July 22, 2008

Interview with Meagan Hatfield!

So, Meagan, tell us a little about yourself? What is your typical day like?

Hello everyone!

My name is Meagan Hatfield and I write Paranormal, Fantasy, Historical, Contemporary and Erotic romances for both e-book and print publishers.

Typical day? Well, I work a job Monday through Friday, 5am to about noon. Yes, I said 5am. {{yawn}} When the kids are in school full day, I get a good chunk of writing time in before they get home. Now, with summer in full swing, I write in chaos and between T-ball games, sleep-over’s and playing referee to their battling matches over the video game station.



When did you start to write and how long did it take you get published? How many stories did you finish before you were published?

I have always written…I even 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* Seriously though, I went 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. That book was my fantasy romance, “A Magical Encounter” and it came out earlier this year!


What inspired you to write romance?

My grandmother.

I was an only child, essentially raised by my grandparents. Both were avid readers, especially my nanny. Our hallway was lined with bookcases staked two rows deep with Harlequins. She read four romance novels a day...she kept one by the bed, one in the bathroom, one on the dining table and one by her recliner and finished all of them by night’s end. Romances were some of the first books I was exposed to and I always loved them. It was with her encouragement, I even attempted to write a book of my own.

What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?

At our chapter meeting introductions, everyone always says for me to tell people what genres I DON’T write in. LOL!

Characters always come to me first, so what I write depends on their voice. I don’t see myself ever writing an inspy or a western, but never say never.

Currently, I am working on my dark paranormal series about dragon-shifters and vampires I just sold to a major NYC publisher yesterday!! I don’t have release info yet, but you can bet I’ll be keeping my Newsletter subscribers updated. ((hint, hint))

What difficulties does writing this genre present?

I absolutely LOVE 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!!

What motivated you to write your current book?

Actually, I won a critique at our local RWA Conference and busted out the first chapter without thinking too much about the book. It took about six months to hear back. But when I did, the editor really got a fire under my butt and I wrote the synopsis and a few more chapters and sent those in. When she came back requesting the full, I whipped it out in six weeks and sent that in. So I guess, the prospect of selling was motivating enough for me. Although, I did listen to Breaking Benjamin cd’s the entire time I wrote. That music really helped me get into the tone of the story.

How much time do you devote to writing each day?

As much as I can. :-) Okay, more specific…it’s usually, it’s about 5 hours. But, if I am working a deadline or extremely motivated, my butt has been known to be in the chair for up to 10 hours and counting.

Tell us about your other works, books, stories, etc.

Currently, I have a hot-historical romance novel, “The Marquis & the Mistress” out from the Dark Castle Lords. A fantasy romance, “A Magical Encounter” from New Concepts Publishing, and a contemporary erotic short story duo, “Torrid Teasers #43 – The Whole Enchilada & Lust Desserts” out from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.

Links and info on all my books and stories are at my website!


What are you working on now?

I am working on Book Two of the new series I just sold yesterday (YEA again!) I’m also plotting up a short for that line, and today I’ll start on the edits for Book One.

How do you write? Are you a panster or a plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influences you the most?

Both. I am a firm believer that if you have two great characters, plop them in an interesting setting and let them loose, stuff will happen and you will eventually have a book. However, that can either take a year or generate a 120,000 word epic. So, I plot.

And definitely characters influence me more. After all, it is their story. I just try to listen to what they tell me and not mess it up along the way.


What was the most usual way you came up with a story idea? I mean, I’ve gotten a plot idea from a song I heard, from brainstorming with a classmate. What unusual thing caused you to think, ‘hey, I could make that into a story?’

It would have to be for a work in progress currently languishing in my documents. I got the idea from watching a cartoon with my daughter before she got on the bus (obviously back before I worked at 5am) I can’t remember specifically what it was, but some minute aspect or story thread called out to me. I thought, “man, if this was an adult show, I would have this happen instead…and then this…and then this…” and so the story began.

If you could spend an hour talking to anyone from any time in history, who would it be? And Why?

