Meet author Megan Kinney
A foster mom and police wife, Megan Kinney combines her experiences and love of writing in her debut novel. When she’s not behind a book or computer, she’s enjoying the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and four daughters.
Tell us about your newest book:
My debut novel, Dakota Peace, is about an emergency dispatcher, Natalia Brynner, who struggles with burnout after a traumatic call and flees, ending up in a rural South Dakota town. She meets state trooper, Travis Wilkins, who is searching for a kidnapped foster child. With the support of her new friends and her blossoming relationship, Natalia starts to believe she could finally experience a peaceful life, until an armed madman threatens it all.
Years ago, I attended the funerals of two local police officers with my husband. Following a heartfelt message, they asked us to be quiet for “last call.” After a series of beeps, the dispatcher called the ID number for the fallen officer twice, only to be met with blaring silence. After the third time, she adds his name, then ends by giving him permission to go home. The dispatcher that gave “last call” also dispatched the call when the officers were shot. My heart hurt for her, and I couldn’t get that experience out of my head. The story of a dispatcher struggling with burnout wouldn’t leave and I had to write her story.
What genre do you focus on and why?
I write contemporary women’s fiction with a touch of romance. I like writing about women with complex personalities who rise above their fears and show amazing strength.
Why do you write?
I write because the characters and plots come to me, and I can’t stop thinking about them until I write their story.
Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?
The main character is Natalia Brynner. I wanted something unique but not difficult to pronounce. I searched for Russian names, both first and last, and liked this combination.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?
I try to spend the first three hours of the day writing. I homeschool two of my four kids and this is their independent work time. In the afternoons I can usually find some time to write or edit. If I have a deadline almost everything gets pushed aside so I can focus on writing or editing.
What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?
The hardest part for me is editing, especially if I have to cut scenes. Even though I understand why they need to be cut so much of my creativity went into those scenes. I love the idea of offering deleted scenes to my newsletter readers.
What’s the best part of your author’s life?
I love creating the story, the characters, and composing the first draft. I also love being able to work from my home, or the lake, or on a trip, and not be tied to an office.
What’s one think your readers should know about you?
The hero of Dakota Peace is a Native American state trooper. I chose his ethnicity and profession because of major plot points. Because we adopted three Native American sisters from foster care seven years ago and my husband has been a state trooper for sixteen years my imagination was grounded in my experiences.
How have you changed as a writer?
I used to sit down and write without much forethought or planning. Now I write out my main characters’ background, personalities and physical traits, the challenges they will need to overcome, and the major plot points. It helps my writing to be consistent and keeps me focused on the task they are trying to accomplish.
What is your favorite pastime?
I love to explore the Black Hills of South Dakota, which are only twenty minutes from my home, by hiking or kayaking.
What are you working on now?
I’m in the very beginning stages writing a sequel to Dakota Peace about a timid shop owner, Elaine, with a felony record. Elaine is the most unlikely of heroes, but when a teenager, escaping a human trafficking ring, stumbles into her, Elaine becomes the hero she’s always needed.
Link to book:
You can purchase Dakota Peace once it releases at LPCbooks.com or on Amazon.
Social media links:
twitter.com/MeganKinney19Follow me on social media!