June 08, 2010

You asked and she answered! Winner of SOTV!

Hi everyone!

I want to thank everyone who entered our contest and submitted their question for Meagan. Special thank you to Meagan for being so awesome and doing this contest with us! Also for taking the time to answer all these questions hehe.

If your question is not listed, it is only because we received the same question more than once :-).


Do you listen to any type of music while you are writing? From GoodChoiceReading  
I don’t like writing in silence, so I always have something on…a tv in the background or music blasting from my laptop.  I prefer music to TV though and normally tailor what songs I play to whatever story I'm writing.  For example, I listened to Breaking Benjamin the entire time I wrote SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE. That music really helped me get into the tone of the story.  It doesn’t hurt that they are one of my favorite bands.
If you had to choose between a hot & sexy dragon-shifter or a vampire as your mate, who would it be? From Diana - Book Of Secrets
Hmm that is a tough one.  I’ve always been a vampire lover.  Always.  (I blame The Lost Boys movie.)  Yet I’m thinking I’d have to go with dragon on this one.  I might change my mind tomorrow.  But for right now, a strong yet soft-hearted dragon hero sounds yummy to me.  *cough* Falcon *cough*  hehe
Why did you decide to write about vampires when there are already so many vampire books out there? From Sandy giden
Well, I sort of started this series early in 2006.  I wrote an erotic paranormal novella entitled, “Claiming the Lamb” for a small publisher that featured Declan’s parents and Lotharus’ mentor.  Although I knew it was a one shot deal, those characters and the world really stuck with me.  I started thinking more about that couple and especially about the dragon world the hero came from.  Eventually, Declan and Tallon were “born.”  :)  The novella is no longer in print. 

Actually, I have the rights back to that story and have been thinking about putting it out there as a free read on my website.  Hmm, any interest in that?  *smiles*  Well just in case, I guess I can share a quick little scene featuring Lachlan Black - Declan and Tallon’s father?  :)  This from the first chapter, after he met the heroine, Lara while doing recon at her art gallery showing: 

Lachlan stood in the shadowed garden, watching the long legged vixen through the window. Though jasmine blossomed at his feet, every breath he took drew in the lingering feminine scent of her.

Lara.

His blood thrummed, as hot and red as the dress hugging every luscious curve of her body—each one his hands itched to caress and his tongue longed to explore and taste.  Until tonight, he’d forgotten how long it had been since he’d bedded a woman. However, five minutes alone with this brash artist with her full red lips, dark chocolate eyes and shiny brown hair brought it back to jarring focus.

It had been nearly a decade.

To humans it might seem an eternity. Yet, having lived eight hundred years and bound to live at least three hundred more, ten years seemed like yesterday.

Ten years ago, my brother still lived.


Lachlan slammed his eyes shut at the searing memory. Gritting his teeth, he forced his thoughts off the girl and back to the task at hand. It didn’t matter how bad he wanted to slake his lust on her sweet and supple body. She held the key to ending his centuries of fighting…the reason his entire family had been slowly executed one by one. He would have it, and her, no matter the cost.
 Two questions from Maria Martinez Perez
1)What is your best way to battle writer's block?
I try to get off the computer.  I’ll grab a notebook and lie down on my bed or the couch and write with bright colored pens or doodle pictures.  If that doesn’t work, go outside for a walk, hit the gym, work on some routines for my Zumba classes – something energizing and creative, yet different from writing.  Ideas will always come to me eventually.  If they don’t, then I call in reinforcements.  Literally!  I’ll phone a writer friend and hash out where I’m stuck, why I’m stuck or what’s blocking me and we’ll figure something out together. 
2) What do you do to make your vampire books different from all the books that have come out since Twilight became so huge?
I’ve never read Twilight.  *dodges tomatoes*  I tried, but I don’t like first person point of view in books.  I mean, I live my life in first person.  When I read, I like to know what everyone is thinking.   I’m greedy like that.  J  So I can’t really answer as to what will make it different, other than the sex scenes and maybe some of the violence?  I don’t know – you Twilight lovers will have to help me out on this one.    

