Indie superstars with Megan Crewe + Giveaway (US + International)
Welcome to YA Books Central's "Indie Superstars" column. This event will spotlight the best and brightest of the indie community.
You don’t want to miss out on these talented authors
This week we’re interviewing Megan Crewe, author of "Ruthless Magic"
Welcome to YABC, Megan!
YABC: While reading the Conspiracy of Magic series you can’t help but draw parallels between the magic of Harry Potter and the brutality of the Hunger Games. How/if at all, did these books inspire you?
Megan Crewe: Honestly, the initial spark of the idea was a little joke with myself: I was looking at recent deal listings with their "TITLE meets TITLE" comparisons, and started contemplating about what the most absurdly ambitious possible combination would be. "Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games!" I thought, and laughed to myself for about five seconds before the creative gears in my head whirred into action throwing all the amazing possibilities at me.
So, those two books inspired the Conspiracy of Magic series in a fairly broad sense. I loved the idea of this separate and somewhat elitist society of wizards in the Harry Potter books and the tension of having to fight to survive unreasonable trials set up by a corrupt government from The Hunger Games. I ended up mashing those elements together along with a whole lot of other elements to create these books.
YABC: What is it you love about magic?
Megan: There's something so thrilling about the possibility of being able to manipulate the world with the power of our own will--to bring things into being that weren't there before, to help people in ways ordinary methods can't. But I find it more fascinating when there are potential costs to offset that power. Watching characters find a balance between ambition and safety always makes for interesting reading.
YABC: Rocío and Finn are both strong characters in their own rights. Do they have any of your personality traits?
Megan: I think pretty much every viewpoint character I've written has things in common with me, and Rocío and Finn are no exception. I share Rocío's pacifist sensibilities, wanting to solve problems without anyone getting hurt. And like Finn, I've sometimes struggled with wanting to accomplish more than my abilities seem up to.
YABC: What was your favorite part about writing this book/series?
Megan: Probably the developing romance between Rocío and Finn. While there are some tense moments between them along the way, there's so much drama going on *around* them that their relationship can be a sort of sanctuary in the middle of that. I loved showing how they bring out the best in each other and how much they admire and respect each other. After writing a lot of fraught relationships in other books, I really enjoyed getting to portray one that's pretty open and healthy right from the start.
YABC: What was your biggest challenge writing this book/series?
Megan: The political and military aspects, especially as I widened the scope to overseas in the second book. I did a lot of research on special ops teams, international tensions, terrorist activity, and so on to give my fictional world a believable grounding, but the real-world conflicts are so complex it's hard to capture all of that nuance in a four-hundred page book, especially one that's try to tell a gripping story at the same time!
YABC: If you weren’t chosen to join the Confederation of Mages would you declare for the Mages exam?
Megan: That depends on how confident I was in my magical ability. ;) If I felt, like Rocío does, that I was definitely skilled enough to handle the tests and that I'd been unfairly rejected, I probably would. If I could see that my abilities really were behind most other mages, I'd probably accept the judgment.
YABC: What inspired you to begin writing?
Megan: I've just always been in love with stories and storytelling. Even before I knew how to write my own words, I used to dictate stories to my mom, who'd write them down so I could illustrate them with crayon. One of my favorite childhood "games" was to get out various toys and act out epic dramas with them, often getting so caught up in the turmoil that I'd stop moving the figures around and just imagine the rest of the story playing out in my head. So, I've basically been doing this my whole life. I just started taking it more seriously in upper elementary school when reactions from teachers and my classmates made me realize other people might find my stories entertaining too. :)
YABC: What is the most important thing you think an author needs to do to succeed?
Megan: Perseverance. Most authors have to write multiple stories before they've developed their craft enough to have something really salable. Most authors end up facing plenty of rejections even on their best work. I don't think I know any authors who've been able to sell every book they've ever written. You have to be willing to keep working at your craft and growing as a writer, and willing to roll with the punches when things don't work out the way you hope.
YABC: How do you come up with your titles?
Megan: Titles are really hard for me, so there's usually a lot of brainstorming involved. I try to pick a phrase that captures both the theme or feel of the story as well as being somewhat literally accurate, one that's fairly memorable, and one that hasn't already been used. That can take a while! And then, when I'm writing a series, I want all the titles to be connected in some way--either having a repeated word, like my Earth & Sky trilogy, or a repeated structure, like my Fallen World series, or both, like the Conspiracy of Magic books.
YABC: What is one YA books you reread over and over?
Megan: I think the YA book I've reread the most is The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. The whole series is brilliant, but I love that particular book so much for its cleverness, understated emotion, and extremely effective use of an unreliable viewpoint character who has no idea he's unreliable. :D
USA Today bestselling author Megan Crewe lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son. She's been making up stories about magic and spirits and other what ifs since before she knew how to write words on paper. These days the stories are just a lot longer. Her YA novels include the paranormal Give Up the Ghost, post-apocalyptic the Fallen World series, the sci fi Earth & Sky trilogy, the contemporary fantasy A Mortal Song, the supernatural thriller Beast, and the urban fantasy Conspiracy of Magic series.
In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die... or kill.
Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages' Exam.
Disadvantaged by her parents' low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.
Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.
Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?
One winner will receive a signed hardcover of Ruthless Magic plus swag for the series
(US and International)
I love the way this book takes a fresh look at magic, rebellion, and so many other themes that are borrowed from some of the best YA books!
I've already came across this cover on Facebook. I am in love with it. It's stunning . The synopsys is sooo amazing. I'm so excited to read it.
The cover is beautiful. The synopsis is very exciting and I like some of the thematic elements you have woven into the story. Good luck with this one.
OH my goodness I am so excited to see this on here as a giveaway!! I have been so looking forward to reading this book! The cover is phenomenal and the synopsis has had me drawn in for a while now!! Fingers crossed!! ?