Meg Collett lives deep in the hills of Tennessee where there the cell phone service is a blessing and internet is a myth of epic proportions. She is the mother of one giant horse named Elle and two dogs named Wylla and Mandy. Her husband is a saint for putting up with her ragtag life. END OF DAYS is her first series.
Literary Juice: On your website, you mention that Michaela, the heroine of your novel, The Hunted One, began as a “paranoid schizophrenic girl with a drug problem”; however, as you wrote your book, her character evolved from drug addict to an archangel instead. What was it that changed your mind about the kind of character you wanted to create? Why an archangel?
When I first started writing, I really just needed an outlet for all those overwhelming, negative emotions I was feeling. I think that just naturally manifested as a character with severe problems. But I’ve always wanted to write a story about redemption, and I kept asking myself, “How can I give this troubled girl an opportunity to redeem herself?” I was laying in bed one night when the thought of using angels popped into my head. What is more pure than an angel? But what if that angel made a mistake, an awful mistake? What if they were disgraced and hated? Could that angel ever redeem themselves enough to return home to Heaven? Those were the questions that were running through my mind as I wrote and rejected draft after draft of the book. Eventually, the drug problems and schizophrenia fell away as I uncovered the true story I wanted to tell.
LJ: How much has your faith/religious beliefs shaped your book? What message are you hoping to convey through the story?
My dad was a Baptist preacher when I was younger, so religion definitely had an influence on my life. I knew this story would be very close to religious lines, but I wanted to stay away from drawing lines in the sand. I wanted my faith to be an undercurrent in the story, not a theme. I wanted Michaela’s actions to reflect those of a strong woman with faith. Not just faith in God, but faith in herself, and faith in the man (angel) she loves. That falters some in the story, especially faith in herself. But she will find a way to redeem herself, and that’s the message I wanted to convey in the story. I hoped readers will take away the feeling that some fights are worth fighting even if you find yourself lost and faithless.
LJ: Has writing The Hunted One influenced your faith in any way? In what ways?
I think it’s strengthened my own faith. I have prayed so many times during this book. Begging for inspiration, for strength, for the right words. But I think art always bring us closer to the core of ourselves, to the deepest parts of our soul, and for me, writing transported me there. And there, I found my relationship with God. I think when writers or artists or musicians get to that part of themselves, it’s a really raw, vulnerable place. It can tear you apart, I think. Or at least bring you to your knees. But there I found God. And I found my strength at a time when I, like Michaela, needed to redeem myself and restore faith in myself again.
LJ: What do you believe audiences find most appealing about the story?
I think readers like the originality. I tried to take the typical fallen angel story and turn it on its head. But I think readers also appreciate Michaela’s rawness. They identify with making life-altering mistakes, like Michaela, and they see the strength she has to pull together within herself even if that strength wavers. I think that is a powerful thing. More powerful than happily ever after sometimes. Even though I hope Michaela can find that happily ever after.
LJ: Are you currently working on any other novels? What can your readers expect in the future?
I am currently writing the second book in the End of Days series. I plan for this series to have three books. After this series, I doubt I will write about angels again. I want to try something different, to find ways to enhance the reader’s experience while reading. That would be my ultimate goal. I like those stories that haunt you afterwards. I want to write something like that. So I think in my next book or series, I will try to push the envelope a little. We will see how that goes! Fingers crossed!
Fiction by MEG COLLETT
Paperback; 302pp; $9.55
About this Book: The fallen have trespassed into Heaven for the first time in eternity. Prepared for battle, Michaela and her Archangels open Heaven's gates to confront the fallen. Only, Michaela's Archangels--her brothers and sisters in Heaven--betray her. And when the fallen attack the sanctuary in the skies through the gates Michaela inadvertently left open, the holy angels accuse Michaela of planning the invasion.