Tuesday, February 5, 2013

An interview with Megan Thomason, author of Daynight:

What was the craziest thing you have ever done?

I think I’ll avoid covering all the crazy things I pulled as a teenager :). The craziest thing I’ve done, with the greatest impact, was to pack up our family (on a better weather-induced whim) and move from Seattle to San Diego. I had lived in Seattle for a long time (born there, college there, early career there, had all my kids there) and the weather hadn’t overly bothered me most of that time. But, the last two winters we spent there were brutal and both my husband and I were done with it. So in a week’s time we flew down to San Diego to look at houses, put our house on the market, and made the decision to move. We love San Diego and don’t regret the move, but there were ramifications for our kids (leaving friends, new schools, etc.).

What impact does a bad review have on you?
It is always tough to get a bad review, though it has gotten easier over time. I typically take a moment to wallow in self pity. And then I remember several things:
- I don’t like every book. In fact, I don’t like some very popular books. And a lot of my favorite books and the best classics of all time have negative reviews! No book will ever please everyone.
- In every critical review is a nugget of wisdom that can be used to improve my writing. I’m grateful that the reviewer not only took the time to read, but to share their thoughts.
- The majority of the reviews are positive! I have so many awesome early adopters of daynight that have read, reviewed, and told their friends. I love my readers!

How would you describe your protagonist?
Kira Donovan is fiercely loyal, intelligent, inquisitive, and often a little naive. She has the ability to plaster on a fake smile and poker face, no matter what she is really thinking. 
What is your dream for yourself as an author?
I write because I love to write, not as a get-rich-quick scheme, for fame or notoriety (if anything, I see being in the public eye as a downside). So I guess I’d like to have lots of people read and enjoy my books. And, I hope the ideas for new books keep coming so that I can keep writing.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
In college I was at a party and saw a guy across the room who was the epitome of tall, dark and handsome. Absolutely gorgeous. Breathtaking, even. It was just like in the movies. I saw him, he saw me. We both felt pulled to each other, and met mid-room… And then he opened his mouth, ruining the whole fantasy of “love at first sight.” He was dumb as a post. And well, that just didn’t work for me. So, I think you at least have to meet the person :). I do think two people can feel an instant connection upon meeting, and that certainly can grow into love. But, I think building a true and lasting love takes a little more time.
Do you have a favorite author? Why is he or she your favorite author?
Given how many books I have read, that’s a tough question. I like different things about different authors. Immersive world: J.R.R. Tolkien. Dialogue: Jane Eyre. Dystopia: Suzanne Collins, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. Fun contemporary: Jillian Dodd. Intense romance: S.C. Stephens and Tammara Webber. Drama: Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Every author leaves an imprint.
What inspired you to write Daynight?
As I was hiking in one of the many canyons during San Diego on a particularly hot day, I pondered what it would be like if things were so hot that there would be no choice but to switch days and nights. This was the impetus for Thera, the setting for most of daynight. I had fun researching all the various ways this would impact the Theran people--from differing lingo “daymares,” “daygowns,” “Monnight, Tuesnight, etc.”, to environmental (landscape, weather shifts).

The dystopia, The Second Chance Institute, arose as I thought about what kind of government would rule the night.
Do you have a favorite YA novel?
The Hunger Games (series, though of the 3 The Hunger Games is my favorite). Great writing, action, layer upon layer of meaning, exceptional characters (each with tremendous depth), and a non-Disney, apropos ending.
If you could have only one wish, what would it be?
To be surrounded by happy and healthy family forever.
What was your most embarrassing moment in life?
Set up: I cannot sing. In fact, I’m terrible (the ability must have skipped a generation since my kids all have beautiful voices). My husband and I sat with another couple at an event that involved the audience singing a few songs. A woman with a glorious voice sat behind us during the first audience participation song. The event speaker heard her and thought it was me… he invited my husband and I, and our two friends to come up and sing for the large audience. Although I tried to explain that the beautiful voice he’d heard was not mine, my protestation fell on deaf ears. The song had female and male parts. It was dreadful, humiliating, and if ever asked again I will feign a heart attack right then and there.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
We have traveled extensively, but there are still places we haven’t been and would like to see. We love Turkey, but haven’t seen Istanbul. South Africa is up there. New Zealand. 
If you could go back in time and change something in your past what would it be and why?
I have done so many dumb things; made so many poor decisions. But, honestly, I’ve learned and grown from every single mistake. If I hadn’t gone through everything I went through, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. The butterfly effect seems real, and it just doesn’t seem wise to go back and muck with the past. What if changing something meant that I didn’t meet my husband? Have my children? The risk outweighs any potential benefits.
Now that you read criticisms about your work, do you wish you could re-write it and start over or not and why?
No. I definitely would not start over. Overall, I’m very happy with my end product. I gave out a lot of early copies of daynight. The feedback was all over the map. Some people wanted more romance, less action. Some wanted less romance, more action. Some wanted more detail, some less. The fact is, people like different things! Ultimately, I went with my gut, and released a book that I felt best told the story and set up for future books. I do, however, look for common threads in feedback, and I have made updates to daynight to address areas of confusion, things that needed clarification, and fixed mistakes.
Can readers expect more books from you in the future?
I’m targeting a summer release for the sequel to daynight, arbitrate. In addition to the daynight series, I’m working on B*Lies, a story about a girl who makes the decision to run from her abusive father. If time permits, I’ll also do a re-write on the romantic comedy trilogy I wrote prior to daynight: the thin veil, the thin line, and thin skin. Although I love the stories and characters, I’d want to get the writing up to my current standards before publishing.

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