Arc Giveaway (over) & 10 Questions + With…Author Megan Whitmer.
Today at All The Write Notes, I’m excited to have “10 Questions With” our own Megan Whitmer. Megan’s debut YA Fantasy, Between, is out July 29th on Spencer Hill Press and she stopped by to chat about her book, music, and writing. Oh, and Megan has graciously offered up an ARC of Between to giveaway to one of our lucky readers! (over) Enjoy.
Welcome, Megan! Let’s get started by telling our readers a little about your debut YA Fantasy, Between?
Hi Jay! Between is the story of a girl who has a close encounter with the Mothman (fun fact: through the editing process I learned that lots of people have no idea what the Mothman is, so if you’ve never heard of him, Google it!) and discovers a secret organization, the Fellowship, that’s charged with hiding fantasy creatures from humans. Think Men in Black, but for things like fairies, Bigfoot, etc. Learning that these creatures actually exist is pretty mind-blowing, but then she finds out that she’s been under the protection of this organization her entire life—and she has to discover the reasons why and what it means for her future. There’s a lot of humor in the book; I worked hard to inject humor everywhere I could while at the same time allowing Charlie to tackle some pretty dark stuff, and I hope readers laugh a lot when they read it.
Staying with Between, where did the idea for the magical world of Ellauria come from?
The idea that there’s a group like the Fellowship is one that I’ve always wondered about—especially after seeing movies like Men In Black or the Mummy, which both involve groups that protect huge secrets like this. When I decided to write Between, I needed a home base for the Fellowship, and I created Ellauria for that purpose. It’s basically the capital city of the mystical realm.
Being a huge fan of the Fantasy genre, I love the idea of the characters that form ‘The Fellowship’ in your book. Can you tell our readers a little bit about them?
The Fellowship was formed in order to keep mythical creatures from being discovered. They’d seen what happens when humans interact with them (such as the capture and display of mermaids in circus sideshows, or the obsessive hunt for the Loch Ness Monster) and realized that the best way to avoid that fate and ensure their longevity as well as the security of the mystical realm was to work together to coordinate trips to the mortal realm at times when they’re least likely to be spotted, and to help each other whenever there’s a problem involving humans. The Fellowship is led by Principal Command, which includes one representative from every single race of creature in the mystical realm.
This is way off topic, but can you please explain this…
You probably didn’t know this, Jay, but n addition to being a writer, I’m also a professional lip syncer. There’s no money in it, but I make a killing in bragging rights. I have this goofy habit of texting lip syncing videos to my friends or posting them on Instagram, (and then there’s the one all the #WriteClub folks put together), and Mark Benson decided to challenge me to a battle. Poor Mark. I’m the Mohammad Ali of lip syncing.
I think freakishly tall creatures, and people, are kind of a big deal. Why all the hate for Bigfoot?
The thing is, the Fellowship works super hard to keep us from knowing about mystical creatures, and Bigfoot is always out there tromping around the woods, going through people’s coolers at camp sites, allowing her picture to be taken, starring in TV shows…she’s a drama queen and she drives the Fellowship nuts.
You’re a dedicated Wildcat, and clearly proud of your Kentucky roots. How has growing up in Kentucky shaped you as a writer?
I really do love Kentucky so much. I have such a big space in my heart for all things Kentucky-related, from the horse farms to sports to the people. I think growing up in the South has given me a deeper appreciation for family and traditions than if I’d grown up somewhere else. Charlie’s greatest desire is to have a safe place to call home with her family—when that falls apart, her entire focus is on finding a way to get it back, even though her place in the Fellowship changes her idea of what home and family look like. When I think of my other book ideas, that’s a fairly common theme—family, in various forms, is hugely important.
Your love of music, t-shirts, and hair dye is well known. But considering what we’re all about here at A.T.W.N., can you tell our readers about the role music plays for you in your creative process?
Music heightens every emotion for me. I create playlists for everything, from road trips to writing projects to kitchen dance parties. When I need to write a scene, I often use music to get me in the right mood. I also have a playlist made up of entirely Amos Lee and Jamie Cullum (please check each of them out if you don’t know who they are) that’s my default writing playlist—if I’m not using a certain playlist to help me write a particular scene, I listen to that one just for background noise. I can’t write when it’s quiet.
Lately I’ve been thinking about one of my characters that I would like to sit down with, and let yell at me for all the crap I put him through. Is there a character in Between that you know would have a few choice words for you?
Oh, definitely Seth. He’s Charlie’s guardian in the Fellowship, and she doesn’t really make his job very simple. There were times I could practically see him look up at me and say, “REALLY, MEGAN?!” when I’d let her do what she wanted. He’s sort of argumentative anyway though. I imagine Seth would have choice words for anyone who let Charlie get into trouble.
What was your first concert?
Metallica. 7th grade.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
One Book…One Band…
Lastly, what can the fans of Between expect next from you?
Between is the first of a trilogy, so there’ll be two more books to finish Charlie’s story!
Megan Whitmer’s favorite color is blue. She’s convinced the best movie ever made is Tombstone, followed closely by The Princess Bride, The Avengers, Breakfast at Tiffanys, and Sharknado. She’s addicted to making lip-sync videos. She takes hugs pretty seriously. Her greatest failure is her inability to breakdance, but she makes up for it by being supremely gifted at The Shopping Cart. Aside from her personal blog and weekly vlog series, she’s also a contributing blogger for www.YAmisfits.com and www.allthewritenotes.com.
She lives in Kentucky with her family. Also, she writes books and talks a lot. Like, a lot. You can learn more about her at www.meganwhitmerwrites.com.
A BIG THANK YOU TO MEGAN FOR STOPPING BY A.T.W.N.,
AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR THE GIVEAWAY OF AN ARC OF BETWEEN. (CANADA AND U.S.A. ONLY) JUST CLICK ON THE LOGO TO THE LEFT, OR HERE, AND YOU’LL BE DIRECTED TO OUR RAFFLECOPTER. IF YOU AREN’T THE LUCKY ONE TO WIN, BETWEEN HITS STORE SHELVES JULY 29th WITH SPENCER HILL PRESS, AND CAN BE PRE-ORDERED THROUGH AMAZON.