Interview with Megan Derr

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Dragon-shifters! Fairy tales slashed! Epic world-building to rival the lot of ’em!

The author of getting on for a hundred novels, short stories, and novellas, Megan Derr has done it all, establishing herself as a leading light in the current world of m/m and slash fantasy writing. The final instalment in her Lost Gods series, Chaos, is out soon, and she has kindly taken time out of her mega busy schedule to answer a few questions about her contribution to the field.

Megan is also one of the founders of LT3, a rather wonderful publishing company that specialises in paranormal and fantasy slash and m/m.

Your contribution to the field of m/m/GLBQT/slash fantasy fiction is truly epic! What first drew you to write in this genre?

::laugh:: I think epic gives me too much credit, but it’s nice to hear. I started on the yaoi end of things, deeply mired in manga/anime/fanfic. Gundam Wing was one of my first major obsessions (5×6 forever!). I’d tried writing before, but it never stuck. Yaoi though, that stuck. Gradually I moved more into the slash arena, where I have been plaguing people ever since :3

Has the genre changed and evolved in the years you’ve been writing?

Yes, quite a bit. I remember how hard it was to find anything to read that was not fanfic or online fiction free online somewhere. I used to save up my money to buy the few slash books available in print. By the time I finish college, there were a handful of sites that sold m/m books. Somewhere in there, that number grew from a handful to a lot.  The popularity of ebooks has made all the difference, I think.

m/m – GLBQT – slash. Which of these categories, if any, do you most closely identify your fiction with?

I’ve always counted myself a slash writer. We use terms like GLBTQ at LT3, but I’ve always felt that belongs more to fiction that deals/represents that community. I’m a romance writer first, and I write primarily for my own entertainment.  I feel that falls under slash more than anything else.

How do you see the future of the field?  Will m/m fantasy ever go mainstream?

I’m not sure fantasy specifically ever will. As much as people out there love my stories, contemporary will, I think, always be the more popular.  But who knows. Fantasy in general is more popular now than it was when I was growing up and people mocked my poor Dragon Lance books. Comic books and fantasy stories are getting more and more attention, slash fandom is getting more attention from the shows they love. Maybe someday those of us in slash fantasy will get some major spotlight, too :D

How much pre-planning do you do before you write?  E.g. do you have endless notes on world-building, or do you like to see how things evolve as you go along.

That varies by the story. For the most part, I’m a jump-off-a-cliff sort. I’m perfectly happy opening a new doc, starting with what little I have, and seeing where it goes. But some stories just require more work. Lost Gods has all kinds of notes just so I do not completely screw up details and timelines across five books. My Dance books have a very stupid looking timeline that lets me keep track of who is how old and doing what to whom and when. But often what winds up being typed does not match my outlines/notes, so I guess in the end every story is some mixture of both.

Which, if any, of your books/series is your favourite?

Kria verse will always be my baby, as people have heard me say a thousand times (and are probably sick of hearing). I love my Krians, their enemies and friends. I’ll always be proud of Prisoner. But Dance comes in at a close second. I’ve put a hell of a lot of effort into that paranormal verse and am proud of how all the books have turned out. It’s also just plain fun to write.

Goodreads lists you as the author of 79 distinct works!  I’m passing on a question from a newbie to your writing–where should I start?

That depends on what you like ^^ But Prisoner or Dance with the Devil are both good starting points. Missing Butterfly is a fan favourite, but I’m not as big a fan of contemporary as I am of fantasy, and I think that shows even if I do work hard on everything I write.

Tell us a little about LT3. What’s the coolest part of running your own publishing company –and what are the hardest challenges?

LT3 is a very quiet little publisher, which is how we like it. We also seem to deal more with paranormal and fantasy rather than contemporary, which is also how we like it :3

The coolest part is just being right in the middle of it all. I like reading submissions, coordinating the cover art, arranging the print books, working so closely with other authors.

The hardest challenge is not being a hermit. Publishing requires being out there, talking, connecting, not being my shy, awkward self. Even just online it’s exhausting. The conventions we’re going to this year kind of have me terrified.

Please tell us about the newest book in the Lost Gods series, Chaos.

