About the book:
When Dara Cohen was little, she was crowned Little Miss Maine. That was then. Now Dara's seventeen and she's not so little anymore. That's just one of her many problems. Another is that her control-freak mom won't get off her case about anything. Yet the one that hurts the most is the family secret: Dara has an older sister her parents tried to erase from their lives.
An Interview with Megan Frazer:
Me: What were your favorite books (or types of books) as a teen, and what was it about them that appealed to you? What, on the other hand, would make you put a book down?
Megan: I didn't read a lot of YA (hangs head in shame), but I scavenged for books with teen characters -- people I could relate to. I read, then and now, for character and for language. I have only recently gotten over my compulsion to finish every book I start, so I probably never put a book down, but I would have been annoyed by a book that talked down to me.
Me: Have your reading tastes stayed the same, or have you discovered new loves and peeves (and if so, what are they)?
Megan: I still read mostly realistic, contemporary fiction. Over the years I developed a taste for futuristic dystopias a la Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series.
Me: What was your favorite part of writing SECRETS OF TRUTH & BEAUTY, and what was the hardest?
Megan: I love the rush of writing a first draft -- living with the characters in their world. Revising was both a favorite and the hardest. My editor was great and saw so many possibilities that I had missed, so that was wonderful and exciting. Revision is a terrible amount of work, though, and I did find myself moaning, head on desk, that I was never going to finish it.
Me: Did you draw on any people/places/experiences from your life while writing?
Megan: For the setting, I thought of my friend's horse farm in Western Massachusetts (which actually gets a mention in the book) just for a sense of how a farm works (though of course a horse farm and a goat farm are very different). I definitely had certain people in mind for some characters, but not others. I should say that the parents are nothing like my own wonderful parents.
Me: What was the most exciting moment during the publishing process? The scariest?
Megan: The most exciting is hard to pin down -- every stage brings new excitement: the selling, the editing, holding my ARC. The scariest is right now as the book goes into the world and hearing people's reactions.
Me: What are you working on now?
Megan: I'm working on another contemporary YA -- too superstitious to say much more than that.
Hope you enjoyed getting to know Megan! Another interview to come next month. :)