Welcome to arbitrate Author Megan Thomason! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions about your life and book!
Bestselling, award-winning author Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn’t typing away on her laptop, she’s reading books on her phone–over 600 in the last year–or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac.
arbitrate Interview with Megan Thomason:
Welcome to Cuzinlogic! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I live in San Diego with my husband and five kids. We moved from (rainy) Seattle about five years ago to get some much needed sun. When I am not writing, I am reading. I average 400-600 books a year. How? By sacrificing sleep :). I have been writing for five years and love it. I completely immerse myself in my stories and characters, furiously type book notes into my phone in the middle of the night, and may neglect my housework a wee bit in the process.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The thing I loved the most (and hated the most) was the complexity of the story and its characters. arbitrate is written from three point of views in both the past and the present and across two worlds. The dystopian entity in the daynight series–The Second Chance Institute–is operating across both worlds and dealing with threats from multiple parties (and dishing out punishment to multiple parties). It was a lot to keep track of. I had to keep a detailed timeline, maps, and story arcs for each character and entity handy at all times to make sure that I didn’t drop any threads. It all came together, though, and I am thrilled with the result.
What Inspired you to write this book?
The series was inspired by a hike I took through the canyons of San Diego on a particularly hot day. I pondered how hot it would have to get before days and nights would have to be switched (sleep during the hot day hours and be productive during the night). From there, I thought about what kind of government would rule the ʺnight,ʺ and The Second Chance Institute was born.
For arbitrate, I did not want a rehashed plot of the first book. I knew how I wanted it to begin, end, and a pivotal scene in the middle. I loosely plotted it and then revised continually as I had better ideas.
Do you have a book that you enjoyed reading that would lend itself well to a discussion during a book club meeting? If so, share your recommendation with us.
Making Faces by Amy Harmon (if everyone could stop crying enough to talk about it).
How many books have you written?
5 books and one novella. Before the daynight series, I wrote a full teen romantic comedy trilogy for my daughters, their friends, and my friends. While I love the story (as did they), the writing is not up to my current standards, and I have too much on my plate to go do full rewrites and release.
Describe your writing environment for us.
I write on my laptop—a MacBook Air. I bring it everywhere with me. I write in the car while waiting to pick my kids up from school, at doctor’s appointments, and at home on the couch. If I’m in the car or need inspiration for a particular mood I need to create, I put music on.
Do you have a favorite line or quote in this book?
Yes. I can’t share the quote (major spoiler), but I will say that it has to do with a ʺnot kissʺ that happens :).
What makes this book different from other books in the same genre?
Most dystopian novels happen in a post-apocolyptic or alternative future setting. I like to think and write ʺout of the box.ʺ The daynight series happens in a modern day setting–on both Earth and Earth’s sister planet, Thera. The Second Chance Institute pretends to be a benevolent non-profit on Earth (they aren’t) and rules with an iron fist on Thera. Like any dystopia, the series is intended to make people think about societal and moral extremes. But it also contains science fiction, fantasy, thriller, action, and romance elements.
What are some your favorite books today and why?
I read hundreds of books a year, so it is always hard to pick favorites. But of my recent reads, the ones that stand out are Making Faces by Amy Harmon, Red Hill by Jamie McGuire, Don’t Make Me Beautiful by Elle Casey, Two Roads by L.M. Augustine, The Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paulina Simons, In the Stillness by Andrea Randall, the Remember When series by T. Torrest, Take Care, Sara by Lindy Zart, and Hate List by Jennifer Brown (note that when I am writing, I avoid reading books in my genre).
My overall favorite books and ones that had a big impact on me… Pride & Prejudice, Hunger Games, The Phantom Tollbooth, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, Crime & Punishment, Anna Karenina, 1984, Brave New World, The Diary of a Young Girl, The Scarlet Letter, Of Mice & Men, and Lord of the Flies.
What are the most words you have written in one day?
Ten thousand, though I usually write about four to five thousand words a day.
Most likely to __________ in high school.
Most likely to succeed. I was (and still am?) overly type-A and very ambition. My fellow students teased me about it often. I skipped my senior year of high school and started college just after I turned seventeen. My plan had been to become a brain surgeon. But after a semester of chemistry, I switched to business. I had a very successful career in the software industry before retiring (it was too hard to have five kids and work).
What time of day do you like to write?
I typically write when my kids are at school, so 8am-2pm. That said, when I’ve got something stuck in my brain that I have to write down–I will do it at any hour including the middle of the night.
If you had to pick just 2 ways to promote your latest release, which would you choose and why?
Given that I don’t have the budget to do a huge advertising campaign or national launch, I would pick a blog tour and social networking (in my case, I have a very active facebook group at facebook.com/daynight.series). Both lead to people reading and reviewing books and great word of mouth promotion.
What are the challenges in writing for a series? How is it different than a single title?
The biggest challenge of writing a series is that you are constrained by that which has already been published. Your previous books ʺset the rulesʺ so to speak and that limits what you are able to do. It is a challenge but not an insurmountable one. It just requires a lot of creativity :).
What do you do in your spare time?
I’m a part-time taxi driver (the state of California eliminated school buses in one of their many budget cuts), full-time mother, miniscule-time housekeeper, occasional cook and errand-runner, and avid book reader (typically during hours that should be spent sleeping).
Describe the cover in 10 words or less.
Two inverse worlds and the scale of justice.
Have you ever written anything that you thought would be controversial and found it wasn’t?
A bit of the opposite. I knew that the ʺCleavingʺ topic in daynight might be controversial, but I was shocked by some reactions. It was meant to be a cautionary tale that explored consequences for extreme moral behaviors, but there were readers that accused me of promoting promiscuity, illegal substance abuse, and much worse things. The fact is, everyone reads a book differently. I’d love to include a little chip with my book that a reader could plug into their brain and understand my exact intentions with each scene–but that isn’t realistic :).
What’s your ‘guilty pleasure’ TV show?
I don’t have much time for TV, but when I do watch I like The Vampire Diaries, Revenge, Nashville, and The Good Wife. Lots of drama :).
What can your readers expect from you next?
I plan to write book #3 in the daynight series, generate. In addition, I have two arbitrate spin-off novellas I’d like to write (one about a new character, Madison; the other about Kira & the guy she chooses). I also have two standalone novels that I’ve been wanting to write but haven’t found the time to do so yet.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Thank you so much for hosting me and my books as part of the arbitrate blog tour! I appreciate it immensely.
Thanks Megan, for joining us today and good luck with book #3 in the daynight series!
Remember The Second Chance Institute (SCI). Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. They’ve stepped up their game on Earth and on Thera—infiltrating political parties, preying on the downtrodden, and planning offensive maneuvers. And they’re handing out more “second chances” than ever before. The SCI’s abuse of their charter leads to Arbiter oversight and bitter consequences.
Remember Kira Donovan. Broken, burdened, and evading those who wish her harm, Kira enlists the Arbiters’ help when forced to return to the clutches of the SCI and her angry, estranged love.
Remember Blake Sundry. Exiled, determined, and packing an agenda, Blake seeks assistance on Earth and Thera to use his newfound knowledge to bring down the SCI.
Remember Ethan Darcton. Overworked, emotional, and holding a grudge, Ethan hunts down his stolen property, but finds himself in awkward territory, stuck between the Arbiters and the SCI.
Full of action, competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, arbitrate is book #2 in the award-winning, bestselling daynight series.
Please know that if you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission for it. Thank you.
Purchase arbitrate at Amazon
This giveaway is no longer accepting entries. For a list of winners visit the winners page.