Thursday, September 29, 2011

A New eBook!

This week I released an ebook with a few short stories. Some of these stories have been published in national magazines (don't worry, I retained my reprint rights...never sign everything away, people!) and the rest have been published in various places on the web.

None of them are fantasy - all of them are geared toward an 18+ audience. They're a departure from the young adult novels I write.

If these stories are so different, why did I put them out? I created this ebook months ago, but held off on publishing it until a few people started bugging me about it. I'm not going to do a promotional blitz, no giveaways, no free copies for reviewers.

The word count is just under 9,000 words and runs less than fifty print pages.


I have quite a few short stories sitting on my hard drive and I thought some of you might like to read them. I’ve included only about half in There’s Orion. I took some out because they were too personal, others because I really don’t like them anymore.

You might be surprised to see that all of these stories are your everyday, average adult stories. No fantasy among them at all. I do have some fantasy stories that might surface in a short story collection in the future...but not today.

There’s Orion gives my readers a more personal look into my life. Some of these stories come from an intensely private place inside me, which is why I chose not to introduce each story individually. I’ll let you wonder which are inspired by my real life.

You’ll find some of these stories amusing, and it’s possible one or two might bring a tear to your eye. Oh, and as a word of warning, Just Desserts is a bit harsh and contains some foul language. I considered leaving it out of the collection in order not to offend, but then I realized leaving it out would destroy a grain of truth that I feel everyone should experience.

I hope you enjoy these shorts on a quiet rainy day or when you’re snuggled up in bed. You may not realize it, but this collection is a gift straight from my heart. I don’t claim them to be of a high literary quality. A few were published on the web in the Friday Flash community. Some appeared in national magazines backs in the late 1990s, when I wrote under a different name and lived a very different life than I lead now.

Peace out,


If you're interested, you can purchase There's Orion at Barnes&Noble or Amazon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Name a Character & Win a Prize!!!!

It's that time again. I'm stumped on a character name and I need your help!!!!

It's a minor character in Severed, but she's important. She's evil (probably). She's huge (definitely). She's ugly (seriously).

Her name cannot end in an 'a' or have an 'l' in it. Weird, I know, but there's a reason in my crazy little brain.

Here's what you'll win:

(1) My undying thanks in the form of a mention in the Acknowledgements in Severed.
(2) Ten Sleepers bookmarks to do with as you please.
(3) A one-paragraph sneak peak at Severed. It could come from anywhere in the novel, but it's sure to entice!
(4) An ARC of be delivered sometime before November 25th, the official release date.

I will choose the name I like best by October 7th and notify the winner!

The contest will run now through October 4th, midnight CST. You may enter as many times as you like by commenting below. Please leave a way for me to contact you!!!! Must be older than 15 to enter, must have parent's permission to accept prize if you are younger than 18.

Did Megg Really Say That???

Wow, this is a topic I never thought I'd be dealing with. Twice in the last month, things I've said over what I thought were personal emails were taken completely out of context and splattered on the web for all to see. Before I tell you how I feel about this, let me tell you a bit about myself.

For six years, I was a freelance journalist. I interviewed thousands of sources for magazine articles and tried to handle each source as if they were the most important person in the world. I wanted them to trust me because so often journalism takes a quote and twists it simply to create buzz. This sickened me and after six years, I was done. None of my articles exploited anyone, but seeing the pressure out there to sensationalize took the drive out of me. I didn't want to be associated with the industry. The further along I got, the more defensive sources became. I felt terrible because I knew at one point they'd been mishandled by another journalist, giving them a bad taste in their mouth when it came to new interviews.

About 2/3 of the way through my journalism career, I signed with an agent for a nonfiction book on a topic very close to my heart. The project was meant to be a prescriptive book, a step-by-step telling of how to achieve a successful adoption. The farther I got into the project, the more my agents changed the scope of the book. They wanted it to be more sensational. They wanted gut-wrenching, super-private stories to come to life. I felt my sources shutting down on me, getting more wary each interview because they knew, as I did deep down, that the book was spiraling out of control. It was never my intention to write an expose. I wanted to help people, not exploit other's pain to sell books.

I backed out of the contract and received the harshest email I've ever gotten from the agency. Saying that I cried for hours would be an understatement. I swore that day I'd never take on another book project. Obviously that didn't stick.

Back to present day. Now I'm on the other end of the interview. That's fine; it's part of my job as a novelist. However, twice now, people quoted me from what I believed were personal, chatty emails - not part of any kind of interview. Both times the blog posts brought about confusion. People were angry with me, thinking I'd given these bloggers my blessing - when, in fact, I didn't even know I'd been talked about until it was too late. Did I say the things quoted? Sure. Were they taken completely and wildly out of context? Absolutely. To the point where I've sworn off having personal conversations with those people. I feel betrayed.

