So May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I’ve been very open on social media about the fact that I have anxiety and take daily medication for it. And I’ve mentioned a couple of times how it affects my writing. But I’m not quite sure I ever wrote a full blog post about it. When I asked on Twitter if you all would like to read something about it, you said yes.

So, here we go.

I’ve always been a worrier. At least, that was what I called it. I thought it was normal to wake up in the middle of the night, nauseous and unable to breath because I just remembered something I said two weeks ago and what if that person told this person and the entire world hated me now?

It was bad in high school but again, I just chalked it up to like… teenage hormones. Normal stuff. In college, things weren’t so bad. Then I graduated and got a job, and the worrying started again. Again, I thought it was “my personality” or my temperament.

Then I had a kid. And if you’ve ever been pregnant, you get it. If not, lemme explain. You don’t just grow a child for nine months and pop that sucker out, lose the baby weight and everything’s all dandy until you get knocked up again. NOOOOOOPE. Getting pregnant forever changes you. I am more sensitive to smell and taste. I LOVED wine before I got pregnant. Now? I’m finally starting to like it again after six years. My body temperature runs hotter than it used to.

And my brain? Oh my brainnnnn. Bless your heart, Megan’s brain, because you didn’t take this well AT ALL.

With a newborn, I couldn’t handle life. I thought every decision would impact my kid’s future in HUGE NEGATIVE WAYS. It wasn’t until he was eight months old, and I had a complete crying meltdown in Babies R Us (because what sippy cup he used was super important, right?) that I realized shit was not right. I was not okay.

I think my official diagnosis is post-partum anxiety. But after talking to my doctor, we realized I’d been having panic attacks for years, which I attributed to low blood sugar. I just ate more protein. Funny how that never really helped…

So, I got on medication. Fun fact: Your body getting used to SSRI drugs is not really fun. Not so much. It was like morning sickness all over again for weeks. But once the drugs kicked in, it was like all the bolts in my body loosened. I wasn’t wound so tight. I could BREATHE. I could make decisions without agonizing over them for weeks.

I could live.

And for me, FOR ME, that opened up the floodgates of creativity. I’ve always been a writer, but I think I couldn’t let myself go enough for an entire novel to form in my head. Two months after beginning medication, I had my ribs tattooed with a ink bottle and feather quill, the words ‘carpe diem’ crawled below them. A month after that, I wrote my first book.

Wow, this is getting long. Sorry about that. I feel like you all needed that backstory.

So, writing and anxiety.

My medication, IMO, was what I needed to jumpstart my brain. The fog cleared. But you know what happened? Then there was SO MUCH SHIT TO FOCUS ON. And I’ve heard this is a common side effect of anti-anxiety meds, but I can’t focus worth a fuck, to be quite honest. My husband will be talking to me, and I’ll zone out in the middle of his sentence. I lose everything in my house. I miss appointments. I forget to take my kids’ snack into school. My brain always feels like it’s focusing on two many things at one time but I have a hard time… uh… weeding them out.

I’m a mess.

I’d rather be this mess than the other mess, though.

However, the one time I can focus is when I write. I get asked a lot how I write so much. It’s because I write in sprinting blocks. I shut everything out for 30 minutes to an hour and just WRITE. It’s amazing that it’s pretty much the only thing I can do that takes my entire focus. I get in the “zone” and I pound out words (I’m taking my abused keyboard into the Genius Bar to get fixed today because my N has had enough of my shit).

I’ve been working on different ways to organize my life. I used to be able to hold everything in my head fine but my meds are all, FUCK THAT. I have gone through three different planners and am now trying a bullet journal, so we’ll see how it goes! Hopefully that’ll help me sort my shit out.

I have been thinking a lot about my anxiety lately now that I took a short breather. I released a lot of books last year and wrote a lot too. I was constantly on deadline. I told myself I’d take a break in April of this year. And you know what? IT SUCKED. It was like my brain didn’t know what to do now that it didn’t have that dedicated focus time every day. It neeeeeds it. It fuels it. It allows me to sort out everything else when I have that time to spew out everything that’s circulating in my brain. Writing is like my brain’s every day spring cleaning.

