1. First off, congratulations! I'm sure you're absolutely ecstatic to see your book in a bound format! I know that you are a long-time vlogger of the ups and downs of getting published; how does it feel to finally be able to say that you've done it?
Sometimes it still seems surreal, but then I think of all the work I’ve done, and how exhausted I’ve been after a bazillion rewrites, and queries, and marketing, and it all comes back to me. Lol. But in all seriousness, I feel a real sense of accomplishment, not only for me, but for the people who’ve supported and helped me through this journey.
2. So my biggest burning question really has nothing to do with the book, but the writing... How the hell do you manage to get so much writing done with kids? I have to let the TV babysit mine so I can take the time to write these questions. I can't imagine finding time to write a book...
Well, I was a stay at home mom for many years, and my kids were already in school when I started writing, so I pretty much wrote from the time they left to the time they got home, then I put my “mom hat” on. It’s actually been a little harder now that they’re older. Now I work a part time job, and when my girls get home from school they may need help with homework, or need to be taken to music lessons, or doctor appointments, or soccer practice. I try to squeeze it in where I can, which can be very difficult.
3. Never Eighteen is a NaNoWriMo novel. When you started NaNo, did you have any idea that it would The One? A gut feeling, perhaps?
It’s funny, because I was rewatching my Chronicle videos and in one I actually say, “this could be the one” (I didn’t remember saying that lol). So, I guess I felt strongly about this one, probably because it came from the deepest depths of my heart and I think it was a story that needed to be told.
4. What inspired you to write this story? You went from superheroes to how to get into to heaven/hell to this; that's a broad scope of subject matter. Did the idea just jump into your head?
The idea came from my then husband. I called him my “idea man”. He was always coming up with stories for me to write. If I only had that much time. Haha.
We took his mother in and did hospice care for her when she was diagnosed with late stage cancer. We had firsthand knowledge of the disease’s brutal effects on the body. When you watch someone die, you think about your own mortality. If I found out I only had a short time to live, I would want to touch peoples lives in a positive way, even if it was just in a small way. I really try to live as if each day were my last, but it really isn’t easy.
5. As a mother, I had a difficult time reading Never Eighteen at times; I kept thinking about my own kids. How was it writing Austin's story, as a mother of teenagers? Did you draw from your experiences as a mother?
I mostly drew from my own experiences as a teenager. I’ve faced, and known many others who’ve faced the same challenges you’ll read about in the book. Those life experiences don’t change over time, they just hit the next generation of kids. Teens are still abused, and addicted. They’re finding out who they are, trying to fit in. They self-doubt, self-loathe. They’re experiencing love and heartbreak for the first time. They’re bound to see people they love divorce or die.
And yes, I always have my daughters in mind when I write, because I fear for them, as all parents do. I want their lives to be perfect. I don’t want them to have to face these issues, but unfortunately, these are problems teens face every day, and it could happen to one of my children.
6. Austin is a remarkable character. Is he based on a person or a combination of people you know in real life?
Austin is not really based on a real person. I based his disease on what I learned through caring for my mother-in-law, otherwise I think he’s a more a representation of the kind of person we should be, not just in tragedy, but every day. Part of his mission is not just to show people the value of their lives, but it’s more than that. Make the step to apologize or forgive, learn to trust yourself and others, reach out to someone in need, make a difference.
7. Never Eighteen started out with the title, Mending Fences. Who decided to change it? Are you happy with the change?
My editor liked the original title, but thought it needed more punch. I agreed. My dad actually came up with the new title, and he is proud of that. I’m very happy with the change. I think the title alone tells a story.
8. Some authors like to read reviews, and others don't. Which are you? Never Eighteen has got a really great pre-release average rating on Goodreads right now. Have you been keeping up with what people are saying?
I’ve been told not to read reviews, but I can’t help myself. I read them all. Do I like them all? Of course not, but any author who thinks everyone is going to love their book is living in la-la land. I am keeping up with what people are saying, and I’m very pleased that the majority get what I was trying to convey with the story. I’m just sorry I’ve made so many people cry. Lol.
9. Who are some of your favorite authors? Books? What was your favorite book of 2011? Which 2012 debut is your favorite so far?
Authors I’ve read a lot of include Judy Blume, S.E. Hinton, Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, and Harlan Coben, so as you can see, I have an eclectic taste in books.
I have many favorite books, but I’ll only name a few so your readers don’t fall asleep. To Kill a Mockingbird, The Handmaid’s Tale, Fahrenheit 451, The Stand, Lord of the Flies, A River Runs Through It. I’ll stop there; I could go on and on.
My favorite book of 2011 was Geoff Herbach’s Stupid Fast (I’ve mentioned him so much he probably thinks I’m stalking him). His main character Felton’s voice is probably the most unique voice I’ve ever read. The story is funny, heartbreaking, and thoughtful. I can’t wait to read more from Geoff.
To be honest, I’ve not read a 2012 debut yet, though I’ve begun my first, which is The Wicked and the Just by J Anderson Coats, and I’m liking it very much. Now, if you ask me which I’m looking most forward to, I will say all my fellow Class of 2k12ers books, Brodi Ashton’s Everneath (which is sitting on my bookshelf right now, squee!), Storybound by Marissa Burt, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally, and once again, I could go on and on, I mean, have you seen how many debuts there are for 2012?
10. You seem to have a knack for YA. Do you think it is something you will stick with? Any "up next" news?
I definitely think I’ll stick with YA, though I have a couple adult projects in the works that I’m attached to. I prefer writing realistic YA dealing with social issues, and to be honest, I also like writing about death for some morbid reason.
My current work in progress, is titled, Sliced. It’s about a teen cutter with abandonment issues. I like to call it a story of loss, loathing, and lacerations.
So, yeah... I hope my ADD, all over the place questions aren't terribly annoying! If you have anything to add, please do!
Your questions were awesome and unique. Thank you so much for hosting me.
Many thanks to Megan for her awesome, in depth answers. If you want to know more about Megan and her writing, you can visit her on her website, Megan Bostic Books, her blog, The Angsty Writer, and YouTube Channel (my personal favorite of the three). You can also check her out on Facebook and Twitter.
*Don't forget to register for my 25 Days of Jubilation Giveaway! Three lucky entrants will win their choice of one book off of my Top 25 YA Books of 2011! Click HERE!*