Friday, June 16, 2017

Post-High School Reality Quest byMeg Eden Interview & Giveaway

Post-High School Reality Quest

byMeg Eden
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: Young Adult
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Buffy is playing a game. However, the game is her life, and there are no instructions or cheat codes on how to win.

After graduating high school, a voice called “ the text parser” emerges in Buffy’s head, narrating her life as a classic text adventure game. Buffy figures this isjust a manifestation of her shy, awkward, nerdy nature—until the voice doesn’t go away, and instead begins to dominate her thoughts, telling her how to life her life. Though Buffy tries tobeat the game, crash it, and even restart it, it becomes clear that this game is not something she can simply “ shut off” or beat without the text parser’s help.

While the text parser tries to give Buffy advice on how “ towinthe game,” Buffy decides to pursue her own game-plan: start over, make new friends, and win her long-time crush Tristan’s heart. But even when Buffy gets the guy ofher dreams, the game doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets worse than she could’ve ever imagined: her crumbling group offriends fall apart, her roommate turns against her, and Buffy finds herself trying to survive in a game built off her greatest nightmares.

Meg Eden's work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, and Gargoyle. She teaches at the University of Maryland. She has four poetry chapbooks, and her novel "Post-High School Reality Quest" is forthcoming from California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Lit. Check out her work at:


1.     When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think there were lots of moments where I “realized” I wanted to be a writer (It took me a while to process I guess!)—but probably the first one was in eighth grade when my history teacher told me my writing was good. She took me seriously as a writer, and we had some really awesome conversations. I remember at the time I was really into writing both stories and music. I entered two contests and told God that whichever one I did well in I’d pursue—and I was a finalist for the writing contest, never heard anything back about the music one. So I dove full-on into writing.

2.     How long does it take you to write a book?

A long time, because I work in multiple drafts. I’m not the kind of person who can do anything right the first time—I do well by combing through the same thing over and over again and making gradual edits. I can Nanowrimo a rough draft out in a month or two, but then I comb back through several times—usually 10+—getting to know my characters, adding more of a plot structure, and strengthening the foundation and structure of my story. I wrote my first draft of PHSRQ in 2009/2010, let it sit for a while, then rewrote it in 2012. That’s actually pretty good for me. The YA I’m working on now, I first wrote in 2010, rewrote in 2013, and am now rewriting in 2017. I can’t pump it out fast, because like wine, ideas need to ferment. When they sit in that drawer for a few years, I can look at them with a fresh, less biased perspective.

3.     What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Depends on which stage of the writing I’m in. If it’s the “nanowrimo” stage, that usually flows into my normal life pretty easily. I remember “nanowrimo”-ing books while at my cash register at Kmart—just writing down anything isn’t that hard. It’s editing that eats my schedule and energy. When I’m doing hard edits, I really have to be consumed by the world of my story. Usually when I’m editing I have to either lock myself in the house or a Chick-Fil-A booth and work nonstop. This is why you’ll notice there was quite a gap with my writing in the years I answered in the last question, because I was doing my poetry MFA from 2013-2016. I didn’t have the energy to invest in fiction during that time, so most of my books just kind of sat around, fermenting and waiting to be revisited.

4.     What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I’m terrible at plot if that counts!

5.     How do books get published?

That’s a complicated question. In short, books get published when someone is willing to invest in them. So if this is a traditional press, it means the editors believe they can invest in this and make back a profit. For self-publishing, this means the author is investing in getting their own work out there. So if you’re writing query letters or pitches, you’re trying to convince someone that your work is worth investing in.

6.     Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Mostly from personal experience. We write what we know and what we see. But I also read a lot, and read widely—I always make sure to be reading a book of poetry, nonfiction, theology, and fiction. I make notes of the ideas I get from what I read, or anything I find interesting, and save it away until it gives way to a story.

7.     When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I finished my first YA novel in tenth grade.

8.     What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I like to watch Let’s Plays of video games, and sometimes draw. I also love to take walks.

9.     What does your family think of your writing?

My family is incredibly supportive of my writing. My mom-in-law is a shameless cheerleader for me and my writing. She brings postcards of my book cover everywhere she goes and tells whoever she runs into about my book. My father-in-law is my writing advisor—I go to him whenever I’m stuck for ideas. My dad empowered me to be whatever I wanted to be growing up, always encouraging my interests, and taught me how to be savvy—which I’ve definitely applied to being a writer. My mom is a book-a-holic and has always worked to instill in me the power of a well-told story. My mom has been an amazing encourager on my writing journey. She paid for my submission fees when I was in high school and helped edit some of my first novels. And of course, she provided the best fuel for my writing, that is: good books!

10.            What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I think the most interesting thing I’ve learned is that characters become their own entities. Sometimes when writing, a character does something I didn’t expect, and I learn about them as a person. It’s phenomenal that as writers, we’re the creators but even then we’re not in any way in control. I think I really learned this from Lemony Snicket, and how his books always started with that idea of “I don’t want to tell this story.” As writers, we write because we’re compelled, and rarely are we as in control of what we write as we think!

11.            How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve technically written thirteen books. My favorite changes depending on what I’m working on. Right now it’s PHSRQ—it’s the only one I start re-reading for a sample and can’t stop reading. After working on it for so long, I’m impressed I still want to read it. But I’m working on one about a high school love advice columnist that I’m really enjoying too.

12.            Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

The best advice I can give is to read, write, and submit! I have done thousands of submissions to get my relatively few acceptances, but submissions have taught me persistence and helped motivate me to keep writing. Some rejection letters have even been kind enough to include feedback Put yourself out there, go to conferences, volunteer at local literary magazines or events, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. Send your work out, and send persistently--even to places that reject you five, ten times. I wouldn’t be where I am now if amazing people didn’t encourage and mentor me along the way.Don’t be afraid of mistakes, and don’t be afraid to declare what you have done.

13.            Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I’ve gotten some really kind letters and emails from my readers who clicked with my stories or poems. When they say they really emotionally resonated with what happened, I feel like I’ve done my job as a writer right.

14.            Do you like to create books for adults?

I like books with a range for audience. While PHSRQ is labeled as a YA book, it’s also for adults.

15.            What do you think makes a good story?

A good story gives me complex characters that I want to follow, and concrete objects that represent larger truths. A good story, whether it happens on Earth or another planet or a fantasy universe, should speak on human truths. It should show flawed, relatable people.

16.            As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I used to want to be paid to draw all day--an animator, manga artist--anything where I could tell stories through drawing.

17.            What Would you like my readers to know?

Let’s be friends! I’m on Twitter as @ConfusedNarwhal and Facebook as@megedenwritespoems. Feel free to check my site out If you’re an aspiring author, I’d love to talk to you more about your writing journey!

  • 1 copy of POST-HIGH SCHOOL REALITY QUEST by Meg Eden
  • Book Swag (see picture)
  • U.S. Only
  • Ends June 20th

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  1. Sounds like a good read and yes I will be adding to my reads

  2. I really enjoyed all I have read, and I can't wait to see how this story ends.