Sometimes I hate my brain. I wish I could focus. I wish I didn’t worry myself to the point that I’m physically sick. I wish I was that organized mom who did cool Pinterest shit. I wish I could handle the PTA. I wish I didn’t say awkward things. I wish I was appropriate and didn’t swear too much or talk about blow jobs when I’m not supposed to. But I’m not. And the older I get, the more I’m learning to accept me for who I am, and not who I think I should be. I strive to be a better version of myself every day, but I can’t be something I’m not.

You see now why it’s all connected? I’m not the writer I’d be without my anxiety, without the medication, without my brain chemistry the way it is. I need it all, I guess. And that’s why mental health awareness is so important to me, because it’s a huge part of my life. If I hadn’t gotten help, I’m not sure I’d be writing right now. It’s one of the reasons mental health is such a common issue in my books. Because having your brain be your own worst enemy is fucking terrifying.

I write because I don’t know what else to do. Because there’s no way to clear my head. Because I think the writing is another form of medication for me. It’s not all I need, but it’s one component. A version of my therapy.

This business can be hard on those with mental health. There is constant rejection and criticism. I think at the core, you gotta write for you. And it’s okay to do what you need to do for self-care. Whether that’s taking a break. Whether that’s writing whatever is in your head regardless of whether it’s marketable right now. I also have side projects that I go to when I need to clear my head. Whenever I just need to get words down and not feel pressure.

This was long and ramble-y. But I hope it helped somewhat. Obvious disclaimer that this is all my experience and I’m not trying to diagnose anyone. If you feel like you can benefit from talking to someone, call your doctor. I know that first phone call is hard as fuck, but damn am I ever glad I did.

<3 ~ Megan

So I’ve had a lot of people ask me about how cowriting works. And Santino Hassell (my Cyberlove series co-writer) and I have done a couple of interviews on how specifically we work. You can find links to those here. However, I thought I’d make a generic how-to post, since I see more and more writers teaming up. Obviously, these are only my opinions. But I feel pretty strongly about them. Take ‘em or leave ‘em. I’m not the first person to cowrite and a book and I won’t be the last. I hope you get something out of it!

1. Choose wisely

Why are you cowriting with this person? When Santino and I chose to write together, it was because we had utmost respect for each other’s work. And we were friends. We understood each other’s schedules and thought we could pull off meshing our different writing styles. While our partnership went well, I can see the many ways cowriting could go wrong. Get to know your cowriter first. Don’t jump in without your eyes open.

2. Leave your ego at the door

No really. Shut it in a closet. Lock the door. You are both staring down a blank page of nothing together, starting from scratch. No one is Gordon Ramsey here. You are both home cooks looking to pull off a souffle without it falling.

Cowriting is a different beast from writing alone. A different skill. And as soon as you start thinking you don’t need your cowriter, then that’s when it all falls through. Discuss how much tweaking you can do with each others’ words. But honestly, word choice is a small thing compared to the entire book you’re producing. If your cowriter changes a word, it’s probably for the better. Don’t get huffy because they changed ‘asked’ to ‘said.’

3. Decide on your goal

What are you hoping to accomplish with this book? Get it out as fast as possible to hit a trend (no shade)? Is it a story that you are working together on the side in conjunction with other projects? Is this about building your fanbases? Hitting a list? Whatever it is, talk about it. Your goals might shift while you are writing, or after you’re writing, or even once the ARC reviews roll in. That’s fine. Either way, talk about it!

4. How you gettin’ paid?

If you’re self-publishing, you need to discuss whose account you’ll be using for deposits, and how you’ll pay the other writer. There are a zillion apps that you can use with no fees (unlike paypal). So look into it and decide early how you plan to document your expenses and profit for complete transparency.

5. Play to your strengths.

Overall, I had more time and more comfort with marketing, therefore I took the reins on that in our cowriting partnership. Santino took a lot of the responsibility for communicating with our formatter and proofer. Even within your two-man team, delegating is crucial. You should both be leaders and step up to the plate where you think you can be most effective.

