Meghan Riley graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland and immediately pursued her lifelong passion for the written word. Her debut novel, Anna, presented itself as a way for Riley to inspire teenage girls to expand their interests beyond the typical teenage quandaries, ultimately encouraging females toward an interest in science. She is currently hard at work on the sequel to Anna. Riley currently lives in North Carolina with her significant other, her mother, two clingy cats, and an opinionated dog.
Interview With Meghan
Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
I like to have two Oreo cookies and a cup of coffee when I write.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Keeping up with the science behind it. I write one theory, but by the time I finish a piece, there’s a new one. But, I guess, that’s science – always a developing theory.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve Googled for research?
The inner biology of a nose. I can’t reveal why, but I needed to know the exact structure. Oh, I also looked at a lot of pictures of skin disorders for ‘Anna’. Talk about ewww!
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
My book writing isn’t my day job. I actually spend my days blogging and doing social media marketing, among other related things, for a real estate team. So, I write a lot, but my book doesn’t get attention until after I put my little one down to sleep at night. I used to try to write 1,500 words a day, but it’s near impossible to do with a full time job and a toddler. However, I know if I write nothing, I’ll get into a bad habit of not writing for weeks, so I try to write SOMETHING.
What inspired you to write Anna?
My own day dreams as a child and the desire to see more science fiction in the hands of teenage girls. The first book doesn’t have a huge sci-fi theme to it, but the whole series is sci-fi.
Were any of the characters in Anna based on people you know?
No, not really. I stole characteristics from here and there, but I didn’t write any of them strictly around one person.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
What are you working on now?
The sequel to ‘Anna’.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview?
Why is ‘Anna’ so slow to develop?
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
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To the outside world, Anna appears to be an ordinary high school senior…
Anna has a lot of questions. Should she pursue her desire to leave home for college and live out her dream of becoming a physicist? Or should she stay home and help care for her family, which has struggled ever since her father died in Afghanistan? Is her crush, Steve, really interested in her, or is he only using the highly intelligent Anna to try and boost his grades in school?
These questions, plus the ordinary trials and tribulations of high school, distract Anna from noticing some very… strange things that are beginning to happen to her.
For as long as Anna can remember, she has had a haphazard smattering of freckles on her arm. But these freckles are starting to change, and cause a series of unnerving hallucinations and odd side effects that only Anna seems to notice. When a strange shadow man starts to haunt her nights, she decides to go on a hunt for the truth to discover, once and for all, what is happening to her. The hallucinations continue growing stronger, however, and each new visit by the shadow man appears to become more and more threatening. Eventually, Anna realizes that she can no longer hide from her friends and family what is happening to her.
But as she shares her secret with those closest to her, Anna never imagines that her very life, and the lives of those she loves, will be put in jeopardy.
Who, or what, is Anna?
-One ebook of Anna