Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Books: Interview with Suspense Author Meg Hafdahl

It's October! And right on time for Halloween, we are lucky to have an interview with suspense/horror writer Meg Hafdahl! Her book, Twisted Reveries, launches later this month and you won't want to miss it! Let's get to know Meg and her work!

Meg, can you tell us something about your background and what motivates you to write?

I grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, but I moved to Duluth, MN in the 6th grade, so both feel like home to me. I’m lucky I get to be both Canadian and American! I now live in Rochester, MN a great place to raise my family. Since childhood I’ve wanted to be an author. I was a voracious reader from a young age and I think the love of books is what attracted me to being a storyteller. I also love movies, TV, great songs; any sort of medium for telling stories. And it allows me to live all these lives and sort out my own feelings and share my thoughts with the world. It’s the best job in the world.

I agree with you! And since writing is your favorite job in the world, when did you decide to publish and why?

As I entered adulthood it became very clear to me that hard work was the only path to publishing. I had two small children and I decided one day, when my youngest started preschool, that I would use my free time to get back to what I had loved to do before I was “mom”. I had lost my way a bit, and was focusing only on my kids and forgetting that writing was an essential part of me. So I worked very hard and received lots of rejections but decided not to let that stop me. Then eventually Inklings Publishing liked what I was producing and I felt it was a perfect match.

That's great! I'm glad you found Inklings. What do you like to write about, and who is your target audience?

I write horror/suspense. And I really like to write about complicated women. Not just “strong women”, because we’re not always strong, sometimes we’re weak too. So I love to introduce complicated, real women into these scary situations. And I like to add a dash of humor too when it fits. I believe my target audience is horror fans, suspense fans, women, and men too. I’m tired of this idea that men don’t read stories about women, it’s not true!

There's always a reader for every work, of course, and you're right - why not men, too? So, how many books have you published and which is your favorite? Why?

Twisted Reveries is my first book so naturally it is my favorite!!

I love the title and I'm sure it's a fantastic book, so tell us about it. What inspired you to write it?
Twisted Reveries is actually a collection of 13 short stories. It’s about women, young and old, going through something in their lives, perhaps a change or frustrating lack of change. And then this terrifying event comes down on them and some of them get stronger and kick ass, while others crack and struggle. I am a huge horror fan, I have been since I was very young. I used to take my allowance to Blockbuster (remember those?) to rent anything with Vincent Price in it. And I would stay awake to watch Tales from the Crypt or Dawn of the Dead, any horror I could get my little hands on. But as I grew I felt like there was a lack of female stories in horror movies and horror literature. Women were often being punished for being sexy or happy or just for being female. They were always running and screaming right into the killer’s arms. I really want to bring a female voice back to the dark and spooky. I mean we started it after all; with the haunting novels of the Bronte sisters, Mary Shelley, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and of course Shirley Jackson. I’m inspired everyday to tell cool, fun stories about real people!

Sounds terrific! Since you mention some authors, who is your favorite and has he/she influenced you in anyway? And do you have a favorite book?

Well, my favorite book is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I read it for the first time when I was about 15 and it changed my life. It has the most haunting, effective setting I have ever read and I think you’ll see in my writing that I’m always working to create a setting that really envelops the reader and I think it’s definitely because of Rebecca. Otherwise my favorite author is Stephen King. His worlds are so immersive, and more than that his command of character is just awesome. His characters are all so memorable and often funny and always real. I strive for that in my work.

Great authors to be influenced by! And what do you think is the hardest part of writing, besides striving to pen real characters?

Removing that critical eye for the first draft. For years I would write a sentence and then erase it. Write another sentence and erase it. I would literally end up with a blank page. It took me a long time to realize I needed to be in full creative mode to get it all down to actually create something. We can’t be editors the first time through, and that is still tough for me sometimes.

Now that we know more about you and your book, let us know where can we find your work.

Twisted Reveries is available to pre-order at www.inklingspublishing.com and at the book launch party at Gratifi (in Houston, TX - located at 302 Fairview) on Thursday Oct 29, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. and from now until Nov 1 the book will be on special pre-order pricing of $10. Regular price will be $14.95.  Readers can shop at  Inklings website for it at that special price. You can find more info on me and my work at www.meghafdahl.com and also like me on Facebook (Meg Hafdahl; Author) or follow me on twitter @MegHafdahl

That's great, the book launch party seems like so much fun! What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

You will get rejected. Often. And that’s okay. Just learn to live with it and work even harder. Listen to the criticism, not all of it, don’t change who you are, but be open to other viewpoints. Also, just WRITE!! Don’t just think about writing, don’t just talk about writing, but actually fit it into your real life.

Excellent advice! And is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I’d love to hear from you all, if you’re an aspiring writer or just an avid reader, hit me up on FB or twitter or email on my website and I’d love to chat about reading/writing/horror. 

Meg, thank you for allowing us to interview you, it's been a great time and we really appreciate your time. Good luck with the book launch and we wish you great success!

To purchase Twisted Reveries by Meg Hafdahl, please click on the links below: 



Book Launch Party in Houston, TX:

Join us for the book launch party of Meg Hafdahl's first collection of short suspense-filled tales. Come dressed up for a chance to win "best costume" and the grand prize!

Location: Gratifi Kitchen at 302 Fairview Street. 

Complimentary parking is available for the whole block.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Press Release: Holes in Space is a 2015 Readers' Favorite Silver Medal Winner in Poetry - General category!

Reader's Favorite recognizes “Holes in Space” in its 2015 international book award contest.

The 2015 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries.

Houston, TX. Readers' Favorite has become the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

In addition to reviewing for some of the biggest names in the literary industry, as well as the first time independent author, they host a respected award contest which features entries from new authors to NYT best-sellers, as well as celebrities like Jim Carrey and Henry Winkler.

“Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that "Holes in Space" by Andrea Barbosa is a Silver Medal Winner in the Poetry - General category in our 2015 International Book Award Contest.”

Learn more at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/holes-in-space

Love, passion, lust, heartbreak, desolation, loneliness, celebration: these are some of the themes captured in this poetry collection; reflections of time, tiny holes in an endless open space, intriguing possibilities, where anything can be accomplished with the power of words. Stunning photographs illustrate this volume to help capture the essence of the verses.

Andrea Barbosa
Holes in Space
Twitter: @AndyB0810