September 01, 2017

#AuthorInterview: @megkassel of Black Bird of the Gallows @EntangledTeen

Today we have a wonderful interview with the author of Black Bid of the Gallows. I have to say that this cover is so gorgeous and I just can't get enough of it. 
This title will be released on September 5, 2017.
A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What's more, she knows something most don't. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

Meg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson's School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before becoming a writer. She now lives in Maine with her husband and daughter and is busy at work on her next novel. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart© winner in YA. Her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows, releases fall of 2017.

1. What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?  
Meg Kassel, I was born and lived most of my life on the Jersey shore (yes, THE Jersey shore) and now I live in Maine. Which is very different from NJ!

2.  Did you always want to be a writer?
 If not what did you want to be? Yes, I ALWAYS wanted to be a writer, but for a long time, it seemed like an impossible goal. I did other things, always writing, always making up stories, but I had no idea what to do with any of it.

3.  When did you first consider yourself as a “writer"? 
When I had to put something on my tax forms—haha! Seriously, it was very recently, when I saw the cover for my debut novel for the first time. It began to sink in that this wasn’t a hobby, but a real thing.

4. What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? 
I’m currently reading the SAGA series—volumes of sci-fi comics by writer Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples. It may be too graphic (violence and explicit content) for younger readers. The story, and especially Ms. Staples’ artwork, have me a little obsessed.

5. Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books?
 (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..”) Ha! Not really. At least, none that I’m aware of. I write the kind of books I like to read—always have liked to read—which is fantasy and romance and adventure. I was an anxious, easily overwhelmed teen and books were a little escape from reality which tended to bum or stress me out. 

6.  Did it take a long time to get your first book published? 
Well, I wrote my first full-length novel in 2010, there were five unsold manuscripts between that one and Black Bird of the Gallows, so...I guess it took longer than some, but quicker than others. 

7. Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title? 
It takes me forever to come up with titles! It’s one of my least favorite things. When I’m working, I usually call the book by the main character’s names. So Black Bird was “Angie and Reece” for a long time! 

8. How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? 
Character names just pop into my head, often without my thinking about it, like Black Bird of the Gallows’ Angie Dovage. Or sometimes they come from whatever is in front of me. Black Bird’s Reece Fernandez, for example, was named after my favorite candy with the last name of an actor who I saw in a music video when I was starting writing the book and thought was cute (Shiloh Fernandez). So, no magic there!

9.  What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? 
Books of a different genre? I definitely plan to write more books in this genre! In fact, my current work in progress is a present day fantasy set in a small Maine town where strange things surface from the ground, but if you don’t watch your step, the ground can take you just as easily. It’s REALLY creepy. But I also LOVE sci-fi and have plans to do some of that one day.

10. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? 
Black Bird of the Gallows is a standalone novel, but releasing fall of 2018 is Keeper of the Bees, a companion of sorts set with the same mythology. It has new characters in a new town and features a VERY unusual hero. Because I love the bad boys, I put the spotlight on a Beekeeper this time, to see what would happen if one of these scary guys fell in love with one of their intended victims. 

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