Tuesday, July 2, 2013
No Peace for the Damned
NO PEACE FOR THE DAMNED
Addicted to NA 2013
Magnolia Kelch is no stranger to pain. Beautiful and powerful, she’s spent her entire life at the mercy of her sadistic father and the rest of the Kelch clan, who have tortured her and tested the limits of her powers. After one particularly heinous night that leaves Magnolia nearly dead, she finally sees her chance for escape…
But this first taste of freedom is short-lived when she collides with Thirteen, head of the Network—a secret organization dedicated to fighting supernatural criminals—who recruits her into the group. Even as she’s coming to grips with this new life and the horrific memories that still haunt her, she’s conflicted by her growing attraction to fellow team member Theo and the emergence of new, untested abilities. After months of grueling training, her loyalty to the team is tested when she learns her target is the Network’s most wanted: the Kelch family.
Revenge may course through her veins, but so does the blood of the Kelches. And opposing her family may cost her the thing she treasures most. After all, Magnolia is still a Kelch. And the Kelch are damned.
1. Tell us what your book is about in 140 characters or less.
A powerful young woman joins forces with a secret security agency to fight against her influential family's supernatural terrorism.
1. Is this book part of a series?
Yes. NO PEACE FOR THE DAMNED is the first in the Magnolia Kelch series.
2. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Chapter 29 was definitely my favorite chapter to write. It was also the very first chapter I wrote. I had that scene with Magnolia and Theo on the couch long before I knew anything else about the characters or the story around them. All I knew was that this incredibly sexy young woman, who felt separate from everyone around her, suddenly felt a genuine, normal connection to someone else. The excitement of that moment overshadowed any other insecurities so that when she revealed her tattoo without thought of the consequences, she revealed an innocence that would otherwise be out of character. That moment shows that more than anything, all she really wanted was to have something – anything – in common with someone else.
3. Who’s your favorite character to write and why?
Definitely Magnolia. The book is told from her point of view so I really get to slip into her mind while I write. I love that she is strong and powerful, terrified and angry, whip-smart and completely naïve all at the same time. I remember very clearly being twenty-two and thinking I was the toughest person in the world with all these life experiences while at the same time feeling more vulnerable and uncertain than ever. It is a wonderful experience to be able to relive those feelings through a character with such unlimited potential.
4. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is special?
Magnolia Kelch is a surprisingly well-adjusted young woman considering she spent the first twenty-two years of life in the torturous captivity of her father and uncle. That’s not to say that she isn’t incredibly suspicious of everyone and everything, likely to shoot first and ask questions never. She is the most powerful supernatural person in her extremely powerful family, but has been victimized her entire life leaving her unsure of what she can really do. More than anything, Magnolia is eager to finally experience a level of independence previously denied her – including feeling all of the emotions that only a truly free person can feel.
5. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
The setting is definitely reflective of my life as Hoosier. And as my father so aptly pointed out, every member of my immediate family has a first name that begins with the letter “M”… although that is where the similarities end between my real family and the Kelches.
6. Leave us with a teaser/quote from your book?
“In that last moment of consciousness I had to chastise myself. I was not supposed to live in this world without violence and pain. And I was an idiot to have ever let myself think otherwise.”
1. Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Central Indiana and, while I’ve lived in various cities throughout the Midwest, I currently call central Indiana home still.
2. What are three things that make you happy?
Receiving flowers for no reason at all, my son belly-laughing at his hilarious sister, drinking wine at the lake with my husband and siblings – these are a few of my favorite things. ;)
3. What keeps you awake at night?
Worries about my children, finances, the hope of human equality, revisions that feel as if they will never be finished, replaying conversations and what I wish I would have said – the normal stuff.
4. What’s your greatest fear?
I’ve already experienced my greatest fear. Now I fear for my loved ones going through something painful.
5. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
At this point in my life, it takes a lot to embarrass me. However, I do remember back in Junior High School, when I cared as much as anyone what my peers thought of me, performing in the school choir in front of the entire assembly of students with my fly open. I discovered my fashion faux pas because of the boys in the front row pointing and laughing while I tried to remember my dance moves. Good times, good times.
6. What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring.
7. What is your favorite smell?
That’s a tough one. I love the smell of my Aunt Jackie’s lotion and my parents’ house at Christmas time. I also love garlic and onions cooking in olive oil and freshly cut wood. There are other scents that I affiliate with certain memories, good and bad, but these are probably the most constant as far as favorites.
8. What is your favorite food?
Is coffee a food?
