Today I’m interviewing the lovely Meghan M. Gorecki!!! I was able to hang out with Meghan at CFRR and ACFW in Nashville this summer and she’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I’m so excited to let you guys eavesdrop into our conversation about her new release. 😉
Meghan M. Gorecki is an author of inspirational fiction, a blogger, book reviewer and voracious reader. Taking her life a day at a time as God leads, she is pursuing a career in the publishing industry as an editor in training and as a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. A hopeless romantic, history and Marvel nut, she’s also a redhead (thanks to a box), who knows way too much trivia about movie musicals and the Civil War. Find her on social media and at her blog, A Northern Belle.
We’ll be talking about her newest release, a delightful holiday novella that spans from Thanksgiving to New Years, Wrapped in Red. Check out my review here!
“A Steel City holiday romance sure to melt your heart.
The holidays haven’t been the easiest for Merry Grainger. Five years ago, she lost her grandfather and got dumped by her boyfriend right before Christmas. Each season since sees her determined to avoid getting hurt again, and so she keeps a steel-like grip on her hopeless romantic heart.
Music used to soothe Sam Shepard’s soul until the death of his biggest cheerleader broke his heart, family, and dreams into pieces. Now he’s focused on thriving in the city, and with the people, he’s grown to love—all to keep the hole in his heart from opening anew with every passing holiday season.
Thrown together by a church play and meddlesome family armed with mistletoe, will Merry and Sam unwrap their guarded hearts to let in the true hope of Christmas—and each other?”
Meghan!!! I’m so excited to have you here to talk about your new release! Congratulations, girl! I miss you!!!
Meghan: Rachael–I miss you too!! Majorly freaking out and flailing about to be here. #bestillmynerdgirlheart You’re just the best.
Rachael: Gaaah! Thank you! ❤
Why don’t we start off simple by talking about your new Christmas novella, Wrapped in Red. What is it about?
Meghan: So Wrapped in Red is a Christmas novella set in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. It follows two work in progress hearts through the holiday season filled with lovably meddlesome family, endearingly awkward moments—and the true meaning of Christmas. This novella is an unofficial first in a contemporary romance “imprint” of my Northern Belle Publishing called Three Rivers Romance. The series is still very much in the works, but suffice it to say the series will stay true to a trademark of mine—the importance of family—and have an “All roads lead back home to Pittsburgh” feel. 🙂
Rachael: I absolutely loved reading about your hometown! I can’t wait to read more of the series!!!
Did you have any photo inspiration for Sam? Or any of your characters for that matter? Mostly for Sam since I find him attractive. 😉
Meghan: Oooh, what a fun question. After thinking about it, I came up with James Wolk who played the older brother in the hilarious chick-flick You Again. It’s actually rather uncanny how much he fits how I’ve pictured Sam—and the cover model. *stares at it for hours *
Rachael: You couldn’t have picked a more perfect actor to base Sam off of! He is such a cutie and I love that movie soooo much! Now I really want to watch it. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it. (Here’s a picture for you guys to stare at for hours. 😉 )
What was your favorite part to write? Any parts that weren’t so fun?
Meghan: Jeez, Rach! 😉 I both hate and love this question. It’s like choosing a favorite child or the question “What’s your favorite book you’ve written?” LOL I think my favorite part to write was the end—my second-ever written kiss. *waggles eyebrows * It was such a sweet, tender moment to come to with these characters after their journey—and too, as seems to be a trend of mine—it is somewhat of an open happy ending.
There weren’t really any parts that weren’t so fun to write—it was more a matter of getting it written when life majorly threw off my loosely-held plans that was my least favorite part.
Rachael: Lol! Sorry! That kiss was really well-written! I loved that part, too! Life does have a tendency to get in the way of our plans, so that’s understandable.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process.
Meghan: I have become an early morning writer. When I’d work opening shift at the chiropractor’s office I work for, I’d have a 7:30 clock-in time. So I’d get up between 4:30 and 5:30, hurriedly/blear-eyed get ready for the day, ensure the night before my breakfast/lunch were packed, and write. Some mornings found me working on more marketing/promo work as that was all my brain could manage—but I’m freshest in the morning. Kind of giving the first fruits of the day back to God by working at the story He gave me. This story was unique also with the fact that I actually outlined it. Roughly. I did go off book to a degree as is my habit. LOL But it helped so very much to put what played like a movie in my head, onto paper. Lots of coffee, Jesus’ grace and working under a tight deadline of my own doing got this novella done.
Rachael: Wow! That is really impressive! There’s no way I could bring myself to wake up that early–I’m definitely not an early bird. Go you!
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
Meghan: That there is nothing God can’t redeem and renew. And that there are no heartaches too big for Him. He is the closest, truest of Hopes we can have.
Rachael: I love that! You couldn’t have said it better. 🙂
I find your book cover absolutely stunning!! Is it true that you designed it all by yourself? Tell me about how that process was for you.
Meghan: Aww, thank you! I did design it myself—by the grace of God. I toyed with it as the idea and drive to actually finish and release this thing started taking shape, and as soon as I had the fonts chosen and everything in place I was sold on publishing it. I am a perfectionist, so I spent way too many hours on this book cover (the paperback version being the most difficult by a long shot) but with the help of some friends for advice and cheering me on (looking at you, dear Rachael!)—it got done.
