Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Megan O’Russell, and I’m 32.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally, Upstate New York.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m actually a professional actor by trade. I travel the country performing in different productions. And the best part is that my husband is an actor as well, so we get to have all our wonderful adventures together!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My new young adult urban fantasy, How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, was just released on August 15th. It’s a magical romp through Manhattan, with a touch or humor and a ton of adventure.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was in high school. I took a break for a while, but then started again in earnest about five years ago. As an actor, writing is a very natural extension of my love of storytelling.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I first really looked at myself as a writer when I started my blog LifeBeyondExaggeration.com. I really looked at myself as an author when I saw my first book cover!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The idea of a little boy looking out a window, waiting for a little girl to come back to him. Trying to figure out the story behind the boy became The Tethering Series.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For The Tethering, it was a very natural choice, though I won’t tell you why (spoilers). For How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, it took a bit longer. I wanted something shorter. I wanted something more fantasy related. But in the end the protagonist’s voice won out, and How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days was the right choice.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
It depends on the project. I usually work with third person POV, but for How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, I chose first person. The biggest challenge is usually creating consistency in magic. If you create rules for how magic works, you have to stick to them. No matter what quick fix you need when you write yourself into a corner, if it’s against the rules, it’s against the rules. You can’t build a world if you keep tearing the structure apart.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think there’s always a little truth in books. A mannerism you pulled from a friend, a little bit ofhumor from a childhood adventure. But most of my stories are more fantastical than real life allows.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t usually have the opportunity to travel for books, but I collect bits and pieces as I travel for life. The smell of the jungle, the sounds of the rain on the sea, the ways shadows play across mountains. I record all those things and shape them into future projects.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ve had a few different cover designers. The latest is Eugene Teplitsky from Curiosity Quills Press.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I think every book has a bit of a message even if the author doesn’t mean for it to. For How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, I think the “message” is the power of knowledge and those who control it. Also, fire is bad.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
My latest obsession is Leigh Bardugo. I think I might have an author crush on her.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My first publisher went under about two weeks before my book was set to release. It was an utter disaster, but the authors all banded together and created this little niche on Facebook. That group has led me to other great writers’ groups.
Also my fantastic agent Lane Heymont always has my back!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. I think the point comes when you have to in order to continue.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think there are always tiny tweaks you want to make, but overall I’m really happy with the final product. I had a really amazing team of editors.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
In my current WIP, I learned a lot about tracking time. I’m working with five POVs taking place over a large territory. Working out how to keep things moving in all plotlines while keeping things going in a logical order was an intriguing challenge.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Hmmm. I don’t know. I’d almost love to have an unknown.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just write. Don’t worry about how good or clean it is. You can’t edit a blank page.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you for reading! And—not just for me—any time you like a book, please leave a review. Reviews can make the difference between success and failure for a book. If you like an author, if you like their work, leave a review!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The 5th Wave!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Oh, geez. I have no idea. But I loved my Winnie the Pooh books.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Almost anything.Sometimes the same things.Kittens, rain, mountains, good books.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet Madeline L’Engle. She’s my writing idol.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love hiking and playing my ukulele.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love Game of Thrones, West World, and Criminal Minds. For movies Big Hero Six and How to Train Your Dragon.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Greek salad, dusky blue, indie folk.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d still be an actor!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My official website is MeganORussell.com, my life blog is https://lifebeyondexaggeration.com/
You can also find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ORussellauthor/
And on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MeganORussell