Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Author Spotlight: Megan Linski

Author of Alora

Tell us about the Anmortals from your book Alora. 

Anmortals are immortal creatures who are humans during the summer and animals during the winter. They are extremely beautiful, very proud, and value freedom above all. Alora is the perfect Anmortal. She's gorgeous, over confident, and her winter form, a winged wolf, suits the magical air that surrounds all Anmortals. 

What was it about Northern Michigan that inspired you to make it the setting of your book?

I love Northern Michigan. Love it. It's the only place in the entire world I've ever been that looks like the setting of a fantasy novel. You can walk outside and it feels like you're in an enchanted, northern forest. The waterfalls, the aureola borealis, the sandy shores, and everything else just speaks to me as a writer. And the seclusion is absolutely wonderful. There's no one around for miles, and the people that do live there are kind and generous (and they make some fantastic food). I am completely at peace and happy there. If I had the option, that's where I would build my writing retreat. I feel as if it's my home. 

How did you get the idea for Alora?

I was visiting up north, and we were driving on a road that spiraled through a deep part of the wilds in the Upper Peninsula. I looked out the window among the trees and pines and saw a young white wolf with wings, chasing after us and looking at me proudly, refusing to cast away her eyes. Right then I knew I had to write about her and tell her story. I begged for some paper and a pen and got right to it. Most of the first draft was composed on that vacation on napkins and hotel paper. 

What made you decide to become a YA author?

I started writing YA when I was a teenager because, naturally, I wanted to write about people my own age. Now that I'm older I want to write about YA because I remember what it's like to be in a teenager's shoes. Many things that happened throughout my teenage years were painful and unforgettable to me. I've matured quite a bit since I became an adult, but I think a small part of me is always going to be that lost teenager who couldn't stop writing books. I want to keep connecting with teens today and years to come because I've been there, and whatever it is, I get where they're coming from. 

Your book, Alora, claimed the #4 spot on Amazon in the free YA Fantasy Swords and Sorcery category. How did you accomplish that?

I would suppose it had a lot to do with luck, really, but I also submitted my book to be featured for free on 30+ Kindle websites and around 20+ or so Facebook pages and Twitter outlets a month before the release date. I posted everywhere I could and asked everyone who liked the book to share it on their profile the day it was free. I have an amazing book blogger on my side, Hayley Guertin, who does a lot of promotion for me. I basically worked my butt off to try and get the book out there. I ended up getting over 1,000 downloads. But if people actually read the book after downloading a copy is an entirely different story. 

What do you do when you're not writing?

Promoting, haha. And that's basically the truth. If I'm not working on a new book I'm trying to sell the ones I already have out. But sometimes I have to force myself to take a break so I don't get burned out, and then I go outside to ride horses, go fishing or on a walk. Sometimes I sew or watch TV, or play a video game. On the rare occasions when I can afford it I'll go ice skating. I'm also attempting to go to college as well. But overall these books are my life. It's been that way ever since I was fourteen years old. 

What are your plans for the future?

I want to publish three more books this year. I'd like to get a couple thousand fans for my Facebook pages, and get more reviews for my books. Besides writing I'd like to finish up trade school, go back to earn my degree, and save up some money so I can travel abroad next year. But our plans for the future are rarely what comes to be, so we'll see. 


What advice to you offer aspiring writers?

This is hard. I'm not gonna lie, it's really, really hard. You have to love it with all your heart to keep doing it. If you aren't willing to sacrifice everything, reconsider publishing books. But if this is something you need to do, then don't let anything stand in your way. 

Thank you, Megan!
Megan Linski is also looking for Beta Readers and Reviewers. If interested, you can contact her on her blog or facebook page. 

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