This month, I’m interviewing epic and urban fantasy author, Meg Cowley. Meg is a great friend of mine and has been a huge inspiration to me in my author journey so I’m really excited to bring you this interview. If you’re a fantasy fan, I’m sure you’ll love her books as much as I do!
Meg is a USA Today bestselling author who loves all things dragons and magic. She’s also a talented illustrator and cover designer. In fact, she designed the covers for The Wall Series!
An easy one to start off with! Which part of the world do you hail from?
The windswept moors of Yorkshire, England, just across the valley from Ali. Hi! (Hi, Meg!)
What was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
A Dragon of a Different Color (Heartstrikers 4) by Rachel Aaron, and eleventy-billion yeses! Rachel Aaron is one of my favourite all time authors, and her Heartstrikers series is fabulous.
Where do you write your books and what’s your choice of drink and music to keep you typing away?
All over the place! My habits change, but lately, I like snuggling up on the sofa with my feet up, wrapped in my snuggliest blanket, and of course, with a cup of Earl Grey or chai tea steaming beside me. Oh, and usually a cat or two poking its tail in and generally trying to be not very helpful!
Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a pantser?
You don’t get much more of a plotter than me; plotting queen here! For example, for a 90,000 word novel, I will happily write 30,000 words of planning. Somehow, that makes me feel better! I can’t pants to save my life.
Aside from writing and reading, what do you love doing most?
Drawing. I’m a fantasy illustrator too. I’ve always had a fascination with art, and somehow been lucky enough to make it a side-gig without any formal training, since I hated art education at school. I’m also pretty musical and love to sing and play the violin (neither of which I profess to being amazing at, I hasten to add!).
Tell me about your fur babies!
I have two cats, Jet and Pixie. Jet is my little man, and ridiculously clever for a cat. He’s super affectionate and always looks after me. Pixie is, just like her name, small and mischievous, but a real little adorable madam. They keep me on my toes every day!
What three books have influenced your style of writing or the themes you write about the most and why?
Primarily, I’m an epic/high fantasy kinda gal. So The Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit) were huge influences growing up. The epic grandeur of the worlds, the scale and scope of the drama, the fortunes of the characters… and then to see them brought to life by the wonderful Peter Jackson on the big screen. My heart and mind was quite swept away. I love everything epic, magic, and dragons now.
It’s a similar tale with Harry Potter; I grew up as the characters did on screen and in the books when they were releasing. That was a really magical experience, and I have a lot of respect for JK Rowling for the depth of her plots, characters, and especially the complexity of her foreshadowing.
Lastly, I was hugely inspired by Christopher Paolini as a teenager, who I was lucky enough to meet. To know that a mere boy could pen a sprawling epic tale, and to hear him speak to eloquently and inspiringly on the subject of writing, really motivated me to believe it was possible for me to write a book too. So I did!
Which of your books are you most proud of and why?
That’s a question I can’t answer, because that’s like asking a mum to pick between her kids! I suppose of the series I’ve completed (because to be proud of an individual book feels a bit like being proud of something that isn’t yet complete, if that makes sense?), my second (The Brooding Crown) or third (The Shattered Crown) Books of Caledan title. That series was a grand, sprawling epic with complex characters and plots, and I was so proud of being able to develop it all in book 2 and wrap it up in book 3.
Tell us about your latest book, Magic Awakened. Where did your initial idea come from and why did you choose to write this book?
I love classic myths and legends as well as fantasy. The Arthurian legend has always interested me, but it’s always been frustrating to see Arthur portrayed as the gallant and chivalrous hero, whilst Morgana gets short thrift as the token villain, often not very well fleshed out or convincing as a character.
So, I decided that I would simply have to write the Arthurian story I wanted to read; one where King Uther and his son Arthur would be much more like medieval knights, with a tough of chivalry, but none of the romantic elements they are portrayed with in many adaptations, and one where Morgana was a woman… a complex, three-dimensional, and interesting woman. It’s up to the reader to decide who might be a villain or a hero in my tale, but I am thrilled with the reader feedback so far, which shows I achieved exactly what I set out to do; to tell a tale of Morgana Le Fay that does not portray her as a cackling sorceress hell bent on destruction.
I have ten books plotted in the series, so there’s plenty more to write! I’m working on book two now. Morgana and the rest of the Arthurian cast will grow tremendously over the series.
Magic Awakened (Morgana Chronicles Book One)
Why is magic forbidden in Camelot? The king decrees it to be so, but are kings always right? Morgana isn’t sure any more. Morgana Le Fay is a feared legend, but the truth is a different matter.
What Meg didn’t mention was that this edition of Magic Awakened is a special interactive augmented reality edition. It’s pretty fun exploring the interactive elements in addition to the great story – I really recommend you checking it out here!
Explore Meg's Books
A high fantasy Arthurian tale of magic and adventure through the eyes of Morgana Le Fay, that fans of SJ Maas and the BBC’s ‘Merlin’ would love.
More titles coming soon!
Relic Guardians Series (by Meg Cowley & Victoria DeLuis)
Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones meet magic in this thrilling urban fantasy adventure series.
Rogue & Stolen Magic (Relic Guardians short stories)