9. What is your greatest regret?
I’ve thought of this a lot and I really can’t think of one. That’s not to say I haven’t made mistakes – Lord knows the trail of bad choices my life has left in its wake – but I can’t say I actually regret anything. Whatever choices I’ve made in my life, I made them for a reason. I can’t look back and say I’d do anything differently because I wouldn’t want to be anywhere other than where I am.
10. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My children know, without question, that I love them no matter what. There is nothing they could ever do or say or be that would keep me from loving them and they are confident in that knowledge. That is an achievement like no other.
11. One piece of advice to someone who’d like to follow in your footsteps?
Find an agent who is established, knows the industry, and is as passionate about your book as you are. Entering the publishing world, I was so ignorant that I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. Having someone there who knew what was going on and had the patience to work with me, answer my questions, and truly look out for my best interests has made all the difference.
12. What is your favorite word?
13. What is your least favorite word?
14. What turns you on creatively?
Being around other creative people. Writer’s groups, reader groups, edit groups – they can both motivate and support the creative flow better than anything else I’ve come across.
15. What is your favorite motivational phrase.?
Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith. – Margaret Shepard
16. What is your favorite positive saying?
Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end. – Unknown.
17. What is your favorite quote?
Being powerful is like being a lady – if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t. – Margaret Thatcher
18. What is your favorite movie?
I have a ton of favourite movies but these are the three that popped in my head when I read this question:
19. What do you like to do outside of books?
PINTEREST!! But seriously, I love to decorate. And redecorate. Then redecorate again. It’s a stress reliever really, although I think I now have more coats (of paint) on the wall than I do hanging in my closet.
20. What are your pet peeves?
People who judge others can just go away. Slurs, hate words, passing judgment of any kind on someone else – these are all things that just make my ass itch.
Any pets that you would like to tell us about, share a pic?
I was never really a dog person but we have the most incredible Shepard/Chow mix in existence! Tybalt is a 13 year old sweetie who is the most easy-going dog you could imagine. It scares me to think we are coming to the end of his time with us. L
21. White wine or red?
Either one as long as it’s a dessert wine.
22. Coffee or tea?
23. Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?
I was in the second grade when my teacher asked the class which ice cream flavor was our favorite. It was a truly eye-opening experience for me to realize that there were people in the world who did not prefer chocolate to all others.
24. What do you normally eat for breakfast, or do you skip it and get straight to work?
Breakfast is a must. Usually, I eat turkey sausage and some fruit. And coffee. Must have the coffee!
25. Sleep in or get up early?
If I can make myself get out of bed at 5:00 AM, I can get more accomplished by 9:00 AM than most do in a full day. Definitely a morning person.
26. Laptop or desktop for writing?
Love my laptop.
How you started:
1. Did you always want to be a writer?
Not at all. In fact, it never even occurred to me to be a writer until the day I started writing NO PEACE FOR THE DAMNED. I was all about the business world and making my mark in corporate America. Life, however, had other plans. After years of my children being in day care twelve hours a day, having a husband I saw only on the weekends (if we were lucky), and parents with health problems, I decided it was time for some serious priority adjustments. I left my career to be a stay-at-home mom in 2006. By the end of 2008, I was pulling my hair out and seriously questioning my sanity. I needed an escape as much as I needed an outlet for all my frustrations. January 2009, I started writing about Magnolia Kelch. Now, in 2013, as a published writer, I’m still wondering about that sanity thing.
2. What were you like in school? Were you good in English?
I was very driven in school. I knew from an early age that I wanted to have a successful business management career so I made choices in my studies and activities that moved me in that direction. I was goal-oriented, focused, and determined. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun (and at times, probably a little too much fun) but when it came to my studies, the only courses I took that didn’t purport my ultimate goal were my English classes. I took every literature class I could, not because I thought it would aid me on my chosen career path, but because I thought they were fun. They were a GPA booster. I never thought I’d actually use those classes outside of school.
3. What was the first work you had published?
The very first work I ever had published was a small (200 word) article on available youth sports in a small local paper. I think I got $5.00.
4. How did you get your agent?
I met my agent at the Midwest Writer’s Workshop at Ball State University in 2009. I was introduced to her through a fellow writer who had read part of my manuscript and knew that this agent was looking for urban fantasy novels. For me, it was love at first sight. I think it took my agent a little longer, though. J
5. How many (if any) rejection letters did you get?
I sent out a total of seven query letters before signing with my agent. Of those, I received three rejections, three requests for further pages and one none response.
