“Do you listen to music when you write and if so, who do you listen to?”
I do listen to music a large portion of the day. Depending on what I am writing depends who I choose to listen to. My play my writing pretty close to the chest and I have found, at least for me, the best way to get good work from me is if I almost live what the character is going through. Obviously, I cannot go through certain events like death and breakups and other forms of heartache on a personal level everyday, but I purposely put my state of mind in those situations and let them play out so I can see what sort of reaction I can bring out. Based on what I am trying to feel, I play music that gets me there faster. Obviously, if i wanted to express a joyful mood with my character, I will play more upbeat music while at other times, say when I want to feel what it’s like to have my heart broken by someone, I play much more somber music. While I am just free writing, I generally put on some sort of classical piece, generally something with a piano. I find the instrument quite comforting and I hope to learn how to play it some day. I obviously have my favorite bands and musical acts, but they aren’t who some would expect. When I was a teen, I listened to a lot of Nirvana and Pearl Jam and other alternative bands. While I do still listen to them, I rarely do while I write. Lately, it’s been a lot of Tool, The Delgados, Olivia Lufkin, Caroline, Velvet Revolver, and The Smashing Pumpkins. That’s just a small portion as I tend to listen to all kinds of music.
“What’s with you and Lisa Edelstein? Is she really your FB friend? Does it have anything to do with your book?”
One day, I was playing around with an idea. I watched all of the people I normally conversed with on Twitter and thought to myself “Who would play that person in a movie about their life?” The first person I remember thinking of was my twitter pal Melissa Foster. I looked at her photo and it reminded me of Lisa Edelstein who played Dr. Lisa Cuddy on House. I wrote a small tweet similar to “I choose @Lisaedelstein to play @Melissa_Foster in the movie about her life.” I went on to write other somewhat funny comments about other people, all of them flattering. I got a lot of positive feedback and some of my tweets were retweeted. Melissa got back to me and asked why I said that and I told her she reminded me of Lisa. Soon, our conversation shifted and it became “Lisa Edelstein would be a great Megan for my book Megan’s way.” We both liked the idea so it sort of snowballed from there. Melissa retweeted the tweet and I supported her by continuously retweeting something similar. Soon, I found that a handful of people were behind the idea and it went from there. Coincidentally, that was the same day that Lisa Edelstein started up a personal facebook account. Before I knew it, both Melissa and I were added to her account as friends. It was pretty interesting. Obviously, Melissa and I don’t know Lisa personally and many other people were added to her account as well, but it was sort of funny that the same day I created the tweet was the same day she did that. I think that’s why the idea took off so well because people were already talking about her. I later found out that Melissa was able to talk to one of Lisa’s people about possibly getting her a copy of Megan’s Way to read so she could consider taking a role in the film which is being developed about the book. She and I both know it’s a long shot, but it would be pretty amazing to look back at this a year from now and see it happen and think wow, I played a role in getting Lisa to do this film. As far as a connection to the book, there isn’t one. I did this essentially as a way to give a head nod to my friends on twitter. I wasn’t trying to make my name bigger by doing this.
“Chapter Five is hard to get through because of the material it covers. Was all that real? Did that really happen to you?”
As with all writers, we take certain aspects of our lives and put them into words that sometimes end up in our books. I will say this concerning chapter 5 and the entire book really…it’s all fiction. The book is fiction. Some of the things that happen in 5…did they happen to me? I really can’t say because people may make assumptions about other people in my life and I do not wish to cast certain others in a negative light. It was never my intention to make certain people from my past look bad. Fact is only those people who were there during those years know what happened to me. A few others I have spoken to may know, but that is for their ears and their ears alone. It’s a matter of public record that yes, I did suffer abuse while I was in my 20′s, but to what extent, I will not say. It’s not something I generally talk about unless I am being bothered by it and the person I choose to talk to had prior knowledge on said events. As far as the person who is looked at as evil in that chapter, the person who some might associate that character with in real life is a good and decent human being. Fact is we were simply toxic toward each other and that is ultimately what caused the issues. As far as that link is nowadays, we are civil. We do not talk all that often, but we both agree that being away from each other was the best thing we could have done. I still care for that person a great deal. You cannot spend that much time with someone and not care. I forgave them for what they did and I, by no stretch of the imagination, am innocent of any wrong doing during that time in my life. We both made very bad decisions. We also do not want them to haunt the rest of our lives. We can both look back at that time and think about the mistakes we made and know that we learned from them so we could hopefully avoid those issues in our future endeavors. In a future work, I may allude to more of that situation, but I have not decided yet.
