(This is fifth of #LitFest2019 features on writers attending the Galiano Literary FestivalFebruary 22-24 on Galiano Island. Tickets on sale now (250) 539-3340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
After successfully publishing six standout young adult and literary women’s fiction novels, the Canadian American actress/author decided to write the kind of books she loves to read—romance novels. She self-published SOLACE ISLAND, a romantic suspense set in the Pacific Northwest, to rave reviews in spring 2017.
“…a romantic thriller with a clever ending. You may think you know exactly where the story is going, but looks, and people, can be deceiving.” —USA Today
However, that experience taught her she’s happiest when she’s writing and not involved in the myriad tasks of publishing. She closed out 2017 by signing with Berkley Books for three novels, including a new, improved edition of SOLACE ISLAND which was released on November 6, 2018. Book 2 in Meg’s series, CLIFF’S EDGE, will be published in May 2019.
Tilly has three grown children and resides with her husband in the Pacific Northwest. She is currently at work writing the third Solace Island novel for Berkley Books.
We’re excited to welcome Meg to Galiano Island Literary Festival. I recently had the chance to ask her some questions…
KK – Were you good at English?
MT – People tend to have this belief that all writers excelled in their English classes in school, however that is not always the case. Yes, many authors I know showed signs of promise early on and were encouraged by teachers and mentors in their communities.
I was not one of those students. I had to work very hard to get a C+ or the occasional B. I believed I only achieved those grades because I was quiet, didn’t cause trouble, and handed in all my homework. You know that saying “fake it until you make it”? That was me.
You see, my family didn’t let me attend third grade, and only a couple months of fourth. I never learned what the different parts of the sentences were called, what the rules were, how to sound things out. Add onto that the fact that my mind would flip, reverse letters, and sometimes entire words. I spent my school years terrified that someone would look closer and figure out that I was pretending to be smarter than I was.
It wasn’t until I became a mother and my boy started having challenges at school that I discovered this thing called dyslexia and realized that he wasn’t the only one in the family who had it.
I spent the first half of my life avoiding writing anything down because I was scared people would realize how stupid I was, and then I spent the second half of my life as a writer. My eighth novel, Cliff’s Edge, is being released in May by Berkley/Jove. I’ve also sold TV and movie scripts. Go figure! Life sure is weird. So for those of you who have something in your heart that you need to say, go for it. Hey, if I can do it, anyone can!
KK – Do you Google yourself?
No. An interesting question though. Do you?
KK – Yes. But not as much as I used to when I lived a more public life. Do you think writers have a normal life like others?
MT – All my life I wanted nothing more than to be “normal”. I longed to be like the rest of the kids at school with a dad who believed in deodorant, had a job and didn’t run around naked all the time. I wanted parents who behaved like the moms and dads in the books and on TV. I dreamed of having school lunches like the other kids with Hostess Twinkies and potato chips and an abundance of food.
It wasn’t until I got older that I realized it was all a fallacy. I made deep life long friends with some of these people who on the outside appeared to have grown up with that elusive normality that I craved. As we shared lives and secrets I came to the conclusion that there is no normal. Nobody has it. Every family has their own secrets and quirks. Yes, perhaps our family had a few more, but that was what we had. That was our normal. Everyone has sorrows, and disappointments, and joys and you have to embrace it because it is all part of the glorious messiness of life.