6. COMMUNICATE.

All caps, because for real. You don’t communicate, and I don’t see it going well. We are both loose plotters, so we talk before every chapter to make sure we’re on the same page.

7. Have fun

Seriously. It’s pretty awesome not to be responsible for every single word in a book. And there are so many times that opening the doc to see what my cowriter wrote is like Christmas morning. I love that feeling!

So have at it, kids. Produce awesome books.

A Thing Happened to the little Megan Erickson book business. You know in Jerry Maguire when he says to Dorothy that their little company just had a big moment? That’s how I feel right now. This author business, which I’ve kicked and scratched and clawed uphill both ways to do, had a big moment.

It’s this.

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Yep. That’s my book. On the USA Today bestsellers list. For those of you who aren’t sure what this means (like my mom), it means I sold a lot of books in one week, and I can now use the title USA Today bestselling author from here on out. And that’s awesome.

Changing his Game was a book I wrote because I had this crazy sexy concept that began with a naughty tumblr post and it went from there. This was fun to write, and a little bit silly, and a lot sexy. Thankfully, my agent, along with editor Heather Howland and Entangled, were on board. And I’m thrilled readers love it too. It came out last year, and last week, Entangled put it on sale because the last in the series comes out in May, and we watched as it climbed the charts.

So thank you to the readers who’ve supported me since I published Anchor Me and Make it Count. Thank you so so much. I can’t wait for what’s to come.

<3 – Megan

 

 

I’m so excited that OUT OF FRAME is now available. This is the third book in the In Focus series but can be read as standalone.

Couple of points about this boo:

– It’s lighter in tone than previous books in the series.

– It takes place on a cruise ship!

– One main character is bisexual

– Main relationship is interracial

– There’s beer pong

I enjoyed writing this book and revisited the In Focus world. The previous characters in the series make cameos, so watch out for that!

I hope you enjoy! :)

OutofFrameRomance trades the open road for the high seas in the latest from the author of Focus on Me and Trust the Focus…

Perpetually shy, Quinn Mathers is content to remain in the shadow of his brash best friend Jess Hartman. But before their college graduation, he and Jess have planned one last hurrah: a spring break Caribbean cruise.

And it won’t be just any cruise. On board are members of the reality show Trip League, which follows young twenty-somethings on adventures around the world. Since the show’s beginning, Quinn has been fascinated by J. R. Butler, with his amazing body, warm eyes, and killer grin. Unfortunately, he’s straight—or so the world thinks.

At nineteen, J. R. signed a contract to play straight for the show, and there’s no way to get out of it now. Yet with each passing day, Quinn and J. R. find it harder to keep their hands off each other and to keep out of the camera’s frame. But when the lens finally focuses on them, J. R. must decide if he’s willing to risk his career by admitting his bisexuality, and Quinn must determine if he’s bold enough to stand in the spotlight with the man of his dreams…

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This week, Santino Hassell and I released Strong Signal, which is about a deployed soldier who begins an online relationship with a video game streamer back in the states. The entire Cyberlove series will be about relationships that start online. So about a month ago we asked readers to submit their stories about a love or friendship that started online. We received over thirty stories, and there were so much fun to read. You can check out the first part on Santino’s blog here. And today, I’m hosting the final part.

And now that the book has been out for a couple of days, I want to say thank you for the amazing response. We hadn’t realized just how many people would relate to Kai. And to Garrett, and most specifically, HOW they met online. So thank you.

And here are your stories!

Cyberlove via fandom

“I think the internet gives people the anonymity needed to truly be themselves and then decide if they want to reveal who they are. I have made some lasting connections that way and I am grateful! ”

-Rachel met some of her best friends through fandom

 

“I think it’s that I just felt so comfortable because at home, no one else liked anime or talked about gender issues and race issues and political correctness? I was actually made fun of at times by siblings, so talking to Rin and Yuzu is like my safe place to unload, whether it’s happy or sad. They’ve been there for me during some extremely traumatizing stuff and have even talked me down from anxiety attacks. ”

-Reira Heart met Yuzu and Rin, her good friends, on Tumblr

 

“We’ve helped each other out when needed and to this day I don’t know what I would do without him, just because how he makes me feel. ”

