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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What initially got you interested in writing?
I’ve loved writing since the dawn of when I could hold a pen. In grammar school, I wrote a story about how my accidentally leaving the dishwasher door open saved my family from a robber and I remember how much fun it was to write a story to get back at my parents for badgering me about the dishwasher door. Because of that, I’ve always sought jobs that had me writing – even law, although I enjoy creative writing more. I wrote for an entertainment news show and articles for a Los Angeles e-zine. Now I write novels and TV scripts and I don’t spend a day without working on one or the other.
How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?
After I wrote my first book, I participated in the query-go-round with agents. The feedback I received was positive, even from many of those agents who wouldn’t agree to take the plunge with me, and it led me to believe my inclination to be a published author wasn’t delusional. My friends and colleagues whose opinions I valued, and who I believed wouldn’t find it funny to let me publish a terrible book, supported my efforts. Finally, I believed in my story, I wanted to share it with more than the ten people who proofed it and I wanted to make a name for myself. There’s little I find more comforting than someone else laughing at something I wrote; and I believed my book had the ability to make that happen. I felt that if I had waited for agents to dictate my future, I might have been selling my book and applying for my AARP card simultaneously. So, I put it out there. And the same goes for my second book.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
First and foremost, I hope they’re entertained. I want my readers to be taken away from whatever is difficult and challenging in their lives and brought to a world they can enjoy. As a child of a psychiatrist, I also hope that I’ve learned a little something about human behavior and inserted at least a modicum of that insight into my books that people find amusing or helpful. But, frankly, I’m satisfied if someone reads what I wrote and says, “that was fun!” Regarding Chaperones, specifically, I hope that reading it will inspire people to do something they’re afraid of doing or to travel to the fantastic country of England or somewhere else where they can see places and meet people who are different than what or who they’re accustomed to.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
That I get to either relive a world that I was once a part of or be a part of a new world that I created, whichever I’ve chosen to do. Apart from that, I get tremendous satisfaction and enjoyment from evoking emotions from my readers, no matter what they are.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
I worry a lot about readers’ reactions, even in my first few drafts. This not only slows my process down, but it can also ruin my story because I’m not necessarily writing to best serve it. It’s impossible to write for a reader’s reaction because it varies tremendously. Every book gets one-star and five-star ratings. Art is subjective. Despite that, I spend a lot of time looking at my jokes or dialogue and wondering just how many people will find it funny or interesting and then I either revise it a million times to suit this phantom audience I imagined or I over-explain something, which stops the flow of the story. Therefore, I’m trying to work on just writing the story I want to tell and worrying about reaction later.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
It feels a little odd to be giving advice at this point in my writing career, but if I’ve learned anything in the past few years, it’s this: don’t let negativity discourage you, make it motivate you. Listen to the criticism, let it encourage you to work harder but don’t rely on it as an absolute gauge of talent or potential. If you use it as a motivator rather than an obstacle, you’ll prove the critics wrong eventually. And if you don’t, at least you had fun trying. Writing should be fun. When it stops being fun, it probably stops being good.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
Well, here’s a little about me. When I’m not writing, I read, play drums, try new restaurants, watch every awful and fantastic sit-com I can get my hands on, watch ice hockey, and spend time with my boyfriend trying to get our cat to do something other than sleep. Oh, and I practice law.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
You can read more about my work on my website megankarasch.com, facebook.com/authormegankarasch and twitter @mjkarasch. For questions, I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much for the opportunity to do this interview. I’ve enjoyed it and I hope you all enjoy Chaperones!