Monday, April 14, 2008

Girlfriend Cyber Circuit Presents: Megan Crane!

Sorry for the lack of blogging last week and it might be a little slow this week as well as I'm trying to finish up a proposal for my third book along with some proposals for panels at writing conferences and book my tour and so on and so forth. But I have something very exciting for you today! I'm presenting Megan Crane and her book NAMES MY SISTERS CALL ME as part of the Girlfriend Cyber Circuit.

Megan's book looks incredibly cool to me. First of all, great cover! Secondly, sister relationships fascinate me. I always wanted one, not because I don't love my little brother, he's awesome ;) (Hi, Dan!), but my mom has four sisters and I was envious and intrigued by the way they relate to each other.

Here's the jacket blurb:
Courtney, Norah, and Raine Cassel are as different as three sisters can be. Norah, the oldest, is a type A obsessive who hasn't forgiven Raine, the middle sister, for ruining her wedding day six years ago. Raine is Norah's opposite, a wild child/performance artist/follow-your-bliss hippie chick who ran off to California. The only thing the two have in common is their ability to drive Courtney, their youngest sister, crazy.

When her longtime boyfriend proposes, Courtney decides it's finally time to call a truce and bring the three sisters together. After all, they're grown-ups now, right? But it turns out that family ghosts aren't easily defeated--and neither are first loves. Soon Courtney finds herself reexamining every choice she has made in the past six years--including the man she's about to marry--and the value of reconnecting with the sisters she knows she needs, in spite of everything.

You can read an excerpt from the first chapter here. And Megan was nice enough to answer some questions for me!

Please list five songs that would be on the soundtrack to your book and explain how they relate to your story or characters.

Megan: I actually create playlists for books as I'm writing them. (Doesn't everyone??)

"Cinderella" by Michelle Cross. This was one of my first insights into my main character, Courtney: "My name is not Cinderella/And the sun don't reflect off my hands/I'm pretty, but I'm plain, and I prefer it that way/But still, I feel unforgiven." I mean, that's practically a spoiler for the book!

"Not Pretty Enough" by Kasey Chambers. This is such a great song, and captures that grief you have when someone leaves you and you don't know why, but your total lack of self-esteem has a few suggestions. Not that I relate, but Courtney certainly does!

"Fix You" by Coldplay. If Lucas, Courtney's fiance, could sing, this would be his song.

"The Shining" by Badly Drawn Boy. A beautiful song about letting go and learning how to love, a lesson Courtney needs to learn.

"The Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen. The book is set in Philadelphia, and this song conjures the city up for me. Maybe that's a cliche, but it works!

Name some of your main character's favorite musicians or bands.

Megan: In the book, Courtney specifically mentions Zoe Keating, Neko Case, Hem, and, as she's a professional cellist, her idol, Yo Yo Ma.

Who are some of your favorite musicians or bands?

Megan: I'm open to pretty much anything, from Britney to country to hip-hop and back again. But my iTunes suggests my favorites are Aimee Mann, the Decemberists, Counting Crows, Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Horses, Ani DiFranco, Alanis Morrisette, David Gray, and Snow Patrol.

Even though music plays in so heavily into my storytelling, I rarely can actually listen to it while I'm writing. Can you? How does music fit into your writing process?

Megan: I make playlists, which I listen to on long drives or at the gym, while I'm thinking things through. But I like silence when I'm actually writing, or I'll get distracted. Though with this book, since Courtney was a classical musician, I listened to a lot of classical music while I was writing it-- no words means no distraction for me. I may try that again as I go forward.

While music is my muse, I know other writers find their muse in theater, sports, art, the great outdoors, etc. What is your main muse?

Megan: Music is where I go first. The angstier the better, to start. I find a good run is helpful. But I swear by the long drive. My muse seems to spend a lot of time on the Pacific Coast Highway, strangely enough!

I really enjoyed Megan's answers. She has the same process when it comes to writing and music as me, which felt validating somehow and I would love to go on long drives on the PCH for inspiration, too. Plus, as I'm writing a classical musician main character right now, Megan gave me some great ideas and inspiration.

Megan's got a bunch of other fun things going on for this book that you can check out as well:
Her website
Her blog

Myspace profiles for each sister in the book:
Norah Cassel

Hopefully this will keep you amused and also be sure to go out and get NAMES MY SISTERS CALL ME because it is out now!!!

1 comment:

keri mikulski :) said...

Great interview, Stephanie and Megan! I know what you mean, it is validating to find out that my writing inspirations and processes are similar to other authors. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to check out NAMES MY SISTERS CALL ME.