Yikes! There are so many. But probably Queen Elizabeth I…I’d love to hear her secrets. I mean, a woman ruling successfully over men for that long - wow. When you think about, it sounds like fiction, especially for back then.

Not to mention, I think she’d have a wicked sense of humor.

Tell us some of the things interviewers are saying about your story or stories.

Oh, I’ve really been very fortunate so far with reviewers.

I was just Joyfully Reviewed last week and the reviewer called “A Magical Encounter fantasy-meets-romance at it’s finest.”

The Romance Studio gave my historical romance,“The Marquis & the Mistress” 5 hearts and said, “Meagan Hatfield has written an exciting tale of lost love, secrets, and devious plots. Cosette and Francois were such well-written characters. The love-hate relationship between these two wonderful people, along with the fiery passion that burns up the pages, is all consuming. I was unable to put this one down. Although at times I found the situations the characters had to withstand a little distressing, I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an exciting, sexually charged romance because this has to be one of the best I have read. Hats off to this great author. I look forward to reading more of her stories in the future.”

You can read more reviews of all my books and stories at my website.

What is your all time favorite book?

Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. Rarely does a book touch me as deeply as this novel did, and on so many levels. It stuck with me for years not just days. And honestly, part of me still yearns to take my family to some remote locale, leave everything behind and live off the land. But I know deep down I’m too techie dependant to actually do it.

How do you do research for your books? What’s the most interesting bit of research you’ve come across?

I always research. Let’s face it, any excuse to get my nose in a musty, old book, and I’m there. :-) Now, how much I research depends on the story. For THE MARQUIS & THE MISTRESS, I did endless amounts. The story takes place during King Henry IV of France’s last years ruling the country, and includes as many factual characters as fictional. So, I read up on, not only the period and the locale, but the people. I’ll tell you, some of the books I read on King Henry IV were so old, the binding glue turned to dust on my desk. But, I love history and books (probably why I write) so I found all of that research not only interesting but inspiring. It amazes me to hear that the French court setting does not appeal to a good number of people. I think it’s just as rich, lush and intrigue laden as the English court. Not to mention all those hot, French men. Ooo-la-la, what’s not to love?

The most interesting thing that’s happened so far came from reading the Marquis de Sade’s letters and works as research for my erotic novella, ONE NIGHT WITH DE SADE. I had always been fascinated by him, but I had no idea what a normal, intelligent, politically conscious minded and loving individual he was. He was very much ahead of his time when it came to reform and society - a rebel with a cause, if you will, who used his works to shake people up, to wake them up. So, it was interesting to leave that experience not only understanding a bit more about the man many considered a monster, but admiring him on certain levels. He was French too, of course, so that helped. LOL! (Are you noticing a trend here?)



What advice would you give aspiring writers today?

Develop thick skin, keep your chin up, write everyday, treat others how you want to be treated, keep learning, always be professional, if you don’t have a critique partner – get one, and surround yourself with those who support your dream. Ignore the ones who don’t – they will all be clamoring to for autographs when you’re published, and success is the sweetest revenge.


How do you like your fans to contact you?

Feel free to stop by my website ( http://www.meaganhatfield.com ) to learn more about me or my books. Or cruise by and friend me at Myspace ( http://www.myspace.com/meaganhatfield ) or leave a comment at my blog ( http://www.meaganhatfield.blogspot.com )
I’d like to mention that I also have a Yahoo Newsletter Group – (
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/A-Little-Bit-of-Magic/ ) called - A Little Bit of Magic. Every three months, I post a newsletter with info about me, my books, hottie of the month and the contest winner of that issue. Once you're signed up for my group, you'll receive automatic entry into all of my contests.

****Contest****
Leave a comment on ANY of my posts for your chance to win:
1.) $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2.) Download of your choice from my backlist

48 comments:

Kimberly B. said...

Terrific interview! I especially enjoyed reading about the various time periods you've visited in your writing and learning about your writing process.

ddurance said...

Meagan,
You sound like me with so many irons in the fire.
I love dark stories so it sounds like yours would be right up my alley.
Congratulations on the big sale and on the new series! I can't wait to hear more about it.

