Maureen McGowan is the author of the novel DEVIANTS (The Dust Chronicles, Book One). It has been translated to Spanish and recently published by Oz Editorial, a new publishing house.
I invite you to read this interview and get to know more about the author and her book.
Question: How do you feel about your books getting translated and published in a foreign country?
I’m very excited that the books will be available in other languages! Especially Spanish and French because I studied those languages in school. (Sadly, I am far from fluent in either language.)
Q: How did Oz Editorial, a new Spanish publishing house, contact you?
The offer to publish the books in Spanish came through my literary agency.
Q: In Spain, when an author wants to publish his/her book, they usually send the manuscript to publishing houses. What did you do the first time you got published?
I sent query letters to a small number of literary agents. Two were interested in representing me and I am very happy with the choice I made. After we decided to work together, my fabulous agent, Charlie Olsen, helped me land my publishing contracts.
Q: Which novels or writers have influenced you as a writer?
Oh, so many. I love Margaret Atwood, especially her sci-fi novels, and I also love the late Canadian author, Robertson Davies. More recently, I absolutely loved The Hunger Games and in many ways it opened my eyes to how much the Young Adult area of fiction has changed since I was a teen, and how exciting the books have become—even for adult readers. Books written for teens these days might be about teenagers, but they’re definitely not juvenile and not just for teen readers.
Q: Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella are the main characters of Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer and Cinderella: Ninja Warrior. Are you going to write more books of other fairy tale characters?
I hope so! I really enjoyed writing those books and flipping the traditional fairy tales so that the heroines were capable of saving themselves. But the choose-your-own-adventure aspect of those novels made them very complicated to write.
Q: There are people who sit down in front of the computer screen and start typing but everything they write they end deleting it because they do not like it. What would you say to these people?
Don’t reject yourself! It’s important to strive to improve, but if you never show your work to anyone, or complete anything, you’ll never get anywhere in publishing. If you love to write and want to be published, at some point you need to share what you’ve done with others. Be brave, know that you can never please everyone, and get used to accepting constructive criticism.
Q: And what would you recommend to those people who used to write and enjoyed but have lost their inspiration?
Sometimes you need a break to re-fill your creative well, so to speak. So don’t be too hard on yourself. But if you really want to get back into writing, yet feel blocked, my advice is to get your seat in the chair, your fingers on the keyboard (or a pen in your hand) and write something/anything. Eventually the creative juices will start to flow.
Q: Where do you get inspiration from?
I find inspiration for stories everywhere.
Q: Where and when do you like to write?
I often write at coffee shops and I get my best work done in the afternoon and evenings. (I am not a morning person. At all.)
Q: How many books are going to be the The Dust Chronicles Saga?
Glory’s story will span three books, but there are many opportunities for other stories set in this world, so there could be more in the future.
Q: Which science fiction and fantasy novels do you recommend?
In the Young Adult market, two of my favourite science fiction or fantasy novels from the past couple of years are For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund and Blood Red Road by Moira Young. Another of my all-time favourite science fiction novels is Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood. I’m currently reading Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi and I’m loving it as well.
Q: What makes Deviants different from the ones you have already mentioned?
Deviants delivers heart pounding action with lots of twists and turns, plus high emotional stakes and a dangerous romance. Some might call it plot-driven but at it’s core, Deviants is about a girl whose emotions can kill, who’s faced with emotionally charged situations. The teenage years are a highly emotional time for most girls, and with this series, I explore how it would feel if those heightened emotions become dangerous.
Q: What will your future readers find inside the pages of Deviants?
Heart-pounding action, steamy romance, scab-covered monsters, genetic mutations all set in a city run like a corporation.
Overall, I hope they’ll find an interesting world, an exciting story and a compelling fast-paced read. I think Deviants is also unique in the way it blends several different genres.
Deviants is a sci-fi post-apocalyptic thriller, set in a dystopian future, with elements of both romance and horror.