Interview with Maegan Abel: 'Everyone has a story'

Maegan Abel was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She went back to school her my late twenties and studied Stage Production Technology. She now work full-time in the alterations shop of a major department store and part-time backstage in the various theatres around the area. She has been an avid reader from a very young age and the top goal on her list of things to accomplish in life was to write and publish a book. During the summer of 2013, while working backstage on The Lion King, she read eleven books in four weeks. Maegan read her first New Adult book and was introduced to a genre that she felt she could totally relate to. The idea for Perfectly Broken and the character of Lili was born backstage during that time.
Her latest book is the new adult, Unforgivably Broken.
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About the Book:

It took a near-tragedy for Zane and Lili to admit their feelings for one another. If they could survive that explosion, wading through the debris left behind should be a breeze,

Lili has spent years hiding from her past. Now, she's being forced to admit her mistakes and make a decision. Can she conquer her demons head-on, or will she remain by Zane's side while he fights his own? 

Zane learned early in life that charm and deception are easier than hard truths. Sometimes, old habits die hard. When his past mistakes start making continuous reappearances, he is faced with some of the most crucial decisions he's ever made. 

When you have secrets, they can rip ragged holes in the ties that bind even the strongest relationships. 

What do you do when you realize you're unforgivably broken?

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

The idea for the Broken Series actually stemmed from a writing challenge. When I’m stuck, I try to find something else to write about. I was working on a different story but found myself unsure of where it was leading me. I was reading a lot more in the few weeks prior because I was working the second job, I had read several New Adult books, most featuring the bad boy-type character. They all had the same characteristics: they were hot, they used women to get what they wanted, and they didn’t care what people thought of them. It got me thinking about the people we know in real life that are like that. The women, the female counterpart with these characteristics, the ones we see out at the bars or clubs, we know exactly who they are on sight. We, as women, are usually quick to judge them. But, that girl has a story too, right? We may think she has low self-worth and no shame, but maybe we don’t know everything there is to know about her. I started to wonder if I could take those characteristics we love about the bad boy, give them to a female, and make her likable to a mostly female audience. And, from that challenge, Lili was born.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

It was difficult, especially in the beginning. There is an overabundance of conflicting information out there. In fact, when I was about three quarters of the way finished with the first draft of Perfectly Broken, I attended a Writer’s Conference. At the conference, it seemed every panel that spoke had something negative to say about the self-published community and/or the New Adult category as a whole. I didn’t know much about self-publishing at the time but it made me curious. By the time I finished the draft, I’d read several Indie books and made some friends within the community. I decided it was the route I wanted to take. My only advice is follow your instinct and don’t try to find a trend. By the time you publish, things will change. Write your story the way you want it. And find a good editor.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Perfectly Broken was originally self-published in February 2014. The Broken Series was picked up by Forever Red Publishing in June of 2014. I actually submitted to them because my editor, who had been freelance, became the editor-in-chief of the Publishing House.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Honestly, it was terrifying. It still is. Every time someone says they’re reading one of my books, it’s that same mini panic attack. Submitting to the publisher, I was a wreck from the moment I sent the email. Every time I send a manuscript to my editor, every chapter I send to my beta readers, it’s putting myself out there. I never expected it to feel so amazing, though. I knew achieving a dream would obviously be fulfilling, but I never realized just how emotional I would get when people — complete strangers — message me on Facebook or email to tell me they stayed up all night reading because they couldn’t put my book down.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

The third book in the Broken Series will be out in Spring of 2015. I have another book, which is currently planned as a stand-alone New Adult Romance titled Those Moments, is due out in late 2015. There is also a possibility I will be writing a prequel to the Broken Series but I have no definitive date on that one.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I have a list of tabs open on my browser at all times. Usually, Facebook and YouTube are the first two.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Everyone has a story. Judging someone based on who we see, or who we think we see, or what we think we know, is a good way to alienate people who are just trying to make the best of the life they were dealt.
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