Interview With 2019 Debut Megan Cooley Peterson!

In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats and more!
Last year, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Megan Cooley Peterson and her novel THE LIAR'S DAUGHTER, and we have been interested in it ever since. We are so excited to have Megan on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

About Megan! 
Megan Cooley Peterson
Megan has been in love with words since she was a little girl. She used to make up stories and record them on her Fisher Price tape recorder. She's written several novels and have also worked as a children's book editor at a publishing company. She now freelance edits and writes nonfiction for kids. 
Keep up with Megan: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Instagram 


The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?
Megan: Thank you so much! I’ve been writing nonfiction children’s books for ten years, so I think my debut experience may be different from other debut authors being published for the first time. Since I used to be an in-house editor at a children’s publisher, I’ve been intimately involved with the publishing process from start to finish. I feel super excited to be a debut fiction author, and my experience publishing and being published have taken away some of the worries I may have had otherwise. I’m very lucky! 
The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what is the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?
Megan: The best part of the writing process is the first draft, when the ideas are still new in my mind and I’m experiencing the story for the very first time. There are moments when the story seems to come from somewhere outside myself—that’s when writing is like magic, and I’m only the conduit. The first draft is also the hardest part of the writing process for me! Often the awesome book idea I have in my head will NOT translate to the page, no matter how hard I try. I also compare my first draft to finished books, which is a terrible thing to do. I still think every author but me finds writing effortless! 

The Book Bratz: Where did you get the idea for THE LIAR'S DAUGHTER?
Megan: THE LIAR’S DAUGHTER came together over a few years and from several sources of inspiration. What originally inspired me was the story of the Cleveland kidnapping survivors, particularly Michelle Knight. She was held captive for a decade, and it made me wonder how people can survive such horrible, vile situations. I read Michelle’s memoir as well as Jaycee Dugard’s memoir. They are amazing, strong women. I was also originally inspired by the season of American Horror Story set at the freak show. It made me think about what makes a family—the people you’re related to by blood or the people who have your back and love you? Nature versus nurture?
The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest?
Megan: Piper was definitely my favorite character to write. Her scenes set in the present day flew out of me. Most of them are very close to what they were in the early drafts of the book. In fact, the first chapter has pretty much stayed as I wrote it in the first draft. Piper just came out a fully formed character. Father was probably the hardest to write. Father is a cult leader, so I did a lot of research to make sure I got his motivations right. I also tried really hard not to make him come off as a mustache-twirling cliché. I gave him a few viewpoints that I actually kind of agree with, which makes him even scarier to me. 

The Book Bratz: This is such a fascinating subject to write about! Have you read other books in the past that have topics similar to this that have inspired you?
Megan: There are a couple of books that are similar to my book and totally inspired me—Stolen by Lucy Christopher and Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott. If you haven’t read those, I highly recommend them. They deal with dark themes but also show the power of resilience. 

The Book Bratz: What do you hope readers will take away from reading THE LIAR'S DAUGHTER?
Megan:Good question! Once you release a story into the world, it’s no longer yours. Readers will all have different takeaways, and I absolutely honor whatever each reader wants to take away from this book. I do, however, hope they come away believing in the power of survival and of never giving up.  

The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of THE LIAR'S DAUGHTER in the future, or do you have other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?
Megan: I don’t currently have plans to revisit the world of THE LIAR’S DAUGHTER. I feel like I accomplished everything I wanted to with Piper’s story. I like to think she’s off somewhere, living her best life. I’m currently working on a true crime YA story. I don’t want to say too much about it now, as it’s in early stages, but it’s about a Stevie Nicks loving teenage girl trying to solve a murder in her quirky small town. We’ll see where it goes! 



Title: The Liar's Daughter
Author: Megan Cooley Peterson
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019 

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Piper knows that Father is a Prophet. Infallible. The chosen one. She would do anything for Father. That's why she takes care of all her little sisters. That's why she runs end-of-the-world drills. That's why she never asks questions. Because Father knows best. Until the day he doesn't. Until the day the government raids the compound and separates Piper from her siblings, from Mother, from the Aunts, from all of Father's followers--even from Caspian, the boy she loves. Now Piper is living Outside. Among Them. With a woman They claim is her real mother--a woman They say Father stole her from. But Piper knows better. And Piper is going to escape.

Thank you so much to Megan for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about THE LIAR'S DAUGHTER and can't wait for it to be out in the world on September 10th

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