Friday, October 21, 2005

Today, Megan Crane swings into Fruitful-land on her Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit tour. Megan is currently promoting her new book, Everyone Else's Girl. Here's a synopsis:

Meredith McKay has gone to a lot of trouble to create the picture-perfect life for herself-- far away from her troublesome family, thank you. When her father's car accident forces her back to her hometown, however, she soon discovers that there's no running away from family issues-- there's only delaying the inevitable. Can anyone sort out a lifetime of family drama in one hot summer? Throw in a hot guy from back in high school with an axe to grind, a best-friend turned enemy turned soon-to-be-sister-in-law, and, of course, the sometimes irritating/sometimes delightful members of her own family, and Meredith is on her way to figuring out that sometimes a little trip through the past is the best way to move forward.

Despite the title of her novel, Megan is very much her own girl (I even had a chance to meet her in person at Martha O'Connor's LA reading earlier this year; you can see pictures of the day here.) I asked Megan a few questions about her book and her process:

--What inspired you to write Everyone Else's Girl?

I wrote the bulk of EVERYONE ELSE'S GIRL while involved in what I like to call an "extended move" from York, England to Los Angeles, which really means I spent six months hidden away in my parents' attic finishing up my dissertation, something I felt I was unlikely to do once I escaped west.

What, I thought at the time, was more likely to make a grown women revert to her absolute worst than an extended stay right smack in the middle of her adolescence? And from that thought came Meredith!

--How was writing your second novel different from writing your first?

My first novel just sort of poured out of me, over the course of about three weeks one summer. (It took much longer to edit, of course.) But there was no pouring with EVERYONE ELSE'S GIRL. Every word was a struggle, every scene was a fight. I changed from first person to third person and then back again. It was like running uphill! But I hear most second novels are like that, so I'm just glad to be finished!

--You have a PhD in literature; what aspect of literature did you focus upon, and did it influence the writing of your novels?

I wrote my dissertation on AIDS literature in New York from 1980-1996. At first glance, this has nothing at all to do with chick lit. But one of the authors I concentrated on, David Feinberg, wrote hilarious novels/memoirs-- like Sex In the City if you happened to be gay, urban, HIV positive, and an activist in 1980s New York. That might not sound funny. The fact that it really, really is speaks to Feinberg's genius. His work has turned out to be a tremendous influence on me.

--Any words of advice for aspiring writers?

Just keep writing! And don't worry about the market-- worry about your story. In the end, it's all that matters.

--What are you working on now?

I have a third novel which we're hoping to sell, so fingers crossed! In the meantime I have some work-for-hire projects on my plate, and a bunch of readings in the Los Angeles area for EVERYONE ELSE'S GIRL. It should be a busy fall!

--(I always ask a fruit-related question, since my blog is called Fruitful). What is your main character's favorite fruit and why? What is your own favorite fruit and why?

Meredith is definitely a citrus kind of girl. She'd like the tang in an orange. But I'm a sucker for a perfectly ripe mango. Yum.

--I second the mango yum. Thanks so much, Megan! Good luck with the book; I'm sure our paths will cross again somewhere down the line...

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