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Interview with Meg Lacey, Author of The Sparrow and the Hawk

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Meg Lacey has been involved in many careers including actress, director, producer, creative director, copywriter, creative dramatics teacher, mime, mom, college instructor, and school bus driver. Currently she is a writer, having written for Silhouette and Harlequin. No matter what she does, writing is always calling her and she always returns.  

The Sparrow and the Hawk is her latest book.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Getting it done! There is always a point in every book where I get a bit stuck.  My white-hot creative juice from the idea creation and getting it on the page will go well and everything is rolling along when one of the characters takes a direction I hadn’t expected. Then I have to say, “Huh? Now what?”  That’s when I have to force myself back to the computer and start writing something, anything, until I figure it out… or the characters do it for me.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I’ve been writing since the fourth grade. I wrote my own version of a classic historical novel in the sixth grade that was 128 pages long.  But I didn’t continue with writing as a career choice. My goal, education and training were focused on acting and directing for my bachelors, masters degrees and later career. I ended up starting two creative production companies and working in TV and all other media. I was producing and writing, just not working in fiction.  

I started writing seriously in book length fiction in 1990. The novel was called Showboat Follies. I sent it to Harlequin in London and they asked me to revise it. I did and they rejected it, but I’d gotten the bug.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (if any)?

I wrote four complete novels before the fifth one was published, and it almost wasn’t because my then agent had lost the letter the publishing company sent her asking me to revise the novel.  I was actually parting ways with that agent anyway when she suggested I call Silhouette (at the time) and ask for the editor who she thought had sent me the letter. I took my courage in my hands and called Silhouette asking to speak with Lynda Curnyn (who is now a successful author herself.)  I introduced myself, said Debbie Macomber had recommended I send the novel to Silhouette for The “Your’s Truly” line, which she had. I told her the name of the book and she said, “Where have you been? We’ve been looking for you for six months, that’s when I sent the letter to your agent.”  I explained the situation and that the agent and I had parted company.  I told her I’d revise the book. I did and I got my first offer. By that time I had a new agent and I was named “A Woman To Watch.” That novel was Is There A Husband In The House

Have you written a book that you have not been able to get published?  If so, can you share a little about it with us?

My first four novels. The most frustrating one though was my second novel since I had a publisher very very interested in it. She wanted me to revise it a bit.  I did. She told me to find a writing group to help me learn how to write a romance novel. I found a wonderful historical romance novelist, Robin Leanne Wiete (at the time publishing with NAL). She became my critique partner. I sent the revised novel, for the third time now, back again and was told there was a new editor coming in that was being assigned to work with this book. I waited and the new editor wanted me to revise the book again.  I revised it twice more for her and it was finally rejected because there was “no life” in the book. Well—duh!!!  By the time I got finished revising with everyone’s ideas I wanted to throw the pages across the room. I had rewritten the life out of what had been an appealing story and characters. I plan to rewrite that novel someday and do what I want to do with it this time.

How did you come up with the title?

The title, The Sparrow and The Hawk, comes from the two agents code names.  Jillie Harte is The Sparrow, an Agent for the NAS agency (Normal, Abnormal and Strange), and Griff Ryland is The Hawk, and is an agent for an agency that is from another dimension.  My editor at Imajinn Books liked the title and so we kept it.

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