Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Blog Tour: Excerpt, Guest Post + Author Interview: Trigger by Jill Meengs

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Trigger by Jill Meengs
Published by Booktrope
January 27, 2015
Genre: Spy Thriller
Jordan Shaw knows the only way to stop the man hunting her is to kill him. She also knows the other men who came after her are dead, some of their blood is on her hands, and she wouldn’t have survived this long without the help of the intriguing and secretive Chase Hudson. Even though she isn’t sure she can trust Chase, she believes she needs him to discover the truth.
Two days before, life was pretty good as she backpacked around Europe with her best friend. Now, everything has changed and she may not even live through the night. What started as a summer trip of self-discovery has become a dangerous journey across three countries as Jordan is forced into a world few know exist and even fewer survive. A clandestine international organization that will let nothing stand in their way has put a price on her head. Despite all the uncertainty, there are two things that she is absolutely sure of; she has one chance to out-maneuver a world class killer, and she has to make that move right now.


I was tired of not having the answers.  I was tired of running.  I wanted to finish this.  I gripped the piece of iron tightly.  The possession of a decent weapon was bolstering as I waited alone in the darkness. 
Was the door ajar?  Squinting in the poor light, I tried to determine if my mind was playing tricks on me.  I couldn’t be sure, but the door looked like it was partly open.  When I had entered the room, I was positive that I had shut it completely. 
                I closed my eyes, and willed myself not to breathe.  My heart beat frantically as adrenaline pumped through my veins.  Things like this didn’t happen to people like me.  Things like this weren’t supposed to happen at all. 
                A faint noise broke the oppressive silence.  I pressed up against the wall feeling the deep chill of the stone spread through my body.  That sound, while barely audible, was enough to tell me that I was not alone.   Somehow, he had made his way into the room without my knowing it.  That noise was a mistake.  I knew he would not make another. 
                I had to outmaneuver him.  He was good, he was very good, and if he hadn’t been trying to kill me I would have admired him for that.  The only question now was if I could be better.

Author Interview

How did you start your writing career?
My husband Chad encouraged and then actually bribed me to write a book. We met in graduate school and he was always impressed with how quickly and well I could write. After we were married he kept saying that I should try to write a book and finally one day he offered to pay me to actually give it a try. He bought a flat screen for our bedroom and sent me on a clothes shopping spree and then I started Trigger. Now that it is published, over five years later, he is pretty proud of himself and still enjoys watching movies on that flatscreen he bought!  

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
I dream of traveling everywhere! I love to go to new places and I enjoy going back to places I have been. If I were planning my next trip I would probably want to travel to Turkey or back to Asia. I loved Indonesia and China and would like to explore Japan, Thailand, Cambodia or Vietnam.  

When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I like to write at night after I have had all day to think about what I am going to write that evening. I usually work out for an hour to an hour and a half a day and am often commuting to work for two hours a day so I have lots of time to think. When I was writing Trigger I would get home in the evening with a plan of attack for that night and get to work for 2-3 hours. Now that I have an infant, I write whenever I can!

What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Getting stuff down on paper fast enough! Sometimes I get ideas or conversations in my head when I am nowhere near my computer and I have to jot stuff down or email it to myself so I don’t forget it. Other times my mind moves forward so fast it is hard for my fingers to catch up!

What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
My husband is so proud. He always believed in me and encouraged me. He supported me every step of the way. Now that I am published he tells everyone about my book and how good it is. He talks about how proud he is of me and it makes me so happy that he feels that way. Without him, I would not have written Trigger. My parents and the rest of my family were surprised at first, but also proud and supportive. They have always known that I am a big reader, but since I had never talked about writing or being a writer it caught them a little off guard. They also enjoy sharing my accomplishment with people.  

What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
One of the most surprising things was discovering how much I LOVE to write. I have always loved to read and would often find myself dissatisfied with a development in a book or would think to myself that I would have changed the story in a certain way, but I had never thought of being a writer. Once I started to write Trigger I learned that I truly love to write. I love to use my imagination, my vocabulary and to develop a story. It was a creative outlet I had never had before and I found that I was soon addicted to it. One of the things I enjoy the most now is working on a story.  

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
It helps for me to listen to music that has no singing when I am writing. I find if there are lyrics I often get distracted by what is being said or I start singing along. I also prefer classical music because I find it soothing. While writing Trigger I actually started listening to Jesse Cook, who plays guitar is classified as “world music” although I always think of it as more Spanish guitar music. I found his music inspiring and relaxing. Listening to music helps me concentrate because it blocks out background noises and allows me to focus internally on what I am writing.

What is your favorite meal?
Thin crust cheese pizza with basel, a vodka with diet tonic and a squeeze of lime to drink and dark chocolate with peanut butter for dessert.

What are you passionate about these days?
I am very into my writing and spending time with my daughter. She was born on December 22nd and is so amazing. Every day she learns something new and does something that makes me laugh.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love to do yoga and I love to either go for a run or use the elliptical. Working out helps me focus, relaxes me and just plain makes me feel good. It is definitely “me” time. I get to focus on myself and what I need to think about and prepare for. It also helps me relieve stress and depending on when I get to work out I either prepare for the day by hitting the ground running or I get to shake off anything from the day that bothered me. When I haven’t gotten my work out in yet in a day, my husband can always tell. He will often banish me to the garage to use the elliptical because he knows that afterward I will be a better person!      


Advice for new writers


My best advice for a new writer is the same advice that I felt was the most valuable when I was writing Trigger: write what you want to read.  Along with that there is also: write what you know.  These two concepts are vital because you will be writing, reading, and editing this manuscript A LOT, so you need to not only enjoy writing, you need to enjoy what it is you are writing, because you are going to be living and breathing it throughout this process. 


Writing what you know and what you want to read also helps you keep your enthusiasm when you are tired, have writer’s block, or are getting rejected by publishers & literary agents. 


Most importantly, if you are passionate and knowledgeable about something that will come through in your writing and it will make it more believable and more interesting.  


Finally, you have to be persistent.  Writing a book, editing it, and getting it published is a process that can take years and you have to commit considerable time and energy to it.  Don’t let yourself get down and don’t ever give up because if you want it bad enough and work hard enough you will get what you want.

jill meengsAbout the Author

Jill Postlewait Meengs grew up in a small town on the Oregon Coast. During and after college she spent extended periods of time backpacking in more than 30 countries. She has been to every location she describes in “Trigger” and some of the content is based on her own experiences while traveling. She met her husband, Chad, in the MBA program at Oregon State University. After getting married, they purchased and fully remodeled a house. It was Chad who encouraged, and then bribed her to write her first book, “Trigger.” He says that he very much enjoys watching the flat-screen he purchased as part of their deal. When Jill isn’t reading or writing, she is running, doing yoga or planning her next trip. Jill and Chad live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.


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