June 28, 2011

Megg Jensens' Guest Post & GIVEAWAY!

Real Life (Almost) Never Impacts My Writing

When readers talk to me about Anathema and Oubliette, they often ask how my real life impacts my stories. The simple answer: it doesn't. Sure, many of the characters are names stolen from friends (Johna and Hanne, for example), and maybe my emotional state will impact the direction of the novel while I'm first drafting. But it's very, very rare that anything from my actual life will show up in my novels. I think my life is far more boring than what happens in my books.

But, there is an exception to every rule. For my upcoming novel, Sleepers, I used one portion of life that I'm very passionate about - martial arts. No, I don't have a black belt in anything. My fear of standing up in front of other people has always held me back from taking a class. However, five years ago my daughter started taekwondo and I spent a good part of every week practicing with her. Everyone told me I should take class with her, but I told them I couldn't because I still had a younger child to watch so how could I possibly commit to take the class? The truth was that I adored taekwondo, but I feared standing up in a class of children (it's offered age six and up but it's rare to see a parent in the class) with parents looking on.

Since I didn't feel like I could truly express myself in taekwondo, I used it in Sleepers. My main character, Lianne, is an expert in martial arts. In developing this part of her life, I was able to let myself live it with her.

Well, my son is now old enough to take taekwondo too. At his first class, the instructor told the parents that any of them were welcome, in fact encouraged, to take the class with their children. He looked at me, and called me out in front of everyone. I thought, just for a moment, that I would melt into a puddle of embarrassment. Surprisingly, I didn't.

On the way home, my husband said, "Why don't we take it with the kids now?" I hesitated for a moment, and then said, "Okay." Working on edits for Sleepers (which I wrote more than a year ago) has reminded me how much I love taekwondo. I'm still scared to death to step on that mat with all of the other adults watching, but I'm going to do it anyway.

So yeah, real life impacted my writing - and now, I can honestly say, that writing has impacted my real life.

My question:
I am going to start off with my question and it is something that I am going to write a blog post about.  I am also determined to make T-Shirts that ask this question...so here it is.
"Why are most of my favorite authors redheads?"
Megg Jensen's answer:
"All your fav authors are redheads because we are the awesomest of all
humans - particularly the natural redheads, like me. ;) lol!" and then she said, "Bwahahaha!!!! Every single redhead I know has a screw loose (myself included). ;)"

It's me...Mindy again! See! Redheads truly do ROCK! Keep your eyes open... because I am determined to have a T-Shirt made and have all my fave redhead authors sign it! "Megg, will you be my first author to sign my shirt?"  LoL!  If any of you have an awesome T-Shirt designers...give me the 411.

Giveaway! - Ended

So do you want a chance to win an ebook of Anathema & Oubliette?  Well there will be 2 lucky winners that can win!  You can enter by:  (Make sure you leave your email address)
  • One entry if you ask Megg Jensen a question by commenting on this guest post.
  • One entry if you post a question for Megg or comment on my Anathema by Megg Jensen review.
  • One entry if you post a question for Megg or comment on my Oubliette by Megg Jensen review.
  • One entry if you tweet about Megg stopping by and the eBook giveaway with a link (include @bookluvrmindy in the tweet)!!
This giveaway starts as soon as this is posted and will end June 29th 9:00am PST...AND it is open International.



Jackie said...

Megg - where did you come up with the idea for Anathema? It is very unique!

Thanks! :)


Megg Jensen said...

Hi JLynn,

On a trip to my parents' farm, my daughter said, "Mom, I can see things in the clouds."

I answered, "Oh yeah, what shapes do you see?"

She sighed and said, "No Mom, I can see the future."

(Obviously she has my imagination.)

In that moment, the seed for Anathema was planted.

Thanks for stopping by! :)))

-Alexis- said...

Who is your favorite character in Anathema? And why?.



Megg Jensen said...

Hi Alexis,

Wow, that's a tough one! I would say Reychel, the main character, but I actually like her more in Oubliette than I do in Anathema. ;)

My favorite character to write was Johna. I love her voice & wit. I think she's proof of how strong a woman can be after a life focused on learning and caring.


