A big welcome to our readers today! Be sure to read to the end of the interview to find out how to WIN the fabulous prizes being offered up.
PLEASE NOTE: This is not a fixed time event, the post just goes live at 12:00 pm Central. You can stop by any time during the day or evening and leave your questions and chat.
PLEASE KEEP SPOILERS TO A MINIMUM. Not all of the readers today have read Megan’s books.
Welcome to Bitten by Books, we are excited to have you here today!
I would like to thank you taking the time to join us for the question and answer session with our readers. It has been very interesting to get to know more about you and what makes you tick as a writer! Readers, if you haven’t done so already please stop by and get your copy of Megan’s newest book Give Up the Ghost.
BBB: What are the most challenging and the most rewarding aspects of writing?
MC: The most challenging aspect is definitely taking an exciting idea and getting it to translate onto the page. What you imagine in your head never leaps straight into concrete words the moment you try. It’s like the difference between picturing your dream house and then actually building it. Sometimes you realize that an idea you absolutely loved just isn’t going to work, or at least you can’t see how to make it work right now. That can be heart-breaking.
But there are lots of times when an idea does end up working, and I think those are the most rewarding. I get a rush when I see how two separate elements of a story can end up building off each other, or I come up with the perfect solution to a problem I’ve been struggling with. Feeling that mysterious, often unconscious sense of creativity at work is magical.
And of course, I also love getting reader responses to a finished book. It’s one thing to feel you’ve accomplished all you intended to with your own story, and something else altogether (and even better) to know that other people are affected by it the same way.
BBB: We’ve seen a lot of paranormal fiction with vampires lately. What inspired you to choose ghosts as your paranormal entities?
MC: The short answer is, it came with ghosts included. The initial inspiration for the idea was the scene that opens the novel: a teenaged girl having an everyday conversation with her older sister… who just happens to be a ghost.
The longer answer is, I think I’ve always found ghosts the most fascinating of all paranormal entities. They seem the most “real,” because they’re just human beings who have died–and all human beings die. (Whereas, obviously, most human beings do not get turned into the walking dead or shapeshift into different animals.) And they can represent so many themes: memory, regret, moving on, the past, and of course death. So it’s not surprising to me that the idea that came to me had a ghost in it instead of a vampire or werewolf.
BBB: How much does your tutoring of teens with special needs influence your writing?
MC: It’s given me ideas of the different ways people might see the world, different perspectives. Certainly my study of psychology in general (I majored in it) has helped me write characters who’ve experienced things I’ve never gone through.
BBB: What is the most ridiculous thing that you have thought about doing to any of your characters but never did?
MC: I had a character in a work-in-progress who died, but I really liked him. I gave probably more thought than I should have to trying to figure out if there was some bizarre way I could have him believably come back to life if I wrote a sequel.
BBB: How do you keep track of your world building?
MC: I work things out on paper, brainstorming, figuring out the rules of the paranormal aspects of the story. But for the most part, once I have it figured out, I just keep it in my head, and that seems to work just fine! If I was writing a series, though, I think I’d want a well-organized notebook to keep all the details in order.
BBB: What do you feel are the benefits of the new electronic readers such as Kindle 2 or Sony Digital Book Reader to the environment?
MC: Honestly, I don’t know–it’s not something I’ve looked into. I’ve never enjoyed reading off a screen, so I haven’t done any research into e-readers. I do think it’s great that a lot of review copies are now being offered electronically, which allows them to reach more reviewers without printing all those copies that aren’t even finished books.
BBB: What impact do electronic readers create on the bottom line for authors in the end? Do you feel they have a negative impact or positive, or no impact at all that you can see?
MC: I think e-readers are great for authors! It seems to me anything that gives readers another way to buy and read an author’s work is a good thing for writers. As long as fair payment structures are in place, so that authors are compensated for their work (which has nothing to do with the technology itself, only how the publishing industry handles it), I’m happy to have them around and would love for my books to be available on them, even though I don’t use one myself.
BBB: Can you tell us about your book and the general storyline that drives it?
MC: Give Up the Ghost is about Cass, a 16-year-old girl who started seeing ghosts after her older sister died. Around the same time, she was stabbed in the back by her best friend and ostracized at school, so she’s ended up hanging out only with ghosts and distrusting the living. She finds out about the nasty things her classmates have been up to from her ghostly friends and then confronts them with it, trying to show that they can’t get away with it. Then one of the popular kids, whose mom recently died, comes to her wanting her help.
