INTERVIEW WITH M.K. HUTCHINS:
Author Megan Hutchins joins LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author! Megan is the author of Drift, released earlier this year.
How did you get started writing?
Stealing. When I was thirteen, I pilfered my mom's electric typewriter from the shed and pounded out a not-very-good novel. Then I wrote another and another, figuring out the craft of writing as I went.
Who influenced you?
Tolkien. Especially the richness of his setting. Reading The Lord of the Rings as a teenager made me excited about the world around me. I picked up books on linguistics, anthropology, and archaeology. I think much of the best fantasy does this -- it shows us what a fascinating, exciting, horrible-awful, amazing-spectacular place the world is.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
So, thanks to Tolkien, I picked up Reading the Maya Glyphs by Michael D. Coe and Mark Van Stone while I was in high school. I went on to study archaeology in college, specifically focusing on the Maya. Parts of my novel, Drift, are inspired by Maya mythology. I'm not currently working in the field, but I do love keeping up with recent developments. Much of what I write is influenced, directly or indirectly, by those years of study.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Write. Write a lot. There are other things that can speed up the learning processes -- like getting and giving critiques and reading about craft -- but writing is the only real way to learn writing. And it's okay if it's bad. The first draft of everything is bad.
Where is your favorite place to write?
It doesn't matter: whenever I have five minutes to write is the best place for me to write. This usually means at my desk, but some of the best outlining I've done was on paper and pen in a hotel lobby, sometime after midnight. I was pacing for a long time, wearing my infant in a sling, trying to get him to go to sleep. While he figured out how to drift off, I figured out my plot. We both (eventually) succeeded.
What else would you like to tell us?
Ooh -- I'm always up for recommending books. Three great YA books: Cracked by Eliza Crewe, What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang, and Vodnik by Bryce Moore.
Megan, what an interesting interview! No other author has ever admitted to getting their start by stealing! Thank you for joining LitPick for six minutes!