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Myrian's Journal - interview with author Summer McGaha

Today our guest is Summer McGaha from North Carolina. She has been storytelling for most of her life, but only really discovered it was her passion in 2006. She began writing an age-gap love story named The Adoption Elopement. The story grew for four years, by which point, she's changed the name to Myrian's Journal and after almost a decade, a new plot for the characters have begun to grow. She is currently writing the sequel. We have conducted an interview with Summer.

How did your story's title 'Myrian's Journal' evolved from "The Adoption Elopement"? Why did you need to change its title?

The title The Adoption Elopement, was spawned from a plot point I'd had from the beginning, that Myrian and Krayper would run away together. I began to see how impulsive that decision would have been for them, and I didn't want them to feel like they needed to be secretive about their relationship. The purity of their relationship meant that they didn't have anything to be ashamed of, and I felt like there was no reason their closest friends and family members shouldn't treat them with respect. Then I began to look for how they might find an appropriate way to tell those they trust about their relationship, in hope of gaining acceptance among them. Being that I'd had the characters change their minds about running away, I couldn't keep The Adoption Elopement as a title. The character Myrian was very shy, and as the book progressed, she became more brave. I really wanted to have her make a really bold statement of how she felt for Krayper--and then I remembered how personal her journal was for her. She had it with her spanning several years of her friendship with Krayper, even as her feelings for him had developed. Revealing her love for him through her journal became the main focus, which is why I changed the title to Myrian's Journal.

What is the sequel about? When will it be release?

The sequel to Myrian's Journal takes place months after the end of the first book, and will span the next couple of years. Krayper and his brother, Seph are struggling financially, and the only solution they can think of, is for one of them to start working at their parents' Stain Glass Factory, temporarily. Due to the distance between their house, and the their hometown, one of the brothers will have to stay at his job, and take care of the house. Krayper decides to work for their parents, and the news crushes Myrian. With how busy his job has kept him, Krayper hasn't been able to read very much of Myrian's journal, and promises her he will read it while he's away. The story will deal with Myrian maturing, as well as the relationship maturing. I don't know how long it will take me to finish writing it, but I'm hoping to have it released between now and the end of this year!

Which part of the entire writing process do you enjoy the most and the least?

A lot of the time, when I am writing, I continue to develop the story in my mind as I go along--even if I am not at my laptop, writing it. What I love most is when an idea comes while I'm dreaming! I don't always choose to add something that came to me in a dream, but even if I don't, it inspires me!
My least favorite thing about writing is when something happens that will cause one of my characters to be depressed, or one of them crying. Even though they aren't real, the situations are realistic to me. The more realistic it is to me, the more I can feel what my characters would be feeling.

What is your personal story about the discovery of your passion for writing?

I had always loved storytelling when I was a kid, but I had stopped being passionate about writing when a teacher had me erase I a story I'd almost finished, about aliens, and start over. I'd misunderstood the writing prompt. ("Describe what would be the best day", because it wasn't written as "your best day", or "the best day for you", I thought I could write what would be the best day would be for anyone else. I chose an alien.) Many years later, in 2006, I was at a sleepover with my best friend. She talked constantly about someone she had a crush on, and at her house, I'd started writing a hypothetical comedy because I didn't think she realized how much she talked about him. It was a secret story, and while she was okay with me writing it, I didn't want her to get embarrassed if anyone saw it. That's why I had typed it in Notepad, on her family's computer. I stayed up until 5:00 a.m. writing it, and the time had just slipped by. That's when I realized I loved writing.

Why did you choose to write 'an age-gap love story'? What is so interesting about this kind of stories?

Age Gap relationships became interesting to me and the complexities surrounding them. In 2007, I saw it being shunned more than being accepted, and I felt like it wasn't fair to judge a relationship solely on an age difference. Myrian's Journal was a way for me to examine questions I had about it.

Society tries to force people into generational clichés, and sometimes the applied stereotypes are then used in arguments against age-gap relationships. The idea being that both parties involved fit with a stereotype being applied to their respective peers. This is part of why it age-gap relationships can be so shocking to some. But what about a person who doesn't fit in with their peers, and instead of it feeling like a huge contrast when they are with someone much older, (or younger,) they just click? Or even, two people who do fit in with their peers, but they are fascinated by their differences... who's to say there's anything wrong with either situation? Part of what makes age-gap relationships so interesting is that inside the relationship, it could be like any relationship, but there are hardships they may face just due to what they may feel blind to, (age difference,) and what some outsiders only see (age difference,)--troubles that they wouldn't face in any other relationship.

This may be part of why I love to see when an age gap couple has defied the odds!
Myrian's Journal - interview with author Summer McGaha Reviewed by JaamZIN on 1:02:00 PM Rating: 5
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