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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Reading Reviews May 8, 2018

There are a lot of similarities between acting and authoring. The love of storytelling, artistic nature of the endeavor, the constant threat of rejection… and reviews.

Reviews as an actor have never really bothered me. You win some, you lose some, but at the end of the day, you have to do the show the director set to the best of your ability. Altering your performance to fit a review is horribly unprofessional, so you soldier on and keep your chin up.

It’s a little different for books. The book is out there, and there really isn’t anything you can do. Unless there are semi-colons mid-word (as was found in a big name book that will remain nameless), in which case your publisher has to scramble to send a new version out into the world, the book is the book.

But you’re working so independently on your books; you could let the review pressure trickle into your work. Declaring that you’re never going to use a love triangle again, you will avoid writing on all social issues, or banning magic from your books are easy traps to fall into.

I know a lot of authors refuse to read any reviews of their work, and I get it; avoiding psychological damage is important. (more…)

 

Harry Potter and the Stolen Mountain July 2, 2016

J.K. Rowling has finally released the location of the North American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Ilvermorny is located on the peak of Mount Greylock. My inner Harry Potter geek is so thrilled to finally know where the American wizards of Rowling’s world study and learn. But the author me is having a minor meltdown.

See, way back at the beginning of The Tethering Series, I knew I wanted to use a real mountain for the lair of the Pendragon, the chief evil dude in the series. After a ton of research, I chose Mount Greylock, spelling it Graylock to match the name of the clan that rules that territory. I even climbed the mountain to make sure the mountain would work well!

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After all that research, three years later J.K. Rowling added her wizarding school to the mountain. The Pendragon has new neighbors, and I’ll bet there’s a quidditch pitch.

On the one hand it’s cool that my research and Rowling’s research led us to the same mountain. Great minds think alike and all. On the other hand I’m terrified for what it might mean for the mountain. It’s not exactly a well-known or expertly trailed park. There is a monument right on top, exactly where Ilvermorny is supposed to stand, but other than that there’s not much. I don’t know if the park can handle an influx of eleven-year-olds on September 1st. People are going to get lost in the woods, and parking and peeing will be a nightmare.

On the third awkward hand that nobody likes to talk about, The Tethering Series is now doomed to be called fan fiction. Despite the copyright date inside the book, people will assume that Rowling’s magic moved to Mount Greylock first, and Amazon reviews will start coming calling The Tethering fan fiction. Being the good little author that I am, I won’t be able to respond to tell them to check the copyright date and see that the battle at Graylock with the Pendragon came before Ilvermorny was even a word.

My mom said to just think of it as J.K. Rowling writing fan fiction of my books. She liked The Tethering so much and found the scenes on Mount Graylock so inspiring she had to create a whole wizarding school based on my mountain.

I know that she probably just did the same geographical research that I did, minus the actual climbing of the mountain, and decided it was an amazing spot for magic. But as I am in the midst of a panic attack, that’s what I’ll tell myself. J.K. Rowling just created fan fiction of The Tethering Series.

 

The End is Nigh March 29, 2016

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 3:14 pm
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I have a confession to make. I’m a terrible blogger. I’ve been getting distracted, missing posts, and now I’m going to make excuses for it.

First, I went to Thailand, and here is a beautiful picture by means of apology for that time away.

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And then I came back all inspired to work on new books and projects and to a new publishing contract. I have stories that aren’t true buzzing through my head, and they’ve led me away from the stories that are too amazing to need exaggeration.

But I do have good news that is currently giving me a nervous breakdown. I’ve almost finished writing the first draft of the final book in The Tethering series.

Take that in for a second. Almost completely finished writing the fourth and final book in The Tethering series. Close to writing the final words about Jacob Evans and Emilia Gray. Blood has been shed, and loved ones have been buried. Battles are happening, and once they’re over, the books will be, too. There will be no more stories to be written. No more kisses to be stolen. It’ll be done. The characters will either be dead or left to soldier on out of reach of my laptop. (more…)

 

A Boatload of Book Reviews June 3, 2015

The book review tour has begun! And sweet baby Jesus, it is more stressful than hiking off a mountain to outrun a storm, which I did yesterday.

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And the storm won. I got hailed on, fell on my butt, and may have cried a little.

But still, getting four reviews of your book as soon as you wake up in the morning is terrifying.

So far everyone has been really happy with both books in The Tethering Series and has had wonderful things to say.

“The journey they go on felt like a mixture of Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland, as the adventure is filled with danger and drama and interesting characters they meet along the way.”

So, The Siren’s Realm is like falling down a hole into a world of insanity with nothing but a wand, luck, and love to keep you alive. Actually…a really fair assessment. And I love both books even if the caterpillars freak me out, so I’ll take it! (more…)

 

Comic-Con Coincidence May 27, 2015

The coolest thing in the history of cool things has happened.

My mom is currently living in a city that had a Comic-Con this past weekend. She has a bunch of bookmarks for The Tethering and had nothing to do on Sunday, so she decided to head over to Comic-Con and see if she could pass them out. She finally got to the venue, and there were people crying outside. But she went in anyway and found the door volunteer and asked if she could get a ticket to go inside.

He said, “We’re all sold out. You are going to be one of the criers are you?”

My mom said no. She had just wanted to give out bookmarks for her daughter’s (my) book.

He asked what book I had written, and my mom handed him a bookmark for The Tethering.

Immediately the door dude says, “Oh, The Tethering. I read that. It was really good. I think the second one is out now, but my girlfriend shares her copies with me, and she doesn’t get home for a few weeks.”

Then he took all the bookmarks my mom had to give out to likely candidates of people who would like my book at the Comic-Con!

Guys, I have a reader that I don’t know and isn’t an author! And my mom randomly met him! And he liked my book! And wanted to make other people read my book! Ahhhhhhh!

And if you haven’t gotten your copy of The Siren’s Realm, book two in The Tethering Series, you have about six more days to enter a Goodreads giveaway for a signed copy. Click here to enter, and please share if you can!

 

Megan O’Russell: In the Accountant’s Realm May 4, 2015

A little May the 4th interview!

 

Megan O’Russell: In the Accountant’s Realm.

 

The Siren is Calling, and You Must Go April 29, 2015

The Siren’s Realm is officially released to the world! I am so thrilled that the second book in The Tethering Series is officially available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, and of course the Silence in the Library website.

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Jacob loves Emilia Gray, but things aren’t always that simple in the world of Magickind…

The war has begun.

The Dragons are gaining power, and the Gray Clan stands alone. Desperate to find a way to stop the Pendragon, Emilia is forced to seek answers from someone who hasn’t been seen in seventeen years . . . Her mother. Embarking on a magical journey filled with witches, wizards, centaurs and a dangerous and powerful Siren, Jacob and Emilia must take a leap of faith to a land neither could have ever imagined . . . and hope they can then find their way home.

I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who helped The Siren’s Realm reach my readers. From my husband to my publisher, I couldn’t have done it without all of their help. And then there is the dedicatee of the book: my mother.

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And it’s true. Emilia may have to go looking for the mother who abandoned her, but my Mom has always been there to love and support me. And I’m sure she’ll read this blog post, too.

So thanks, Mom. You’re the best.