Monday, August 11, 2008

Megan Kelley Hall of the Girlfriend's Cyber Circuit Makes My Monday!

I don’t like Mondays. I often start getting anxious about them on Sunday nights and usually sleep horribly. Fortunately last night was my best friend’s birthday shindig and it involved sampling lots of wine at House Red, our local wine shop. Deliciousness, especially the pink bubbly stuff at the end which I must remind Katie to tell me the name of. The wine helped me sleep, though I did wake up abt 30 min too early and was displeased about that.

I was nervous about today starting badly because Friday was such an awful day. It was like a Monday. It started with me finding one of those horrible, huge millipede things and ended with me cracking the screen of my Crackberry errr Blackberry. The sad thing abt that is I was not even drunk. Totally stone sober, just demonstrating my usual klutziness by walking into a table. Darling boyfriend is taking it to be repaired later this week. I have insurance because I know I’m a klutz though I have never ever broken or lost a phone before now, but I’d have to pay a 50$ deductible and even though it is just this plastic piece that needs replacing, they would insist on giving me a whole new phone, which seems terribly wasteful and also I lose all my settings and ringtones and its very inconvenient, so fortunately the guy had a repair place to recommend. It will cost the same, but far less hassle. Boyfriend takes it, waits 15 min, and it’s fixed. I am only without phone for part of a day, which is good because I am so very addicted to it.

Saturday was better because it started with a great review from ElleGirl (I am holding back from sharing all my reviews, but this one really meant so much to, esp since it’s from a non-music person and I like to see that the book is meaningful to all sorts of people), then there was an awesome library event, followed by a delicious vegan meal with my mom at a restaurant I hardly ever get to go to because it is so far north. Sunday was office cleaning, which I found very satisfying (I love organizing stuff!) and radio interview, (I think I blathered on quite a bit, but take a listen to the 8/10 brodcast and decide for yourself. I’m about 5 min into the show.) and wine. But what would Monday bring?

I tried to think positive Monday thoughts. I know the day will end with sushi so that should be a good thing. On the way to the train I listened to my soundtrack to Ballads of Suburbia and realized how ready I am to get to work on those revisions, but I have to wait a month til my editor is on the same page. I also realized that the last time I wore this dress I got some of the worst news I’ve ever gotten. The Marcel news. I really need a good day to erase this dress’s bad association because I really like the dress. Things did not start out well at work. Problems and complaints as soon as I walked in. Sigh. Then I checked my personal email to get the info on the girlfriend we’re touring this week on Girlfriend’s Cyber Circuit. Her name is Megan Kelley Hall and her book is Sisters of Misery. Then I read the following book description and it made my Monday. Today will be a good day because I found out about this amazing new book. This book is going to be the first thing I buy after figuring out how much I have to spend on the cracked Blackberry. Seriously how good does this sound???

A Modern Day Witch Hunt is Ignited When “Mean Girls” Meets “Practical Magic”. What happens when a hazing prank goes terribly wrong and a young teenage girl goes missing? The debut suspense novel, SISTERS OF MISERY, brings us inside a small, seaside town near Salem, where Maddie Crane, the teen protagonist investigating her eccentric cousin’s disappearance, ignites the wrath of the Sisters of Misery – a powerful high school clique, whose activities mirror the witch hunts of the seventeenth century. Hawthorne is a town filled with secrets and the supernatural. Stories hidden for decades come to light after Cordelia’s tragic disappearance. Cordelia’s mother, Rebecca, descends into madness while internal struggles amongst Maddie’s family members are all consequences of the supernatural “gifts” that they possess. Maddie Crane must choose between the allure and power of the Sisters of Misery and her loyalty to her beloved cousin and her own family. Fans of Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult and Stephenie Meyer will be haunted by this story of three generations of women and their struggles against each other and a town ruled by fear.

This is exactly the kind of suspense novel I love where there is a mystery, but the characters are struggling against something that all of us have really dealt with, peer pressure. Not to mention I have been fascinated with the Salem witch trials since I was about thirteen years old. It’s just frightening what they illustrated about the ways we respond to someone who is different and the way women are treated in society. Seeing how that is still reflected in society hundreds of years later makes for an incredibly premise for a book, I think!

But let’s get to know Megan a bit better, shall we?

Megan Kelley Hall, who lives north of Boston with her husband, Edward, and five-year-old daughter Piper, started a literary publicity company, Kelley and Hall, in 2005 with her sister, Jocelyn Kelley, and mother, Gloria Kelley. Her freelance magazine work has been published in Glamour, Elle, American Baby, Working Mother, New England Bride, The Boston Globe, Boston Herald MetroSports, Parents and Kids, and many other magazines. She studied creative writing at Skidmore College under the Pulitzer-Prize winning author Steven Millhauser. Her work can also be seen in the former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan’s anthology entitled, What’s Possible! (Meredith Books, May 2008.) The second in the series, THE LOST SISTER, will be published by Kensington in August 2009.

You can find Megan at , but today I’ve got her answering my usual questions for the GCC!

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

Megan: A lot of the times that I write or I’m working on a book, I’ll play the same songs over and over that capture the essence of the book I’m trying to write or the character I’m trying to create. Sometimes I imagine a trailer for the book with certain songs playing in the background of a particular scene. The main song for SISTERS OF MISERY was Fear by Sarah McLachlan. Other songs that related to my debut novel and the characters of Maddie and Cordelia are Natalie Merchant’s My Skin and Sarah McLachlan’s Building a Mystery, Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith, and Evanescence’s Bring Me to Life.

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

Megan: Cordelia listens to ethereal music like Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant and The Cranberries, but she also likes older music from Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac and Cowboy Junkies.

Q: Who are some of your favorite musicians or bands?

Megan: Pink, Lemonheads, Avril Lavigne (I listen to her endlessly because she’s my daughter’s favorite singer), Madonna, Rihanna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, and a new group that I just heard on the Old Navy commercials called Lights.

Q: 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: If it’s one of the songs that I’ve listened to again and again to get into the right frame of mind, I can hear it without letting it distract from my writing. If it’s a new song or something that just pops up on the radio, I can’t really concentrate. Some of my best plot points and ideas for scenes actually come to me when I’m driving and listening to a particular song. I’ve been known to pull over to the side of the road to write it down before I lose the scene. Needless to say, I keep a notebook and pen with me at all times.

Q: 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: Spending time with my daughter at the ocean (I live across the street from it) I actually prefer off-season, because we go “treasure-hunting” for seaglass, driftwood, porcelain pieces. I get my best ideas with the sound of the surf in my ears, watching my daughter run around the secluded beach. Those are my ideal “muse” times.

Sigh, I am so jealous of Megan living by the beach. That would be my main muse, too, though like her, I also have those scenes popping into my head spurred by a particular song.

But anyway, go check out Sisters of Misery! It made my Monday and hopefully it will make yours too, esp if you’re fascinated with the witch trials. If you’re so inclined, please let me know what you have been fascinated with since a young age. For me (aside from music of course) it’s pirates (my mom often tells the story of her desperate search for pirate books appropriate for a four year-old girl, since that is when my pirate fixation began), Ancient Egypt, and the Salem Witch Trials.


Mandy said...

You can back up your BlackBerry on your computer. I make a backup every time I sync my contacts.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Thanks Mandy. I need to learn how to do that in case of future klutzy incidents. I still didn't want to replace the phone though. It seemed wasteful.