Guest: Megan Hart

Really quickly: We have Megan Hart guesting with us today! Some of the links might not be working because a bunch of author sites were hacked into recently and there’s still some fall out. Thanks for understanding!

Writing Reality

Hello! First of all, thanks to the lovely Limecello for having me as her guest here today. *Waves*

I’ve been thinking lately about reality versus fiction. There’s this idea that writers, especially (or so it seems) of erotic fiction, must somehow live or do or experience what they write about. I think in the case of erotic work, readers assume that the author has, at some point, had some sort of sex, whereas maybe readers don’t assume a mystery or thriller writer has actually murdered someone. But why the automatic assumption that what we write about is…well…true?

It is, fiction, after all. What I write, anyway. I make stuff up. I tell lies for a living. I spin fantasies. Sometimes they’re erotic, sometimes they’re less so; sometimes they’re not sexy at all. It’s all still fiction.

But that doesn’t mean I also don’t use a lot of reality in my writing. Reality finds its way into my work via the small details — the flavor of coffee the character is drinking, the view from her window, the television program or song currently her favorite…often these are things I glean from my life. Not always my own preferences, mind you, but maybe those of someone I know. The color of a shirt, a pair of boots, a phrase, a joke overheard in the supermarket — these small bits and pieces are what thread my stories together and anchor them in reality. By using what I see around me, in my real life, I try to weave a fictional world that feels authentic.

Yet this doesn’t mean everything I write is real, that I’ve experienced it. And it doesn’t mean that just because a character thinks or feels or acts in a certain way that I feel that way, or act that way, or even condone that sort of thing (whatever it might be.) There IS a difference between me and my work, something that it feels like readers sometimes forget. And of course, I can’t speak for every writer. For all I know, there are writers out there who only write about things they’ve actually done or think or feel or experience or believe.

But that’s not me.

So yes, you will find my stories littered with a little bit of this, a little bit of that, tiny pieces of what’s going on around me at the time I’m writing the scene. If you know me, you might pick out some of those things, which are sometimes deliberate “inside” references and sometimes not. I try as hard as a I can when telling my lies to make sure they all sound as real as they can…
But in the end, it’s all still fiction.

Thanks for reading!

available now from MIRA

In the midst of a chaotic midnight assembly, Sunshine is forced out into the darkness. Holding a scrap of paper scrawled with a stranger’s name and address, Sunny grasps the hands of her three small children and begins her escape.

Liesel Albright has dreamed of starting a family. She never bargained on inheriting one already in progress…or one so deeply damaged. When nineteen-year-old Sunshine appears on the Albright’s doorstep claiming Liesel’s husband Chris is her father, all they can think to offer is temporary shelter. The next day, they’re stunned by the news that the Family of Superior Bliss, led by a charismatic zealot, has committed mass suicide. Sunny and her children haven’t just left the compound–they’ve been left behind.

Now, instead of a baby of her own, Liesel must play mother to the four survivors while Chris retreats into guilt and denial. For Sunny, however, a lifetime of teachings is not easily unlearned. No matter how hard she tries to forget, an ominous catechism echoes in her mind, urging her to finish what the Family started.

You can read more about All Fall Down here, or find Megan on twitter or facebook as well.

Comment below to win a copy of All Fall Down!

So… I have to admit I actually haven’t had a chance to read this book yet. I do, however, plan to give away a copy in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for that. (And yes, I mean one other than today’s giveaway.) I did read Wendy the Super Librarian’s review – and I know I’ll be hitting this book at some point. I’m also just going to let Wendy talk about it because she says everything so much better than I ever could hope to.

0 thoughts on “Guest: Megan Hart

  1. Liz

    Wow, the book sounds amazing. I don’t normally read non-romantic fiction (not sure if that’s a real category or not – lol) but I am intrigued by this book! Megan, I loved your post. Especially the part about not assuming that murder mystery writers were actually killers themselves! I’d never really thought about it that way, but then again I don’t automatically assume that an author has experienced everything they write.

  2. Mary Preston

    An interesting post. It’s true you do suppose that writers have first hand knowledge of a lot of the things they write about. Some of course they do. Murder would not be one of them.


  3. Megan

    Bookchelle – thank you, thank you!

    Liz — All Fall Down is definitely NOT a romance, but if you give it a try I hope you like it.

    Mary — I think that writers DO have first hand experience of a lot of things, but I get some really strange questions sometimes, so I wanted to clarify — NO, not everything is real! 🙂

  4. Joanne McConachie

    I love all of Megan’s books. They are simply wonderful and pull me in from page one so that I can’t put them down.

  5. Kimberly Sommerkamp

    Hey Megan – great to see more good press for All Fall Down, and your writing process. It’s good to see you making another venture into this type of “realistic” fiction as well, I loved Precious and Fragile Things. Having been a fan for years, I can’t wait to pick up a copy of All Fall Down. Any chance we’re going to see an audio version soon (my preferred method of literary consumption)?

  6. Kimberly Sommerkamp

    Thanks! It wasn’t on Audible last time I checked. Will definitely pick up when my credits come in next week!

  7. joannehuspek

    Although I can’t imagine writing about sex if you’ve never experienced it… That would make a good writing exercise. Writing about something you’ve never done or would ever do.

  8. Megan

    JoanneH: …I’ve written PLENTY of things I’ve never done and some I’d never do…but I extrapolate from things I’ve done or would like to do in order to make them feel real. But I have read some sex scenes where I feel like, very clearly, “wow, this person has never been nekkid with another person, like, ever.” LOL!!

  9. Helen L.

    The book sounds very interesting. If this is a PRINT copy, please count me in.

    I am not sure if all your giveaways are in “e” form or not.

    1. Limecello Post author

      Helen – nope! Er… if that’s not clear, if the author is hosting the giveaway, which Megan is here, it’s her choice. I want to say generally an author giveaway is a print copy because generally they get *some* of those from the publisher. (Unless of course it’s an e-publisher.) Mine however… yes you’re right. Generally in e. : I can’t afford shipping. :()

  10. librarypat

    I expect an author to have researched what they are writing about, but certainly not to have experienced it all.
    This sounds like a most interesting and at times chilling book. I will be looking for it and plan to read it.

    Thanks for an interesting post.

  11. Limecello Post author

    Thank you so much for sharing the excerpt with us, Megan! I know I need to read this – although I was so surprised/didn’t remember… anything we’d talked about. (I’m not an idiot. I swear/promise.) I’m curious to see if in reading the book it’ll be like an “Easter Egg” for me. I’ve gotta gear myself up for a non-romance read though! I’ve fed my brain so much book candy it’s hard to get it on a different reading diet! How’s that for butchering metaphors and the like? YOU’RE WELCOME.

  12. Pingback: Surprise and Winners! o/ « Limecello

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