Deidre
deidre_durance@hotmail.com

kmont said...

Meagan! congratulations on all your success!! No one has worked harder and I am SO proud of you! You, as always, amaze me in that completely awe-inspired way. Keep it up, girl. You clearly have what it takes.

Meagan Hatfield said...

Thanks, Kimberly!

IMHO, research and learning are some of the best things about writing. I have a book addiction, so any excuse to buy more and I'm all over it. LOL!

Thank for posting!

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hi Deidre,

Hahaha...it's always great to meet another juggling multi-tasker. :-)
Thanks for the congrats! I can't wait to post more info about this sale, the series, the release date, etc. Soon!!!! LOL!

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hey Miss Kenda!!

Awww, you're such a doll. :-) Thanks so much for the congrats. After all, success means nothing without friends to share it with, right? (((hugs)))

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Great interview, Meagan! Major contrats on your sale, I can't wait to hear the details. :) You've been a busy woman. Looking forward to the coming excerpts.

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hey Stacey girl!!

Glad you liked the interview. Seeing how I wrote it at 2am, I'm just glad it's coherent. LOL!

Thanks for the congrats!! It's SO hard to keep mums, I'm horrible at it! :-)

CrystalGB said...

Great interview. You are a busy lady. Your books sounds great.

Ruth Woolsey said...

Hi Meagan,I can't wait for the dragon shifter series as they are one of my faves and not done often. As to dark, lofe is not always rosy so conquering that makes the book better. Huge congrats on the sale.

Pollyanna said...

That was a great interview. You really get to know quite a lot of things about an author. I love shifter books and look forward to reading your dragon shifter series. Congrats!
tamsyn5@yahoo.com

Chicks of Characterization said...

Meagan,

A NY publisher??????????? OMG, that is soooooooooooo AWESOME!!! Doing the happy dance for you!!! :O) Congratulations!!! oh, yeah, great interview! I can't wait to hear all about it!! And I promise to get those Robin Hood recaps to you very soon!!!!

Woohoo!!!!

Andrea :O)

Rosalind said...

I'm so excited! I cannot wait for your new release I've been waiting for this, Hoping that the dragon shifter/vampire's would take off! My fingers still crossed the whole series is loved. I can't wait to read
them since reading 'Claiming the Lamb'.

Carol said...

I also enjoyed reading your interview and I'm looking forward to reading your books!

Eden Rivers said...

Hey Meagan,

I knew you wouldn't be able to sit tight on news THAT bit, lol. Freaking MAJOR CONGRATULATIONS on the NY contract, girl!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugs!

Eden

Eden Rivers said...

okay, right, I should learn to look for typos before I hit "publish comment"--obviously, I meant news that BIG!!!

LOL

Eden

Meagan Hatfield said...

Thanks, Crystal!!

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hi Ruth!

I like that...life is not always rosy. :-) A truer sentence could not be spoken for my dragon hero that's for sure.

And thank you so much for the congrats!!

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hi Pollyanna,

Hmm, now you have me itching to re-read what I wrote? LOL!

I'm glad you like dragons too and thanks for the congrats!

Meagan Hatfield said...

Andrea!!! Yea, can you believe it? Woot!! ;-)

And yes *tapping toe* I'z still waiting to hear about my Robin. *grins*

Meagan Hatfield said...

Rosalind, you are the BEST!! I'm so glad we "found" each other over at Myspace. And don't think I've forgotten - the minute that box of books shows up at my door, I'm sending one to you. :-)

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hahaha...yeah, Eden...you know me too well. I almost lasted a day. That should count for something, right? :-)

Lisa said...

Great interview, Meagan. It's always nice to know more about our authors. Have a wonderful week.
Lisa

Virginia said...

Great interview, I really enjoyed it. How do you manage to hold down a job and take care of your children and still manage to write so many different genres?

Meagan Hatfield said...

Thanks, Lisa...you too!! :-)

Meagan Hatfield said...

Virginia, I have no idea. LOL! Most of the time, I just put my head down and write.

