Today, I’d like to introduce you to M. E. Gordon, another of the authors from Black Opal Books. Ms. Gordon is a new author to me (as well as you), as I just recently joined Black Opal Books for an upcoming Regency romance release (Angel Comes to the Devil’s Keep), so I thought an interview would serve us both well in learning more of Ms. Gordon’s works.
First, tell us a bit about yourself. From where do you come? Past jobs, awards, the usual bio stuff.
My name is Megan Gordon, and I hail from central Maryland. I’m a wife and mom to four kiddos under 6. Before I decided to try my hand at writing, I was a pre-school teacher. I stopped that once my husband and I decided to have horde of kids on our own. Didn’t really make sense to pay for someone to watch my kids while I watch someone else’s, so I quit, to stay at home and raise our kids.
How long have you been writing, and how did you decide this was a career you wanted to pursue?
I’ve always considered myself a writer. I journal and when I was a pre-teen I use to write my own stories and get my friends to read them. Thank God I’ve come a long way since then! At first I wrote as something to occupy my downtime, between diapers and bottles, but as I went on and finally finished my first novel Torn Hearts, I wanted to see it through all the way. My thought “Someone’s gonna want to read this.” And they did. Black Opal Books signed me after my submitting query letters to only three different publishers.
What do you write? You’re welcome to include your latest title (shameless plug).
I love writing about two people meeting, as well as their growing relationship: those first looks, funny banter, and electric charges. I live for those special experiences. I like writing this style, because I also like reading it! I love a good back and forth between characters and what might be going through their heads in those vulnerable moments. My genre is contemporary and new adult. But I have plans to explore the syfy new adult, and maybe if I ever really have the time to do research, I’d like to try historical. (Maybe when all the kids are in school…)
Tell us about your new release.
My very first book is called Torn Hearts. It’s not your typical romance in the sense that the main girl is a size 12. She’s not only dealing with love, but the realization that maybe she’s being used or taken advantage of. She has to remember to suck it in and watch the muffin top. These are things that most everyday women in the real world think and have to deal with. I wrote her as a size 12 because I was tired of reading about frail women with no back bone and who always seem to need someone to take care of them and tell them when to eat…really, who needs to be reminded to eat? It was a challenge to write for a plus size woman. For example, the girl is nervous about meeting a guy for a date, now multiply that by a million for a plus size girl. “Is he using me? Am I part of some joke? Are my rolls showing? Do I have a double chin?”
Tell us something of the genre in which you choose to write. If you write in more than one genre is your approach different for each genre, in the manner you write, plot the book, or brainstorm ideas?
With all my books (I’ll soon have three published by Black Opal Books) I find that I start with an idea and just write as if I was watching a movie in my head. I jot down ideas for plot twists (who doesn’t love a plot twist?) but don’t necessarily stick to them. I try to get into my character’s head and react to the situations as they come and just see where it takes me in the story. With Torn Hearts, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to happen, and it was a matter of hitting all the main milestones in the book. With my second book Make Me Stay, I changed the way I wrote. I decided to switch back and forth from the main girl to the main guy so the reader could get inside both the male and female head. I love writing like this. The characters end up driving the story. All I do is add in obstacles for them to navigate around.
What difficulties does writing this genre present?
So in the contemporary genre, I feel like it’s flooded with authors and books. There are so many books in the contemporary/ new adult genre it’s hard to break through and have a stand out book. It’s so difficult to make one’s book stand out from the others, but if a person has a solid story and great characters that readers can either relate to or crush on, he/she’s golden.
What do you enjoy most in the writing process? What parts of it do you really dislike?
I love writing dialogue! It’s my favorite thing about writing. I feel like when I read that I sometimes jump over the boring stuff and get straight to the dialogue. It’s what drives a book in my eyes. You can only read about what someone is thinking for so long before you get bored stiff.
As far as what I dislike about writing… it has to be editing. I know it has to be done, but sometimes I don’t even want to read my book more than ten times. My eyes start going crossed and soon I find myself trolling around the Internet just to avoid it.
How much time do you devote to writing each day?
