The Frenzy Five is a reoccurring Q&A series where we ask YA authors the kind of things you really want to know! This week Megan Shepherd, author of The Madman’s Daughter and its sequel, Her Dark Curiosity, is up to the challenge.
1. Did you always know you wanted to write, or did you want to be something completely different when you were a teenager?
I never thought about writing as a career until well after college. When I was in school, I was fascinated by world cultures and geography, and studied six different languages. I thought I’d join the Foreign Service or work for an international non-profit. I’m still very interested in those things, but once I discovered writing, I really felt like I’d found my place in the world. I’m hoping in the next few years to balance the two more, and spend some time writing overseas.
2. What was the most surprising part about getting your books published/writing a book?
I wrote for about 3-4 years before getting published, working incredibly hard during that time, and constantly told myself that getting a book deal would be the “end” of my journey to be a published writer. Since then, I’ve found that the book deal is really just the beginning. There are a whole new set of challenges, and a lot to learn about the business, but it’s also incredibly fun.
3. If you could have coffee with any author who would it be?
I’m so in awe of Neil Gaiman in terms of his creative works, but also his calm temperament in what I’ve found to be an unpredictable industry. I would love to ask him candidly how he deals with some of the more challenge parts of the job, like bad reviews, and constantly comparing yourself to other authors, and leaving time for reflection. I hope his wife, Amanda Palmer, could come. They seem like such a fun couple together.
4. What is your favourite way to waste time?
My neighbors all comment that I walk more dog more than what is even close to a reasonable amount. I just really enjoy it. It forces me to get outside, breathe fresh air, remember there are other people and other worlds besides the one in my head. Besides, he loves it! And he’s just so cute that I can never resist making him happy.
5. Describe your book in five words.
How about three words? The title—HER DARK CURIOSITY—actually sums it up really well! The book is more personal to Juliet, as she struggles with some of her unnatural urges passed down from her father. So it’s darker than the first, and Juliet makes some very questionable decisions, all in an effort to find her place in a world she’s never really fit in.
Her Dark Curiosity is available now! You can get a head start reading it here.