-B met their boyfriend through a Harry Potter website/chat

 

Cyberlove in Romancelandia

“She is 1/4 of my soul #LF1.
Elise is one of the friendliest, sweetest, funniest people I have ever met. She has become my personal therapist and daily organizer lol
We talk daily whether it be on chat, text, or actual phone conversations ((which the minimum phone convo is over an hour)). ”

-Stephanie met Elise on a book discussion group

 

“Nearly 3 years. We finally met each other at RainbowCon last year. I also met @dawnhoneyc”

-Lilgator met JR Gray on Twitter

 

“We just clicked. We can talk about anything- not just books. She probably knows more about me than people in my RL. Since then, we’ve met each other once in person. Wish we lived in the same state at least. ”

-Li Li met Laci on Goodreads

 

“There is an incredible intimacy that comes with chatting people up online. Even if  you’re just making connections, the barriers kinda come down. I’ve met wonderful people in my own city online, and I’m developing friendships with them in person now. Slowly but surely, the Internet can help people fine a friend, or more, that just gets them. It can be scary, sure. Trusting people is a really frightening thing, but sometimes the benefits can be so amazing. I’m now in friendships that I know will last forever.  ”

-Kristie met Mare in an SE Jakes FB group

 

“Internet connections can lead to relationships as casual or as real and deep as any other. But with fewer points of contact and without vocal or visual signals they can be more tenuous, more susceptible to misunderstanding and hurt, so they require special care.”

-Anonymous met their dearest friend after reading their book

 

“We connected by talking about the various stories on the site, and various issues that come up when you’re young, gay, and semicloseted. ”

-Anon met their friend of 12 years on a free gay fiction website (this friend also introduced them to their fiance!)

 

Cyberlove though social media

“We chatted online for 4 months before we decided to meet in person. We tried to meet up at mutal events multiple times, but either one of us didn’t go to event, or one of us was too shy to say we were there. ”

-Anon met their life partner 12 years ago on social media

 

“We were both hanging around a chatroom called Sharon’s. I literally had no idea it was a so-called “alternative lifestyles” room, it just seemed like a hopping, fun place to chat. He was a bit moody and we seriously had nothing in common but we somehow became inseparable.”

-Rafa met her husband in a chatroom

 

“I felt like we got to know one another on a really deep level without all the extra. We could just be real.”

-Mrs. Mueller got to know her husband more after chatting on FB

 

“This is really hard to put into words and is going to be long and ramble a hell of a lot…  For a whole year or so we chatted online until the early hours of the morning, maybe 4 times a week, basically every night I wasn’t getting trashed (he didn’t drink a lot back then). It was an instant connection, we randomly liked the same things, even going to the extent of co-writing a play (no idea why a play and not a book – that would have made sense), playing weird as fuck games, him convincing me to play WoW, online versions of every board game we could find and not have to pay for.  One of my biggest regrets is not keeping our chat history, both of us have lost it, would have been amazing to look back on.

After about a year or so of this we kind of realized that we hadn’t even exchanged phone numbers, and that felt a bit weird, possibly the most important friend in my life had no way of contacting me other than online. So we swapped numbers and text each other now and then but still did the whole MSN until dawn thing. But the exchange of numbers changed our relationship, it kind of started to cement our friendship in RL. ”

-Daniel met his friend/soulmate James 11 years ago on a forum

 

“Our sense of humor, music, hard to describe. We would talk for hours. We clicked. Neither of us had had a serious gf/bf before and we were both virgins.”

-Anon met their ex-boyfriend of 2.5 years on ICQ (when asking about Napster!)