Why dragons? Also, do you know the name of your cover artist? It's gorgeous. From Yeseniah23@gmail.com
Dragons are cool…actually they’re quite hot (pun intended.)  No really, in my stories, they are tall, muscular men with rippling biceps and thick corded thighs who put even the hottest of movie-star hotties to shame.  They are sleek and sexy, strong yet lithe and elegant, all power yet vulnerable too.  They have great wisdom that comes with age and immortality, yet possess the fiery hot ardor and *ahem* stamina of a young buck in his prime.   They are dangerous and we all love a little danger, don’t we ladies?  *smiles*  They could char you to a crisp at one glance, or ignite a burning desire with one look into their jewel colored eyes.  They make the woman in us want to tame the beast, have the mighty dragon purring in our palm and using ever reserve of his powerful strength to seduce us. From a practical stand point, dragons already have every weapon they might require in a battle… no need for guns, swords, shields or the like.  Their scales are hard as armor, talons sharp as daggers and their tails not only help balance in flight, but it can be a skilled weapon (or a delectable extra hand for those “other battle” scenarios. *grin*)  And let’s not forget the dragon’s most formidable weapon…fire.   White-hot and able to melt flesh from bone in 0-60, dragonfire turns up the heat in any fight.  Yup, when you have a dragon show up at your party, you know sparks are going to fly.  I say bring on the heat.

Have you ever thought about writing another genre and if so which one? From Kimmy Lane
At our chapter meeting introductions, everyone always says I should tell people what genres I DON’T write in. LOL!   It wasn’t always like that.  I used to think I’d only write historical romance.  Until someone told me the book I’d written was a fantasy romance.  Whoops!  Guess I added a genre.  Well, not a few months later and I wrote the paranormal erotic short I mentioned above, so there I go, adding another genre.  Then came a couple of contemporary erotic novellas, so wham! – added another genre.  Eventually, I quit labeling myself.  Well, up until recently. I absolutely LOVE writing Dark Paranormal. I think I’ve really found my niche.  I’d been told I write violent or dark before by reviewers and it always gave me pause. Now, I have free rein to go for it and it is so much fun! 
But long story long, I’ll never say I’ll never write in "blank" genre again.   Characters always come first.  So what I write depends on their voices. I would say that I don’t see myself ever writing an inspy or a western, but who knows?  Crazier things have happened.
I don't really have a question for you! you are a new to me author, which I just love finding. I can't wait to read this book, it looks great. Happy birthday! From Martha Lawson
       Thank you! 



Not really a question, more of a comment on the great buzz for this book, looks intriguing.  Gotta love dragons! From Susan Galley
I do! 
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? From Claire nairabell@yahoo.com
I’m not sure if I ever picked up the pen with intent to publish.  I just always wrote.  However, after I finished one book in 2004, I remember going, “hmm, I think its good enough to get published!”  So, I went to the library reference center, spent countless hours learning guidelines for publishing houses and trying to write query letters.  Thank goodness I found RWA during my research.  I know for a fact I would have never sold without that organization.  I joined RWA, joined online groups and chapters, my local chapter, went to monthly meetings, met fabulous writers, took tons of classes (I still take classes actually) went to conferences, met more people and absorbed everything like a sponge.  From starting to selling, the timeline looks something like this:  I finished the book I mentioned in 2004, joined RWA in Feb. 2005 and sold to Harlequin in July of 2008.   I had two books and three short stories/novella’s come out from five different publishers during that time.  I learned a lot from those experiences – from how to work with cover artists and editors to reading royalty statements and contracts.  Some up’s and down’s, but just like life it’s how you learn.  Take the good with the bad.  But during that whole time, I never thought “I want to be a writer.” I just wrote.  I mean, I still have a day job even now.  Hmm, maybe if I ever become a stay-at-home writer, I’ll start thinking of myself as a writer.  Lol!

