Sunday, November 20, 2016

Author Interview: Megan Manzano

I chatted with up-and-coming science fiction author Megan Manzano, who has several short stories already published!

Megan Manzano is a recent graduate with a B.A. in English. She has accumulated several publications in places such as Everyday Fiction, Maudlin House, Firefly Magazine, and Fantasia Divinity Magazine. She has a few other projects she is working on, with hopes of them being published in 2017. She mostly writes fantasy and science fiction. Her head is constantly filled with ideas and declaring herself a writer was one of the easiest decisions she has ever made. Her favorite activities include reading, blogging, traveling, and expressing her imagination through writing. You can find out more about her at her blog and follow her on Twitter.

Tell us about yourself. What made you start writing fiction?
I was always a writer, but it took a bit of growing up to realize that. When I was a kid, most of what I did was write. I still have the notebooks with some very implausible stories and horrible handwriting stored in my closet. Nonetheless, it was always what I wanted to do, drawing inspiration from books, video games, and movies. What made me sit down and realize I wanted to write fiction for myself was seeing my favorite book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, being turned into a movie. It made me go, yes, I need to do this.

What in particular attracted you to writing science fiction?

I love the possibilities science fiction has to offer. In a lot of ways, there's still a firm reality to it, the world and how it functions. The fun comes from messing it up, asking what if I changed this and then writing the results. Not to mention the aliens, space travel, virus outbreaks, and all around crazy.

Do your characters and plots draw any inspiration from your own life?
I would say some of my plots do. When I lean more towards realistic fiction, I tend to take a few experiences (some mine, some my friends') and throw them together. My characters on the other hand, I tend to create them and see where they end up. I find it hard to actually write about people I know. I like a clean slate.

You've published a couple of short stories. What attracted you to writing those instead of longer stories?
I started writing serious fiction through short stories. What I love about short stories is you can start from the middle without necessarily creating an entire history around the plot and the characters. You can begin and end without having all of the pieces of the puzzle, but instead picking one moment and really diving in without hindrance. Since I have a lot of sporadic ideas, short stories help me get them out.

Tell us about your current project.
My current novel is a science fiction piece following the dual perspectives of Diana and Hunter. The world has been under siege by a virus and the two of them come together under less than ideal circumstances. My goal for the novel is to really dive into the psychological and emotional tolls of this world as Hunter and Diana go through a myriad of events they can't control. It is about what it means to be human or if you can maintain such a thing.

Is your current work influenced by any particular sci-fi novels or movies?
I would say this project came from a mixture of the sci-fi novels and books that I've read centered on an apocalyptic world. Each has inspired my book in some way or another. My two main sources of inspiration however would be The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner and a video game called The Last of Us.

What do you do besides writing?
I read a lot. I like to travel. I also like to edit, having worked for a few small publishing companies as a line editor. A great satisfaction for me comes from being able to edit a work in progress and bring it one step closer to being published.

How much writing do you usually get done in the average week? How do you make or find time to write?
It varies by the week. Sometimes I fall into slumps where I won't write anything but a few words or nothing at all. Other times, I can write thousands of words. When I first began my book, I was writing a whole chapter each day on my commute to school. Commuting for me was the time I used to write. Now, I give myself the evening to get things done.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I'm 95% a pantser. I can't plot anything out other than a main idea that I'm striving for. Other than that, I sit down and write and see where it leads me. I find if I plot, I get stuck almost immediately.

Any advice you'd like to give other authors?

Keep writing no matter what. Some days are going to be harder than others, but if you really love your story and your characters, get it done. Even if the story doesn't go anywhere, you'll have accomplished something personal to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment