About Megan Cutler:
I am a writer, computer nerd, and all around geek. I love to read and write fantasy and science-fiction in all its forms. I published my first novel, Island of Lost Forevers, in May of 2014. My goal is to write the kind of stories that inspired me in my youth.
What inspires you to write?
I find inspiration from many sources; the music I listen to, the movies I watch, the books I read and even my nightly dreams. I was the kid who took a book with me out to the playground during school recess. If my head isn’t in the clouds, something must be seriously wrong. For me, every moment is potential inspiration, so I try to keep a notebook handy for filing ideas.
Tell us about your writing process.
I try to devote a good amount of time to planning. Enough that I know my world and my story, but not so much that I get trapped in the eternal world-building loop. Once I have a basic idea of my world and how it works, I create an outline. I don’t marry myself to that outline, but let the story evolve as it grows. I then adjust my outline accordingly.
I try not edit while I’m writing. I find I don’t know my story well until I’ve gotten through the first draft. When I finish something, I set it aside and let it simmer while I work on something else. I come back to edit when it feels fresh, sharpening and honing the work until it’s as good as I can make it. Then I set it aside again, rinse and repeat until it feels finished.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
It’s impossible for me to ignore my characters; they get very vocal when I don’t do what they want me to do. Ultimately, they are telling me their stories. In return, I do my best to capture the spirit of those stories on the page.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write every day. Do whatever it takes to motivate yourself to write every day. Find what works for you in terms of motivation and method, but stick with it. Finish what you start. Don’t forget that you write for yourself first. Write something that makes you happy.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish my first book because it felt right. It was less about creative control and more about the value of experience. I have learned a great deal from leaping into the fray. That alone has made for a wonderful experience. In the future, I hope to pursue traditional publishing with projects better suited to the media. In today’s world, I don’t think you have to choose one or the other and stick to it. The current creative environment provides a lot of freedom. I urge every author to choose the path that works best for them for each particular project.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s an exciting time to be a creative person. There have never been more ways to connect with the people who share our passions. The Internet allows us to connect with readers, other writers, agents and publishers faster and easier than ever before. People have been saying that print is dead for a long time, but I don’t think print will ever die. Instead it will evolve. There will always be a need for stories and the people who tell them. The trick is adapting with the times.
What do you use?: Co-writer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Fantasy, urban fantasy, science-fiction, romance
What formats are your books in?: eBook