some days I am fine. But I think for most people, including me, that is never the real answer. But who really wants to hear the real answer when they pass you in the grocery store? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
Talk to yourself. A lot. Not out loud though. I found myself narrating things in my head. Included in that is daydreaming. I do this a lot in the shower. I was possessed when I read Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument series. Every time I got in the shower, I fought hardcore battles as a shadowhunter complete with actual kicks and karate chops. That’s probably really weird, huh? But always use your imagination. Never lose touch with that ability. From there, you find that storytelling is a natural result.
What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
One summer in college I tried to sell insurance. I was awful at it. I couldn’t sell a thing. I’m not a people person by any stretch of the imagination, so I never dealt with rude people well. It was so horrible. I’ve blocked it from my memory.
Who was your first boyfriend?
Holy cow. My first boyfriend was this little, scrawny redneck d-bag. Can I say d-bag? Cause he was a total d-bag. That dude had me strung out for years. My mom was sooooooooo right about him.
Tell me about your first kiss
My first kiss was with afore mentioned d-bag. He was actually really cute about it. He had this whole thing in the woods set up. That sounds creepy, but remember he was a redneck. Anyway, I blacked out during it so I remember nothing about it.
What would be harder for you, to tell someone you love them or that you do not love them back?
Neither. I would say I am a pretty bold person. Although I’ve never actually had to tell someone I didn’t love them…actually, I change my answer. I would probably just lie and say I loved them even if I didn’t. So that means telling them I didn’t would be harder for me. Huh. I just had a mini epiphany about myself. Not sure if I like it…
When was the last time you cried?
This morning actually (January 6, 2014). For some reason I was up at 3:30 AM on Facebook. I saw this thing about marine mammal captivity, which always gets my rage juices flowing. It was about the Sundance award-winning documentary, Blackfish. I rented it on Amazon and watched it. It was so graphic at parts when it showed these killer whale trainers at SeaWorld being attacked by the orcas. I cried for them. I cried for the whales. It was awful. I’ve watched it twice so far to day. If anyone takes their children or families to SeaWorld or are thinking about going, I really think you should watch it. I promise it will open up your mind.
What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
The 80’s!!!!! I am a totally Guns N’ Roses junkie. I really, really dig big hair and pleather, which is not to be confused with actual leather.
What is your greatest adventure?
Marriage. It’s a daily one that always surprises me. One day I’m a love struck fool. The next I’m contemplating murder and life insurance payouts.
Where can readers stalk you?
My Facebook page is stalking worthy. It’s at www.facebook.com/collettmeg. Lately my twitter is pretty boring. But I try to be cool and say funny/clever things. It never really works out, but you can find me at www.twitter.com/collettmeg. My website is the holy grail of stalking because I interview other authors. You can multi-task stalk at www.megcollett.com.
The fallen have trespassed into Heaven for the first time in eternity. Prepared for battle, Michaela and her Archangels open Heaven’s gates to confront the fallen. Only, Michaela’s Archangels—her brothers and sisters in Heaven—betray her. And when the fallen attack the sanctuary in the skies through the gates Michaela inadvertently left open, the holy angels accuse Michaela of planning the invasion.
One simple mistake with a thousand consequences.
Dragged to Earth by an Archangel turned fallen, Michaela will do anything to return to Heaven and save it. In her fervor, she kills the Archangel—something no angel has ever done before. Wingless, without any hope, Michaela welcomes death when an unlikely human ally, Clark, finds her. With the help of Clark and Gabriel, an innocent Archangel whose friendship deepens into something far more torrid and unexpected on Earth, Michaela must prove the holy angels have their own plan for Heaven, and it is one that may prove to be the End of the Days.
It may be too late to save herself, but Michaela is the only one who knows the truth about the holy angels. If she fails, she may never be able to return to Heaven. But even that may be a hopeless dream.
You can purchase The Hunted One at the following Retailer:
And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Meg for making this giveaway possible.
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