Anonymous said...

It must be hard to balance everything and still find time to write. My children are grown and I find it hard just to keep focused on the little bit of writing that I want to do. Do you have a specific time that you devote to writing every day or is your writing schedule less structured than that?


Megg Jensen said...

Hi Creativedeeds,

It has been incredibly difficult. I wrote primarily during my kids' naps & preschool sessions. Sometimes I will take a weekend and work in my bedroom while my hubby takes on all the parenting duties.

This fall both kids will finally be in school all day so I will be able to devote a block of time to writing every day. I'm very excited about this!!!!! :)


Julie S said...

How did you get started writing?

Megg Jensen said...

Hi Julie S,

I've been obsessed with books since I learned to read at the age of four and wrote my first 7-page opus at the ripe age of seven.

Since then I've written countless short stories, poems, song lyrics, and novels. I won a national writing contest in fifth or sixth grade and I always knew my future would involve writing in some capacity (though for a long time I wanted to be an archaeologist).

In my adult life, I was a freelance journalist for six years and became serious about publishing a novel in 2008. I also had a few short stories published back in the late 90s.

Writing has always been a part of my life.


Anonymous said...

I'm just stopping by saying hi to you and Megg. I enjoyed reading Megg's guest post. You will rock taekwondo Megg! :) So excited to read Sleepers when it's done! Please don't enter me, I already own both books. Good luck to everyone!

Jamie http://fantasybookchick.blogspot.com

Escape by Fiction said...

Your books sound amazing! Tae Kwon Do is awsome - I did it for years and had a lot of broken bones and bruises to go along wit it. But I loved it!!

Do you listen to music when you write? What kind?

Bookluvr Mindy said...

Megg! You totally rock. I love your answers...:) They keep me intrigued.

Megg Jensen said...

Jamie - thanks for stopping by!!! :)

Escape by Fiction - I always listen to music when I write. Some of my favorites are the Twilight & Eclipse soundtracks. I also adore Bat for Lashes, Blackmore's Night, and Within Temptation. When i revise I always, always, always listen to Yanni, Live at the Acropolis (told ya redheads have a screw loose). ;)

Mindy - this is so much fun!!! What a great idea! :)))

Lisa M. Hicks said...

Hi Megg! Thanks for the guest post here. I love hearing from authors. :) When you started out Anathema, did you plan on writing in a specific genre, and did your genre change as you wrote it?

Lisa M. Hicks said...

Oh and my email is shadowdawn(at)gmail(dot)com. LOL, not enough coffee this morning...

Megg Jensen said...

Hi Lisa,

I have always planned to specialize in fantasy. In fact, my BA is in medieval history. I love, love, love reading about castles, magic, princesses, etc. We go to our local Renaissance Faire every year (though I've never dressed up).

It's really difficult for me to write contemporary fiction. I have one novel written for a contemp audience, but I don't if I'll ever release it.

When I was searching for an agent, they told me, repeatedly, that YA fantasy would never sell - at least not well enough for anyone to risk taking me on. One agent offered to rep me if I switched to historical fiction. I said no because giving up fantasy would be like digging my heart out with a spork.


Bookluvr Mindy said...

I have a question for you Megg! Does Anathema and Oubliette take place somewhere existing here on earth? Like in the past, present or future? Or is Anathema and Oubliette created in your own fantasy world?

Bookluvr Mindy said...

Oh...and Megg it looks like you have a couple questions/ comments in the Anathema and Oubliette reviews as well! They are both posted below :)

Megg Jensen said...

My fantasy worlds are not unlike the earth we live on - except there's magic (and I highly doubt I will ever feature talking animals of any sort).

How about this - medieval dystopian?

I've just coined a new genre....and it's mine, all mine! Bwahahahaha!

You heard it here first.

Shelby Rodewald said...

