Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Megan O’Russell, and I am the author of three YA series: Girl of Glass, How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days, and The Girl Without Magic. I am also a professional musical theatre performer currently on The Wizard of Oz national tour.
How do you make time to write?
I use any chance I can get. Backstage at my dressing room station, on the tour bus, late at night after a show. Writing is a priority for me, so I’ll do what I must to make the time. I’m also lucky enough to have a partner who supports my checking out of life to type whenever I can.
Do you ever get writer’s block?
Not very often (knock on wood). It’s usually more of trying to find a way to untie a knot in the plot. When it happens, I like to hike. Find a nice long trail and just go for it. By the time my legs are hurting so badly I don’t want to think about them anymore, I’ve figured out where I want the story to go.
How did you deal with Rejection Letters if you received any?
Oh, I’ve gotten plenty of rejections. There are some that stung. Like when an agency or publisher requested a full manuscript. There are some that made me giggle. Like when you get a rejection for a book that was already published a year ago.
I know it sounds awful, but you’ve really just got to brush it off and keep going. There will be plenty of nos for every yes. You have to accept rejection as a part of the process.
Can you tell us your story of getting, “The call”?
It’s happened a few times. Always through email. You see the response in your inbox. Your stomach soars. You warn yourself that it’s probably a rejection. You open the email, read it three times because you’re sure you’ve missed the part where they say they don’t want the project. Then you squeal and dance and buy nice wine. Getting a manuscript accepted makes any day great!
What genre are your books?
All of my books are young adult, but each is in a slightly different genre.
The Girl of Glass series is YA dystopian.
The Girl Without Magic is a YA fantasy.
And How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days is YA Urban Fantasy.
What draws you to this genre?
I love young adult because of the amazing possibilities it offers. You’re dealing with protagonists who are entering a world of firsts. First love, first big mistake, first taste of independence. But they also have the autonomy to move in the world of adults without the weight of actual adulthood.
Do you have any advice for Aspiring Writers?
Just write. You can’t edit a blank page. If you write a thousand words and have to edit nine-hundred, you’ve still got a hundred words left, which is a lot better than nothing.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
On my website (which is home to my author blog): https://www.meganorussell.com/
My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ORussellauthor/
And on my non-author blog: https://lifebeyondexaggeration.com/
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share with us?
Sure! See below!
“You’re going to throw us out to starve? You’ve got extra food and space and you’re going to send us out into the city as soon as you’re done with us? Let us burn in the riots or bleed for the Vampers? Better yet, be meat to feed the wolves? You’re worse monsters than any of them! At least when a wolf wants you dead, he’s got the courtesy to do it fast with no lies about saving the world or pretending it isn’t plain old murder!”
A sharp pop sounded from the pack of guards. A tiny silver dart hit the side of the woman’s neck, instantly dropping her to the ground.
It was only a tranquilizer dart to make the woman sleep, but the outsiders didn’t seem to know or care.
The others in the screaming woman’s group ran forward, stepping between her and the guard that had shot the woman. Screams echoed from all sides of the Amber Dome as people started to panic.
“They’re going to kill us!” a man shouted, charging toward the guards and hitting one in the stomach with a shovel before being knocked backward by another guard, who shot a silver dart into his neck.
All of the guards in the dome surged toward the fighting. And the rest of the outsiders ran toward the fight, as well.
“Beauford, no!” Catlyn screamed, catching his arm as he moved to join the fray.
A young man had run forward and was using a ladder to push back the guards. A dart struck him in the chest, but two women grabbed up the ladder, using it like a battering ram to attack the guards.
“It won’t help!” T held onto Beauford’s other arm, but he was strong. The two women wouldn’t be able to hold him much longer.
“Follow me.” Nola added her weight to Beauford’s arm as she helped Catlyn and T drag him away.
“We can’t let them do this to us!” Beauford shouted, fighting to pull away from them.
“You can’t stop it either!” Nola said. “Try and fight if you want, but it’ll only be one more dart they have to fire.”
Beauford froze for a moment before his arms sagged.
“Good, now come on.” Running away from the fighting, Nola led them toward the back of the dome, where thick rows of vines sat low along the wall.
Ducking under the leaves, Nola winced as she felt a vine snap.
More voices were shouting in the dome now. Nola glanced back. She could barely make out a dozen black-clad guards running up the stairs to join the fight.
“Get down and be quiet,” Nola whispered, as she pushed aside the last of the vines. A set of low, thorny bushes were between them and the glass. Creating a gap between bushes, she ignored the thorns that pulled at her palms, crouching down and using her weight to ease the way through the brambles for the others.
“Are we just going to hide back here?” Beauford hissed as soon as he was through.
“Yes, we are.” Nola leaned back against the glass.
The sounds of the fighting were already changing.
Guards were shouting orders, and Lenora Kent’s voice cut above it all.
“I don’t care what you’re trying to do, stay the hell off my plants!”
Nola smiled. Of course, her mother would be standing in the middle of a fight, screaming about plants.
Blood oozed out of the scratches on her hands. She wiped it onto her gardening suit; she would be able to wash her hands soon enough.
“I didn’t take you as the type to run from a fight,” T whispered, as the last of the screaming stopped. “I figured you for the type to run in and try to stop it.”
“That lady shouldn’t have attacked the guard,” Nola said, closing her eyes against the bright sun. “But the domes shouldn’t be using you the way they are. Sometimes I feel like the right thing is too abstract for me to understand.”
“How poetic.” Catlyn smirked.
“But I do know that all those people will be put outside on the road before dark, and I don’t want that to happen to the three of you. The most right thing I could think of was to keep you three safe. So that’s what I did.”
“Who the hell’s got time for a moral compass when north keeps changing?” T smiled.