Meet the Author: Megan Cutler

iolf-updatedThe hardest thing in our world about being an author is getting your work noticed, which is why I get excited when I can bring attention to another up-and-comer’s work.

Meet Megan Cutler. She is a science fiction/fantasy author who currently has eleven stories on Amazon. I recommend you check out her book The Island of Lost Forevers.

Here is a quick description of the book:

When a mysterious island appears off the coast of San Francisco, two intrepid academics risk everything to discover its secrets. Beyond the military barricade, they discover a paradise unspoiled by modern advances, ruled by the enigmatic Sentomoru, who invites them to share the wonders of his bathhouse. But is the island the paradise it promises? Or does a nightmare lurk beneath the surface?

Before you dive into her work, I asked Megan a few questions about herself to help you get to know her better.

Tell us three things about yourself.

  • Growing up, I always wanted to be an astronaut. Now I’ve read and watched enough science fiction to know that I can never handle going into space.
  • I once tormented my husband (a history major) by telling him to look up the theory of Phantom Time. He declared it the flat-earth theory of history and ranted for an hour. I laughed until I cried.
  • If money (and immigration laws) were no object, I would move to Scotland in a heartbeat. Every time I’ve visited, my muse has gone wild.

What do you love most about living in Canada?

Canadians get teased for apologizing for everything, but the truth is that most Canadians are really polite. My husband used to joke that my citizenship test (I grew up in the states) would be to have my foot stepped on to see if I’d apologize for it. Joking aside, Canadians have a real sense that we’re all in this together so we may as well at least take care of each other and I really like that. Also, poutine. It’s so much more than gravy, fries and cheese curds if you know where to go.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go and why?

I would love to visit Egypt to see the pyramids and other ruins of Ancient Egypt. I’ve always had a huge fascination with that time period, though I’m not sure why. When I lived in Toronto, I got to see a series of pieces on loan from the British Museum (and later got to see them again at the British Museum!) and it was an amazing experience. I would just love to stand in one of their old tombs or temples.

What’s the best book you’ve read recently and why?

I have to go with Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys. When a book opens with a funeral scene that makes you laugh until you cry, you’re going to remember it. But I also really loved the book’s main character (Fat Charlie). His social anxiety, and the situations it got him into, really resonated with me.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love falling into another world. I love fiddling around with the way it works until the shape fits whatever’s in my mind at the time. I love how the real world just falls away while I’m working with these creations and I can forget about my cares or worries for however long.

You have eleven stories on amazon right now. While we know this is a little like picking your favorite child, which book are you most proud of and why?

Crossroads of Frozen Eternity (book 2 of the Mystical Island Trilogy). When I outlined that story, there were so many pieces I was afraid to write. They dealt with topics I felt were controversial and that I didn’t want to fall on the wrong side of. A lot of it is fall-out over some of the events in the first book, so they’re also necessary to the foundation of the plot. I pushed a lot of fears aside to write that book and I’m so glad I did. Not only do I feel it’s one of my best pieces, that book told me to write whatever I want without being afraid to tackle tough subjects.

What do you like about writing science fiction and fantasy stories?

I think the thing I like most is how different they tend to be from the real world. Not that there’s anything wrong with reality, but I live in it so I’m quite familiar with it. I love possibilities. I love to travel the ‘what if’ thread and imagine how different technology or magic would change or influence the world.

When a reader finishes one of your books, what do you hope they think?

I always hope my readers find something in my work that applies to the real world. So if they ask just one question about an aspect of their lives, or the world we live in, or even just notice something they didn’t before, then I think I’ve done my job.

What is one thing you want readers to know that I haven’t asked about?

One of my favorite exercises for honing my writing skills is writing prompts. I think people underestimate how valuable they can be. If there’s a new style, character or setting you want to try, a short piece is excellent. Even if it ends up a disaster, you learned something and you don’t have to toss 100 pages worth of work. Plus they make excellent blog content!

What are you working on now?

My current project is a high fantasy re-imagining of Dante’s Inferno. It takes a lot of inspiration from Greek myth but mixes it all up with your typical fantasy elements. It opens with a newly dead soldier arriving in Hell where he meets an innocent soul and embarks on a journey to set her free. The only problem is the path to redemption carries them deeper into the damned realm.

Go and check out Megan’s work, grab a copy of one of her stories, and dive in.

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