Fellow writer Megan Hinde offered to interview me, and I gladly accepted (posted here). I suggested that I interview her as well, as I was curious about her background as a writer. Let’s learn a bit about her…
1. What caused you to get started in writing?
Midlife crisis…I turned 40. Honestly it just evolved, I wrote quite a bit in high school and college, I worked on my high school newspaper and my college paper. Once upon a time I was a Journalism Major with a concentration in print media. But then life happens. In 2015 I found underlying creativity that had been lying dormant for a good while. Grace Summers who was a character from a piece of dialogue exercise came out to play.
2. You’ve published a variety of story types in your books — such as flash fiction, detective, and thriller. What inspires you to write these different types of stories?
Variety is the spice of life. Over the last six years writing short stories has also led to reading more variety. I got into more Agatha Christie and odd short story anthologies. Then the Where, What and Who of Writing came to be and immersed me into Flash Fiction. Which was a style I hadn’t really ever written.
‘Inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Clue, is my version of Where, What, And Who. I think of these as writing prompts to help get the writing juices flowing. I thank everyone for playing along, and invite you to be inspired by the prompts. Also feel free to suggest a place, an item and a name/occupation.’
The Detective Stories are just fun, I may have a slight obsession with classic crime, pulp fiction and serial killers. Which all make for good storytelling. Sometimes inspiration just happens, be it things you over hear, read or watch.
3. You’ve also published several cookbooks, all coming from “Edna’s Kitchen.” Who is Edna? Is there a story behind why you chose that name?
If you read the introduction to Welcome to Edna’s Kitchen you would know. That being said, yes Edna became a creation out of a short story I wrote about my grandparents called After the Glory.
‘Mrs. Rachel Darling sat in front of her typewriter working on her next column for The Daily Star, the local newspaper for the area. Her column Ask Edna had recipes, gardening advice and household tips and tricks.’
It has also evolved into its own breathing entity with 16 ebook cookbooks and a recipe blog on WordPress.
4. What are your favorite meals to cook?
Stroganoff, Spaghetti and Meatballs and Lasagna. Runner ups would be Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots, and Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Katsu Sauce.
5. Do your story ideas start with a character, a scenario, or something else?
Usually scenario, which is why I like the Where, What and Who writing prompts. Some of the combinations just write themselves. Like this one: Airport, Winter Jacket, Martha.
Martha stood at the arrival gate in the Kansas City International Airport, clutching John’s dark blue winter jacket to her chest. John had been deployed overseas, it had been the longest six months of Martha’s life. She watched, shivering in anticipation as the crowd of people exited the jetway, waiting to see his familiar face among the crowd. Her breath caught in her throat when she saw him, he immediately pulled her into his arms, the winter jacket being crushed between them. She never felt safer or more at peace.’
There is also a little truth in all my fiction, details or characters that come from my experiences in life. A lot of them are inside jokes or references for my entertainment.
6. Do you have a writing routine? If so, what is it?
Not really, if the inspiration is there things get written. Coffee is always involved.
7. Do you ever experience “writer’s block?” If so, what do you do to help ease out of it?
Not so much ‘writer’s block’ as lack of inspiration. Over the last two years the inspiration to write fiction is just not there. Hence the growing number of book recommendations and articles about other writers. Been reading more and writing less.
8. What kinds of fiction do you enjoy reading? Do you have favorite authors?
I’ll read just about anything, if it doesn’t hold my attention I just stop reading it. I go through phases. I used to read a lot of Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry Miller, and James Joyce. Recently it’s been Agatha Christie, and Rex Stout.
9. What is one work of fiction that moved you deeply? Why did it have that effect on you?
Here’s the thing I read for pure enjoyment. I don’t put a whole lot of thought into what I’m reading usually at night to fall asleep. This is why I was never an English Lit major. Put it this way, in high school I asked my friend how ‘Catcher In the Rye’ was rather than actually read it.
10. What project(s) are you working on now?
There are always ideas floating around in the back of my mind: Things like do we need another Holiday Treats From Edna’s Kitchen? Does Detective James Andrews need a back story or a continuation of his Detective Stories? Or is it time to walk away and take a break? I don’t have any answers, I figure if inspiration occurs then more words will be written.
Megan’s books are available on Amazon.
You can read some of her stories on her blog — along with recipes and photos.
Her Goodreads page is here.