So the main storyline is about Cass deciding whether or not to help Tim, and the consequences of her becoming entangled in his life, for both of them. She also has to deal with her long-held anger against her former best friend, about whom she’s finally gotten some information that could hurt, and issues within her family, which has fractured since her sister died.
BBB: What else do you currently have in the works? When can we expect your next book?
MC: I always have at least a couple projects on the go! Currently everything I’ve been working on is YA, paranormal or fantasy. I can’t yet tell you when my next book will be out, but I hope to know that soon.
BBB: Was writing YA fiction a conscious decision, or did it just happen that you started writing in that voice?
MC: When I started writing novels, I was in my teens myself, so it made sense to me to write about other teenagers. I figured I didn’t know enough about adult life to write it convincingly. But once I got into my twenties, I found I still enjoyed writing about teenaged characters. There’s just so much that goes on in those years: so much growing and sorting out who you want to me, so many firsts. And I think teenagers are the best audience an author could hope for. They’re enthusiastic and devoted, and I don’t think people ever love books quite the same way once they “grow up.”
BBB: Will any of your My Little Pony stories make it to print?
MC: Heh, no. To tell you the truth, my mom threw out all my childhood stories (the ones that were only on paper–I still have everything I’ve ever written once I started writing on the computer) a few years back, after I’d moved out. She thought I didn’t want them any more–I’d just forgotten she had them.
BBB: Where do you see the YA paranormal/urban fantasy genre headed? Can you see it slowing down in the near future, or do you think that the immediate future is pretty bright for it?
MC: I’m not much of a trend-watcher. I think the future will always be bright for well-written, engaging books, and some of those books will be YA paranormal and urban fantasy. I doubt that those genres will continue to be the most popular among teens, because there are always ups and downs, and the market is always changing. But they could continue at their current popularity for a long while yet, and I’m sure they’ll always be around.
BBB: Do you have any personal traits that you have written into the characters of your books?
MC: When writing first person, it’s hard not to have a little of your voice carry over. Cass shares my sarcastic sense of humor and borrows from my cynical side (though she’s far more distrusting than I am). And while I’ve never had a friend turn on me like Cass’s did, I’ve certainly gone through the experience of realizing someone you thought had your back really isn’t that great a friend, and my feelings about that went into my development of both Cass and Tim’s characters.
BBB: If your book had a theme song what would it be?
MC: “Trouble” by Lisa Germano, which you can hear on the soundtrack page on my website here: http://www.megancrewe.com/gutg/soundtrack.html. It sums up Cass’s emotional struggle almost perfectly.
BBB: Do you have any plans for book signings/ readings anytime soon? If so, where can our readers find you?
MC: I do! I will be in Barrie, Ontario at the Barrie Chapters on November 21st at 2pm, and in New York City at Books of Wonder on December 6th at 1pm, with several other 2009 Debs. I also have a couple of Toronto events with fellow Debs coming up in January. See the full Debs Holidaze tour listing here: http://community.livejournal.com/debut2009/832443.html
Learn more about Megan Crewe below:
Read Reviews of her work here.
To visit the author’s website go here.
To visit the author’s blog go here.
CONTEST: PLEASE NOTE THE NEW CONTEST EMAIL ADDRESS TO SEND YOUR ENTRIES TO BELOW. There are also revisions to the rules for this contest, please read them all carefully. Also, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR FIRST AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME in your comment/post so we can give you the proper credit for your entries.
Readers, here’s how to enter the contest. You can do just ONE or ALL of these things, and each thing you do will give you additional entries at a chance to WIN. REMEMBER you have Until 11/14/09 at 11:59 pm Central to do the different things that YOU choose to do.
She will be giving away several great prizes. The first prize is US & Canada only, the second and third prizes are worldwide.
Prize 1: A ghost book prize pack featuring my five favorite ghost books (Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell, A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb, Flying in Place by Susan Palwick, I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, and Remember Me by Christopher Pike) and a $25 gift certificate for the online bookstore of the winner’s choice.
Prize 2: A large swag pack including a Give Up the Ghost tote bag, samples of all five ghost scents http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=31374652, battery-powered paper lantern, signed cover flat, and lots more.
Prize 3: 5 small swag packs including signed Give Up the Ghost cover flats, buttons, bookmarks, stickers, mini paper lanterns, and more.
1. The easiest way to enter is by purchasing copies of Megan’s books.
Give Up the Ghost
From Barnes & Noble:
Give Up The Ghost
Good for 300 entries per book you purchase by using the links above.
