Monday, December 27, 2010
Author spotlight with Megan Johns
Megan, what influences your writing and why?
In The Path of Innocence, my debut novel, I wrote from the heart. I was going through a period of illness and I found it really therapeutic to escape inside my head.
Suddenly I discovered all this stuff inside waiting to be unlocked and that my mind could take me off in all sorts of different directions. My aim was to write a women’s novel with a strong romantic thread and emotional depth, but apart from that, the story took on a life of its own. In my current WIP, my writer’s head is making me adhere more closely to genre requirements, although the characters and my own instinct are still key in steering the direction it takes. What I really enjoy about writing romance is being able to put the characters in conflict and exploring their innermost feelings.
How do I develop my characters and setting?
Settings are very important to me. I find that if I can put my characters in a setting with which I feel an emotional attachment, that they, in turn, will respond to the environment. Setting definitely influences their behaviour and hence the plot. When I am starting off, I will have a pen portrait of my characters and I try to let them grow, almost organically, adding extra layers as the story develops and the characters become more complex.
Am I a pantser or plotter?
I am definitely a pantser. I usually know roughly where I am heading, but not necessarily how to get there.
How do I deal with writer’s block?
When I am writing, I try to stick to a routine and I set minimum daily targets. Even on a less productive day, I endeavour to write something, possibly knowing it isn’t quite right. That way, I can go back when I am fresher and revise it. Sometimes it’s surprising how little effort it can take to transform material you thought was destined for the bin. No effort is wasted.
Chocolate and desserts—especially with chocolate sprinkled on top.
What one thing would I say to readers?
My heart and soul went into The Path of Innocence and, although it may be slightly out of the box, it is a really deeply emotional read with a core message that love, if it is strong enough, will always win through.
Why not give it a try? You won’t regret it!
The Path of Innocence