Do you have an author that is an auto buy for you? From Teresa Warner
Oh, so, so many!  But they are always changing and if I name them, I’ll leave someone out.  So my lips are sealed.  *zips lips and smiles* 
Congratulations on the new release (and congrats to GCR on it's first contest!)Are you going to have a giveaway on Goodreads? From Anne Muller
That sounds like a great idea!  Hmm, maybe I’ll host one on my Goodreads Fan Page? *hint, hint* 

Hi Meagan, I always wonder if authors who choose to write in the paranormal genre, have had their own paranormal experience. Have you had a paranormal experience such a run in with a ghost, or perhaps remembered a past life? From Sue Ahn
Good question!  And actually, I have this panache for crazy paranormal stuff to happening to me.  Here’s a couple of experiences that stick out in my mind…
In college I dated a guy who lived in a haunted…I don’t know what you’d call it?  I guess you’d call it a house for lack of a better word.  But it was this huge, scary old building that looked like an old church more than a house.  Apparently this building had many uses before my boyfriend rented out the top floor with his buddies.  Half of the home was uninhabitable.   No one used the front door.  Instead, you’d have to walk in the side door and immediately go up an old spiral wooden staircase.  At the base of banister, you could see teeth marks indented in the wood from where some crazy person committed suicide during the buildings tenure as a hospital during the war.   Downstairs was nothing but a dirt floor and crumbling bricks.  It was completed gutted.  And I only went in the basement once.  But you could still see the imprints of the furnace and conveyor belt along the wall from where they used to cremate bodies.  *shudder*  Anyway, I always got the creeps in that place.  But the craziest thing happened once when just the two of us were in the house.   We were sitting on the couch and the tv suddenly turned off and the radio came on.  My guy said something to the effect of, “Looks like the ghost is here.”  Wanting to make sure, he asked aloud that if the ghost was in the room with us, for him to flicker the lights.  A second later, they flickered!  I looked behind me to see if my boyfriend had his hand on a light switch or something, but there wasn’t one on the nearest wall.  Seeing my disbelief, he asked the ghost to do it again.  And again, the lights flickered on and off on command!  We did that a few times.  It was freaky!  And eventually the TV came back on and the radio clicked off.   
Another one that stands out in my mind was during a stay in Montana.   My ex-husband is Northern Cheyenne and years ago, we were staying on the Indian Reservation visiting his family.  There property is located in a very remote area of Montana – lots of hills, creeks, trees. Anyway, my cat was in the window looking at some mutant sized grasshopper you can only find in the wilds of Montana through the window screen.  I walked over, pet him and just happened to glance outside.  I saw this huge ball of light out in the tree line.  At first I thought it was a hunter with a flashlight.  But then the light rose up to the top of the trees (way over 8 feet tall) and began dancing in a circle eight pattern.  I’d heard about these lights and finally realized what I was seeing.  I shouted for my husband, knowing if I took my eyes off the light it wouldn’t be there when I got back and he’d call me crazy.  So, he came in all mad because I was making so much noise at 11pm at night, until he saw the light too.  It danced for a few more seconds up in the trees and then dropped down to about waist level and came closer.  We thought it was going to come right in the window and started backing up.  But it swooshed between the two houses on the property.  By the time we ran around to the front of the house, it was gone.  The next morning, his family said it was most likely the spirit of one of their ancestors who are all buried out on the land.  Or it was a methane gas ball.  Depended on which side of the family you asked. 
Over the years I have found some wonderfully gifted storytellers, reading Harlequin books. How did you get started with Harlequin Publishing house? Thank you. From Zazoo :-)
Ooo, it’s “The Call” story time!  Yay!  I love telling this story.  Lol!

Okay, so it’s July 2007…conference weekend for our local Wiscosin RWA chapter.  For the first time they had a silent auction. I noticed the senior editor from Harlequin Nocturne’s name right away and instantly put my name down (and something ludicrously cheap, like $8.) Over the course of the day, I noticed I kept being outbid – by Lori Devoti - a Nocturne author! After a brief fight...err, polite discussion, she took her name out of the bidding and I ended up winning the first chapter critique for $25 (again, insanely cheap - I was shocked!)

I quickly polished up the chapter of my dragon-shifter romance I’d been fiddling with and sent it off, excited to finally have the opportunity for an New York editors comments and critique.