OR you can use the Barnes & Noble link HERE to make your purchase of ANY kind of merchandise during the contest. You can also use the Amazon link HERE to shop as well. Good for 100 entries to the contest for EACH item you purchase. Not valid on past purchases.
It is NOT mandatory to purchase anything to enter the contests, there are plenty of other ways to enter and win. Just email us a copy of your purchase receipt to bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces). Sorry no faxes or snail mail copies.
2. In order to be entered into this contest the ONE thing you ALL have to do is ask Megan a question or leave a comment. It can be ANY question you like. No questions/comments = no entries! You can come by through 11/14/09 and ask Megan your questions. Good for 10 entries. (max 2 questions that count towards entries)
3. Spread the word! Use this direct link to the event: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=12907 on twitter, at another blog, website, Myspace, Ning Group, Facebook, Yahoo Group, Goodreads, Shelfari (any group where it is appropriate). You MUST come back here to this interview and post those links in one response here in this thread so we can verify your entries. Good for 100 entries per place you post the event link.
NOTE: if you post multiple links here, your post will not show up right away. If you don’t see it, don’t keep posting it, we WILL approve your entry later on in the day.
4. Be friends with Megan by joining her here:
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/megancrewe
Facebook - profile: http://www.facebook.com/megan.crewe?ref=profile
Fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Give-Up-the-Ghost-A-YA-Novel/97426963977?ref=s
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/megancrewe
5. Enter the Kindle Contest here: http://www.noobie.com/kindle-giveaway?ref=813331493 AND join us at our daily book chat here: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=12917. Good for 50 entries per action.
6. Make a purchase in our Bloody Cafe store here: http://www.cafepress.com/bittenbybooks. We are all volunteers so your continuing support is deeply appreciated. Email us a copy of your purchase receipt to bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces). Sorry no faxes or snail mail copies. Good for 100 entries.
7. Be friends with Bitten by Books here:
SUBSCRIBE to the Bitten by Books newsletter by clicking here or use the box on the top right hand side of the site. Be sure you VERIFY your subscription, an email is sent with the verification link. Unverified subscribers will not be entered and will be deleted from the mailing list. If you are already a subscriber, just let us know and you will get entries too.
Join The Blood Bank the Bitten by Books Community! Here: http://bittenbybooks.ning.com/ then come back here and tell us your user name and leave the link to your page.
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bitten-By-Books-Paranormal-Fiction-Review-Site/152478347320
Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/bitten_by_books
Twitter: http://twitter.com/BittenbyBooks be SURE to tweet us after you follow so we can count your entry! @BittenbyBooks
Add Bitten by Books to your blog roll or links page: http://bittenbybooks.com if you leave our link up permanently you will always be entered into our contests automatically. Just be sure to stop by each contest we hold and leave the link to where it is so we can give you your entry! Email us a copies of ALL of your verification emails to bittenbybooks.contests @ gmail.com (no spaces). Good for 150 entries each place you add us.
RULES AND LEGAL DISCLAIMERS
The contest ends on 11/14/09 at 11:59 pm PDT and the winners will be contacted via email. You will receive your prize bag directly from the author. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR FIRST AND THE INITIAL OF YOUR LAST NAME as well as a valid email where we can contact you. REMEMBER the more things you do, the more entries, the greater the chances of winning.
1. Please note, the prize stated IS the prize you will receive, there will be absolutely no substitutions or changes the prize is non-transferable. If you don’t want the prize being offered, please don’t enter the contest. If you ever win an electronic copy of a book, please note that it is ILLEGAL to forward, give away or copy it in anyway once you receive it. Doing so violates copyright. If we find out that it has been done, you will no longer be eligible to win any of our contests.
2. You have THREE days from the day the we contact you to claim your prize by sending your name/mailing address to me. Failure to contact me will forfeit your prize. BBB can at that time, choose either to re-award the prize to another entrant or not.
3. The prize stated IS the prize you will receive, there will be no substitutions, trades or changes. No exceptions. Please do not ask. If for some reason you do not wish to claim your prize, please let me know as soon as possible. Bitten by Books has the option to re-award it or not.
4. Contest is open to USA readers except where noted. The prizes are shipped directly from the author.
5. Bitten by Books is in NO way responsible for the prizes being offered in any of the contests. If for some reason a contributor does not honor their prize, there is nothing we can or will do about it. We are not worried that this will happen, but we want to be very clear that WE are not offering these prizes, the contributor is and it is their responsibility to fulfill their prize obligations.
6. These rules are subject to change or be modified without prior written notice.
7. Contest is void where prohibited.
8. By entering this contest you are agreeing to our terms of entry