Do you love realistic fiction or the TV show Skins? If so, then you will fall in love Megan Duke’s books Small Circles and Three Sixty. FandomsNews recently got the chance to interview Megan about her writing, books and life. Check out her answers in the interview below!
1) What was your inspiration for becoming an author?
I’ve always been an avid reader. I’m an only child, so getting lost in books was my way of having adventures. I have a select group of books that will always be special to me because, when I read them, either the characters or a specific quote clung to me, and impacted me in some great way. I wanted to be able to do that for other people. I wanted to create stories that people fell in love with and took quotes from because it meant something to them.
2) How did you come up with your characters?
Most of the characters in Small Circles and Three Sixty aren’t based off of anyone I know in real life. If anything, there are bits of me in each of them – whether it be something they went through, or something they specifically say. From the beginning, the characters have felt very real to me, and were meant to have their stories told. I was just the one lucky enough to write about them. Never once did I sit down and think, “What can I make my characters do today?” Each character and their individual struggles came out naturally when I was writing. It all felt so real, I just knew someone out there could relate to them because of it. As for the names, I have a book of baby names that I use like a bible!
3) What inspired you to write Small Circles and Three Sixty?
I always knew I wanted to write a coming of age story, I just didn’t know what I wanted it to be about. I had several ideas planned out – a boy struggling with drug addiction, a girl bullied because of a bad reputation, or a boy struggling with his sexuality – but I couldn’t decide which I thought was the best. So, I decided to smash it all into one. I’m very passionate about the issue of equality in our nation, so I definitely knew I wanted to have a gay couple. I just didn’t realize it was going to send such a huge message. The “gay issue” was never the focus of the story, but so many people found Owen and Larson’s story moving, thus the message “it’s okay to be happy” fell into my lap. I used that and applied it to the other characters as well, hoping it would make sense with all the teen issues I addressed. And it did! No matter who you are, where you come from, what you’ve been through, or what you believe, it’s okay to be happy! I wanted people to know that, and now Small Circles isn’t just a book, it’s a movement.
4) Whats the most difficult thing about being an author?
For me, writing is not the difficult part. Or finding the inspiration. The hardest part for me is finding the time to balance my day to day life with being an independent author. I’m a manager at a retail store, so outside of work I try to find the time to write as much as possible. It’s the hardest when I’m exhausted after coming home, and all I want to do is watch TV or read a book. Making myself focus on my own books is super tough. One day, I hope to be doing this full time!
5) What do you do in your downtime?
Well, as you might have guessed, I read a lot. I’m also obsessed with television series. I have a massive DVD collection of all my favorite shows that I watch over and over, and I’m hooked on Netflix and Hulu. That’s when I have time to myself. Other than that, I spend a lot of time with my friends and my fiance, either going out to our favorite restaurants or checking out what’s new at our favorite stores. Typical downtime in your twenties.
6) Are you apart of any “Fandom”?
I am a MASSIVE Mortal Instruments fan! And Harry Potter was my childhood, so that will always be my first love. I have the symbols for my top favorite series tattooed on my arm (Harry Potter, TMI, The Hunger Games, and The Raven Cycle). I plan to continue it on my other arm soon! I do spent quite a lot of time on Tumblr. If it’s in the YA genre, I’m probably a fan of it.
7) Whats your favorite book?
My favorite book is split three ways between Looking for Alaska by John Green, Lucas by Kevin Brooks, or The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Each of them are very special to me, and it’s impossible for me to decide.
8) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
The goal is to have one of my books featured on the New York Times Bestseller List. I would also love to see my books in an actual store. So far, they’re only available online. As for my personal goals, I plan to marry my fiance, Trent, and have our first child.
9) Any upcoming projects?
I recently announced that I’m planning another companion for Small Circles, but I’m letting the readers decide what they want me to write about. That won’t be until 2015. I do have a side project I’ve been working on for several months now with my current manager. We’re in the very beginning stages of turning Small Circles into a web series. At the moment, we’re still casting the characters, but hopefully soon we can begin filming. It’s strictly an independent project that she and I decide to go in on together, but if we get enough people involved, we think it could be something special.
10) Would you like to say anything to your readers?
It seems like every day I hear that someone new has read Small Circles and fallen in love with it. The amount of positivity I’ve received from this book is amazing, and I could not be more thankful! The reason I wrote it in the first place was because I wanted to write something that would mean something to someone, and the stories I’ve heard from all of you after reading it is so inspiring. You’ve told your friends, and posted about it online, and it’s growing bigger every day! Thank you so so much for spreading the word! Your support means everything!