Hi everyone! I'm so happy to share with you an exclusive interview with one of my best friends, Megan Cousins, who just debuted her romance novel, The Curveball! Right now, The Curveball has a special 99 cent Kindle promo going on until May 30, so if you enjoy a clean sports romance, be sure to check it out here!
I had the chance to ask some questions to Megan about her new book and the sequel to her Wild Pitches Series. Keep reading below to find out more!
The Curveball is the first book in your series, Wild Pitches. Tell us how your journey in becoming a novelist began.
My journey toward being a novelist began in 2014? I think. When a dear friend convinced me to do a summer session of National Novel Writing Month. I wrote a draft of a novel, 50k words, in a month. It reignited a spark of joy for me. It got me writing and flexing creative muscles that I’d allowed myself to stop using for a while. Regrettably. So I wrote, and it was a mess. But I had other stories in my head. And I kept writing. And writing. And now here I am.
In The Curveball, we get introduced to Jake and Penelope, the romantic leads. If you could describe each of them using one word, what would it be and why?
Penelope: Tenacious. She doesn’t quit. On anything or anyone.
Jake: Nurturer. He is a caretaker – we see it with his family and his interactions with Penelope.
What I loved about The Curveball is that you write about Penelope’s experiences with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), an issue that not too many stories talk about. How has your personal journey with PCOS inspired Penelope and her story?
A lot of what Penelope talks about – from the physical to the emotional side of things – comes from my own experiences. The pain, the hirsutism, the emotional upheaval that it can cause. These are things that I live with and struggle with, and writing these experiences into Penelope’s life and story started as a way for me to process, and ended up being a very healing experience.
Jake may be the perfect man for Penelope, but who is your ideal man? Is he similar to Jake?
I mean…sort of! In Jake, we see someone who looks past what he can see, he looks past appearances and surface level stuff and sees Penelope for who she is. Sees her heart and her passion. But, he’s also not put off by what he sees, you know? He loves her for who she is and doesn’t ask her, or expect her, to change any part of herself to fit some ideal standard or mold.
Without getting too spoilery, what do you love best about Penelope and Jake?
I love how comfortable they are with each other. And if I explain beyond that I may give things away!
Baseball is a big thing in The Curveball for both Penelope and Jake. What is your favorite baseball memory?
This is like asking me to pick my favorite book!!
Favorite baseball memory…2003. My first Opening Day. I was ten years old, and was allowed to skip school that day so I could go with my parents to the game. It was miserably cold and windy, we sat in the very last row of seats in the upper deck, down the right field line with our backs against the chain link fence. We lost that day. In fact, that day kicked off one of Detroit’s worst seasons – they won 43 games (of 162). Absolutely awful season…but that Opening Day was incredible. We lost, but I had the most fun I’d ever had at a game. Opening Day just hits different.
It’s fun to talk about what we enjoy with creating stories, but what was the toughest part about writing The Curveball? How did you overcome this obstacle?
So much of what Penelope struggles with comes from my own life and my own story. It’s not always easy to share the hard parts of our life, certainly not when it’s being published. Which, at first, was never my intention, but here we are.
When I was drafting and then revising, I heard the song Graves Into Gardens for the first time. There’s a line that says “you turn mourning to dancing, you give beauty for ashes, you turn shame into glory, You’re the only one who can…” I’m not gonna lie, that song messed me up the first time I heard it. But I held onto that chorus. “You turn shame into glory.” That’s what got me through and got me to this point.
You’ve had an amazing journey in becoming a published author. What advice would you want to share with other inspiring writers who want to publish one day?
Just. Keep. Writing.
We need community, and finding other writers – either friends or through social media – is a huge help. And encouragement. People who will cheer you on and help you hone your skill. And hopefully one of them will read that manuscript you think will never be good enough and tell you to do something with it. Don’t hide your light.
What is your favorite thing about writing in the romance genre?
But seriously, I love the comfort in romance. The familiarity. The happy endings. As a rule, for it to be considered a romance, the characters have to have an HEA or HFN – Happy Ever After or Happy For Now – I love the comfort of an HEA. I love knowing that even when the dark moment hits – the couple breaks up, the conflict reaches it’s boiling point – we’re going to see a resolution. There will be a grand gesture or a grovel or declaration of love.
And in the midst of the swoon-worthy moments, the trope-y goodness of romance, there are human characters facing human struggles, and navigating life and all the challenges it brings. To me, romance is joy.
What has been your favorite thing in becoming a published author?
I’ll let you know once the dust settles!
What’s next in the Wild Pitches Series? Any sneak peeks for Book 2, The Changeup?
Jake’s sister Jenna takes center stage in The Changeup. There’s some road trip shenanigans. Main characters in STEM, which was a LOT of fun to write! Baseball, of course! And characters who deal with issues – chronic pain, family drama, relationship changes.