Interview & Guest Post from Maegan Beaumont, author of “Sacrificial Muse”

Interview & Guest Post from Maegan Beaumont, author of “Sacrificial Muse”

I had so much material from Maegan that, to be sure you see it all, I split it into two posts (the first post, with more info about her new book, is HERE).  So here’s Maegan in her own words…

Finding my way home

By: Maegan Beaumont
I grew up reading books that caused dubious glances and concerned frowns to dance across the face of any adult who made the mistake of asking me, “So, what are you reading?”

What I was reading was whatever I wanted to. And usually whatever I wanted to was considered wildly inappropriate for a “girl my age”… or even a girl in general.

In grade school I was enthralled by Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three and Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown. In these books I caught my first glimpse of something that I needed very much—female characters who were like me. Bookish and a bit brazen. Awkward but unflinching in their resolve to be themselves. I still love these books. I own then and will push them on my kids every chance I get.

I had my brief fling with romance novels in junior high… Dusty cowboys and roguish pirates, rescuing damsels and marrying women they won in card games. I like to joke that everything I know about sex, I learned from Danielle Steele novels. Reading Family Album in the 5th grade changed my life… it also made me the girl no one was allowed to invite over for dinner.

In high school, I peppered my required-but-very-much-enjoyed readings of Shakespeare and Hawthorne, Dostoyevsky and Dickens with as much Stephen King and Thomas Harris as I possibly could… and it was in books such as Harris’ Red Dragon and King’s The Dark Half where I finally found my literary home.

In thrillers, I felt a click. They made sense to me like nothing I had ever read, before or since. There were no cowboys. No dragons (unless you count the one tattooed on a serial killer’s back…). No pirates. No magical swords. These were not stories of love and redemption or good versus evil in any obvious sense, but in them I found a fundamental truth I’ve never found in any other genre of book.

We all harbor darkness.

A good thriller not only shows us this darkness, it entices us to invite it in. Gives us characters we not only relate to, but shakes us to the bone with their disturbing sameness to ourselves. A good thriller will show us what we are made of. Put us in situations that force us to poke at our own secret wounds, to test our own battered moorings. Situations that we can’t help but use to measure what we hope ourselves to be against what we truly are. A good thriller will force us to question how far we’re willing to go to protect ourselves and the ones we love. How close to that darkness we are willing to tread in order to survive…

And if the thriller is great… we don’t always like the answers we come up with.

 

And here’s an interview with Maegan…

Who is your favorite author?

I have too many to pick just one. Right now I’m really into Karin Slaughter and Chelsea Cain. Alison Gaylin is another that I really enjoy—her Brenna Spector series is awesome.


How do you describe your writing style?

I’ve been told that my writing is very clean and


Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

You should read my book because it’s awesome. Really, really awesome.


Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

There are many facets of Sabrina’s personality that come directly from me. She’s hard-head, refuses to give up and is loyal to a fault.


If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

I think I’d like to be Dr. Mandy Black. She’s the assistant medical examiner for Marin county (and Sabrina’s go-to gal). I’d love to know everything she knows and see what she sees. She’s got an interesting backstory and all of Sabrina’s razor-sharp wit with none of the emotional baggage.


What books have most influenced your life?

From the start, I have been drawn to strong female characters. Women who knew the difference between needing a man and wanting one… women who could fight their own battles and actually win. Robin McKinley wrote a book called The Hero and the Crown in the mid-eighties that I still think of when I think about books that have shaped me as a writer. The main character was a female dragon slayer—how cool is that?


If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

I’m constantly doing this. Re-writing books in my head… If I had my way, I’d re-write The Stand and keep the Nick Andros character alive, for no reason other than I really liked him and I was sad when he died.

(James’ note – I totally agree with this!)


Beatles or Monkees? Why?

Monkees—because they didn’t take themselves too seriously. They knew exactly what they were and they had fun with it.


Who should play you in a film of your life?

Melissa McCarthy—that chick is hilarious.

 

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