Monday, October 25, 2021



I want to first thank Megan Walker for taking the time for this interview!!!


Megan Walker lives in Utah with her husband, two kids, and two dogs–all of whom are incredibly supportive of the time she spends writing about romance, crazy Hollywood hijinks, and magical mafias.

She loves making Barbie dioramas and reading trashy gossip magazines (and, okay, lots of other books and magazines, as well.)

With her co-author and bestie, Janci Patterson, she writes loads of books. So many books.

She does not get enough sleep.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I just always loved to read and write stories, even as a little kid. I kept doing it just for fun, and eventually I realized I wanted to do this for an actual job. It still took me several years after THAT before I realized that do so, I needed to actually buckle down, write consistently, work on the craft of it—and also start sending my writing out into the big, bad, scary world.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

My favorite genre growing up was epic fantasy—I read Tolkien, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, Melanie Rawn, and all the other heavy hitters of that genre.

I just loved living in their worlds, and it made me want to create my own worlds to escape to and characters to fall in love with. And, with my co-author Janci Patterson (and Lauren Janes for our epic fantasy series, The Five Lands Saga), we get to do all that.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

Janci and I both love stories set in the entertainment world, and so that’s where we set The Extra Series.

We get all sorts of fun ideas from all the reality TV we love to watch (lots and lots and lots of reality TV) and celebrity gossip. As cheesy as it sounds, though, several of my book inspirations have also come from my dreams.

Our YA urban paranormal novel Sinking City, for instance, came from a dream I had about a hot guy who I knew was the son of the Godfather of a magical mafia in Venice, and in my dream, he was riding a motorcycle through the city, magically boosting himself over canals and bridges, racing to save the girl he loves. It was just that short scene/image, but when I woke up, I knew there was a really awesome story there to figure out and tell.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

So, Janci and I have an unusual (but super fun!) pre-writing process: we play Barbies!!

When we have a concept for a story and an idea for characters, we pick dolls for them. Before we begin playing, we usual have a basic outline of events we think will happen in the book, and so we start with that, going scene by scene and using the dolls to play it out—just like we all did when we were kids!

It really draws on that playful creativity, and it’s kind of like improv—we play off of each other, and come up with all sorts of crazy, hilarious stuff in the moment that neither of us would have alone.

What really makes this process so special for us, though, is that in the act of role-playing the characters, it puts us deeper in their heads. Often—VERY often, in fact—we will be gaming a scene, and we expected beforehand that a character would do one thing, but once we’re in the scene, they go a completely different direction entirely.

We’ve had entire book outlines get derailed when our characters, for example, just flat-out refused to break up or have that big fight about whatever, and decided to work it out instead . . . in the first third of the book. BUT, what is kind of amazing about that happening, is that we discover that what we thought was the conflict wasn’t really a problem for these guys . . . but that this OTHER thing they are now struggling with is actually a much bigger deal.

One hundred percent of the time, we find that the characters themselves are telling a much better, richer, more REAL story than the one we thought of at the beginning.

And it’s SO. MUCH. FUN.

(For more of us talking about this process, you can check out our interview on the Writing Excuses podcast:

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

Yep! We have both the dolls we pick to game the story, and we also pick an actor/model/celebrity that we feel best represents them and make a fun Pinterest board of the couple.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.  What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

Reading is definitely at the top of my list, along with vegging in front of the TV—for relaxing, I love a good sitcom that just cheers me up (and I’ve already mentioned Janci’s and my love of reality TV!)

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

For romantic comedy, I love Christina Lauren, Emily Henry, Beth O’Leary, Lyssa Kay Adams . . . too many fabulous authors to name.

In other genres, some of my favorites are Riley Sager, Brandon Sanderson, Pierce Brown, and V.E. Schwab.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

Almost all of our books are in multiple POV—whether it’s the epic fantasy, the YA urban fantasy, or the romance. I think the only one that is in single POV is The Extra.

What do you find to be your best research tool?

Google Earth! Not kidding. We use it ALL THE TIME when we’re writing our YA paranormal romance series, which is set in Venice. And while I have been to Venice multiple times, being able to just zoom in on the buildings and streets and where everything is located is the best thing ever.

We’ve also used it with The Extra Series. In an upcoming novel, one of our couples goes to visit the Taj Mahal—and you can bet I Google Earthed that like crazy to try to get the outer layout right.

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

For The Extra Series (contemporary rom-com) and the Skilled Series (YA paranormal romance), we write under Megan Walker and Janci Patterson.

For The Five Lands Saga (epic fantasy, also written with Lauren Janes), we use the pen name Cara Witter.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.  Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky traits...what led to you being you?

Well, generally the trait people find the quirkiest is the Barbie thing. It’s not only for writing—I just love dolls! I collect them and build dioramas and do some doll photography.

I have several rooms in my house that are my “Barbie Rooms”. SEVERAL. Thankfully, I have a very understanding family, who don’t complain too much about the Barbie takeover of our house.

Or if they do complain, I’m too busy playing dolls to hear them.

If you are a duo writing team, how do you share the writing process?

As mentioned earlier, we game together to help create the outline of the books.

Generally, I’ll write one of the character’s POV and Janci will write the other—so it ends up that we each write about half the book this way. (Though there are certainly times, depending on our schedules, that one person will take more chapters)

We each do content passes on the books, galleys passes, etc. Luckily, we have very complementary writing strengths and weaknesses, so she focuses on the things she’s better at when it comes to those, and I focus on the stuff I’m better at.

Having written so many books with her (ummm, I think we’ve published 21 now?) we’ve gotten a pretty solid system down.

How do you deal and process negative book reviews?

I try to just have my “ouch” moment and move along and, most importantly, keep writing. No book is going to please everyone—I’ve occasionally read one or two-star reviews of some of my favorite books, which makes that very clear.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

A 44 oz. Coke Zero from Sodalicious. This is all. There can be chaos all around me, but if I’ve got my Coke Zero, I’m good.

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?  And why?

I would totally choose Christina Lauren, because they seem like such super fun gals and I think Janci and I would have a total blast with them.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

Always. I have Chihuahuas. They are either trying to crawl onto my laptop or barking at cars that drive by. They are my little demons and I love them.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

We don’t do much to celebrate that, really. Unless you count a text message exchange that’s basically like “YAYYYYY book is done!! [happy emojis]” “Wooo-hoooo [more happy emojis]” and then “Okay, so for the next book . . .”

It’s not that we don’t ever celebrate writing milestones and successes, though—it’s important to do that. Pre-Covid, we would usually go out to eat at some fun restaurant, but lately, we’ve been treating ourselves to takeout of our favorite Indian food.

So, I guess the real answer is . . . Food. Always food.


I hope you have enjoyed this interview!

Make sure to give Megan a shout-out and follow her on all her social media!

Connect w/ Megan:

(The Extra Series)
(The Skilled Series)
(The Five Lands Saga)



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Check out my reviews of the following books by Megan Walker with Janci Patterson!

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