I do know that notebooks are key for me. I have them all over the house, in my purse, car, etc. so I can write anywhere. Sometimes I'll put pen to paper while the family watches tv. They like it because I'm sitting with them, as opposed to being holed up in my office, but I'm still getting work done. Win-win. :-)

kimmyl said...

Hi Meagan, I loved your website and your books.
Do you have favorite characters from the books you've written?

Jane said...

Hi Meagan,
Which sub-genre takes the longest or is the most difficult to writer? Would it be paranormal because you have to create your own world or historical because of the research needed?

BethRe said...

Meagan,
Congratulations on your sale.
Beth

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hi Kimmy!

Wow, that is a tough question! But, I'm going to have to go with the hero of Dragon Fire, Declan. He is dark, sexy and pure alpha male yumminess. :-) I can't wait to share him with everyone! Err...that doesn't sound good, but you know what I mean. *smiles*

Crystal said...

Meagan,

Great interview!
You make me tired just hearing about your daily activities. Fascinated to hear about your dance background. I've done ballroom dancing for about 10 years and I LOVE reading stories with ballroom dance characters. Have you ever thought of writing a romance set in a ballroom dance studio? I'd sure love to read it if you did!

I went out to your blog and saw the cover for Magical Encounter. It was AWESOME!!! Really caught my eye. :-)

Cheers,
Crystal (the OTHER Crystal.. aka crystalgt instead of crystalgb)

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hi Jane,

Actually, I think even with historical you have to work very hard to make sure the world is rich and believable. Personally, I never consider research a chore - more like a guilty pleasure. ;-) After all, I don't think you'd set a story in a place you had no desire to learn about. I think you'd pick a region, castle, country that you'd love to visit, or saw a picture of.

And I absolutely love anything world building. :-)

So, while both take time, I personally don't find one harder than the other...just different. That's why it's fun to switch from one to the next. You're never bored.

Meagan Hatfield said...

Thank you so much, BethRe and good luck with the contest!

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hi Crystalgt, (aka- the "Other" crystal) :-)

You know, I have never thought about a ballroom dance book. I have written a ballet themed novella, but you're right...I think a ballroom one would be fun! Ooooo, or a dancing with the stars kinda thing. :-) Hmm, already got my mind spinning. *grins*

blessedheart said...

Hello Megan,
I enjoyed your interview. I also visited your website and MySpace page to learn more about you and your books.

Have a great day!

Rhonda :-)

Meagan Hatfield said...

Thanks, Rhonda!! I hope you friended me if you have a Myspace page. ;-)

Estella said...

Congrats on your sale!
I love paranormal stories.

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Meagan, didn't you promise excerpts? I've been waiting for the chance to procrastinate on my current wip by reading them. :)

Meagan Hatfield said...

Thanks, Estella!!! I hope you enjoy the book when it comes out. :-)

Meagan Hatfield said...

Hey again, Stacey.

I posted two other posts and they disappeared. ??? I was going to try again here in a minute or two...thanks for the prod! :-)

Cathy said...

I love these interviews, it's so fun to learn about new authors.

Laura K said...

Love the interview! Please enter me into the contest you're having. That's a hunk of love on the cover above!

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! Love learning about new authors. Congrats on the sale!

Ginger Simpson said...

Great interview. I thought I knew you, but I guess I didn't really. *lol* Just shows that you can be close to someone and still learn things about them. I'll keep what I do know secret for you. *smile*

Hugz,
Ginger

Michelle said...

Thanks for the contest info Meagan. That is great that your grandparents gave you a love of reading...I am trying to do the same for my niece & nephew.

Sue A. said...

Great interview! Blogs have broadened my reading tastes by introducing me to so many authors. I love getting opportunities like this to interact with authors and to get to know them better.

Meagan congratulations on your success so far and I'm sure there is more yet to come!

Michelle said...

I just adore shifter stories and a dragon shifter story sounds great. Can't wait to get my hands on it....

Zulmara said...

que cool are you...love your writing schedule...a true writerly life...writing whenever there is a moment to put pen to paper...

ADELANTE!!!

Zulmara