Welcome to my MTMC Tours stop for Second Start To the Left by Megan Van Dyke!
This is an adult Peter Pan retelling featuring none other than Tink and Hook as narrating characters (who are about to be sucked into an enemies lovers romance with plenty of bickering and chemistry). I have the pleasure of interviewing the author today, so read on to know all about how this book came to life!
And head over to my instagram page for the INTL giveaway.
Title: Second Star To The Left
Author: Megan Van Dyke
Publication Date: February 15th, 2022
Genres: Adult Fantasy Romance
Purchase a copy: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Blackwell’s
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Tinker Bell, banished from her homeland for doing the unthinkable, selling the hottest drug in Neverland—pixie dust—wants absolution.
Determined to find a way home, Tink doesn’t hesitate to follow the one lead she has, even if that means seducing a filthy pirate to steal precious gems out from under his…hook.
Captain Hook believes he’s found a real treasure in Tink. That is, until he recovers from her pixie dust laced kiss with a curse that turns the seas against him. With his ship and reputation at the mercy of raging storms, he tracks down the little minx and demands she remove the curse. Too bad she can’t. However, the mermaid queen has a solution to both of their problems, if Tink and Hook will work together to retrieve a magical item for her.
As they venture to the mysterious Shrouded Isles to find the priceless treasure, their shared nemesis closes in. However, his wrath is nothing compared to the realization that achieving their goal may mean losing something they never expected to find—each other.
Megan Van Dyke is a fantasy romance author with a love for all things that include magic and kissing. Many of her stories include themes of family (whether born into or found) and a sense of home and belonging, which are important aspects of her life as well. Megan also watched way too many Disney movies as a child, and adult, and has a deep love for fairytales and happily-ever-afters. Megan is a former IT risk and security executive and current stay-at-home mom. When not writing, Megan loves to cook, play video games, explore the great outdoors, and spend time with her family. A southerner by birth and at heart, Megan currently lives with her family in Colorado.
Hi Megan! Thanks so much for chatting with me today about Second Star To The Left! Can you tell us a bit about your publishing journey and how your book went from first idea to finished novel on our shelves?
Happy to be here! And whew, it’s been a long journey to publication. Second Star to the Left wasn’t my first novel, I actually wrote and queried several others before this one without success. I was in a pretty down place when the idea for this novel struck me out of the blue. I was a fairly new mom (so basically super tired all the time), and I’d been dealing with a ton of rejection on my latest novel, which I had been so certain would be “the one”. It wasn’t. At the time, I hadn’t written in a while and wasn’t sure I wanted to keep putting myself out there. But one day, a wild idea jumped into my head: what if (a younger, hotter) Captain Hook was trying to track down the woman who cursed the seas against him, and she just happened to be Tinker Bell, a (human-sized) pixie notorious for selling the hottest drug in Neverland—pixie dust? It was a bonkers concept, but it intrigued and excited me in a way nothing had in a while. I shared it with my friends, and they encouraged me to pursue the concept. Maybe just write a scene, a chapter. No commitment, just fun. So, I did. Then one chapter became another, and another, until I realized that it really could be something and that I was enjoying writing again.
Eventually, I finished the book and got it revised and polished up. I threw out a pitch for the book during a twitter pitch contest, and my now editor, Heather McCorkle, liked it and asked me to query her with the book.
Now, I’d queried a number of books before without success, so I didn’t expect much. But two days later, Heather asked for the full manuscript, and a month after that, I had a contract in hand. That was almost a year ago, and now the book is here, and more books are coming soon!
So glad you found the perfect editor to champion your work! What drew you to writing a Peter Pan retelling?
I’ve always loved fairy tales and retellings in general, but the thing that drew me to this particular one was simply the concept smacking me upside the head and exciting me so much that I just had to write it. I think it started with me wondering why Tinker Bell was hanging out with all these humans, and then the concept literally just appeared like a lightbulb in my head. I love a good romance too, and the idea of the animosity between Tink and Hook turning into something completely different was just too delicious to ignore.
One of my favorite parts of plotting out and writing this story was paying homage to elements of the original story, but changing them up or twisting them to make them unique. It was also really fun putting an adult spin on this world that’s always been more for kids.
Peter Pan has always been one of my absolute favourite classics too. 😌✨ Do you know how your books will end before you start writing?
Usually, yes. I don’t always know all the little details or every twist and turn, but I usually know the major points before I start writing, including the basics of the ending. Though, sometimes things still turn out a little differently than what I planned, and I always try to follow where my characters guide the story, even if that means deviating a little from where I thought things would end up. It’s ultimately their story, and so the characters always know best. I can’t say they’ve ever guided me wrong.
Can you give us a teaser about what you’re working on now?
Absolutely! I’ve contracted with my publisher, City Owl Press, to write more reimagined fairy tales. My editor and I are working on a Cinderella and Snow White mash-up, which should be coming out this Fall. It’s tentatively titled The Ugly Stepsister, and asks the question: what if Cinderella was the bully, not the victim? The book sees Anna, the Ugly Stepsister, trying to set the record straight and teaming up with a former royal huntsman, Will, to take down the evil queen (aka. Cinderella).
I also have the start of another series releasing in May! The first book is titled A Bargain with the Fae King, and sees our protagonist Lia, journeying to Feary and striking a magical bargain in order to save her sister from the Unseelie, dark Fae.
Sounds AMAZING, already super excited for your upcoming book! And lastly…what are some of the best author moments you’ve had so far?
One of my favorite moments is from very early on in my journey. I printed my first completed manuscript and gave it to my mom for Christmas. She’s supported and encouraged me so much throughout my life, and is a huge book lover, so I knew it would mean a lot to see that I’d finally written a book (like she’d been encouraging me to do for years). She cried when she opened it. Second Star to the Left is dedicated to her, and she cried when she read that dedication too. 😊
Some other magical moments have come more recently: signing my first publication contract, the first time I saw my final cover for SSTTL, holding my book for the first time, every single time I hear from readers that they loved my book or I see someone share a picture of it, and most recently earning a #1 new release banner on Amazon. It’s been an incredible journey already, and I’m so excited to see where it goes from here.
Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Megan, and congrats on your release!
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