Interview with Meg Lacey, Author of 'Million Dollar Mistake'

ABOUT MEG LACEY

Meg wrote her first novel in the sixth grade, her own version of a classic historical romance. However, her writing career didn't last. Over the years, she's been an actress, director, producer, creative director, copywriter, creative dramatics teacher, mime, mom, college instructor, and a school bus driver. She's formed, and worked as a Vice President and as CEO of, two creative marketing and media companies in the Midwest. She's worked in all media, from network cable programming and corporate initiatives; to games and interactive websites. Through it all, she has always returned to writing.

She has written for Silhouette and Harlequin, and you can find her titles available in digital format at any online bookstore.

Her new paranormal romance series, Tales of the Sparrow, will be published by Imajinn Books, with the first book, The Sparrow and the Hawk, available September 30, 2012.

Her new contemporary romance: Million Dollar Mistake, is available October 23, 2012. It's the first book in the Million Dollar Men series.

Visit Meg Lacey: at www.meglacey.com

Email Meg at: meg@meglacey.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/meglaceybooks

Please tell your readers to go to my website, www.meglacy.com to sign up for a giveaway I am doing for "Million Dollar Mistake." In addition to books I am featuring great prizes from "For Every Home," and "Jamberry Nails."

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

My sense of humor and my way of looking at life, along with my drive and determination to accomplish, or try my best, at whatever goal I set for myself.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

Self-criticism. I am harder on myself than anyone else could be. I need to be reminded to let go and celebrate life and accomplishments.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

"No one can make you feel inferior unless you let them."

Eleanor Roosevelt.

I think this quote reminds me that when I'm down, or when I'm uncertain that I have more power than I think I have. It levels the playing field for everyone regardless of social status, race, age or level of accomplishment. I think we all need to be reminded of that.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

I have three beautiful daughters who are accomplished in their own lives. They are independent, thoughtful, determined, and have a sense of humor. My husband and I are very proud of them.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

My mother and my grandmother greatly influenced my writing. They both loved to read, and in every spare moment Mom would sit down with a book. Mom told me that books could take you to unfamiliar worlds where you meet unfamiliar people. My grandmother would also tell stories to my brother and me. I wanted to share stories also. I wanted to touch another life like my mom and grandmother have touched mine.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I've been writing since the fourth grade, very bad poetry I might add. I remember getting up in the middle of the night and going to my desk to write. Then I wrote a novel in the sixth grade mainly because a girl were doing so and reading their work at recess. I thought if she can do it, I could do it too. So I did. It was 128 pages long, so you can imagine I was very proud of myself.

When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing seriously in book length fiction in 1990. I sent to Harlequin in London and they asked me to revise it. I did and they rejected it, but I'd gotten the bug.

I never really thought about being an author, although I've always written. My goal, education and training was focused on acting and directing. It wasn't until my husband and I left some major metropolitan areas that I changed my direction, focusing on producing and writing for television, video, and interactive websites, and on children's literature.

When did you first know you could be a writer?

When I decided to write, I set a goal of getting published. Not everyone who writes wants the same thing. Some people write because they love to write and that's wonderful. For me, I made a decision that if I was going to write and tell stories, I wanted an audience to read them. So I sat down and wrote my first book, which was set on a Showboat in the middle of the Ohio River. I didn't sell it, but I learned a lot. I wrote four more novels before I finally sold one. Now I'm hooked.


What inspires you to write and why?

I start with a character or a situation that jumps into my head and won't let go. Sometimes an image gives me an idea, or a snatch of a conversation.

My characters come from everywhere. They come from bits and pieces of people I see, people I know, and people I've read about. They come from images or pictures or experiences that I find interesting that spark a "what if." And finally they are just people who jump into my imagination and won't go away until I write about them.

The plot comes from my character's actions. I start with an idea of a situation and the people in it, and then I figure out where I want it to end up. I generally know what the end will be. It might not be the actual idea from the beginning but it definitely ends up similar. As for what happens in between times that often comes from the characters and takes me totally by surprise. That's the fun part, but then I have to put it all together so it makes sense. That's when the real work begins.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I write about relationships. My romances to date have all had a lot of humor, emotion and enough heat to make the romance real to the reader. The funny thing though is I'm often told I write between genres. My work isn't completely this or that.