6. What was the first book that you wrote (if not this one)?
NO PEACE FOR THE DAMNED was the first anything I ever wrote.
7. What other jobs did you do to support your writing?
I edit and screen online obituary guest books for a company called Legacy.com. It feeds not only my writing and editing needs, but also my morbid side.
8. What would you be doing if you couldn’t be a writer?
I don’t think that’s really an option. I would always write, it’s just a matter of if I’d be paid for it or not.
1. Where do you write, and what makes it the perfect place to write? What surrounds you?
I pace while I write, but in those moments when I’m settled enough to actually type, I do so in one of two places: if the children are home, I go in the dining room to avoid little hands and voices.
If the kids aren’t home, I huddle down in my reading nook with my lap-desk. (my husband made the Magnolia’s Corner sign for me. J
2. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Or something else?
I write primarily on my laptop but I also keep a pad of paper in my purse at all times just in case I need to get through a scene and can’t carry my laptop with me.
3. Do you find it hard to be disciplined?
Absolutely. Whenever I go to write, suddenly there are a multitude of chores that need to be done before I could possibly concentrate on whatever scene I’m supposed to be writing. It helps so much when I have an actual deadline.
4. Do you lock yourself away, or do you need distraction?
I’m very capable of creating my own distractions so any outside influences need to be kept to a minimum.
5. What are you working on at the minute?
Right now, I am completing revisions on a paranormal romance tentatively called, “Saving Death”.
6. Any secret projects languishing under your desk yet to be published?
Oh yeah. I wrote a fluffy mystery about a nosy stay-at-home-mom with a strange alter-ego that has yet to see the light of day and another paranormal romance that I haven’t even let my sister read yet. But the one I will most likely return to at some point is a post-apocalyptic YA about five schoolmates on a quest to disprove the beliefs of their society. I like that one a lot and would like to go back to it some day.
7. Have you ever had writer’s block? How did you deal with it?
I have and I can’t say I handled it very well. I stressed, convinced I’d never come up with another idea as long as I lived. Ultimately, I found inspiration from other books. I read new books, re-read favorites – paying attention to what I liked and how the other authors handled certain scenes or relationships.
8. Where do the your ideas come from?
Everywhere. Music, movies, books, my friends, life situations, my imagination. You name it, it’s a source of inspiration.
9. How do you plan your books? Do you outline or just fly by the seat of your pants?
Both. I usually have a scene or two in mind when I start. From there I’ll plot out different ways the story could lead up to those scenes then expand to create the entire arc. However, any plotting I do is just a potential plan. When I actually start writing, I let the characters lead me in their own directions. Sometimes it sticks with the original plan, other times it doesn’t.
10. Do you know how a book will end as you start writing it?
Not always. I will usually have specific scenes that I really want to happen but I leave the ending pretty open-ended until I get there.
11. What do you feel makes a good story?
Relating to the characters. Like Magnolia, I have had frustrations and feelings of embarrassment when I didn’t know how to act in certain situations. I’ve felt the same defensiveness she feels and remember a point in my life when every other word from my mouth was Fuck. Even though my life has been nothing at all like hers, I understand where she’s coming from because I’ve been in similar situations and felt similar things.
12. What is the hardest thing about writing?
For me, the hardest thing is when I have a scene, or even an entire story, completely developed in my mind. Every detail, every nuance is absolutely perfect in my head. This is a worst-case scenario for me because when the time comes to put the scene into words, I am forced to decide which details are most important in moving the story forward. Do I include the way the wallpaper is peeling in the corners? Does the reader need to know which magazines are on the nightstand? What about the way the heroine’s voice hitches on certain words? When I know everything there is to know about a given scene, picking and choosing which parts to share becomes exceptionally difficult. It’s much easier when I’m less invested in a particular part of the story.
13. What is the easiest thing about writing?
Finding something to write about. The world is a fascinating place. Add in your imagination and the potential subjects are truly limitless.
14. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Writing a first draft typically takes between three to six months. However, revisions to that first draft can take upwards of years. (at least that’s what it feels like.)
15. Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you have someone to do that for you?
I always re-read and proof my book after it’s completed then have my sister read it before sending it to my editor.
