About R. A. Meenan:
R. A. Meenan time traveled with a mad man with a box to the Modern Era and was raised by anthropomorphic cats. After too many times setting her foster family’s cat tails on fire, she started ride-hoping on intergalactic military spacecraft in search of fodder for her science fiction and urban fantasy stories and the perfect cup of coffee. She’s an honorary ambassador for furry and anthropomorphic aliens. Also, space dragons.
She cares for a husband, Joe, and their four furry children (which are really cats). She also cultivates a love of English in essay-writing haters and molds them into Actual Students and Lovers of English.
Her novels capture the imagination of time travelers, magic users, and nerds. Also, normal bios are boring.
What inspires you to write?
I like stories. My friends will tell you that I will stop anything for a good story. I will even insist on knowing the story in something I’m not terribly interested in, just because stories are so much fun.
Originally I started writing because a lot of bad stuff happened in my past. My father passed away when I was young and our landlords forced us to move, despite the fact that my mother wasn’t working when dad died. I was also a big nerd as a kid (still am) and a crazy tomboy and never had many friends in high school, so I just made them up.
My main novel was originally a fan fiction that I created merely because I wanted to show up my friends. Funny how it turned into a huge original writing project!
Tell us about your writing process.
I kind of do a mix of both. I’ve been experimenting with various forms of outlining my whole writing life. I generally have very, very detailed outlines that I start out with, but I’m willing to let the story meander away from it as I write if the situation calls for it. Recently I’ve started a brand new outlining style based on a book, and so far it’s done wonders.
For short stories, I’ll generally have an idea of plot and character arc, then I let my imagination run. I rarely outline for short stories.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Man, my characters won’t shut UP. I don’t have any option but to listen closely to them! I’ll often write in my journal with head sketches of my characters and interact with them that way, but I also day dream and talk to them through that. They really dictate the story, not me.
What advice would you give other writers?
I have often been told that you need to write every day in order to be successful. I disagree. I’m a full time college professor, specifically of English, which means lots of essay grading, so writing every day isn’t always an option for me. I say write when you can. Keep a journal with you and write in it. Also, when you’re feeling burnt out, freewrite. I’ve gotten some great story starters by just writing something based completely on nothing. I’ve also found great writing prompts online for freewriting. Sometimes it’s very refreshing to write without any rules, outlines, or purpose. It’s a great way to jumpstart your creativity.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
For a very long time I was considering traditional publishing. I thought I needed the validation. But the more I researched and the more I studied the craft, the more I realized I preferred the idea of self publishing, so I chose that. I love the freedom with self publishing. Yes, I have to find my own editor, book cover artist, and build my own marketing plans, but doing so means I get to decide the final word on EVERYTHING. I love that. I’d rather have the freedom to do that than feel restricted by the rules and regulations of a big publisher who will forget about me if I don’t make amazing sales.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that we’ll never forego print books completely. I love ebooks and I have a massive collection of them, but I generally find that if I really love a book, I will happily pay the extra to have a physical copy of said book.
Also, I worry about the future of big publishing. The publishing world is changing dramatically, but big traditional publishers are stuck in this rut of “This is the way we’ve always done it” and they’re losing out as the rest of the world evolves. I really think indie writing, self publishing, and small publishers will take over what big publishing is missing out on.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Urban fantasy, sci fi, paranormal, animal fiction, modern fantasy, shape shifter books, young adult.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.