Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Meg Bonney author of Everly, her debut YA fantasy novel to be released by Pandamoon Publishing November 2017 – Meg Bonney is a mother, wife and freelance writer. When she isn’t writing, she is off somewhere obsessing about her favorite TV shows.
What was 12-14-year-old Meg Bonney reading?
MB: Fear Street! I was super into Goosebumps by R.L. Stine when I was a kid and as I got older, I got into his pre-teen horror(ish) books called Fear Street. There were a million of them and there was a point when I had finished all of them so I would just start reading them all over again until a new one came out. Most of them were one-offs but there was this trilogy that gave the backstory into the “Fear Family” which is who the fictional street is named after. Those books (The Betrayal, The Secret, and The Burning) were my jam.
Becoming an author is a dream that goes unfulfilled for many people. When did it hit you that you are an author?
MB: I would say that it is still hitting me. I think when I am holding my book in my hands, it will hit me like a ton of bricks. Right now, I am still a little in shock that all of this is happening.
Most authors fall into the plotter or pantser category. Are you a plotter or a pantser or some unicorn hybrid?
MB: I wrote EVERLY totally as a pantser. That book evolved and changed so much because I kept changing where I wanted the story to go. I knew of a few specific moments I wanted in the book and I knew the general story I wanted to tell but I just sort of winged it. Book 2 in the EVERLY series is more plotter.
I’m always interested in an author’s writing habit. Are you a first thing in the morning person or late at night? Do you have any unique rituals to get in the zone?
MB: I am a “whenever I can” writer. With four jobs and two kids, I take my writing time whenever and however I can get it. If I were able to pick, I think I would say morning, when I am full of coffee and well rested. When I write, I need water and really loud music in my head phones. I have a Spotify playlist for EVERLY that always gets me back into the zone.
I love Everly your debut YA fantasy novel. Madison is an incredibly powerful and dynamic protagonist with a cast-iron gut and courage in spades and who is incredibly likable and relatable. Where did the idea for Everly come from?
MB: Thank you so much! I wanted to write a story with a few different elements. I wanted there to be a young girl who was tough and strong but wasn’t totally emotionless. I have two little girls and I wanted to give them a character that wasn’t perfect and who would fight the bad guys but also cry when she is upset. It doesn’t have to be an “either-or” situation. Crying doesn’t mean that Madison is weak. I also wanted to have a story that wasn’t solely focused on a love story. Family drama can be just as consuming as your first love but family drama is way more complex. And I wanted to have a badass character who just happens to be gay. He isn’t defined by his sexuality and he is the glue that holds everyone together.
I think Madison is the perfect name for the main character in Everly. Why did you choose that for her name?
MB: I wanted it to be strong but with a feminine touch (when shortened to Maddy). There is a reason she has that name that I can’t tell you because it’s a spoiler. You will find out exactly why in Book 2.
Can you swim or do you sink to the bottom of the pool like Madison?
MB: I can’t swim very well at all. I almost drown in a swimming pool as a kid so I have never really been a big fan but I have gotten better about going in. But if I had to pick, I would have to go with sink.
What Game of Thrones house do you think Madison would be aligned with?
MB: I would say Stark because she is pretty honorable but it might be Lannister just because her family is pretty messed up, like theirs.
Zombie apocalypse, what is your go-to weapon?
MB: Oh man. I wouldn’t be able to fight. I am so terrified of zombies. I think I would just figure out a way to avoid them. Like learn to fly a helicopter and only touch down for food. But if I did have to fight, I would go with a sword of some kind.
Seriously, I’ve not watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, what am I missing and why do you think it holds such a special place in some many people’s hearts?
MB: It is just so good. Season 1 is a little rough but once you get into it, it’s so great. Buffy Summers so powerful but is far from perfect. The show is her facing the evils of the world AND high school. Imagine you had a fight with your significant other in High School. Traumatic right? But imagine your significant other is a vampire and your purpose in life is to kill vampires! It’s a constant struggle for her. I think it holds a special place because it was so flipping good. Joss Whedon knows how to rip your heart out and make you laugh two seconds later. Also, the character development is amazing. GO WATCH IT!
Is there a particular genre or genres that you won’t read?(tell me what you hate)
MB: I don’t love anything too emotional just for the sake of making the reader cry.
What is the best piece of writing advice that you’ve ever read or received?
MB: The best advice I had was to read all of the dialogue out loud. It makes a huge difference.
What are you working on now?
MB: I am working on book 2 in the EVERLY series. It’s going to be quite the gut punch.
We can’t wait! Thank you so much, Meg Bonney, we’ll be looking for Everly Nov 15th, 2016 from Pandamoon Publishing.