The most recent popular example of this type of misquoting comes from an interview Brad Pitt did while promoting Moneyball in Parade Magazine. As someone who's been through a divorce with a guy I'd prefer never to see again, I can relate 100% to Brad's comments about his marriage with Jen. Anyone who's been through divorce knows that it's more about who you are inside than who you are in a relationship. That's all he was trying to say, but the media took it out of context and now everyone hates him again. I feel bad for him, for Jen, and for Angelina. They are simply trying to be normal people and be honest. What do they get for it? Quotes twisted and taken out of context. I don't care how much money he has in his bank account, it has to hurt anyway.

So if you ever see a blog post about me, and you think, Would Megg really say that? Is that what she meant? Take a moment to wonder how the quote came about. What was the source? What did I really mean? This blog is the only place I can truly speak for myself. You want to know me? You'll find me here.


Monday, September 26, 2011

A New Design & A Call for Blog Post Ideas

I don't know why I'm so obsessed with rearranging things. Since I was a little kid, I've spent my free time rearranging furniture or bookcases or, well, anything that I could move around without getting in trouble. I've gone and done it again with my blog. New background, new banner, etc. I think it's pretty and I hope you like it too.

Severed is releasing on November 25th and I'm spending three weeks on a blog tour. I will be doing guest posts on pretty much every day and while I have some topics already lined up, I wanted to know if you guys, my readers, had any questions you wanted me to answer or any topics you wanted me to address. I'm open to any ideas!

If you'll remember, a month or so ago I put out a call for vlog ideas. I haven't forgotten about them and I do still plan to do it. September has been a flurry of writing and now that I've entered revision I have a bit more time to play with. Hopefully I'll get to them soon!


Friday, September 23, 2011

An Interview, An Author, and a Magic 8 Ball: Michelle Muto

 Yay, it's time to bring back my interview series!!!!! Sorry, I've been absorbed in Severed and haven't had much blog time. I'm snagging a few minutes to get this gem out there.

Michelle Muto and I are kind of like long-lost twins because we have so many things in common - one of which is that we are both natural redheads. I won't bore you with the others. She's also one of my favorite writers and I know you'll love her books too!!!!

MJ: Tell me a bit about your novel, The Book of Lost Souls, in your own words - not the official synopsis.

MM: The Book of Lost Souls is the story of a teen witch who must dispel the rumor she's like her father, a black magic practitioner who left her and her mother when she was young. It's a paranormal coming-of-age story filled with humor, romance, and devout friendship. It's sort of like Harry Potter meets Buffy in some ways. 

MJ: Did you pants or plot while writing your first draft?

MM: A little of both. I've learned a lot since then - plotting is my least favorite part of the writing process, but I do much better with a solid outline. It saves me considerable time and grief later on.

MJ: What’s your next release going to be?

MM: It's a 360 from The Book of Lost Souls. The new book is another young adult novel, and a planned series, but that's where the comparison ends. The new book is a dark, mostly dystopian novel set in the afterlife. It's also written in first person, while The Book of Lost Souls is in third person. I hope to release the new book by the end of September.

{edited by MJ to add: Michelle just revealed the cover for her next novel, Don't Fear the Reaper yesterday! It's totally gorgeous!!!!}

MJ: Now for the fun stuff!!!

What is your favorite color?

MM: Black

MJ: Wolves or vampires or zombies?

MM: Werewolves or vampires. As much as I like all things supernatural, zombies just don't do it for me. 

MJ: What do you wear when you write?

MM: Mostly t-shirts/sweatshirts and jeans.

 MJ: When you were a teen were you a cheerleader, a sporty girl, the smart one, the band geek, or something else?

MM: I was just the kid trying to get by.

MJ: Do you have any pets? 

MM: I have two dogs: Tasha, a 12-yr-old Akita and Ronan, a 5-yr-old Shikoku (my inspiration for Devlin in The Book of Lost Souls).

MJ: Now, I need YOU to ask ME a question about absolutely anything under the sun. It has to be a yes or no question and will be answered by my 9-year-old’s all-knowing Magic 8 Ball! The question can be serious or silly - it’s up to you.

MM: Will my books be on wish lists for Christmas? 

M8B: As I See It Yes. Now, I don't know why my 8 Ball pics are always sideways. Argh! Anyway, is it really a big surprise Michelle wants books for Christmas? Just more proof my 8 Ball always knows!!!!

Thank you SO MUCH to Michelle for participating in my interview series!!!! If you haven't read The Book of Lost Souls, you should go read it, NOW!

Find Michelle Muto on the web:

Buy The Book of Lost Souls on