December 2007 –the editor e-mailed me to let me know she had read the first chapter and liked it. She said she didn't have dragons yet and was intrigued by the idea. So, instead of receiving a packet back in the mail with the pages all marked up and bloodied from her pen, she sent me a few things she wanted me to think about, perhaps change, asked me to write a prologue and to see a partial. That weekend, I wrote and trashed about six prologues before settling on one. I busted out a synopsis (I had hand written it in a notebook, but hadn’t typed it in submission ready form yet) and e-mailed it to her on Monday.

February 2008 –When I saw an e-mail from her in my Inbox this time, I almost didn’t open it. I had to call my cp and have her talk me through it – no joke! I was so used to “thanks, but no thanks” I was sure I dropped the ball somewhere along the way, positive the synopsis had so many plot holes and clich├ęd storylines that a rejection was waiting for me.  Well, my cp was right all along (the supportive and smart wench that she is) – it was a good story and the editor liked it too. She asked for a few tweaks off the synopsis and requested the full. This was the closest I’d ever been and I didn’t want to mess it up. So, I spent 6 weeks, finishing, tweaking, making her changes, editing and tweaking some more. My goal was to send her the full in March and I succeeded.

June 2008 –the editor e-mailed to let me know she had the book with her and was going to read it asap and get back to me by the end of the week. Two weeks later...

July 2008 –It was 9:30-ish in the morning. I know because I had to leave work for a bit to pick my son up at Kindergarten summer program. After dropping him at home (where yes, he has someone watching him) I drove back to work. As I pulled into the parking lot of the gym, my cell phone rang. Seeing how it was a Monday, (a typically hectic Monday) and it had been two weeks of tensing at every phone call, I didn’t think anything as I picked it up. The caller ID said area code 212, which I knew from previous research was New York. Then I glanced up and the actual ID said “New York.” I took a deep breath and answered. The editor was on the line. Her voice was nothing like I expected - no NY accent, just smooth, eloquent and friendly. She immediately set me at ease and I think the first thing I said was "It's so nice to finally hear your voice!" I walked into the club and immediately pointed to the phone at my ear and mouthed "New York" to my boss.

Seeing how gyms are not the quietest place on earth, I went into the thankfully empty children’s playroom so I could hear her. We chatted for what felt like forever before she finally said, "I had a chance to read your book and I loved it. I would like to make an offer to buy it." I'm pretty sure I squealed, said OMG a couple times, thank you a dozen more. I wrote everything down and asked her a few questions. There are a lot of Harlequin authors in my local chapter, so I was pretty confident about saying yes to the offer over the phone. Actually, I think she had to ask me twice – something like, "So do you think the offer sounds good?" I laughed and said "Of course! I would be honored to accept it."
I sat down at the small kiddy drawing table in the playroom (with my knees tucked to my chest) and we spoke for about a half hour about some revisions she wanted and following books in the series. When the call ended, I swore I could have bench pressed 500 pounds I was so excited! A few of our members who know I write, congratulated me and I spent the rest of my Monday with a huge smile on my face. :-) And the crazy thought that kept slipping through my mind was I basically bought a New York contract for $25. LOL! I mean, not really, but yeah...now when you read the dedication in the book, you’ll know why I thank Lori for not outbidding me! ;-)
As a fellow author, I would like to know - Where do you get your inspiration for your novels? From Natalie Gibbs
Um...hot men? *grins*
Seriously, I get ideas from anywhere and everywhere...my dreams, movies, playing pretend with my kids...heck the muse is a fickle creature and can strike just about anywhere. I got the idea for one story while getting my daughter ready for the bus! You just never know, which is why I always carry a notebook in my purse.

