M.C.V. Egan is the author of THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS and the forthcoming 4COVERT2OVERT IN 33 DAYS. Midwest Book Review called THE BRIDE OF DEATHS “an unusual yet much recommended read.” I just love the title as well as the fact that THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS is inspired by true life events and filled with references to those events. For her next book, Ms. Egan not only changes genre (the new book is chick-lit), she has teamed up with a co-writer, Jolie DeMarco. It was my pleasure to ask her about both books and what it’s like to work with a co-writer.
I’d like to ask you first about your published novel, THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS, which is a great title by the way. You describe it as both a mystery and a love story. Does that make it a sort of romantic suspense? You also say the mystery of your grandfather’s death inspired years of research and ultimately, the book. Is there a character or events that are specifically based on him?
The Bridge of Deaths is a combination of fact and fiction. It is not at all romantic suspense. It is predominantly fact, with over 200 footnotes to allow any reader to check on the sources. All the facts pertain to a plane crash in 1939 and the people who perished and those who investigated the crash.
The fictional aspect is from a modern-day perspective. Bill and Maggie a young couple in the UK research the 1939 crash to unravel the mystery of Bill’s nightmares and phobias. They appear to be linked to their past lives. In their quest they connect with a woman in Florida, researching the same event. She is to find out what happened when her grandfather died and questions who he really was.
The title is explained as you read the story; The Bridge In Question has been surrounded by many deaths.
There is a strong element to convey the desire for World Peace and to criticize the futility of war, all war. I consider myself a want to be pacifist. Not quite perfected yet.
Did you find it challenging or easier to use history in creating your characters? How much of the novel is based on real-life events and people?
The individuals of the 1939 events are all real and very well documented. The modern-day characters and the snips of who they were in 1939 is where I used my creative endeavors.
In an era when espionage used people far more than technology, the book explores the possibility of more than one spy being on board the ill-fated flight. I researched in numerous archives and came across amazing people who were very well versed in the era and I constantly heard the same statement; “it sounds like you are researching a spy.”
I also researched with the help of Psychics and real past life regressions (not my own) the same element of espionage kept on popping up.
My grandfather was a Bio-Chemical engineer for Standard oil of New Jersey. He spoke five languages fluently and was educated in both Germany and the USA. When he died in 1939, he carried a Mexican passport and had a New York City address. There was a German on board that authorities did enquire about, but just imagine if they had known my grandfather background?
Currently, you are walking on another novel with a co-writer, Jolie DeMarco. Is it easier or harder to write with a partner? How do you divide the writing responsibilities?
4covert2overt in 33 Days is a novel in the absolute sense of the word. It is full of fictional characters. The storyline is a 33 Day journey of self-introspection. It does have a global back drop dealing with social issues. It is an easy fun read that hopefully will make the reader ‘think’ after they put it down. We are trying to add humor, a little sex…it is targeted as Chick Lit.
There are some really fun aspects about working with someone else, especially Jolie DeMarco who is a lot of fun and a very unique individual. She is a healer and she channels messages, she owns a beautiful store and healing center in Boca Raton, Florida called My Flora Aura.
We have had to learn as we go along and we did have a very precise line where we divided the writing responsibilities, which has shifted and changed as we work. I think the key word is being FLEXIBLE.
The title of your new book, 4COVERT2OVERT, is intriguing. How did you come up with it and what does it mean?
4covert2overt does have an espionage angle. I need to word this carefully, not to give away any spoilers. There is an aspect about learning to ‘open up’ become overt instead of covert.
Jolie and I brainstormed over the title and as the book also toys with numbers, numerology and the meaning of numbers it became that way.
We started out with 99 days and it got too long and complicated!
Tell us what the book is about and when you plan to publish. Will this book be self-published?
I have told you as much as I can as Jolie has me sworn to secrecy! We are not sure yet if self-publishing will be the right way to go. We might just choose to submit it to Chick Lit agents.
What is your writing process like? Do you outline? Do you have an editor or critique group?
I love outlines and I love lists, that being said I do not limit myself to them. Sometimes wonderful things happen as I am writing and it gives a project an entirely new direction that gives me the tools to surprise the reader. I like it proof-read and edited as a finished product.
I am not a group person at all; I wish I were, it seems like a wonderful sense of belonging and sharing.
How much has social media played a role in your marketing efforts? What have you learned since the publication of THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS?
I had a traditional publicist for 6 weeks as well as an on-line publicist, prior to that I did not even belong to Facebook. Social Media plays a huge role in my marketing efforts. In order to make contacts, find reviewers, and get the word out.
The traditional publicist left me with a list of TV and radio shows that requested my book, and it is very hard to follow-up with them. The Bridge of Deaths was requested by several TV and Radio Shows, as such it probably sits on a book-shelf with MANY other books as good for a future show. I am basically on the “right” shelf, but it can take years before they decide to do something with it.
The Social Media Publicists trained me and gave me the tools to promote and push on my own. We connect every few months and she is happy to answer any questions.
I try to share everything I learned with all indie and self-published authors I meet, who may not have had the budget for a strong publicity campaign. Inasmuch as I am not a ‘group’ person I have always felt it is imperative that we all help each other out with knowledge as often as we can.
If you had any advice for aspiring writers, what would it be?
Write, write and write more. You can always edit and change. Do not be afraid each sentence will probably make you a better writer.
And when you are ready; Promote, promote and promote your work.
About M. C. V. Egan:
M. C. V. Egan is the chosen pen name for Maria Catalina Egan, author of The Bridge of Deaths. Originally from Mexico City, Mexico; M.C.V. Egan has lived in various parts of the USA as well as France and Sweden. She is fluent in four languages; Spanish, French, Swedish and English.
She lives in South Florida with her husband, teenage son and five pound Chihuahua.
She is currently working with Jolie DeMarco on a novel called 4covert2overt in 33 Days.
How to find M. C. V. Egan and her books:
The Bridge of Deaths on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bridge-of-Deaths/130675087014521?fref=ts
M.C.V. EGAN: https://www.facebook.com/mcv.egan
The Bridge of Deaths Blog: http://thebridgeofdeaths.tumblr.com/
The Bridge of Deaths on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Bridge-of-Deaths-ebook/dp/B00AJIHB1E/ref=tmm_kin_title_0
The Bridge of Deaths blog: http://thebridgeofdeaths.com/
4covert2overt in 33 Days Blog: http://4covert2overt.blogspot.com/
My Flora Aura on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyFloraAuraHealing?fref=ts
Jolie DeMarco on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jolie.demarco?fref=ts
Thanks so much to Ms. Egan for telling us about her books and the process of co-writing. We’re looking forward to hearing even more about the new book!