Spotlight on Changeling Press: Megan Slayer
Changeling Press turns 20 in 2024. To celebrate, we’re featuring Changeling Press authors all month at TRS.
Meet Megan Slayer
Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and has been publishing since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM, and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on Amazon.com.
When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music, and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public Library. Find out more about Megan and Wendi at: http://wendizwaduk.com/indexMegan.htm Sign up for the newsletter here: http://ymlp.com/xgjmjumygmgj
An Interview with Holly Hewson at TRS
HH: What inspired you to start writing and how did your journey with Changeling Press begin?
Megan: I liked the books I’d read at Changeling and saw what fun the authors were having. I decided I’d like to get with this publisher, so I submitted a book to them about a fire elemental and an ice elemental getting together. I was inspired to write the story because it was more paranormal and sci-fi than I’d been used to and really wanted to get this story told. I knew the ideal home would be with Changeling and I was happily proven correct.
HH: Can you walk us through your creative process? How do you go from an initial idea to a finished manuscript?
Megan: My creative process is kind of scattered. I tend to start with a general or very basic idea and then build up from there. For example, my current new release from Changeling, Taken by the Satyr, was born from a conversation with a friend about what kind of paranormal creatures aren’t as represented in stories. I decided to use a satyr. I sketched out a rough idea for the story, but never really stuck to my outlines and in this case, I totally wrote as a pantser (by the seat of my pants). It’s scary, but for this story, the pantser method really worked. Once I got the general story done, I let the editor do her magic and there we go.
HH: How do you develop your characters? Do you draw inspiration from real-life experiences or pure imagination?
Megan: I develop my characters by letting them talk to me. It probably sounds corny, but it’s true. They let me know who they are and how they want to handle the story. I never totally know what they’re going to do until I start writing them.
HH: Of all the books you’ve written for Changeling Press, which one is your favorite and why?
Megan: It would have to be “Fire and Ice Christmas” because I got to go back to the Fire and Ice elementals but as different characters and force them to work together to create a winter wonderland for the elves at Christmas while not giving in (right away) to their desire for each other.
HH: What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your writing career and how did you overcome them?
Megan: Rejection is a big challenge but the biggest one has to be getting the words on on the page. Some days the words just don’t want to come and the characters don’t want to cooperate. That’s the biggest issue for me. I don’t mind rejection – no, it’s not fun, but it’s not the end of the world and tends to mean there is room for improvement – but I’d like to have the words flow first.
HH: Can you share a memorable experience or feedback from a reader that particularly touched or surprised you?
Megan: Every time I get a review, that’s a happy surprise. It’s nice to see my words touched someone and to have them write about it. Gives me the feels every time. I will say the one negative bit of feedback that helped me greatly was a reader telling me that my work was terrible and they wouldn’t read me until I got better. It showed me I can’t make everyone happy, but also that there is always room to grow. 🙂
HH: Changeling Press is known for its diverse genres. Is there a genre you haven’t written in yet but are curious to explore?
Megan: It may sound silly, but aliens. It’s always been on the bucket list, if the story comes to me.
HH: Do you have any unique writing rituals or habits that help you stay focused and creative?
Megan: I love to listen to YouTube or movies while I write. I need to have noise. Silence makes it impossible for me to write.
HH: What advice would you give to aspiring authors who dream of being published by Changeling Press?
Megan: Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Don’t give up. Take the advice/feedback for what it is – constructive – and keep trying. Keep reading, writing, and trying.
HH: How do you see the future of digital publishing evolving, and what role do you think Changeling Press will play in it?
Megan: By providing quality stories on a variety of platforms, Changeling is already on the cutting edge. I think as long as they keep up, which they are well, they’ll be fine and find a spot in the digital world for ages to come.
A special story about Changeling Press CEO, Margaret Riley
One thing I love about Margaret is her love of her authors. If you’re having an issue, she will check on you. You’ll get a phone call. It’s great. I love the personal touch. When I was struggling with words, getting them on the page, she reached out to me and we had a great conversation for more than an hour to ensure I was okay, in a good place and could start writing again. She truly cared about me and she does about her authors. That’s a rare thing to have and priceless.