Tell me a little about your book.
Pure Princess, Bartered Bride is the story of the arranged marriage of the ruthless Luc Garnier and the perfect Princess Gabrielle, and how they fall in love with each other despite that kind of beginning.
What got you writing in the genre in which you write?
I finally started writing romance novels years and years and years after I started reading them, and years after I was published, because I figured I had to at least TRY to write in my favorite genre. I have such high expectations about the romance novels I read that I had pretty low expectations about my own. I really didn’t think anything would come of the experiment. But it turns out that writing romances is almost as addictive as reading them!
Favorite thing about being a writer?
I get to make up stories in my head, and then tell them, and make my living that way. It’s more than a dream come true. And I don’t, in fact, need algebra, as I told my math teacher in high school long ago!
Least favorite thing about being a writer?
The blank page is usually filled with all my doubts and fears, and that’s not a whole lot of fun to sift through to get to the words I need to write. And you can never really take a vacation, because the work is always in your head. And I become a little bit of a crazy person as a deadline approaches. But I wouldn’t give any of it up.
Which comes easier for you - beginnings or endings?
Definitely beginnings. I like to launch myself into the beginning and write until I hit a wall, then go back and figure out what I'm doing.
How many drafts until the final draft?
I am one of those desperately linear writers, who can't go forward if I know what's behind me is a big mess. So I usually write the day's words, then set it aside to pick up and read the next morning. I revise it before starting the next day's writing. So when I have a full draft, it's usually pretty tight, and then I go over that at least once or twice. So... three?
What is one thing you’ve learned about the publishing industry since getting your first book deal?
There is writing, and then there is publishing, and there is only one part of that I can control: the writing.
What is your advice for those who looking to get their novel published?
Just write. No one can tell your story the way you can, and no one will get to read it until you write it.
What's your favorite food?
Chocolate. Seriously. I'm a complete addict. I like it dark, rich, and life-altering.
Do you have a muse, good luck charm, writing vice?
I am pretty sure my extremely fat and ill-behaved cats feel that they are both muses and charms; they are not. I don't really have either, I don't think. Though I have written every single one of my books on this very same desk, and I'm kind of attached to it, if that counts.
What's your writing process/writing environment like?
I'm pretty fierce about my daily word quotas, which are really the only way I can write as much as I do. (I wrote five books last year and will write at least four this year.) I usually write 2,000 words a day--although at a certain point last fall I had to write 3000 a day to hit a particular deadline, and I found that dizzyingly difficult. The internet is my greatest time-waster. I'm starting to use Mac Freedom to turn it off for stretches here and there, because I can't be trusted--and I will often look up to see that hours have passed and there I am reading Jezebel and hitting refresh on Twitter... Not good.
I have written all my books (I'm on number 15!) on the same desk, which I'm a little superstitious about these days. It's currently located in the office I share with my husband, overlooking a pretty sweep of trees and mountains and the Hollywood sign here in Los Angeles. It's filled with books and pictures, and somehow, helps the words come.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever gotten about writing?
Just do it. Just write. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.
USA Today bestselling author Megan Crane, a former Atlanta resident, has written five women’s fiction novels, many work-for-hire young adult novels, and five category romances (under the name Caitlin Crews) since publishing her first book in 2004. Her novel, Frenemies, was a BookSense Notable in July 2007. She teaches various creative writing classes both online at mediabistro.com and offline at UCLA Extension's prestigious Writers' Program, where she finally utilizes her MA and PhD in English Literature. Megan lives in Los Angeles with her comic book artist/animator husband and too many pets. For more info visit her at www.megancrane.com or http://www.caitlincrews.com/.