“Is it true that you dreamed the entire book?”
For the most part, yes. The core idea for the book came from a lucid dream I had. It was so vivid that it stuck with me for days. I ended up writing the dream down as it was just something that wouldn’t leave me alone. I found myself having the dream over and over to the point where I thought about writing it down as more than just a blog post. That was really how it all got started. Through the process of writing the story, I continued to have dreams surrounding the book and I sort of just let those dreams write the book for me. Oddly enough, the original person I saw in my dream was not what ultimately led me to developing a character that came from it. While I saw that person, I heard someone else’s voice. Once I figured out whose voice that was, they are who became that character to me and I took it from there. Through the months I spent writing, I kept dreaming of that person and it was as if they were guiding my writing and helping me to develop the story. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced in my life. It’s one thing to dream of an idea, but it’s something else to have that person come to you again and again through the course of the writing process. I guess it can be attributed that once I figure out who that person was, I spent a good deal of time studying up on them and reading about them so it makes sense that I would have dreams about them every now and then. However, the dreams at one point were virtually a nightly occurrence. Even now as I am finishing up my followup to RH, I still have dreams of them and they aren’t letting up. I guess when I stop having those dreams, I may not want to write anymore. I can’t really say for sure.
“Will your next book offer anything else regarding the development of relationships between that characters?”
Yes. The story will continue, and in my next work Recorded Butterflies, relationships will be tested and everyone of the characters will go through something that will change their lives forever. One character in particular about halfway in gives up the ghost on something so tragic that it might change the way my readers look at them. I spent several days constructing how I would write it and I think I do it a great justice with the words I use and the way I weave the telling of that arch. I hope that the readers will notice the absence of a particular word through the entire telling of that arch and appreciate the way I managed to exclude it. Also, at the end, something so explosive will happen that it will leave the readers breathless. I promise though, as soon as I am done with RB, I will immediately start work on the next book to follow it because there will be huge questions that people will want answers to. It’s not a cliffhanger, at least to me it isn’t. A cliffhanger leaves you wondering what something could possibly be. I, on the other hand, provide you will an answer. The only question after that is how is the aftermath handled.
“In the book, you make small references to religion. Are you religious? Why did you make those references?”
I do not follow any religion. I did when I was a kid, but that was sort of forced. As an adult, I tend to ask more questions and that seems to piss off some religious people. As with other matters, I don’t wish to make people angry on that front. I just don’t understand some of the things people take as fact regarding it. I’m not exactly against religion. I look at it this way: if religion helps you get through your day and makes you a better person, then I say have at it. As with most other things in the world, it’s the few bad apples that make religion difficult for the rest of us. As long as you’re not out killing people or forcing your beliefs on anyone else, I am ok with it. I think of myself as agnostic. I’m not really sure what there is and if there is something, I will accept it as long as scientific proof exists. The religious mentions in the book are played against the characters themselves. There is a little more to those images and I leave very very subtle cues that some people may not pick up on as I don’t generally make everything literal. While no character has come out and said that they follow any particular religion, I’d like to believe that they would at the very least be somewhat spiritual; some more than others. There is one particular image that is given in the book that will play out across the entire series of books. Religion will be explored more in the next couple of books, in the third most notably.
Be sure to catch part three.