Chaos is book number five, the last and probably the hardest to write just because I hate endings. So many books I’ve read sucked it up at the end, and I don’t want my books to do that. Chaos is about a character only mentioned in the other books and his determination to free the long-sealed off country of Schatten. But the story also involves a young man in Schatten and one of the infamous Seers of Schatten. They were all a lot of fun to write, being so drastically different from each other. It was a blast writing the other books and building up to finally reaching the country where all the trouble began ^__^ Hopefully Chaos is considered a fitting end to the Lost Gods series. I am much with the love to everyone who stuck with me throughout it.

What projects do you (and LT3 press) have in the works that we can get excited about?

We just launched a new submission call for our serial line called If You’re Reading This … The idea was inspired by the old ‘message in a bottle’ concept and we’re looking forward to the stories we’ll get for it. In October, we have another submission coming out: Proud to be a Vampire.  But October we’re also going to be busy attending YaoiCon and GRL. We’re looking forward to finally meeting so many of the people we interact with every day.

Writing wise, I’ve got three main goals after my current project:  a fantasy polyamory story I started forever ago, but never got to finish, a story about a businessman and a crime lord, and a new book in the Dance with the Devil verse.

Thank you for having me and letting me ramble a bit. ‘Tis always a pleasure to spend time with such awesome people ^__^

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Thanks so much for Megan for dropping by!

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15 responses

  1. Fantastic interview Megan, thanks :) I have to say, I completely agree with your answer to the m/m-slash-glbqt question. Identifying writing which is primarily for entertainment (and that’s not to belittle it in any way at all) with a label attached to diverse communities/political agendas always raises issues…though I support the GLBQT community and writers who choose to use it as their label to the hilt :)

    I also like the category m/m and am proud to write it :D

    I was interested you selected Prisoner as a good starter, as it is the first of your books I read, and one of the few books I own in paperback *and* kindle ;)

    • >>Identifying writing which is primarily for entertainment (and that’s not to belittle it in any way at all) with a label attached to diverse communities/political agendas always raises issues…though I support the GLBQT community and writers who choose to use it as their label to the hilt :)<<

      I think you said it better ^_^ That exactly

      Aww, print and kindle :D I am honored. If every author is allowed a book of blinding adoration, Prisoner is mine. It's older and not as polished as newer stuff, but it's my precious :3

      • I guess I feel that way about Bound for the Forest – will always be my first beloved baby ;) But Prisoner, and Lost Gods, and Fairytales Slashed are all awesome, and I only wish I had your capacity for reading, let alone writing, and I would have got through more of your lovely books by now.

  2. Megan – We are so proud of you!
    ((hugs))
    Miss Marsha & Mister Mike

  3. I’m a big fairy tale aficionado. I’ll be looking into what you have coming up. Thanks for doing the interview!

  4. I like the idea of identifying as a slash writer. That’s the community I come out of too, and I’ve never been entirely comfortable calling myself either a m/m romance writer or a writer of LGBT fiction. Not to mention that ‘slash’ is shorter and easier to say.

  5. “a story about a businessman and a crime lord” – Oh Meg, so coy. ^_^

    The fantasy polyamory story jogged my heart a bit, but I think you’d characterize Never Afraid Are We as sci-fi rather than fantasy. They’ll get their story someday, I have faith. <3

    Great interview, my dear! (and 79 works! I better make sure I haven't missed any… *hopes*)

    • Bwahahah :3

      Yeah, I haven’t forgotten that one. I will have my mecha!

      (dude, that’s got to be an exaggeration/error, or I need more hobbies or something :3)

  6. Pingback: Interview with Megan Derr at LGBT fantasy blog « Kay Berrisford: m/m romance.

  7. i have to admit – somewhat sheepish here – that I haven’t yet read anything by Megan Derr. An omission to be rectified. I adore fantasy and fantasy slash – yeah that sounds pretty cool.

  8. What a great interview! Megan, my coauthor also prefers to call it slash. We’ve started referring to it as “M/M” because that’s how folks at conferences say it, but I think you’re not alone in that long-time fans and writers think of it that way.

    Thanks for agreeing to appear on our blog, we’re honored to have you! I wish you every success.

    • thank you for having me ^__^ It’s fun to actually interact more with other fantasy fans. I get so wrapped up in my work, I don’t do it much but this place will easily tempt me away from work.