 

“I think the internet is truly a powerful piece of technology. Yes, there’s a great deal of focus on cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, and all the other negative things that the internet is used for, and that attention is necessary in order to bring about awareness. But the internet can also serve as a bridge, bringing together people of different nationalities, cultures, backgrounds, beliefs, etc. It causes divisiveness only if we allow it to. :)”

-Jen met her friend of twenty years on a Penpal website

 

“We chatted a lot the first night we friended one another and quickly realized we were both queer AND had both been born premature. After that, we were friendly and slowly started emailing and then texting.
Things changed when we both went through break-ups within six months of each other. We were reading a lot of the same books and both read The Hunger Games series around the same time. Between that and being there for each other, we were suddenly texting all day long and growing incredibly close.
One day, I realized that my feelings had gone beyond friendship. To my surprise, when I confessed it to her, we were both in the same place.
A few months after that, I flew to California to meet her in person. And now, I’m planning to move there this year! ”

-Molli met her girlfriend 7 years ago on LiveJournal

 

“Husband:well xD, he is my husband, when I met him in internet he was shy, and quiet, and all the things that I´m not!! xD. He was nice, and kind, and I felt he was somebody to trust. Fortunately, I was not wrong.”

-Anon met her husband in a chatroom

 


 

About Strong Signal:

StrongSignal-fI was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.

That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel. 

I never expected to become fixated on someone who’d initially been a rival. And I’d never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn’t planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.

But it did. And now I can’t stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it’s love at first sight.

Except, like most things in my life, it doesn’t go as planned.

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StrongSignal-fI’m an emotional writer. When I get an idea in my head, or a character, I usually have to jot something down or the characters scream so loud I can’t think of anything else. That’s when I do stupid distracted things like lock myself out of my house (I’ve done this about five times). Or forget to take my kids’ lunch to school. Or whatever.

That’s the way it was with Strong Signal. And from talking to my co-writer, Santino Hassell, that’s how he felt too. We’d been friends and fans of each others’ work for a while. We never intended to write a book together. We didn’t say, “let’s write a book together, what do you want to write about?” The idea and characters came first. That’s why I call Strong Signal a passion project.

While drafting, we loved it. Unconditionally. When we finished, we took step back and worried it was maybe a little niche. Not mainstream. Wouldn’t appeal to a broad audience. Was Kai to neurotic? Was Garrett too grumpy? Were there too many gaming references?

And then we said, fuck it. Because we loved it, and we thought it was an important story to tell. We sent out advanced reader copies with lots of trepidation, biting our nails, worried readers wouldn’t get it. It wasn’t that we thought readers weren’t intelligent. But we were worried that maybe we didn’t do our jobs in a way they would root for the characters.

We planned to release it quietly on Amazon only.

And then the reviews began coming in. And we were floored. Not only did readers get Strong Signal, but they LOVED it. They gushed and emailed us heartfelt emails about how much Kai and Garrett’s journey meant to them. And we both kinda sat back, like, “Whoa.” We underestimated our readers, clearly.

We scrambled to revise our plan. We wanted to make sure it got in the hands of more readers – so we decided to upload to more retailers. We rushed to get up a preorder because readers were asking.

And every day, we’re still surprised. The tweets, emails, messages… I think we both felt like this collaboration was a victory before one book was sold.

And now it’s release day, and I don’t know what to do with myself. Other than say THANK YOU. A million times over. Thank you. For loving G&K and for rooting for them and for telling Santino and I that writing this book mattered. Because of you, we’re going to write more. And we can’t wait to start.

Much love. I’d hug and kiss each one of you all awkward-like if I could.

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xoxo ~ Megan

Man, this is one of the hardest secrets I’ve ever kept. I spent most of the end of 2015 hunched over my laptop, Gchatting with the incredibly talented Santino Hassell, writing at book that was addicting.

I loved writing this book. Co-writing was a blast. Seriously, so much fun. Santino and I are both laid back, yet passionate about our books and characters. It was an easy fit and the end product is one of my favorite books. This is a book I’d pick up in a heartbeat. This is a book I’d devour from first to last page. And I’m proud that my name is on the cover.

Thanks to Santino for putting up with me, making me laugh, and writing a damn good book. You rock, dude.

Also, a huge thanks to Natasha Snow for making this cover. I’m still a little speechless when I look at it. I can’t wait for you all to have it in your hands! And guess what? That’s in one month! Yep, we’re releasing this in ebook on 2/15. It will be available in paperback too, although that might take us longer to get up. Here are the details!

StrongSignal-f

I was counting down the months until the end of my deployment. My days were spent working on military vehicles, and I spent my nights playing video games that would distract me until I could leave Staff Sergeant Garrett Reid behind.

