Yes, I write under two names. But never fear, it’s me penning the story whether I’m wearing my Caitlin hat or my Megan hat.
When I started writing Harlequin Presents my other writing was still considered Chick Lit and I thought it made sense to make a clear distinction between the two kinds of stories I was telling. Time went on and I shifted more to romance, but still, Harlequin Presents are a very particular kind of love story and I think it makes sense to keep my Harlequins under the Caitlin Crews banner. Everything else I write is Megan Crane.
I discovered my first romance novel at the age of twelve in a bargain bin at the local five and dime. It involved swashbuckling pirates and grand adventures on the open sea, a heroine with a mind of her own, and a seriously mouthwatering, masterful hero who swept her away no matter how clever she was. I was immediately smitten with romance and all the romantic themes I could get my hands on, to the detriment of my middle school social life.
I had grand plans to star on Broadway – preferably in Evita, just like the great Patti LuPone, who I was lucky enough to see perform in New York City more than once as a child. Sadly, my inability to wow audiences with my singing voice required a back up plan, despite the fact that I have seen Les Miserables more than 15 times. Oddly, no one has asked me to play Eponine. Yet.
I launched myself into academics instead. This was not a good fit for someone who liked lounging about and reading books a lot more than dissecting them in classrooms, but did allow me to live in England for half a decade. As a result, I developed in a deep addiction to travel, and there are few things I love more than taking off on my next adventure, whether in real life or through my books.
But I always remember the many, many Saturdays I spent in badly-heated used book stores throughout the greater New York Metropolitan Area, stocking up on the romances of authors who are still auto buys all these years layer. I read romances everywhere, in public and private, in grad school and without shame, and I never hid the covers of the books from view. Because I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. I believe in reading what we love, and I did. For some reason, it took me a while to figure out that I ought to write the books I’d loved the most.
Now I’m some 60 books in, I’m still a romance fanatic, and yes, I’m still plotting my Broadway debut.
If you are new to my books, try starting here.
Didn’t I read somewhere that you write Young Adult?
(It was probably Wikipedia.)
I wrote six young adult novels and one young adult novella a while back. But these were all work-for-hire projects, which means my name isn’t on them and I can’t tell you what they are. I can tell you that the first one I wrote hit the New York Times bestseller list, which was fun, if secretive fun. And that I got to play around in worlds that I didn’t entirely build from scratch myself, which I found a fascinating sort of writing exercise.
Maybe someday I’ll write some books in this genre under my own name. You never know!
Do you read reviews? Even the bad ones?
Especially the bad ones!
If, as a writer, you can read an in-depth negative review of your work that lays out how the writing or story failed the reader and conclude that you wouldn’t change a single one of those things, I think that’s encouraging. That’s your voice – and you need to listen to your own voice and honor it.
And for every reader who hates what I do and lists the reasons why, there’s another who loves me for the exact same list of reasons. Reading is subjective, thank goodness!
Of course, there are bad reviews that are somewhat less inspiring, and we all have fragile days, but still. I think it’s all part of the fun.
Why do you travel so much?
Because it’s like daydreaming with your whole body, and then you have the pictures to prove it!
I love pictures. I take a lot of them.
It's not super new, but I'd still say all the same stuff on the subject of Frenemies:
And here are some other items of note:
- Caitlin discusses The Return of the Di Sione Wife with BookTrib.
- My Process (as Megan and Caitlin, on Conversations with Cupid)
- Action and Emotion (as Megan, with my husband Jeff, on the Nerd Out podcast)
- On Shame and the Romance Heroine (as Caitlin, on Dear Author)
- Falling in love with the Rodeo (as Megan, a guest on Jane Porter's blog)
- My Call Story (as Caitlin, from the iheartpresents blog)