Good afternoon my lovely readers,
I kept it a small secret but today I’m thrilled to announce that I have Meg Harding on my blog today. She was so kind & agreed on a small author spotlight with an interview. Read further for her answers. 🙂
A few days ago was the amazing release day of Meg Harding’s first book in her new series, Shape of You, called Contour.
It’s the start of a promising series about a genderfluid YouTube make-up artist and an Instragram model.
Does it sounds hot? Well, it is. :3
Be aware of some spoilerish questions and answers. 🙂
Happy reading and I hope you have fun in reading the answers as much as I did. 🙂
Today I am honored & thrilled to announce Meg Harding, author of The Carlisles series as well as many amazing stand alone titles, like Accepting the Fall or Finding Home, or freshly out the first book in the Shape of You series, Contour.
Welcome Meg. 🙂
Hi, Mikku. Thanks for having me. 🙂
Contour – your latest book, out January 23 – is pretty different from the other books you’ve written. Where did this idea came from? Was it something you ever wanted to write or was it sudden and an idea you couldn’t drop?
I was looking for a new idea, and books centered around YouTube personalities were starting to become a thing in the M/M genre. I’m not a big YouTube person, but there’s one vlogger who I do follow, and he met his boyfriend through Instagram. Contour is based around that idea.
Topic research: how did you researched this topic? Did you watched YouTube make-up artist channels or was it something you already liked? Tell us a bit about your working process. 🙂 And most important question: are you now a YouTube make-up artist addict? 😉
I’m a fan of one makeup vlogger, and his videos are about the only ones I watch. I went through a couple of his makeup challenge videos for inspiration, but other than that I didn’t actually watch much for research. I’m into makeup—I have A LOT of it—so the technical stuff was fairly easy. I don’t watch YouTube videos any more now than I did before. Mostly I just check out product reveals for certain brands lol.
YouTube make-up artists, Instragram models, blogs, video channels, thousands of fans, clicks and lkes. This all is a fascinating topic full of glamour and chic but behind the scenes there isn’t everything golden. And in the book we see Jamie aka Roxy, hiding behind a new persona, pretty early in his childhood. Hiding his – physical and mental – bruises behind make-up, behind a mask. How was it to explicit writing about such a sensitive topic? What do you hope see people who are maybe experiencing the same problems as Jamie?
It’s always difficult to be different. I think that’s something that’s tackled a lot in this genre. What I wanted people to take from Jamie’s problems, his experiences, was that they’re not alone—especially not in this day and age. Knowing there are other people like you out there can be an immense help.
It’s only one time in the book, and there in a very short scene, mentioned but Jamie is genderfluid. He doesn’t care when he is misgendered as a woman, he dresses as he likes; sometimes in dresses, skirts and skimpy shorts, wearing longhair wigs, then he has facial hair, dresses masculine in jeans and shirts. Was it difficult to get into his skin? What helped you in creating him?
It wasn’t really. Jamie didn’t feel different than writing any other character in terms of getting into a certain head space. There’s plenty of genderfluid makeup artists out there on YouTube and Instagram, so Jamie’s a mix of a couple people.
Let us come to a different topic but related, and let us talk about the cover. Because in my opinion Garrett Leigh did an amazing job in selecting this cover model. 🙂 Can you tell us in short how it is/was to work as an self-publishing author with a cover artist? And did you explicitly ask for a model who comes along as female and male, someone where you have to take a closer look to see the small but fine details?
I LOVE working with Garrett Leigh. Everything with her is so easy, and most of the time I only give her a description of the characters—what they do, what they look like—and that’s it. I leave the creative process up to her.
Long distance relationship is one of the other prominent topics in the book. Jamie and Tyler live far away from each other, their first contact is via Instragram chat and both have different lifestyles although they have a lot in common.
Parts of the book were completely written as chat conversations. What was the best and worst in deciding to do it like this?
I loved writing the chat scenes, so that was probably the best. The worst part was, frankly, I’m not a huge fan of a character having to move and give up their current home, but I didn’t see any other way to make it work.
Tell us about your most favorite scenes in the book. What were those most challenging? What helped to get out of the slump?
My favorite scene was probably the London pub scene, while the most challenging would probably be the last few chapters all together. Nothing really helped to get me out of my slump. Honestly it was more of me finally forcing myself to sit down and finish it.
Jamie’s and Tyler’s journey isn’t over. This is book one in the Shape of You series. Can you tell us who’s the next book about? Focus on the both or do we have other pairings?
The next book will be Mattie’s. Jamie and Tyler will have cameo appearances in it, but it’s definitely not going to be focused on them.
What other project have you planned – besides continuing this series? On Twitter you talked about a new book a bit but how “real” are these ideas already, what can you share with us? 🙂
I’ve started writing a new novel, and Garrett just did the cover for me, so it will eventually be available lol. It’s a thing that’s definitely happening, but I’m not willing to say much else till I get a decent chunk written.
Okay, that’s it. Thank you for agreeing to the interview. It was so much fun. 🙂
Thanks for having me!
I hope you liked this interview as much as I did. I had a blast in doing this. See below further information about the book. :3
Author: Meg Harding
Series: Shape of You # 1
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Length: 52.000 words
Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design
Add to you bookshelf:
(click the button or this link)
Amazon Universal Link
Jamie “Roxy” Albright has one great love in his life and room for no other. He lives and breathes makeup. Men are nothing more than temporary distractions and romance… well, that isn’t worth his time. With a burgeoning career as a YouTube makeup artist opening doors to never before dreamed of opportunities, time isn’t something Jamie has and distractions aren’t something he can afford.
Instagram model and shirtless wonder Tyler Jackson is quickly falling for elusive Jamie. How it went from a seemingly innocent message to feelings, he’ll never know. Their chemistry is instant and fiery hot, and Tyler’s never been that good at self control. The challenges are endless, though. There’s Jamie’s walls to break through and a country worth of space between them. And just when things are starting to look up, life throws a wrench in the works.
Author bio – Meg Harding
Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF, and recently completed a masters program for Publishing in the UK. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes. In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.
Picture copyright of the release day graphics by Signal Boost Promotions