"Million Dollar Men" for example has two couples and their romantic relationships in a tangled mess. It was rejected by one of my publishers because it didn't quite fit their genre concept. I loved the story; I loved the characters so I didn't give up on it. I sent it to Samhain Publishing and a new editor loved it and bought it. I proposed the book as part of a series titled "Million Dollar Men." Who doesn't want one of those? Now I am working on other stories for the series.

I am also writing in a new genre though, paranormal romance. "The Sparrow and The Hawk" came out Sept. 2012 also and a critic as describes it: "It's a paranormal romance, but it's also an urban fantasy, a black comedy, and a mystery/thriller with a dash of horror. It's fast-paced, funny, and completely absorbing."

So as a writer I'm really reaching out and growing and I intend to continue to explore new worlds and reach for new challenges.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

Putting my "bum" in a chair and getting it done. Each story is different and has it's own energy. I don't have a process exactly. Generally though:

I get some type of idea… it might be a plot idea, but most often it is a character or characters that I find interesting. I consider what I think could happen to them. I always know the beginning scene and the ending one. This way I know where I want them to end up. The final scene is always different in some way, but essentially meets my first intent.

I have a visual background so I use a development technique based around three acts. I determine the set up, the inciting incident or start of the action, the rising action to a first important plot or character point, the rise to the second point then to the climax and resolution. I see a filmstrip in my head of characters, settings and actions.

Sometimes I really develop this action method and other times, I get a basic idea and just sit down and start writing. This is seat of the pants writing and it's scary as hell because it takes me by surprise and I wonder if I am really writing anything or just throwing verbal vomit on the page.

So I don't have a set approach. It depends on what grabs me by the throat first and compels me to continue.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?

"Million Dollar Mistake" taught me that anyone can change if you have the desire to do so. I had a lot of fun writing this book.

Life is a time of continual learning, so embrace it. Learn to accept yourself for who you are, but never close your mind to possibilities. Also, be able to ask for help when you need it. That's hard for independent women to do, but it is a lesson we all must learn.

Do you intend to make writing a career?

It is my career now. I'm writing full time since I closed my business. I have so many ideas to share and stories I want to tell. I just need more time to write them all. Hopefully an audience will want to read them.


Have you developed a specific writing style?

You're talking about my 'voice.' Voice is one of those things you can't describe. It just is. It's a result of the way I see a situation, develop a character, and hear them speak. It's also a result of my phrasing and structure. I write fast paced novels with a lot of humor, and a great deal of dialogue. People have told me they know it's my novel

What is your greatest strength as a writer?


My sense of humor and my skill with dialogue and characterization. This comes from my training in theatre, in acting and directing.

When it comes right down to it though, I'm still learning. I learn from each character I develop, from each situation I create. I learn from reading others and from living life. My goal is to keep on improving, telling each story in a unique way, in a way that readers will enjoy.

Million Dollar MistakeMillion Dollar MistakeABOUT MILLION DOLLAR MISTAKE

In addition to overseeing the financial affairs of the wealthy Kristoff family, Nicholas Demetrious specializes in hauling its rambunctious members out of trouble. Especially his distant cousin, Raven Rutledge.

The tabloids love her bad-girl antics, sexy pout, and body made for sin. Nicholas would love to spank the bejesus out of her, but this time the situation is too serious to entertain such a fantasy. A lucrative business deal with the Exeters is in jeopardy, and Jackson Exeter Sr.'s ultimatum is clear: Remove this man-eater from my country house, or the deal is off.

Raven is in way over her head. She accepted the invitation to the Exeters' Adirondack house party as a refreshing change from her jet-setting lifestyle-until she learns the guest list includes his entire family. His ex-girlfriend. And the junior Exeter's intention to propose.

If ever she needed suave, sophisticated Nicholas's persuasive powers, it's now. Then he's there with a plan to get her out of this tangle: sweep her off her feet. But their pretend passion turns all too real. And what started out as a weekend of fun threatens to shatter into betrayal and heartbreak.