Author Spotlight: Meghan Scott Molin talks The Frame-Up
I'm thrilled to feature the amazing Meghan Scott Molin on the blog today! After studying architecture and opera at college, Meghan worked as a barn manager before becoming a professional photographer. The Frame-Up, her first published book, was released on December 1st from 47North/Amazon Publishing to stellar reviews:
“[A] stellar first novel…Molin’s clever humor enhances the inventive plot. Readers will eagerly await the sequel.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[A] hard-boiled mystery starring a spunky amateur sleuth. Fans of fandom will devour this fun, smart mystery debut with a classic rom-com mismatched romance.” Booklist
“Meghan Scott Molin’s The Frame-Up is a celebration of nerd culture, superheroes, and mystery, with the perfect dash of romance and lust…The Frame-Up is not to be missed.” Teenreads
“A murder mystery romp through the comics world that kept me guessing to the last page. Recommended!” Faith Hunter, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock series
Check out the synopsis below!
By day she writes comic books. By night, she lives them.
MG Martin lives and breathes geek culture. She even works as a writer for the comic book company she idolized as a kid. But despite her love of hooded vigilantes, MG prefers her comics stay on the page.
But when someone in LA starts recreating crime scenes from her favorite comic book, MG is the LAPD’s best—and only—lead. She recognizes the golden arrow left at the scene as the calling card of her favorite comic book hero. The thing is…superheroes aren’t real. Are they?
When too-handsome-for-his-own-good Detective Kildaire asks for her comic book expertise, MG is more than up for the adventure. Unfortunately, MG has a teeny little tendency to not follow rules. And her off-the-books sleuthing may land her in a world of trouble.
Because for every superhero, there is a supervillain. And the villain of her story may be closer than she thinks…
And now, here's my chat with Meghan!
Hi, Meghan! Welcome and congrats on the release of The Frame-Up. Can you share a little about the story and what inspired it?
Well, there is a long and a short version of this story. The short version is: I woke up laughing from a dream one morning, literally sat up and laughed in bed. Scared my husband, but once I explained that I’d had a dream about my best friend Kristi (who is a purple-haired fashion designer in real life) running through SDCC with a team of drag queens capturing a murderer, he was like “You should write that book.” And so I did! The book is about a comic book writer (and fashion designer) who gets roped into helping to solve a crime with the LAPD. It’s a romp of a caper, fun, light (as light as drugs and murder can be!), and an ode to the tone of my favorite comics.
You say MG is has a tendency ‘not to follow the rules’. Did this aspect make her even more fun to write?
ABSOLUTELY. I’m a pretty strict rule-follower myself, so I get to live vicariously through her… but sometimes it’s hard for me to give her enough agency. This is the magic of a good editor. And it’s about her team too—she can’t get into trouble by herself all the time, that would be boring! In the end it’s about striking the right balance of giving her enough independence and pluck to get herself into (fun) trouble, make the stakes high enough, but it has to make sense for her character, and for the story. It also has to be somewhere in the realm of believability (even in a more over-the-top setting like mine). It’s tough, but I think from reader responses, it seems to mostly have been successful, haha!
What part of the writing process do you find most challenging and how do you tackle it?
I think I’ve struggled with different aspects each project, honestly! Writing to deadline was the hardest thing I’ve ever done—in that case it was the literal SITTING DOWN TO WRITE that was so hard. I’d just had a baby and my time flies into some sort of space vortex these days. I ended up having to do a week where I wrote 25k in 5 days to meet my deadline. With the original version of The Frame-Up, I ended up totally re-writing it twice…it was the first time I’d ever edited a manuscript to that degree, and I spent several nights just staring at my edit letter wondering how on earth I was going to manage it. My mentor was wonderful in helping me develop some tools (edit maps, chapter summaries, several passes) to break it down into smaller chunks. I think with this next project I’m going to struggle writing to outline. Shrug. This author thing seems to be an ever-moving target and challenge to self-discipline!
In addition to writing, you’re also a photographer and an accomplished equestrian. Do your passions ever influence each other?
Oh definitely. I got my Masters in Architecture, and I feel like my education in art/graphics/aesthetics informed my photography career (though admittedly I’m more successful in the medium of photography than I was as an architectural designer). I think using information and inspiration from my passions in my writing (My romantic lead loves architecture, for instance) just adds a depth and a richness that I crave when I’m reading outside fiction! Write what you know, you know? Even if it’s just used to pad a secondary character! I think all my creativity ends up feeding on itself, sometimes I use other artistic pursuits to kick loose ideas if I’m stuck writing.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that every story teaches the writer something new, so what did writing The Frame-Up teach you
Writing The Frame-Up was a lesson in just following the story. I didn’t worry if it was sellable while I was writing it (though I did later), I didn’t follow genre formulas, I didn’t care if it fit in a box. I think there’s a time and a place for projects like that, and The Frame-Up would have been worse off if I’d tried to put it squarely in one genre. It doesn’t always work…projects like this are a gamble. But I learned that what was most important about this project was its HEART. Always a good thing to remember when writing.
What are you reading, watching, or otherwise currently infatuated with?
I’m reading a bunch of Advanced Reader Copies (perk of being an author!) I just finished Mike Chen’s HERE AND NOW AND THEN, am currently in the middle of Christine Herman’s THE DEVOURING GRAY, and about to start Megan Collins’ THE WINTER SISTER! Outside of reading, I’m obsessed with rewatching Sailor Moon (nerdy, I know), and reallllllly into setting up my new journal for next year. I’m going to try a bullet journal, and I’ve watched like 30 videos on youtube about it, hahaha.
And finally, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in your writing/publishing career?
It’s like the quote from Finding Nemo. “Just keep swimming just keep swimming”. JUST KEEP GOING. There’s so many distractions, I’ve learned to really try and focus on the next project, no matter what’s going on. Keep dreaming, keep writing, keep observing the world, keep chipping away at the current project. When I stop doing those things, I stop being a writer (for myself). I think there are periods of frustration and blocks for every writer. The important thing is to keep going (and to ask for honest help from mentors or friends to make sure you don’t need to change your approach but then KEEP GOING in whatever direction you decide on).
Many thanks go out to Meghan for taking the time to tell us more about her writing journey, what she's learned along the way, and how THE FRAME-UP came to be. Be to sure to add Meghan's geek culture mystery to your Goodreads list. Or (better yet!) order your copy , and (WRITE) NOW from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or request it at your library, or local independent bookstore!
And, as always,