16. What’s it like working with your editor?
Whenever I receive an edit letter or edited manuscript my first reaction is to go into a depression. I immediately think I am the worst writer in existence because if I was any good at all my editor would have sent me a simple email glorifying my novel for its perfection. After a day or so, however, I read the edits again and realize how brilliant my editor actually is. I’ve been fortunate to have editors who really enjoy my books and ‘get’ Magnolia. If there is a suggested change that I really don’t agree with, I’m comfortable enough with my editor to go back and talk through why I disagree. Ultimately, it’s a great feeling to know there is someone willing to improve on my work who wants to make sure Magnolia’s story is told in the best possible way.
17. Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
I LOVE the covers of my books!! My editor outsourced both covers to an artist who sent us multiple concept possibilities. My agents, my editors and I all gave our opinions on the different concepts and ultimately agreed on the final versions.
18. How are you publishing this book and why did you choose this route?
(*e.g. Indie, traditional or both)
I am publishing through a traditional publisher: the 47North imprint of Amazon Publishing. I wanted to go through a traditional publisher because, quite honestly, I wasn’t prepared to pay any upfront money to get published. I’ve had a good experience, but as I’ve come to learn more and more about self-publishing I would definitely consider going that route in the future, as well.
19. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
Definitely. In fact, I have a tendency to write a completely different book while letting one stew, then return with fresh eyes to really get into the revisions. Sometimes I just need a break from a certain character or story.
1. What are some books that you love?
There are many books that I love and for many different reasons. For the most part, though, I have to say I love book series. I love getting so involved in the characters that I need to keep their story going and find out what happens after the cover closes. There are several series that I read again and again, but I’d have to say that Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series holds a special place in my heart because it was the first paranormal romance series I became engrossed in and the one that introduced me to the genre. (You never forget your first!
2. What writers inspire you?
Janet Evanovich writes so straight forward, her style is definitely something I aspire to.
3. Book for a long journey?
ACHERON, by Sherrilyn Kenyon
4. Book you’d take with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
If I absolutely had to take only one, I’d probably choose the Bible. Not only is it, you know, pretty inspirational, but talk about your array of story lines! If I could take one series, however, I’d take JD Robb’s IN DEATH series. I have every single one (I think she’s up to thirty-six, maybe?) and the emotional investment I’ve developed with Eve and Roarke could probably keep me going for a while.
5. For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I love traditional paper books but have to admit, as someone who suffers from arthritis in my hands, the light weight feel of my ereader makes it hard to justify not using it more often than not.
6. What book/s are you reading at present?
Sylvia Day, ENTWINED WITH YOU
On New Adult
1. What does “New Adult” mean to you?
To me, YA is all about firsts. First love, first time sticking up for yourself, first time trying something new and discovering what is really important to you or who you really are. New Adult, then, takes all those firsts and blows them out of the water. You think you found true love? Well, let’s see what happens when you and your love live in separate states, start separate careers, develop new priorities. You’ve found your moral compass? Great. Now let’s see what happens when those morals have to fight a war in a foreign country or take orders from a boss you’ve never met. New Adult is all about challenges and empowerment. It’s watching characters test what they know to be true and struggle to stay who they believe they really are.
1. If you could choose anyone, who would you want to collaborate with on a book?
Janet Evanovich. She just seems so fun.
2. What do you love most about being an author?
Having a legitimate reason to spend so much time in my make-believe worlds.
3. Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
JK Rowling because, duh, who wouldn’t?
4. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Keep your mouth shut more often.
5. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I would love to meet Johnny Depp. Just to be in the same room with him and maybe, like, touch his arm. That would be amazing, because, you know, he’s Johnny Depp.
6. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Just keep writing. Read books that are similar to what you write, and just keep writing.
7. Have you ever done something silly like gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?
I left Home Depot not too long ago, frustrated that the store didn’t have the paint color I’d been wanting. I got in the car, put the key in the ignition and nothing happened. My frustration grew as I tried to force the key to turn. When I slammed my hand on the steering wheel with images of tow trucks racing through my head, I realized that the steering wheel had wood trim. My SUV had a black leather steering wheel. I yanked my key from the ignition and leapt from the car to discover that not only was I not in my car, I had actually been sitting in someone’s cute little green convertible – a car that looked absolutely nothing like my white extended SUV
8. Do you prefer fuzzy or tub socks?
9. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
Always make the bed. If I don’t make it first thing in the morning, I have to make it before I get in to sleep at night. My husband says it’s slightly OCD but I like to think it’s a cute quirk of mine. J
10. Be honest, how often do you wash your hair?
Every other day, at least.
11. What’s the most blatant lie you ever told?
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Facebook: Megan Powell, writer
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Megan-Powell/e/B0081H2WE6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1371596265&sr=8-1