Author Interview: Megan Duke - author of Small Cirlces

Small Circles is the story of four friends over four years of their young adult lives in Tennessee. Starting in their sophomore year at a boarding school and continuing through their freshman years at different universities, the friends face the same trials most teenagers face today, as well as a few other things. This inspiring story touches base with the struggles of defining oneself in spite of homosexuality, drug addiction, suicide, and heartbreak. Most of all it sends one message: it’s okay to be happy.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Megan Duke was born in 1992 and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She currently resides there with her fiance, Trent. Megan has spent most of her young adult life writing. She attended fashion school at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Nashville for one year, but after realizing her true passion, she left school and pursued a writing career.
Megan is best known for the coming of age novel, Small Circles. Before releasing that particular story, or its companion: Three Sixty, she began writing a futuristic sci/fi trilogy called The Mind Breaker Accounts. Since then, she has planned to write two more companions to the coming of age novel, as well as finish the Mind Breakers trilogy with the final book planned for release in 2015.
For Megan, telling a story is more than just writing words. To her, it's about sharing something that could possibly make a difference. Whether that be through futuristic fiction driven by the power of mind control, or a simple contemporary novel about friendship and happiness, it's the impact that matters, so read on!
She continues to write every day.

FMM: Do any of your characters share the same traits as you? If so, which characters, and which traits?
MD: I put little bits of myself in each of my characters, either by something they said or something they’re afraid of. Mostly, what I took from myself were experiences. There are some darker pieces I placed in Jade. When I was in high school, I sent pictures to a boy that I shouldn’t have and ended up receiving the same “easy” label that she did. It was a life lesson for me, so I wanted others to not make the same mistake. And, not to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t read it, but the bad thing at the end of Small Circles happened to one of my fiancĂ©’s best friends. I got to witness it unfold around me from an outward perspective, because I wasn’t as close to the friend as he was, so it gave me a unique light in which to write about it. 

FMM: What thought or idea made you sit down and actually write Small Circles?
MD:  had been writing a Sci-fi dystopian for a while (The Mind Breaker Accounts) and wanted to do something different. My biggest inspirations are contemporary/realistic novels, so I wanted to write one myself. I also wanted to write a story where the main character was gay. Most of the books I’ve read that have LGBT characters treat them more like secondary parts of the book, and I wanted them to have more light. I wanted to know their struggles and their happiness without categorizing it as a “gay teen romance”. There were also millions of other young adult issues I wanted to touch on, so I decided to combine them all into one novel, touching on as much as possible from every perspective. That way, everyone could relate to at least one aspect of it. 

FMM: Do you write on a computer, longhand, typewriter, or dictate? Is there a reason why?
MD: I mostly write on my laptop. With the Small Circles books, I tend to write straight through from beginning to end, so it’s easier to type it all out in front of me, allowing to words to spill out as they come to me. If I’m away from the computer, I write notes on whatever paper I can find. Sometimes, a conversation between characters will come to me, and I’ll write that down. I do make timelines before I start every story, writing everything that happens in order and using it like a check list as I write. 

FMM: How do you think you have evolved creatively?
MD: The more I write, the more I’ve come to realize that creativity is not forced. There are two major things in the writing world that I do not agree with: word count and writer’s block. I never restrict myself. I never sit down and say, “Okay, I’m going to write 2000 words today.” I wholeheartedly believe that the stories I create write themselves. If something’s not coming to me, or I’m struggling with a particular scene, I step away from it and usually chuck it all together. If it’s meant to be there, I shouldn’t have to think about it. There are certain parts of my books that I had originally anticipated being longer or shorter, or even more or less detailed. But it came out the way it did because I let it blossom on its own. No word count restrictions. No writer’s block to be overcome. This has always worked for me.

FMMDo you have any advice for authors and how to promote themselves and their books?
MD: I think, being an independent author, it is very important to build your readership from the ground up. It’s harder when you don’t have a major publishing house promoting your work and spreading your name around for all to see. But at the same time, because I’ve done it on my own, I’ve created personal relationships with my readers, and I’ve been able to fully appreciate each and every one of them. There might not be millions of them, but every time someone buys my book I send out a little personal thank you from my heart. Also, never give up. For a long time, I struggled with what my next step would be as an author. I sat back and did nothing, thinking about everything I wanted to accomplish and not actually doing anything about it. I realized, eventually, that nothing was going to happen until I did it myself. So, I put myself out there. I met tons of people and took major risks, and it ended up being 100% worth it in the end. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! We appreciate it (: