Getting to Know You... My name is Megan Clemons, and I'm a women's fiction author with a passion for all things Italian. My novels are about family, love, drama, and comedy—in other words, the spices of life. Stir in a dash of wit, a dozen quirky characters, and a pinch of culture clash, and you have the essence of my current works-in-progress, the Spice Rack Novels.
When did you first start writing? I have been writing ever since I learned to hold a crayon. I've always loved stories and looking at the world in a different way. My first serious efforts at writing began three years ago.
Have you always liked to read? I adore reading. Growing up, my parents rewarded our good grades with books. My mom would take us to the local bookstore where we would browse around and finish each outing sipping hot chocolate in the caffè. That adventurous feeling of hunting for a book among the old shelves and exploring the world between its pages—it created a wonder in me which I've carried into adulthood.
What inspires you to write? Most of my inspiration is drawn from real life experiences, both of myself and people I love. Many of the funny and touching moments in the Spice Rack Novels are inspired by my friends, family, and coworkers. It's only through their amazing support and by the grace of God that I've come so far in this journey. I am blessed beyond measure.
Have you ever been to Pienza, Italy? Sadly no. Being a newlywed on a budget leaves little in the piggy bank for international vacations. However, in my teen years I did visit southern France where I managed to wave at a few Italians across the Riviera. So close, right? Although Nice does sit near enough to the border for cultural lines to blur a bit. I loved hearing French spoken with an Italian accent. Too fun.
For now, I'll just continue sipping Chianti as I thumb through articles on Italian culture. Some of the fun discoveries I made while researching Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Rosemarycan be found in my blog Everyday Italian.
What genres/authors do you enjoy reading? I love stories in general, but I especially enjoy literary classics, women's fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. A few favorite authors are Sherwood Smith, Frances Hodgson Burnett, J.M. Barrie, Rudyard Kipling, Jane Austin, C.S. Lewis, Francine Rivers, J.K. Rowling, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Any advice for other writers? If you want to write, start writing every day. Even when you have no inspiration or motivation to do so, write anyway. Write about your experiences, thoughts, fears, dreams, and trips to the supermarket. Many would-be authors dream about writing but never translate their words onto paper. Even if your first attempts are garbage, garbage can be worked with. Nothing can be done with an empty page.
Are you a morning person or evening person? Definitely a night owl. I appreciate the thought of waking up with the sun, but my mind comes alive when the moon is out and the cicadas are singing at my window.
A few extra tidbits? My husband and I met in a children's literature class in college (go figure!) in eastern Kentucky. We moved to Louisville in 2012 when we got married, and my life has been a crazy adventure ever since. I worked for several years as an elementary teacher, both in full-time and substitute roles. I adored teaching younger children, many of whom inspired the character Cassia in my novels. (Come hear more of this spunky preschooler's voice in my blog Cassia's Corner.) Recently, we've moved back to my home town in Indiana, but a part of my heart will always remain in Kentucky where I lived for the past 9 years.
My hobbies include drawing with charcoal, swing dancing, singing in the shower, and finding ways to sneak caramel into every dessert. I am also a Broadway enthusiast, an unabashed Disney fan, and a foodie who enjoys learning new cooking skills (such as using a kitchen torch...no permanent damage was done).
For a more in-depth look at my work and writing style, check out my Author Profile hosted on: The Book News Journal.