Interview with romance author Meggan Connors…

Welcome to another wonderful weekend. Today we’re talking with the talented Ms. Meggan Connors. Let’s explore her quirks and latest release.
megganc

Meggan Connors is a wife, mother, teacher, and award-winning author who writes primarily historical and steampunk romances. As a history buff with a love of all things historical, she enjoys visiting both major and obscure museums, and reading the histories of the Old West and the British Isles. She makes her home in the Wild West with her lawman husband, two children, and a menagerie of pets. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow, or with her nose in a book. Favorite vacation destinations include the sun-kissed hills of California, any place with a castle or a ghost (and both is perfect!), and the windswept Oregon coast.

I love Oregon, so very pretty!

What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always written stories—the first one that I actually finished (in 6th grade) was about unicorns and a witch and featured the boy I had a crush on. Oh, yeah, it was a work of art.

In any case, then I went to college and graduate school, then chose a very sensible profession. The writing bug sort of died for a while there, while I was enmeshed in writing my thesis, then the never-ending reports for work. I still told myself stories in my head to go to sleep, but I never wrote them down.

Then I had kids. When my youngest was about two, I remember looking up at my husband and thinking, “You know, I think I’ll write a romance novel.”

My mother complained that I was writing stuff no one would ever want to read. My father said I was writing porn. My brother said he was embarrassed. To this day, I don’t think any of them have read anything I’ve written.

At the time, I was crushed. But my husband was super encouraging, helped with plotting and fight scenes, and sent me to my first conference. Of course that first novel was terrible (but it is the prequel to The Marker, so some good came out of it). But it really inspired me to keep writing. It offered me an outlet—which I needed, with my two small people, full time job, and the messy house.

Now, I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t write. If I never publish again, I’ll always be a writer.

pants

Are you a plotter or panster?

I’m really mostly a pantser. I usually have a basic outline that I sometimes write down, or sometimes just keep in my head. But my outline is really just a list of major events. How we get there depends on the characters. I like seeing how it plays out, and I love it when a character surprises me.

At what age did you write your first novel?

Started at eleven, finished at twelve.

What is the most romantic place you’ve ever been?

I suppose that depends. For overall romance, I think Prague is probably one of the most mysteriously, romantic places I’ve ever been. That being said, I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time and was hanging with a bunch of girls, so it wasn’t romantic, but there was something about the dark spires of the castles, the cobblestone streets (where I promptly sprained my ankle, because I’m awesome like that), and the bridge over the Danube that was so achingly romantic that I could see why artists and composers spent so much time there.

If we’re going with romantic, I would say Hawaii. My husband proposed on a beach there, at sunset. My response of “What?” probably wasn’t the most romantic thing ever, but, well, I was surprised.

Name your favorite real-life hero or fictional hero… How have they influenced your life?

Well, I could get all maudlin on you and say that my real life hero is a friend of mine who died of colon cancer at 24. It was horrible, but she never lost her sense of humor. Once, when she was really sick, I stopped by her house and she was sleeping. Twenty minutes after I left, she called and said, “My mom said you came by. I sleep all the time. Get back here and let’s watch Zorro the Gay Blade.”

She slept through the entire movie, but I think she knew I just needed to spend time with her.

In any case, whenever I’m about to do something big, I think, “What would Red say about this?”

I like to think she’d be proud of the romance novels. Oh, she would pretend to be shocked by some of it, but I think she’d love it. She never was half so shocked as she pretended to be.

Name your favorite books from childhood and adulthood.

As a kid, I loved Little Women and Gone with the Wind. Later, I came to absolutely adore The Count of Monte Cristo and A Tale of Two Cities.

I really enjoyed Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, and I read a lot of historical fiction and romance.

What’s your astrological sign? Do you fit the characteristics associated with it? How?

I’m an Aquarius. I had to look up what’s associated with my sign, so I had to think about it.

From the website I went to, it said that Aquarians are broad minded and creative, and like it when things go their own quirky way (which means they get a bit peeved when they don’t).

Broad minded, creative, and temperamental? Yeah, that could be me.

What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned from your journey as a writer?

Acceptance of rejection. It’s business, not personal. That a rejection of my story isn’t a rejection of me. It’s a really hard lesson to learn. Rejection is never easy, but accepting it does get better. I once read that all writers must be megalomaniacs, because we’re so convinced that our stuff is worth reading that we keep chasing the dream, despite the rejections. Maybe. Or maybe it’s just persistence. Not that the rejection doesn’t hurt, but that we go back to the manuscript, review and revise it, and try again.

Lightening Round

Favorite Color: Cornflower blue

Favorite Actor/Actress: Jeremy Renner

Favorite Movie: The Last of the Mohicans

Favorite century and why? 19th. I love those crazy Victorians. They were so very proper and yet so very NOT proper, it was bananas. I mean, the whole idea that you could go to mass on Sunday, then go home and perform a seance? Or that sex was very taboo, but if you went to see a doctor for your hysteria, the treatment was an orgasm?

It’s awesome and it’s nuts, all at the same time. I love it.

Favorite Food: All stuff I can no longer eat. Filet. Creme brulee.

Least favorite vegetable: Bell peppers.

First boyfriend/How old?/Why did you like him?:

I was 17. He was 19. German. I liked him because… well, he was German. We met at a castle on the fourth of July, where we were watching an outdoor movie. He wore a t-shirt that said “IOWA” on it, and we were basically inseparable after that for the next two months.

Gads.

In any case, I liked him because he was funny and sweet and German. 🙂

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Funny, creative, mom, wife, disorganized. (That last one, you can add so, so in front. I know where everything is, but no one else could ever find it. It’s the excuse my hubs uses for why he doesn’t cook (He can’t understand my system for the spices).