That was when I met him: Kai Bannon, a fellow gamer with a famous stream channel. 

I never expected to become fixated on someone who’d initially been a rival. And I’d never expected someone who oozed charm to notice me—a guy known for his brutal honesty and scowl. I hadn’t planned for our online friendship to turn into something that kept me up at night—hours of chatting evolving into filthy webcam sessions.

But it did. And now I can’t stop thinking about him. In my mind, our real life meeting is perfect. We kiss, we fall into bed, and it’s love at first sight.

Except, like most things in my life, it doesn’t go as planned.

*Strong Signal is a full-length, standalone novel. No cliffhangers!*

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And for a super special sneak peek, go here.

Thanks for all your support! We are excited and we hope you are too. :)

I’m so so excited for TIED TO TROUBLE to be out. This was a book that was written because fans of the Gamers series asked for it. And I’m so happy to finally bring it out into the light of day! This was such an enjoyable experience for me, writing this book. I loved the characters and the story and just everything about it.

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FYI – when you read this, make sure you page all the way to the end of a special surprise! Thanks everyone for your support and I hope you love #Chowen. :)

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*Missing is PLAYING FOR HER HEART because I’m a slacker and haven’t ordered my copies yet.

I wasn’t going to do a blog post to wrap up the year. Mainly because I wasn’t sure I had a lot to say. And I think these kind of posts tend to be really LOOK AT ME. Then I realized, uh, this was my blog dammit, and I could write what I want. Or whatever. So here it is. Some thoughts on 2015, i.e. The Year Megan Wrote a Lot of Books.

Some stats:

Released books: 8

Written books: 7 novels, 1 short story, started several WIPs (Honestly, I don’t know how many words. Adding that up would hurt my head because I don’t like numbers.)

Sold my first foreign deal: DIRTY THOUGHTS and DIRTY TALK to Germany

Sold my first audio deals: All four books in the In Focus series, as well as CHANGING HIS GAME

This year was insane for me. I finished my first series (MAKE IT LAST released end of January) and I started three new series (In Focus, Mechanics of Love, and Gamers). I’m still astounded when I look back at my year and think holy shit. I did that. I wrote those books and put those words out in the world. I get a lot of, “how do you write so fast?” And I’m not sure I actually write that fast, but here’s the deal — I don’t do well without deadlines. It’s why traditional contracts will probably always be a large part of my career because I do well signing on a dotted line, telling someone I will have 65-75K words to them by a certain date. And I write well when I immerse myself in a story/characters/world for, say, several weeks and not think of much else.

There are many times in my life where my husband will talk to me and I’ll have no idea what he just said because I’ve been in my character’s world in my head, thinking of the next scene. That’s what it’s like to live with me. If I take too long to write a book, I lose interest or drop out of the world and have a hard time getting back.

Also, the real world sucks sometimes. And in my book world, I get to write my own endings. And they are happy. :)

I’ve been asked by a couple of people — authors mainly — what I’ve learned from my crazy schedule this year. I’m going to be brutally honest. Here it is:

1) I’d prefer 2 months to draft and two weeks to edit before I turn in a book. There were several times this year I wrote a book a month. It’s doable, but it’s not ideal for me. That might seem fast to some people. But hey, it works for me. Half the battle in this business is figuring out what works for you, whether it takes you a month to write a book or two years. No way is wrong.

2) If I go to long without writing, I lose my goddamn mind. So, I’ve been open about the fact that I have anxiety, which was exacerbated by my messed up hormones after I had kids. Once I got on medication and was regulated a little more, I began to write fiction. And I haven’t stopped. I fully believe that a combination of my medications, working out, and WRITING is the thing that keeps me happy and sane. I need the writing in there to balance it all out. I start to get itchy and twitchy when I haven’t gotten some words down a couple of days. So even if I write something random, I gotta do it. Or I go a little nuts.

