Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meagan Frank

I'm excited about this week's interview because it's our first non-fiction author.  Meagan Frank has worked as a reporter and free-lance author, but her first full-length book is Choosing to Grow: Through Marriage - a non-fiction, creative memoir.

You can find out more about Meagan and order her book here:  http://www.meaganfrank.com/

TAS: Let's get the plug out of the way. Tell us a little bit about the project you are currently promoting - who will be interested and why?

MF: My current promotion is for my book  Choosing to Grow: Through Marriage. It is a record of an eight-year project that included a low in my marriage, two years of research, five years of application and a year of writing. I interviewed 70 women, read over 25 titles, and collected objective questionnaires from over 150 women. I think this book can appeal to anyone interested in getting married, in staying married, in navigating the married life and even those who are on the backside of the married experience. I interviewed women who had been married 60 years and women married less than 6 months. Set against the backdrop of my own growth, I recount their stories, their wisdom, their insight, and it is a fascinating look at how the institution of marriage is constantly evolving.

TAS: What aspects of being an author do you most enjoy?

MF: I most enjoy the creative process. I enjoy research and compilation and then presenting my findings in a palatable and interesting way. I am fascinated by the connection and power of words, and I enjoy the challenge of continuing to learn more and more about my own voice and style. (Plus, I enjoy the flexibility I'm afforded to be a mom to our three kids--I can work my hours around their needs right now)

TAS: What aspects of being an author do you least enjoy?

MF: I abhor self-promotion. I am increasingly realizing that it is tough to get your name circulating, to get your book out there, to get eyes on the things I've written, and I feel like a boring nag when I try to encourage (endlessly) people to take a peek at my work. It is a necessary evil, and my least favorite part about being an author.

TAS: What moment as an author have you experienced that you are likely to remember 20 years from now (good or bad)?

MF: My favorite moment so far was my virtual Novel Launch through my publisher TreasureLine Books. It was a day of connection with friends, family, readers, book-lovers and supporters of all kinds. It was exhausting, but an incredibly positive experience overall.

TAS: What bad habits do you have when it comes to writing/promoting your books and/or what do you wish you could do better?

MF: I am not as consistent with my writing as I would like to be. I hope to establish a predictable schedule where my productivity can increase and I can move closer and closer to full-time writer status. (especially when my youngest joins the full-day school goers this fall)

TAS: What is your proudest moment as an author?

MF: So far, I think my proudest moment as an author was holding a physical proof of my book that actually had my name on it. It is one thing to have word documents that occupy the folder on my computer titled "book" and it is another thing to hold a real book in my hands.

TAS: How many hours a week do you spend writing?

MF: I am embarrassed to admit that currently it is probably less than five hours a week. I have three kids home for the summer, and I am in presentation and promotion mode. When I was writing my book it was closer to 30 hours a week. I hope to up those hours significantly in the fall.

TAS: If you had to choose between selling 1 million books but only making $20,000 in royalties or selling 1000 books and (somehow) making $40,000, which would you choose and why?

MF: I would choose selling the 1 million books for less money. I really believe in the message of my book, and I wrote in the hopes of helping people who were quietly struggling with similar issues. The more people I can reach, the better, and royalties are honestly the icing on the cake.

TAS: What's the greatest thing you can realistically imagine happening as a result of your writing? How likely do you think that is to actually happen?

MF: I would love to get a speaking gig, about this book and my findings, that could fill an auditorium with 500-1000 people. That would be the ultimate. I think it is possible...with a lot of work and plenty more promotion. I really enjoy the speaking part of the book project. 

TAS: Tell us about the most interesting thing you’ve ever eaten.

MF: I'm not the most adventurous eater. I haven't consumed any bugs or crazy animals, so I think I might be a bit boring with this answer. I did once have chili with beans that had sprouted...purposefully. It was delicious, and the beans looked like bugs (does that count?).

TAS: If you had a couple hours to kill in a strange city and you could either spend the time in their zoo, museum or library, which would you choose and why?

MF: I would spend the time in the museum. I am a lifelong learner, and I think the museum would offer the best window for a chance to learn. Libraries offer windows to learning anywhere, but to have access to a strange town, I think the museum would offer the most insight. Plus, zoos make me sad. I don't mind animal preserves, but zoos are a little more depressing.

TAS: If space aliens landed and said you could come with them to their planet to see wonders beyond wonders . . . but you would never see earth or your friends and family again, would you go?

MF: No, I would not go. I have invested my life in building and maintaining the relationships with my family and friends. I really think that relationships are the point to life, and without them, I would not find much wonder in a distant world.

TAS: If an aging friend with painful, terminal cancer asked you to kill them, and you knew there wouldn't be any legal problems, would you do it?

MF: I don't think I could do it. I would not be able to live with myself if I were responsible for ending another person's life...even if they were in such a terrible situation. I would only offer to help make him/her as comfortable as possible.


Connie J Jasperson said...

Wonderful interview! Very interesting.

jenny milchman said...

The book sounds fascinating--and important. I think that writing process, of having many hours during the actual creation of the book, and fewer during the marketing time is very normal--probably the best way to balance wearing two hats. Thanks for the interview!