Welcome back to Najla Qamber Designs! Thanks so much to everyone who has read and supported our little virtual family. It's been our honor to take part in your journeys and we love hearing your stories. Recently, Meg Collett, bestselling author of The Righteous Series, sat down with us to talk about her writing life journey.
NQD: Welcome to the Najla Qamber Designs blog. we've had the opportunity to work with many amazing authors over the years. Occasionally, we get the privilege to cover not just a single book, but multiple series, like we've done with bestselling author, Meg Collett. Meg, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today! We see you've been sharing your stories for over ten years now. Did you always know you wanted to be an author? We'd love to hear your story!
MC: When I was a young kid, I used to tell my grandmother I wanted to be an author. But it wasn't until after college that I decided to really give it a go. It took me six years to finish my first book, and I had many editors quit on me during the process of getting it ready to be published. My first year as an author held quite the learning curve, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I haven't looked back since!
NQD: Your books range over several genres, from romance to paranormal, but each series manages to feature unique and compelling characters. What is your favorite book or series of books you've written?
MC: My favorite series is definitely The Righteous Series, which is my most recent. I feel like they're the best books I've written, and the story was one I enjoyed bringing to life. Sometimes as an author, it's really hard to get the vision you have for a book/series to match what actually comes out on the page. But I think I got pretty close to the vision I had with these books. That's always a good feeling!
NQD: Were you brought up reading or is it something you fell in love with later in life?
MC: I totally grew up with reading! My nose was always in a book. Reading at an early age and all throughout my childhood fostered my imagination, which serves me well every day in writing. Whenever someone asks me how I get all my ideas, I tell them because I read so much as a kid. These days, I don't have as much time to read, which is sad, but there's no better feeling than sitting down with a book you know is going to be a good one. I'm most looking forward to reading The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I know that gonna be a good one!
NQD: While most authors write in the same genre(s) they love, this isn't always true. What is your favorite genre or type of story?
MC: Right, that is especially untrue for me. I find that what I read can influence my own writing too much, so I tend to read something different from what I'm currently writing. Stories that I tend to read for my own enjoyment steer towards psychological thrillers or dark domestic mysteries.
NQD: Which would you say has most influenced your writing: personal life experiences, hobbies or past professional background?
MC: I find that my personal life influences my writing the most, but it tends to be the big life questions that influence my writing because I'm trying to answer them for myself through the story I tell. I also feel that it's important to go out and have life experiences, whether it's through travel or relationships or such, because they feed your stories.
NQD: What's your favorite cover or series you've created with the Qamber Design team so far? Picking favorites is so hard, isn't it?
MC: It is normally so hard! But this one is easy now. The Righteous Series has some of my favorite covers the team has done for me so far. The cover for Bless Her Dead Heart will always be my favorite because we struggled with designing it so much. I couldn't figure out my vision, and we went through so many versions, but in the end, the team really nailed it for me. That cover is EVERYTHING.
NQD: How important would you say cover design is for your books & business?
MC: I would say it's the MOST important aspect of my business. Of course, the story needs to be good. The editing done well. And the blurb must be compelling. But no reader gets that far into their inspection of a book without being drawn in by the cover first. Because of this, because it's the first aspect of your book a reader sees, the cover is the most important.
NQD: How did you decide on branding for your different series? Has design played a part in that or were you able to do it yourself?
MC: I aim for keeping my branding pretty simple. When it comes to any images posted on social media, I stick to the same layout and fonts so they're easily associated with one another, especially if they're teasers for a book. Because I write across genres, I think simple is always better. This way, if a new reader were to look at my social media, books, newsletter, etc. it would all feel cohesive across the board.
NQD: Okay, now for the serious questions... Who or what would you say your author avatar or spirit animal is?
MC: My spirit animal is definitely a squirrel. I feel like I scurry around all over the place with frantic, disorganized energy. Barely contained chaos and easily distracted!
NQD: Where do you see yourself in your writing career 5 years from now?
MC: I'm making a big shift in my writing career this year and rebranding beneath a new author name and genre. So within the next five years, I want to see that new brand thriving, with a robust backlist. I'm sure I'll still be working as an independent author but I'm aiming to have a more organized, structured routine and release schedule. Hopefully, my writing and storytelling abilities will be better. I'm certain my covers will be pic too because I'll still be working with Qamber Designs!
NQD: Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us today, Meg. We look forward not only to creating more beautiful covers, but all your future successes!
MC: Thank you so much for having me!