The Things We Leave Unsaid – An Interview with Author Megan Mayfair

by MC D’Alton

Megan is a Melbourne-based writer who likes fiction with a dash of family intrigue, a sprinkling of comedy and a spoonful of romance.

Mum to three kids under seven, she writes around her own chaotic family life, as well as teaching and working in public relations. Generally, all these activities are fueled by copious amounts of coffee and most of her writing takes place in her local coffee shop staffed with extremely supportive baristas.

She loves collecting scarves, the smell of new stationery, torturing herself at pilates and a bit of #bookstagram.

Her debut novel is The Things We Leave Unsaid, published by Crooked Cat Books. This will be followed by Tangled Vines and The Problem with Perfect over 2018 and 2019. Megan has also written a couple of short stories and regularly blog interviews with other authors on her website.

The Things We Leave Unsaid…

Is it the things we don’t say that haunt us the most?

Clare is anxious to start a family with adoring husband, Pete. When she takes on the seemingly simple task of obtaining her late mother’s birth certificate, she finds herself in a family history search that will challenge everything she thought she knew about her life.

Scarred by her parents’ ill-fated marriage, Tessa lives by three rules – dating unavailable men, building her café into a food empire, and avoiding her father. However, when her carefully planned life is thrown into chaos, Tessa is forced to decide which of these rules she’s willing to break.

As Clare and Tessa’s paths cross and their friendship grows, can they both finally unlock their family secrets in order to realise their futures?

Q. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I read a lot of John Grisham as a teenager and it was pretty cool to spend some time in Memphis – that location is almost a character in his books and I gained a new insight into the stories by being there.

Q. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

I’ve been lucky as not to have personally come across practices that I feel are unethical but ‘hidden’ contract loopholes with costs or unrealistic restrictions certainly make me nervous and something that I think people should get checked out by an expert through Arts Law or Australian Society of Authors or a lawyer if they are unsure.

Q. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I find it energizing – it’s a creative outlet for me and recharges me.

Q. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Grammar.

Q. Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

Yes – sometimes if I’d read something that I’ve not really enjoyed twice in a row, it can leave me a little blocked. Sometimes I re-read a favourite to get back into the reading groove.

Q. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I think it is a balance – you want to be original and readers want original but they also like to have some familiarity of genre and know what to expect when they pick up a thriller or a cosy mystery or whatnot. I perhaps blur the women’s fiction/romance genres but that’s because that’s what I like to write and read.

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Q. What do you expect form an author when reading a book, short story or article?

I expect to be entertained in some way but it will vary depending on what I’m reading – a comedy, I expect to have a giggle. A romance, I expect to swoon. Ultimately, I want to know something I didn’t know or imagine something that I’d never thought about before.

Q. What authors did you dislike at first, but grew into?

I couldn’t stand any of the Bronte sisters’ books when I was at school but they have grown on me to the extent that Jane Eyre is one of my favourite books of all time now.

Q. How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

I try to take care of my reader with some humour – I think that some gentle humour and funny observations can hopefully ensure the reader has that nice balance when things might get a little emotional or tense. I love having a cliffhanger chapter ending, but I try not to keep them waiting too long – I don’t want to torture readers.

Q. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Yes – there are a few quirky things that people who know me may pick up or just Eagle Eye readers.

Q. Do you travel? Tell us about the most romantic place you’ve ever visited.

I think Hawaii is extremely romantic but I love a good vineyard.

Q. Has it (your travels) added to your inspirational well, or taken from it?

I use places I’ve been in my books. Clare and Pete in The Things We Leave Unsaid travel to Noosa, which is a favourite spot of mine. It was the perfect spot for where they needed at that time in their story. My love for vineyards and wineries was motivation for Tangled Vines, my second book.

Q. Do you have any expectations of your readers?

No.

Q. On your writing journey, what has been the lowest and the most painful moment and vice versa?

Rejections and negative feedback are of course painful but they are part of the journey – if you don’t get those, you don’t get better. I always remind myself that I signed up for this – no one is making me do it so if I can’t hack the bad times, I can’t really enjoy the good times.

Q. Where can we learn more about you and your book!?
Contact and buy links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meganmayfairauthor
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/mayfairmegan
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meganmayfairwrites
Website: www.meganmayfair.com
Blog: www.meganmayfair.com/blog

Or,
Purchase The Things We Leave Unsaid in paperback and ebook: https://mybook.to/leaveunsaid

Thank you Megan, for speaking with us today about you book!

Happy Reading!

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