Aloha Meagan, I asked this question in the comments as well. I just recently learned the meaning of 'Alexia' from another novel I read. Is there a reason you used that name? Could you tell us about the other names in this novel and how you came to choose them? Thank you very much for making an ARC copy available for give-away. From Chasity lllinthe808@gmail.com
I actually got the name “Alexia” from a video game I was playing at the time.  (Yes, I’m a bit of a gamer.)  It’s an older RPG, 1st person shooter game, but from a franchise I love with games I always go back to play again and again.  Bonus points if you can figure out which game!  Lol! 
As for the dragons, I wanted them to have bird or fire related names to give their world another richer dimension and make it seem them have more of a community feel.  I didn’t realize how difficult and limiting that task was going to become as I introduced more and more characters, but it’s been okay so far.  Oh, another interesting factoid, every dragon’s last name is also a color…Black, Grey, Rose, etc.  But back to names…Declan, the hero of SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, is Lachlan’s son.  So, his name follows in the tradition of his father instead of a traditional dragon name.  His sister, Tallon however was not so lucky to escape their dragon tradition.  As is mentioned in scene of SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, both names were their mother, Lara’s idea. 
Quite irrelevant but I thought I'd change it up a bit. So do you prefer Chocolate or Vanilla icecream? Or maybe something else entirely? I'm a mint choc chip girl myself. From Joanne M.
Okay, don’t throw more tomatoes at me, but I hate ice cream.  Actually, I’m not much of a sweet’s person at all.  I don’t like chocolate, cakes, peanut butter or pies.  But give me bread (and cheese before I went vegan) and I’d be in happy! Add wine to that mix and I’d be in heaven!
How old where you when you started writing? From Julie Pearson
I have always written…I actually penned a young adult romance, (complete with cheesy title, “My Kind of Guy”) in High School. But I never thought you could make a living at writing.  So, I went off into a more lucrative and fruitful career path…dancing. Ah, to grow up in the 80’s – where every video and concert had a corps of frolicking jazz dancers and Paula Abdul made everyone think you too could be a star. *grins*  I did go to college as a dance major. But I met my husband, got married and had babies instead. It took six years in San Diego, a trip to the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas, two kids, a few random jobs and a move to Wisconsin before the constant ideas and characters running through her head drove me to finally sit down and start writing their story.
Do you have any idea how many more books you'll write with these characters? I can easily see 3 more, do you have plans drawn out for a series?? (not counting Dragon Warrior) From Jennifer Happytwilighter
Well that all depends on my publisher.  I have Falcon and Griffon’s books rockin’ out (And can I just say that I’m head over heels in love with Falcon right now! *dreamy sigh* - lol!)   I also have Ash’s book plotted and ready to write (just in case) J   Yuri and his lady love are coming out in a novella from Harlequin Nocturne Bites entitled, VAMPIRE IN HER MYSTS.   There is also another BITE about a vampire soldier gone rogue and a human reporter that takes place during the same timeline as Falcon’s story coming soon as well.  In truth, with all the world’s and characters I’m visiting, the sky is the limit on how many stories I could tell.  Again, it’s up to the publisher. 
What's coming up next after the first book and novella? Something in the same world or something completely different? From Barbara Elness
I have another series I’m working on in my non-existent free time.  But right now, this one is my focus.    
DO you think the cover matches your idea of how your characters look? From jeanette8042
I never really pictured anyone based in reality for Alexia – no actress in particular, so I’m very happy with the cover model they used.  Actually, I love, love, love her!!  ;)  She even looks slightly Russian to me too, which is awesome.  The model being Declan works for me too.  Sure, I’d rather have Jake Gyllenhaal on my cover, but this dude is fine.  Lol!
Thanks to Good Choice Reading for having me and hosting this fun contest!  And big thank you's to everyone who entered!  For more information about me, my books, fun extras, excerpts, contests, links or to join my newsletter or street team, check out my website – www.meaganhatfield.com   Also, please feel free to email me at meagan@meaganhatfield.com and let me know what you think of Declan and Alexia.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  


And now the winner of our contest is:

***Raquel Vega-Grieder***

 

Please e-mail Meagan @  meagan@meaganhatfield.com

 

Thank you everyone! This was a lot of fun and we hope to do it again! hehe



6 comments:

  1. Thank You So Much. I Can't Wait To Read It....^_^.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're welcome girl! I hope you like it! I loved it! hehe

    ReplyDelete
  3. Congrats, Raquel!!

    Meagan,

    Please share your novella “Claiming the Lamb” with us!! And, I'm glad you chose dragon-shifters over vampires! Hee, hee. I would pick Griffon. Good lord, he sounds amazing!!

    Diana

    ReplyDelete

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