Meggan’s featured novel is Jessie’s War…

cover

Love the cover!

Here’s a sneak peek…

Someone knocked, and Muha’s tentative barking turned hysterical.

Taking her revolving shotgun back down, she crept to the lever that would pull down the shutters and arm the Gatling gun mounted to the rooftop.

“Go home, sheriff. Not talking to you today.”

“It’s not the sheriff.”

Her hand froze and the shotgun clattered to the floor. Gooseflesh dotted her arms and her pulse quickened, a frantic rat-a-tat-tat like a hail of bullets, as her body recognized what her logical mind denied.

The room went quiet. Muha sat with her ears pricked up, her tail thumping cautiously against the worn pine floor. The wolf recognized the gravelly voice, too.

The knock became more insistent, sharper. “Please open the door, Jessie.”

It was a dead man’s voice.

She struggled to fill her lungs with air as the pine door shook beneath her visitor’s heavy fists. Those hands would be big and strong and ridged with calluses. Her heart twisted painfully in her chest, and she tried not to think about them. Or their owner.

She’d gotten over his loss just like she’d gotten over all the others.

With trembling hands, Jessie picked up her shotgun and rested it against the wall. Her legs leaden, she walked to the door and put her hand on the knob, but hesitated.

She’d dreamed of this moment for years, of this man walking back into her life.

Now she couldn’t bring herself to let him in.

“Please. It’s freezing out here.”

She turned the knob, and Luke Bradshaw stood in her doorway, the brim of his hat heavy with snow, and small flakes clung to the dark lashes fringing his silver eyes.

He was as tall as she remembered, towering over her as he stood on her sagging front porch, bringing with him the scent of smoke and sulfur and snow. A black slouch hat covered his head and rested low over his eyes, and a black duster swirled around his bright-spurred boots. The silver six-shooter on his left hip glittered in the low light, and a large, black satchel was strapped to his broad back.

Muha pushed her head past the door.

Luke gave her a lopsided smile and took off his hat. “Hi, Jess.” A scar she didn’t remember ran through his right eyebrow, and another creased his chin. He held his hand out to Muha and scratched behind her grizzled ears, the way he always used to greet her. He handed her a piece of jerky, and despite the long years, a friendship was immediately rekindled. “There’s a girl.”

“Luke.” Jessie reached out to touch his cheek. The stubble of his unshaven jaw was rough beneath her palm, and his skin was cold. Her fingers trembled as she traced his lips, his breath warm against them.

He kissed her fingertips.

Dead men didn’t breathe or kiss a girl’s fingers. Dead men didn’t leave as boys and come back as men. Dead men didn’t come home with new scars or shiver with cold.

“You’re alive,” she whispered.

“Yep.”

His sweet, boyish smile melted her heart, and something inside her, denied for far too long, splintered and howled in despair.

She slapped him.

The crack echoed in the empty, snow-lit darkness behind him. Jessie stepped back to slam the door on this would-be ghost who had the gall to walk back into her life and act as if he’d never left.

Where to find it…

http://www.amazon.com/Jessies-War-Civil-Steam-ebook/dp/B00BWACFE6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372443094&sr=8-1&keywords=jessie%27s+war

Where to connect with Ms. Connors…

http://megganconnors.wordpress.com/

Thanks for visiting with us Meggan.

10 thoughts on “Interview with romance author Meggan Connors…

  1. I think you should base your next heroine on Red, Meggan! She sounds like a terrific friend. We need to get together sometime and watch “Last of the Mohicans.” DDL? Oh, my … hot, hot, hot!

    • She was a pretty terrific friend. I named my daughter after her. I think it’s funny that my temperamental, excitable child was named after my unflappable, even tempered friend.

      I like to think she’d appreciate the irony.

      In any case, it’s been 14 years, and I miss her, but I remember all the funny, quirky stuff she said, and all the goofy, silly things we did together. To this day, it makes me smile.

  2. Your comments about your hero brought tears to my eyes. These days it seems that word is applied to anyone for anything and has lost some of its meaning. Anyone who can get through something like cancer with a smile deserves to be recognized. I liked the rest of your interview, too.

    • Thanks, Tina. Red was pretty special. Probably the funniest person I’ve ever met. We were polar opposites, humor wise–I’m outrageous and will say just about anything for a laugh, and she was very dry, and struck people as proper. You really had to listen to what she said and how she said it to realize how funny she was. I loved that about her.

  3. Meggan,
    I finished Jessie’s War last night. I’m still reeling!
    I love a good romance, and yes, I like some books better than others.
    Jessie’s War was totally different than anything I’ve ever read, and I”m not kidding when I tell you the emotional impact was profound. I literally could not sleep last night AFTER I finished it.

    It is an amazing read. I don’t know why this book has not sailed to the top of the best seller lists. It’s truly in the top ten best books I’ve ever read.

    That being said, I started Voiletta’s Blind Allegiance last night too. Sigh.

    • Wow, thank you so much, Collette.

      I loved writing Jessie’s War. It was very cathartic– I got a couple of good cries in while I was writing it. Poor hubs would look over at me while I was sniffling at the computer and say, “Luke and Jessie again?”

      I don’t think he knew what to do with me. But he did confide in me that, after the book was finished, he kind of likes how I fall in love with my characters. So he gets me. 🙂

  4. This sounds like a great book and I loved the excerpt. Good luck!

  5. karenlopp says:

    Wow, Meggan, sounds like I need to hurry up and read your book. Sigh, I so need more time. Loved your interview, it was moving.

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