Megan O'Russel is the author of the Young Adult fantasy novels The Tethering and The Siren's Realm. Megan hails from the glamorous city of New York City (or at least it seems glamorous to a small town country girl like me...!), spending her time traveling the country as an actress. I was curious as to how she began writing, so I asked her a few questions.
Let's talk fantasy. How many books have you published total, and what are they about?
I have one book out right now. It’s a young adult fantasy novel entitled The Tethering. The sequel to The Tethering, The Siren’s Realm, will be released as an eBook on April 29th and as a paperback on June 1st.
[The following is the synopsis]
All sixteen-year-old Jacob Evans wants is to win the heart of Emilia Gray, but with order in the magical world crumbling, war threatening, and Emilia’s boyfriend living across the hall, he may never have the chance.
Jacob Evans loses everything he has ever known and is tossed into a world of magic. The Dragons, a group of rebel wizards, are threatening to expose the existence of magic to humans. Jacob is determined to find a way to fit into Emilia’s family, but as his powers grow, so does the danger. With the death toll mounting, Jacob is accused of acts of rebel terrorism and must fight to stay in a world he’s only just beginning to discover.
When Emilia’s life is threatened, Jacob must risk everything to save her. Does he have the power to rescue her in time? And what could their survival cost?
What got you started on writing fantasy? By extension, why YA and not Adult?
The Tethering came from the idea of a little boy waiting in a window for his best friend to come back. Figuring out who that boy was and why his best friend had disappeared led to the story of The Tethering. I didn’t decide to sit down and write a fantasy novel. It just fit with the story. And as for choosing YA versus NA or adult, I love the level of exploration that can be used in YA fiction. With that age group, the characters are old enough to really explore the world around them but young enough to still have a lot of self exploration left to do as well.
Do you think people underrate Young Adult novels?
I really do. I am a huge fan of classics and real high-brow literature, but just because you’re not writing like the Bronte sisters doesn’t mean your work isn’t valuable. Writing YA books not only engages teen readers at an age where keeping them interested in books becomes more difficult. It also allows adults to re-explore a simpler version of ourselves. There is something very exciting about the thrill of a first kiss even if the reader's first kiss was a decade ago.
What is your "writing method," so to speak?
I write the scene that is in my mind that day. If there is a conversation running through my head that my characters need to have, I’ll work on that dialogue for the day. When I have all those scenes down and a beginning, middle, and end, I go back through, building the bridges and smoothing the surface. Then I do a huge continuity check. Writing that way adds a lot of time to edits and revision, but it keeps me really enthusiastic about writing everyday and gives the actions of the characters more urgency.
If you could be become any of the characters in your novels, who would it be?
I would have to be Claire Wren from The Tethering Series. I love her. She is the best of my humor and snark, and she can do magic.
Any upcoming projects?
The Siren’s Realm will be out at the end of the month! I also have a short story about Claire Wren in Athena’s Daughters II. And I have a few more projects that I am prepping for submission.
Where can people connect with you online?
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Pre-Order The Siren's Realm HERE!
About the Author
Megan is a native of Upstate New York who spends her time traveling the country as a professional actor. For the novels in the Tethering series, Megan has teamed up with Silence in the Library Publishing, a small press dedicated to artistry and equity in publishing. The next novel in the series, The Siren's Realm, is slated for release in the second quarter of 2015.