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Reader asked, Author Q & A…

Q&AGoodreads recently added an option for readers to askauthors discussion questions and I thought it would fun to share them here as well.

Megs_hummingbird blue

Q: Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
A: Megan McCooey
My most recent…would be Crossroads: The Ella Thomas story. I guess with all of the stories on the news and on social media about bullying and what it has become today. I researched other books on the topic and there currently aren’t many. Several years ago, I read Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, and I remember feeling so moved, so heartbroken by Hannah’s pain and wondered why more people weren’t writing about this extremely relevant topic or even talking about it as we should be. I wanted to show teens the real consequences of their actions. How what seems silly and petty may change the course of your entire future and the future of everyone involved. So in this short story, when Ella finds herself at the Crossroads, the reader gets to choose between two separate paths. Two separate endings as she must make a choice. …but just remember, in real life you can never go back.

Q: How do you get inspired to write?
A: Megan McCooey
I’m big on writing from the heart. From my own experiences and writing what can help others. Most of my work is geared toward this and probably always will be. The Crossroads compilation short stories will each deal with some form of social issue teens are facing today. The Harvest Series dealt with family dysfunction, physical abuse, emotional abuse, secrets and learning to start over. All things close to me, but also things as a society we need to know how to deal with so we know we aren’t alone. Knowing my stories may touch another person’s life, may make them feel less alone, less afraid to tell someone or even make someone think twice about drinking and driving or bullying is what truly inspires me.

 


Q: What are you currently working on?
A: Megan McCooey
I just finished the second choose-your-own ending Crossroads short story which deals with teen bullying. I’m simultaneously working on the next Crossroads that will focus on the growing heroin epidemic and also a stand alone novel titled, Behind Closed Doors. BHCD will tell Leila’s story. How her family of five is mostly normal. Her parents get up everyday, go to work, come home and take care of her and her two younger siblings. They are a loving family with normal family problems. But come Friday, what happens behind closed doors is something no one ever talks about…until it’s too late.

Q: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
A: Megan McCooey
Write! write all the time. And don’t be afraid to take chances. It’s scary to put your work out there. To have others judge it. And there will be people who have opinions that hurt, but if your story touches even one person, you have succeeded. But this is only my opinion. I remember after Harvest Moon was released I read a review where someone had stated the content was “unrealistic” that if someone they knew was being abused, they would know… I remember feeling torn apart. Thinking, but this is real. I’ve seen it, I lived it. Then I remembered that we all walk different paths. For someone who has never walked in Lexie’s shoes or my shoes, how could you possibly know? Isn’t it easier to believe these kinds of monsters can’t really exist? But this only motivated me to share the message even more. I began doing a series on my website dealing with wives, children, girlfriends, parents who abused and sometimes killed the victim all while no one ever knew it was happening. So again, don’t get discouraged. Not everyone will share your vision. Not everyone will like your stories. I have family and friends who have never read my work because it’s not their cup of tea… do I fret? NOPE! Because those who do read my work, keep me motivated.

Q: What’s the best thing about being a writer?
A: Megan McCooey
Hmmm, the best thing? Aside from sharing my stories with you, the readers, and hearing what you took from it or how the characters made you feel? I would say for me it was the healing process. The Harvest Series was therapy for my life. A way for me to work through my own dark upbringing. To scream without screaming, give someone else the secrets I had locked away, and hopefully make others feel less alone in the process. From the time I started writing until now, I can honestly admit I was a much different person and you’ll see it in my writing too. It’s there. It’s clear as day, the way I grow…as any artist should. What’s crazy is, I can feel my strength today. I watched as the baggage, the trust issues, the scars began to fall away. Some of the hurt will never truly dissipate, but overall writing saved me.

Q: How do you deal with writer’s block?
A: Megan McCooey
I used to try and push through writer’s block. If I had an idea in my head I would sit in front of the computer because I believed it would come to me. But over time what I have learned is my creativity has a mind of it’s own. So now, I wait…sometimes not so patiently, until I feel…literally feel, the creativity flowing through me. When that happens I become a power house. I wrote the first Crossroads, Angela and Full Moon, drunk on creativity, all in less than a week, because I listened to myself. In addition, waiting until the right time makes a difference in what I produce. I can see the difference when I read back material I forced versus material I was ready to write.

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