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Today I’d like to welcome Megan Linden as my guest. Megan is a new author and her debut book, Running Off the Edge, was released just this last Friday at MLR Press.

Please give her a warm welcome and feel free to leave a comment or two. 🙂

Megan Linden - Running Off the Edge cover 2-10-14

When and why did you begin writing?

I’m one of those people who always wanted to be a writer. The first “story” I had ever written (and never finished) started with a daughter asking her mother why she was getting fat (I was a lovely child, as you can see) and mother explaining to her she’s pregnant. That’s all I can remember. But apart from that great effort, I hadn’t done much with my dream of writing until my high school years when I discovered fanfiction and the wonderful and strange world of fandom. I started writing my own fanfiction stories and, years later, I decided to try my hand at original fiction.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

The ability to make someone feel something through my words, my stories. It’s all about the emotional connection in the end, isn’t it?

What do you find is the hardest thing about being an author?

I’m a new author and it’s pretty nerve-wracking to reach out to people – not only potential readers, but also more experienced authors. Everyone I came in contact so far is nice and welcoming, but it’s difficult to shake that “I don’t want to impose” feeling off completely.

In terms of writing, though, the hardest thing is to actually sit down and start doing the work. I have netbook dedicated to writing that’s without the Internet connection to minimize distractions, but I have to turn off my laptop first… 😉

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

It’s hard to pick favorites, so I’m not even going to try. But the first author of original m/m romance I have ever read is J.L. Langley and I have a soft spot for her stories to this day.

What inspired you to write Running Off the Edge?

I was stuck in the middle of writing a different story, getting discouraged and lazy, when I saw a submission call for stories involving Winter Olympics. I lit up at the new, shiny thing, but I know how shiny things usually go, so I made a deal with myself with a short deadline. Fortunately, the right idea struck at the right time – I wanted to write about two men getting their second chance at doing it right and those two figure skaters who just couldn’t get over each other showed up to tell me their story.

Was there anything you found particularly challenging when writing Running Off the Edge?

Surprisingly no, not really. It’s one of those stories that practically write themselves, I just had to keep typing. But it was important to me that I wouldn’t make it too easy for the characters, I wanted a realistic struggle, not jumping into each other’s arms after a pretty bad break up a few years back. Hopefully I’ve managed that.

What’s next for you?

I’ve just finished another book a few days ago – the same story I was stuck in when I decided to write Running Off the Edge. The title for now is Serve & Protect and it’s a beginning of a series I’m working on, DC Files, about falling in love in political capitol of the world. I need to edit it and do the revisions and then we will see. 🙂

Megan Linden - Running Off the Edge cover 2-10-14Book Blurb

After the knee injury, Liam O’Connor, the former gold medalist, is no longer able to compete at the Olympics. He’s in Sochi as an assistant coach for another male figure skater and hopes to avoid Eric Lanney as much as possible.

Meanwhile Eric is back to compete for gold in pair skating, but is that the only thing that will be important to him? Maybe when the former lovers meet again in Russia, they will both learn that a gold medal isn’t the greatest prize you can win at the Winter Olympics.

Excerpt

When they came in to the big auditorium, it was already half-full, and it took them a long moment to locate Neil.

“Hi, Coach, hi, Liam!” Neil’s legs were bouncing, and Liam looked pointedly at the big coffee cup in Neil’s hand. “Hey, don’t judge, I’ve been awake for eighteen hours.”

“I’m not saying anything.” Liam sat down next to him. For all intents and purposes, he should probably hate Neil at least a little. The youngest guy on the skating team, Neil took — earned, was given — a place that up until about six months ago Liam saw as his own. And that was a bitter pill to swallow, no question about it, but in the end, Neil was a really nice, hard-working, and talented guy, and Paula was a great coach. They both deserved to be here.

And Liam just had to suck it up.

“You better not be, or you’re not getting your own,” Neil said and took out the container from beneath his seat. There was a cinnamon latte for him and a double espresso for Paula.

“My man.” Liam inhaled the sweet smell of his coffee. Next to him, Paula was taking back all the bad things she’d said to Neil in the past.

“And what can I do to earn such approval, oh mother of mine?” came from behind them.

Oh. Here we go. Liam clasped his hands around the coffee cup before he made himself look up. Eric was hugging Paula and laughing at something she said, and God, he looked so good. Liam hadn’t seen him in four years. He was guilty of watching every damn competition Eric was in during that time, but television makes you look different. And in Eric’s case, television just made him look more serious, older. Now he wasn’t performing, and he was completely relaxed, grinning. He reminded Liam of the boy he once knew and fell in love with. It almost made Liam forget the last four years.

Almost. Because the moment his eyes landed on Liam, Eric’s smile lost all its warmth and turned into a polite, public one. Liam wondered how his own face looked right now.

“Hi, Liam. Hi, Neil.”

A nod. Not even a handshake, just a nod. It wasn’t supposed to hurt that much anymore, for God’s sake. Get it together, O’Connor.

“Eric.” Liam nodded and then leaned out of his seat to look at the woman standing behind Eric, the other half of their skating duo. “Hello, Andrea.”

“Hi, Liam,” she said, smiling at him, and he wished he could offer her a sincere one in return. “It’s good to see you.”

“Thank you.” And because someone somewhere decided to give Liam a break, the speaker decided to start the orientation.

“Hello, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Richard Walker, and I’m the coordinator of the US team for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Please, let me tell you about the upcoming events and arrangements, and then there’ll be room for questions.”

And he took off, covering everything from the opening ceremony to the menu preferences. Then there was time for the usual safety speech, and after covering all the typical points, Walker looked down at his notes and set them aside.

Liam would bet he knew what was coming.

“I was also obligated to remind you to respect the laws of the country that’s hosting us right now, regardless of your personal feelings.”

“Only for a millionth time,” Liam muttered, but Neil wasn’t keeping it quiet. He stood up.

“So it’s a no for gay sex on the podium, then?”

Half the room laughed, and Liam shook his head, amused. He punched Neil in the thigh lightly and grinned at Neil’s wink. When Liam turned to Paula, though, he saw Eric’s face and the way he was looking at him. It was a look Liam remembered well, and it wasn’t a good memory. But before he could say anything, tell Eric off once and for all, the short, blond guy from the bobsled team shouted, “Name the time and any other place, cutie.”

The room burst out laughing once again, while Neil turned red and sat down quickly. Walker patted the microphone to silence them all.

“Gentlemen, please.” He picked up his notes again. “Let’s just focus on the competition, okay? Remember why we’re here.”

“We’re not the ones bringing this stupid damn topic up again and again,” Liam said quietly so that only the few people next to him could hear it. Neil nodded his agreement. Liam purposefully didn’t look in Eric’s direction.

Buy link: MLR Press * Amazon * ARe

Author bio

Megan Linden loves happy endings and since she can’t guarantee them in her other job as a psychologist, she makes sure to always give one to her characters.

You can find Megan at her Blog.

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