Once I get the kids in a good schedule with school and drop off/pick up, I try to sit for at least 2-3 hours a day. Now there are times where I’m on a roll and will stay up all night, but I pay for it in the morning.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I pick my characters’ names by how they sound together. For instance, in my book Make Me Stay is about Kane and Kitty. I like things that flow nicely off the tip of your tongue.
How do you keep all your research information and plot ideas organized and accessible?
I have a journal for each book that I write. In these I jot down everything from character description to possible quotes. I write down songs that inspire me and details about how rooms look or different places in the book.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) of your current project to write and why?
So in Torn Hearts, my favorite part to write was the argument between Spencer Salvatore and Beth when she finally gave in not only to him, but to the feelings she was suppressing. I feel like it’s sexy and gets the reader’s blood pumping. You don’t know who to be mad at, him for making her choose, or her for running away. Plus, there’s really good dialogue, and we all know I love a good conversation or argument in this case.
How do you get past writer’s block or distractions like the Internet?
When I have writer’s block, I walk away. I put it all away and just live my life. Usually within a few days I find myself coming up with dialogue or plot ideas. I scramble for a pad of paper or jot something down on my phone if I’m out, and before I know it I’m back at it.
The Internet is another topic all together. It’s a black hole for writers, and if you’re not careful you will get sucked in.
What was your favorite book from childhood?
As a child, the story I remember the most was The Giving Tree and the Berenstain Bears books. I enjoyed all of those.
Who has been the most difficult character for you to write?
The most difficult character to write so far for me has been Spencer Salvatore from Torn Hearts. He’s a mystery to me even to this day. He’s so complicated that it’s hard to keep his personality where it needs to be in certain scenes in the book. I know so much more about his background than the reader, and it’s difficult to remember that when writing for him.
How much time does it take you to write a book?
It can take me as little as 3 months and as long as 8 months to write a book. It all depends on what my schedule looks like with the kids, because they do come first.
Can you tell us something of your upcoming projects?
I am so excited about my second book Make Me Stay. I think it’s the best book that I have written. It’s about a rock band called One Night Stand. I plan on writing a book for each one of the guys in the band. In these books, you see them start off in a small town bar where they slept around with a different woman every night to eventually them making it big. On their way to fame, they each meet their match in a feisty woman. These books are when I started switching perspectives back and forth, and I think it works really well and gives the reader a better sense of the characters and why they act the way they do.
What do you find is the hardest part of writing?
Everything has been pretty good up until it was time to promote my book. I’m not a blogger or twitter-er, nor do I have a huge following, so getting my book into people’s hands has been challenging. I keep asking for reviews, and sometimes I get nothing back. Another reason this genre is hard is people already have their favorites, and it’s hard to get people to buy one’s book when they don’t know the author or her writing style. Promoting is almost a full time job in itself. I see why some authors hire someone to help them. Hopefully, I can get there one day because navigating blogs and blitz and tweets is way, and I mean way, over my head.
What will you be working on next?
Right now I’m working on the third book in my rock band series and promoting my first book Torn Hearts. I plan on finishing the sequel to Torn Hearts soon so that it can get it to my publisher and then into readers’ hands.
A TALE AS OLD AS TIME – A GIRL, TALL AND WISY, HAIR THE COLOR OF THE SUN, EYES AS BLUE AS THE SKY, CAUGHT IN A LOVE TRIANGLE WITH THE NOBLEST OF MEN…
NOT IN THIS BOOK, HONEY!
My name is Elizabeth, and I’ve managed to avoid men most of my life. I wasn’t a nun by any means, but I knew what the Hot Guys wanted, and it usually wasn’t me. How I got myself involved in a love triangle with one sexy photographer and a millionaire bachelor, who has women worshipping the ground upon which he walks, is beyond me.
Yet, here I am navigating unknown waters: figuring out which man is right for me, dealing with my family, and you guessed it, the paparazzi.
What a girl to do? Who do I trust? Who is genuine? What if both men are perfect in different ways? How does a girl choose just one? What if I choose to keep them both?