Monday, August 17, 2015

How Authors Write~Meg Gray

Today I'm super excited that Meg Gray is here to talk about her writing process. Meg and I have become good friends (who have never met yet!) in the last few months as we've been exchanging e-mails about our writing processes, triumphs, failures, and life in general. I've had the pleasure of reading all of Meg's books (more on those in Thursday's post) and am thrilled to be beta reading a new novella. 

Welcome Meg! For those who aren't familiar with your books, please tell us what your write.

I write contemporary romance stories.

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?

I always use third person—I feel it gives the reader a broader view of the characters, and depending on the story, I sometimes write in multiple points of view.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?

I usually start with a “what if…” and see what happens from there. I find that as I start to get the characters and story down on paper the story molds itself. I also have been known to wake up from dream and jot down the characters and their dialog that visited me in the night.

Do you draft quickly?

I try to. I was able to get a rough draft—very rough—done for my last two novels in about two weeks. From there, it takes many redrafts to get to a final product.

Do you do research before your first draft, during?

If there is something specific I know I’ll need to look up, like information on a scenario or an occupation, I will try to get that done before drafting, but I often don’t know what I need to know until I’m in the middle of writing and something pops up. When that happens I leave myself a note in brackets, research it later, and keep the story going.

Do you outline?

Yes, some. I find outlines very helpful when I’m trying to keep a flood of ideas straight or if I hit a rough patch, stepping back and looking at the big picture helps me get going again.

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? If so, how soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I try to hand over as complete of a draft as possible to my betas. The first thing that I usually am looking for is reader reaction and whether or not the story works, from there I can go back, tweak, and edit portions of the story. But if it’s just not going to work, I need to know that up front.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?

That it is a lot of hard work. I think that’s true of anything you dream about doing, though. Building a house, starting a business, or training for a marathon all take a lot of work. You go in knowing it will take work, but it’s not until you’re knee-deep that you realize just how much work it takes. But I enjoy the work; even if the editing and redrafting can become tedious at times I love what I do.

Do you write in a series?

Not exactly, but all of my storylines intertwine and some characters have cameos in other books, so it makes it fun for readers. My books are all under the same subtitle: City Streets, Country Roads Novels. Readers who join Meg’s Insider Club get to read bonus content that helps show the link between stories a little more clearly.

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?

All of my books and what’s new with me can be found over at

Check out this booktrailer to see which one of my novels you’d like to start with.

In life, there are no certainties. Emma Hewitt finds herself facing a number of uncertain challenges as she tries to find her footing in the big city of Portland, Oregon. The safety and simplicity of the small town she once knew is a distant memory as she embarks on her toughest year of teaching in her young career. Her greatest struggle lies in the perplexing father-son combination of Marcus and Brayden Lewis.

Marcus Lewis knows where he stands in the corporate world, but as a father, he is struggling. Raising his son alone is proving to be a challenge beyond his capabilities. Marcus’s past has left him mistrusting and unwilling to ask for the help he desperately needs.

Can Emma break through Marcus’s stone exterior to get Brayden the help he needs or will Marcus stay buried in the shadows of his past?

Kate Michaels is a down-on-her-luck bridesmaid waiting for her life to finally take a turn in the right direction. This country girl trying to make it in the city of Portland, Oregon covers up her shambled life with a web of lies. Her raging credit card debt, unemployed status, and deadbeat ex-boyfriend/tenant become minor league problems when she is cast in her friend Mary’s wedding.

In the days leading up to the nuptials, Kate ends up running interference to protect the bride-to-be from the pretentious maid-of-honor”"a.k.a. the sister of the groom”"and picking up the slack of the other self-absorbed bridesmaids. She almost forgets about the too-hot-to-handle groomsman fated to escort her at the wedding, except he keeps popping up when she least expects it.

In walks AJ, the dashing manager of Portland's newest dining hot spot. As the wedding craziness unfolds, Kate finds herself confiding in and slowly falling for the down to earth, hardworking manager. Life is looking good for once until the night before the wedding.

What will this truck-driving, boot-stomping, hammer-swinging country girl do when she finds out she’s not the only one leading a life of deception?

When Blake Anderson decides to sneak away from the limelight of his father's political career, he sets out to find an answer that has haunted him his whole life. He heads to the small town of River's Edge in the heart of Oregon's wine country along the Columbia River. In the small town, he gets his first taste of anonymity and it feels good. His trail quickly runs cold and instead of racing back to his family's mansion he decides to stay for a while, and makes a place for himself as Reg Wheeler's hired hand.

Maria Sandoval is recovering from a devastating loss and has sought refuge on her grandparents' prosperous estate, Ramirez Vines. Doing her best to outrun haunting memories from her college days, she takes great solitude in riding her horse along the edge of the vineyard property. One night she runs across a stranger who claims to work for her grandparents' old neighbor Reg Wheeler. Her mistrust and anxiety push her emotions to a new level as she tries to determine the stranger's real purpose for helping the cranky crippled old man.

Secrets, trust, and love all combine as Blake and Maria journey together toward finding answers and healing old wounds. But in one emotionally charged night it all starts to come undone. As one life hangs in the balance, questions are answered, but will it be too late…

Thank you Mary, for having me on your blog!

You're welcome, Meg! Thanks for dropping by. And check out these books. I've read them all and LOVED them!!!

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