Hi guys! Happy Tuesday! Today I am super glad that I’m welcoming one of the biggest authors to come onto the blog! She has written multiple books for both young adults and adults, and her adult novel (which you might have seen and heard of) All the Missing Girls has reached the New York Times bestseller list! Please give a warm welcome to Megan Miranda, whose newest YA novel Fragments of the Lost is releasing next Tuesday!
About the Book:
Title: FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST
Author: Megan Miranda
Pub. Date: November 14, 2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Synopsis: Jessa Whitworth knew she didn’t belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb’s room. But she couldn’t deny that she was everywhere—in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket…the one she gave him for safe keeping on that day.
His mother asked her to pack up his things—even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.
But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb’s life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all.
Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb’s accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?
1. Your newest novel Fragments of the Lost, which releases November 14th from Crown Books, follows Jessa as she uncovers more about the mysterious past of her ex-boyfriend Caleb, who dies in a car accident. Before writing this book, did you have the plot and ending set in your mind, or did you surprise yourself as your drafted and revised it? (No spoilers 😉)
I always surprise myself during the first draft! The early drafts are very much discovery drafts, where I’m learning who my characters are, what they desire, and the pieces of the puzzle at the heart of the story. In Fragments of the Lost, I started writing with only two elements in mind: The main character, Jessa; and the idea of a mystery that would be uncovered through the objects found in Caleb’s room.
Once I discovered all of those pieces in the early draft, I stepped back to create the mystery and plot, and then revised with that in mind.
2. Did you ever base any of the events or characters in your novels (particularly your crime mysteries) off anyone or anything in real life? What is your research or brainstorming process like?
Not for the bigger plot ideas, but I usually find small similarities when I look back at a finished draft. For example, in this book, if you were to look around my office, the room would appear *very* similar to Caleb’s room.
I usually begin an idea with character before plot, so each story depends on the narrator. Once I figure out the mystery at the heart of the story, that’s when I dive into research. A lot of the research comes from talking to people who work in various professions (including police and lawyers), but the brainstorming phase for this book also included sending emails to my friends, asking: “Hypothetically, what kinds of things have you accidentally discovered in your teenager’s room?”
3. Since many of your novels are mysteries and thrillers, what about those genres draw you as both a reader and a writer? Are there any particular authors, books, or people who inspired you to write crime and suspense?
I grew up reading mysteries and thrillers. My mom used to bring me to the library every week when I was younger—at first I was drawn to Nancy Drew, and from there I somehow transitioned to Edgar Allan Poe, and some of the darker classics. My mom was also a huge suspense-reader (and still is), and her bookshelves were filled with every sort of thriller you could imagine. I’ve always loved reading mysteries, trying to put together the pieces of a puzzle before the answer is revealed, and I really enjoy writing them for much the same reason: trying to create a puzzle out of the pieces you uncover while writing.
4. You have written many books for young adults over the years, and recently you’ve published novels that are directed towards an older adult audience. What inspired you to make this switch with All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger?
Since I start with character, I tend to approach different story ideas by thinking about what type of character is suited to each story. When I had the idea of my first adult novel, All the Missing Girls, I wasn’t sure at first which type of book it would be. But as I started writing, I felt that the narrator, and the story, needed to have an element of hindsight—it was a story about whether it was possible to escape the past, and the people we used to be. I really enjoy reading and writing both types of stories!
5. Before you became an author, you worked in the biotechnology field and then became a high school science teacher. How were those experiences like? Could you give us some of your fondest memories from those occupations?
I enjoyed each of my previous jobs, for different reasons. In biotech, I liked the idea that we were working toward a common purpose. On a day to day level, I spent the majority of my time in a lab, with gloves and goggles and my lab coat. In a way, that individual aspect is very similar to sitting down alone with my manuscript each day, chipping away at an idea.
Teaching in high school was such a different dynamic. There was never a boring moment, and it brought me back in touch with the elements of science that made me fall in love with the field in the first place. I think all of these experiences channeled into my first book ideas—which incorporated unexplainable science elements in a high school setting.
6. Out of all the books you have written, which one was your favorite to write? Which one was the most difficult to write, and why?
The short answer to this is: the most difficult book to write is always the one I’m working on, and my favorite is always the one I’ve just finished. It’s constantly shifting J
7. How would you describe the moment when you found out your adult psychological thriller All the Missing Girls became a New York Times bestseller?
Completely surreal. I was sitting at a deli with my kids and my parents when I got the news, which took the excitement up to a whole new level.
8. Before you go, do you have any tips you would like to share to any aspiring authors or writers?
My advice for all aspiring writers is always to read a lot, write a lot, and to embrace your voice, telling the stories that speak to you. I think it’s the things that make us different and unique that also makes our stories stand out.
Thanks so much, Megan, for coming onto the blog! It’s so great to have you!
Megan Miranda is the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls. She has also written several books for young adults, including Fracture, Hysteria, Vengeance, Soulprint, and The Safest Lies. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. The Perfect Stranger (4/11/17) is her second novel of psychological suspense.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of FRAGMENTS OF THE LOST, US Only.
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Are you excited about Fragments of the Lost? What’s your favorite Megan Miranda book?
Comment below, or find me in one of my social media pages, and let’s chat!