Rachael: You did a great job with it! The fact that you wrote this novella, designed the cover, and published it all by yourself makes me think you may be some kind of superwoman! Aww! I loved watching the changes being made and the cover edited to perfection. It’s definitely my favorite of all the ideas you threw out there!
You published this book as an indie author. Let’s talk a little about that. Did it involve a lot of research? Are you glad you chose that route over trying to get a deal with a publisher?
Meghan: Having self-published a full length novel two years ago and learning so inexplicably much since then, I knew how to release this novella—and better than my first release. More or less. (I admit to giving myself too-short of a deadline with this but hey—you live and you learn, right?) By better, I mean it’s taken me quite some time to come to terms/make peace/let go-and-let God with taking my writing seriously. As a heart-career. I am still shy about talking about it in public in certain crowds, but once I warm up it all comes tumbling out. LOL It will never make me tons of money unless I make the New York Times Bestseller list (and even then!) but it brings me joy. And more importantly it is what God wants me to do. Through deciding to release Wrapped in Red and all the ups and downs through out this incredibly short process, I’m entirely set on being a solely indie author. I’m so very glad God’s paved the way of this route of publishing and I wouldn’t change it for anything, despite how its been quite a growing process. As it will continue to be—but that’s life. And I have some pretty great fellow indie/hybrid author friends (and book blogger superheroes like you!) to help me out along the way.
Rachael: That’s an awesome story! One thing my dad told me that has been stuck in my mind ever since is that, the most important part about any career is to never focus on how much money you will make through it but that you choose something that you are passionate about and find a way to honor God with it, and I see you doing just that! 🙂 I’m so proud of you for learning your way through this since I know it can be tough at times. You’ve done an excellent job and I can’t wait to see what your future holds!
Merry recounts some experiences from some terrible dates in the beginning of the story. Do you have any of your own that you’d like to tell?
Meghan:*grin * Ohh my. Well, I can at least share that the whole “date-cut-short-by-a-lame-laundry-excuse” Merry experiences was inspired entirely by a casual coffee date I went on this fall. And he didn’t hold the door for me or walk me to my car (in South Side! The city!). I’m no shrinking violet delicate female and am almost too stubbornly independent BUT I can take care of myself just fine. However—gentlemanly qualities such as these I will not settle for less on. And up till Laundry Excuse Dude I had had fairly good dating experiences with nice-enough gentlemen but nothing went anywhere. *shrug * Ce la vie.
Rachael: Oh boy. That has to be one of the worst excuses I have ever heard. I can relate with you but maybe not to that extent! The worst date I’ve ever had wasn’t that bad, just quite boring. He was the type that looked good on paper–we had a lot in common–but we just didn’t click. We ended up spending eight hours together, mostly because I let him drive us around and I kept hoping it would get better. (Lesson to the single girls: Drive yourself everywhere!) I didn’t know how to respectively say I wanted to go home without hurting his feelings. He didn’t open doors for me either, which was a big let down. I can agree, I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself, BUT as my sister’s boyfriend told me as he took me by surprise when he opened the car door for me (something I’m not used to guys doing), “If a guy can’t even open a door for you as a respectful gesture, then how can you expect him to respect you with more major things?” I thought that was a perfect way to put it and something all single girls should keep in mind! I’m sure you’ll find the right one when God is ready to bring him around! 🙂
After reading such a heart-felt, relatable story I really want to read more from you! Can we expect any more stories from you in the future?
Meghan: Yes! J My next release will probably (I say probably because God always has surprises in store, case in point—this novella!) be in the spring of 2018—a full length historical, the first in my Keystone Legacy Series historical imprint of Northern Belle Publishing entitled Amongst the Roses. A Civil War saga of two families from opposite sides of the tracks, one love and a war that shakes their worlds and hearts. What’s amazingly special (to me, among other things J ) about it is that it is primarily set in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania—25 miles west of Gettysburg, my favorite city on earth.
Rachael: Yaaay! I’m so excited to read it! It sounds really good! Another book to add to my TBR pile!
How can we as readers encourage and support you as an author?
Meghan: Let me know you’re reading or have read my books. Whether it be an Instagram comment, a Tweet, a Facebook post or message—or a book review. I pray every day for my stories, that they may be used in spite of me and their imperfections, to God’s glory, so I especially love hearing when people read them and what they think.
Rachael: Take note of that, dear readers! Those are all very good points. 🙂 If you’ve read Wrapped in Red, or plan on doing so, be sure to let Meghan know and leave a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and/or Goodreads!
And for Rachael’s Random question of the interview: If the #2 pencil is so popular, why is it still #2?
Meghan: I think it’s like the Best Man in a wedding. If there’s a Best Man why isn’t he marrying the bride? Or perhaps more along the old cheesy childhood taunt: First is worst, second is the best.
Rachael: You are just too good at this! 😉 I never know what to expect when I ask random questions and this response was PERFECT!
Meghan: Rachael thank you so very much for having me! ((BIG HUG)) Hope you all have had a merry Christmas and a blessed, joy-filled 2017!
Rachael: Anytime, dearest Meghan! I can’t wait to have you back here again! *VIRTUAL HUG!* Hopefully I can see you, soon!
Thank you, readers, for joining us! If you are interested in buying Meghan’s wonderful book, you can find it here:
Just out of curiosity, do you have any awful/hilarious/interesting date stories to tell? Comment below!