3) I want to loosen up my schedule going forward. In 2015, I basically booked myself solid with traditional contracts with publishers, so if some idea hit me, or I was asked to participate in a side project, I didn’t have time in my schedule. I didn’t like that. I want to be able to fit in side projects, potentially to self-publish. Moving forward into 2016, I have one more book contractually scheduled to write (the fourth book in my In Focus series)… and I’m so happy about that. A year ago, I was all OMG THIS COULD GO AWAY, I NEED TO SIGN ALL THE CONTRACTS. And now I’m like, yo, Megan, Netflix and chill. I have readers who, for some reason, like my books. They’ll be there. Which leads me to…

4) I love you all. My readers have followed me from New Adult, to Adult Contemporary, to male/male, to erotic romance. Which tells me, MY READERS ARE AMAZING. Y’all just… accept that I’m a little scattered and I like to write a variety, and you read what I put in front of you. And even if one of my series/books isn’t your favorite, you move on and try something else I write, or still talk to me on Twitter. And I appreciate every one of you. Every review (good and bad), every word of mouth, every damn thing you’ve done has made it possible for me to do this. The emails and messages I have received have blown my mind. And I never take them for granted. And meeting my readers in person, drinking with them, having a blast, as been the highlight of my career.

I got to meet so many readers this year in person. Traveling really stresses me out — I’ll be honest. Ask my critique partners and friends how much I lose it before I have to travel. I went to New York City in July and even though I love New York, I was seriously convinced I was going to get lost and end up in New Jersey and I’d never get home. Seriously. I don’t travel a lot for this reason. I limit my trips because it causes me so much anxiety to leave my cocoon. I don’t even like driving across town. LOL.

However, every time I *do* travel, I’m reminded how much it’s worth it. This year. I got to go to Apollycon in Philly with Jennifer L. Armentrout and crew. I visited Dallas and took pictures of the place JFK was shot (I know, morbid, sorry). I drank on NYC rooftops with my agent, editors, and fellow authors, ate appetizers with my friend AJ Pine in Bryant Park for the Berkley party, and I walked around Times Square at midnight eating a Junior’s red velvet cheesecake.

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So, I’m reminded all the time how grateful I am to do this.

What can you expect from me in 2016?

1) My Gamers series continues. TIED TO TROUBLE is the first male/male romance on Entangled’s Brazen line. YAY! And that’s out 1/4. It’s nerdy and has bow ties. The last book in that series is out in the spring and that’s Ethan’s book.

The last two books in my In Focus series release. OUT OF FRAME is out 3/21. And OVEREXPOSED is out in the fall.

That’s four books scheduled to be released in 2016. Is that all? NOOOOOOO. :) I have some tricks up my sleeve and I think you will be WAY EXCITED. More news to come in January. For now, I’m gearing up for TIED TO TROUBLE’s release so that’s what I’m focused on. But trust when I say there will be news soon. :)

2) I will be in Vegas in April for the RT Booklover’s Convention, as well as San Diego in July for the RWA convention. I’m excited!

3) My plan is to do more fan recognition-type things. Whether that’s extra scenes or more giveaways. And I really encourage you to join my reader group on Facebook. I like the format for interaction there, and it’s always easy to tag me and ask questions. Join ussssss!

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4) I plan to continue to put out books you all enjoy and have come to expect for me. Honestly, I’m giddy looking at my books I’ve already started and at my idea list for future projects. I have so many things in my head so wontstopcantstop until I get them in my readers’ hands. :)

Aaaannnndd that’s a wrap. Of 2015. I’m super optimistic and excited to head into 2016, and I hope you all are too. Thanks again, for every last one of you! <3

DirtyDeedsSo I’m ridiculously excited for you all to read Dirty Deeds. It’s the third in my Mechanics of Love series. I’ve had questions on whether this will be the final in the series. And I’ll say that as of now, there are no more books contracted but I never say never!

So Posh and Sprite were really fun to write. I enjoyed writing Alex, my brash female mechanic. She’s overcome a lot but still has some growing to do. And Spencer… well I’m not sure he’s ever really let himself live. He’s been searching for something his whole life – even if he didn’t realize it – and he finds it in the small town of Tory, Maryland.

As always, thanks for your support of this series. I love it so so much. And if you leave a review on any retail site, you get bonus points. Or something. :)

 

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