Megg, I don't have a question for you but I would just like to say that I'm so excited to read Anathema and Oubliette! I was the 4th place winner in Mindy's 30th Bday giveaway and I chose your books. I've been wanting to read them so bad! Thanks for the opportunity!!! Very thankful!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Megg, two questions:

First, does your passion for martial arts include any favorite martial arts movies or martial arts heroes or heroines? If so, which movies and which heroes or heroines?

Second, have you allowed your kids to read any parts of Anathema or Oubliette and give you feedback (assuming they're not too young!)? If so, who were their favorite characters, and what were their favorite parts in the books?

Thanks! Joe . . . joep@heritageccu.com

Megg Jensen said...

Hi Shelby,

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the books. :)


Megg Jensen said...

Hi Joe,

Is it terrible to say that I love Kung Fu Hustle? Dragonball Evolution? I am also head-over-heels in loooove with Jet Li.

I grew up watching David Carradine and while I'm not a huge fan, I think seeing those shows as a child made an impact on me.

As for my kids - they have not read my books. My oldest is only 9 and while she's an advanced reader (at high school level), she prefers to read nonfiction books about the ocean. :)


Krystal Larson said...

Megg-are your characters anything like you or people like you? Do you listen to a certain type of music while writing? I saw your novel on Good Reads and loved the synopsis! edysicecreamlover18@gmail.com

Krystal Larson said...

GFC Krystal Larson edysicecreamlover18@gmail.com

Krystal Larson said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/Icecream1891/status/85805481846775808

Megg Jensen said...


Thanks for stopping in! :)

I don't base characters off of myself or anyone I know. They take on a life of their own.

While I write I listen to the Twilight soundtracks, Blackmore's Night, Bat for Lashes, and Within Temptation. :)


Bookluvr Mindy said...

LOVE IT! A Magical Medieval-Dystopian-Fantasy Novel! Can you get any better than that? Love it! I would agree...talking animals would not work for the Cloud Prophet Trilogy.

Anonymous said...

Megg, did you read the Twilight series? Did you like it? What inspired you to be a writer? I really want to read this book. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Megg Jensen said...


I devoured the Twilight series. (Team Jacob!) I own all four books. Seen all of them in the theater & bought the Blu-rays. Are they my favorite books ever? No. But there's something magical about them even though I wanted to smack Bella all the time - lol! I'd also like to mention that I LOVED The Host. :)

What inspired me to be a writer? I don't know - I've just always wanted to be one since I was seven. :)


Jamie Kline (Bookerella) said...

Great post - I've always wanted to get into some form of martial arts but I just haven't done it yet. If you're going to do it maybe I should too! Here's my question (and it took me awhile to come up with because my brain isn't functioning so well today!): If Anathema was made into a feature film, who can you picture playing Reychel, or who would you want to play her?

Jamie @ Bookerella

Megg Jensen said...


Great question! I talked about this on my blog a few weeks ago. I chose Molly Quinn (Alexis from the TV show Castle). Well, Molly saw a tweet about it & tweeted me back. Guess what? It ended with me sending her a paperback of Anathema!!! :))))

I have a friend who is an award-winning screenwriter. He's seriously considering adapting Anathema as a screenplay & using it as a spec script.


Redheadedstephie23 said...

What inspired you to become a writer? Also how long does it usually take for you to write a book. Ffrom one Stephanie Carrillo ,email songreendog@yahoo.com

Megg Jensen said...


I've always wanted to be a writer. "Baby, I was born this way." ;)

It usually takes me 30 days to write the first draft of a novel. Editing takes months.


Maria Behar said...

Hi! "Old" follower stopping by! I don't read ebooks, so I'll find out if Megg's books are also available in the print versions. (I'm too late for the giveaway, anyway.) However, I wanted to comment on the post, which I greatly enjoyed! The question about redheads is hilarious! I happen to be one myself, although I must confess that red is not my natural hair color. Lol. But it does go with my lifelong nuttiness, so I think I should have been born a redhead!

Top Ten Movies said...

Yes it’s really a fantastic approach to teach children material arts. It will give inspiration to others. Thanks for sharing information.

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