Maureen interviews Maureen

It’s finally here: the release day for DEVIANTS!

**cue the fireworks**

It’s hard to describe how much this day means to me. Yes, I do have two previous books out, but to risk delving into boring publishing business jargon, my first two books were done on a write-for-hire basis and had a rather difficult route to publication, so I wasn’t really that invested in them by the time they came out. Certainly nowhere near as invested as I am in DEVIANTS. In fact, I was completely wrapped up in DEVIANTS by the time the Twisted Tales books hit the shelves.

That’s a long way of saying that, to me, DEVIANTS is my debut.

I’ve enjoyed being part of this blog and reading our guests’ answers to our questionnaire—even seeing which questions each author chooses to answer—so today, I’ve decided that I want to take my own crack at our author interview. So, today my guest is... ME!

So..... Welcome, Maureen!

Thanks, Maureen.


You can read my official bio on my page on this blog. But for the inside scoop, suffice it to say that I’ve been working a long time for this day. It’s no secret that publishing is a difficult business and that every writer’s journey toward publication is different, but my road, at times, has seemed excessively rocky. I had so many times when my fingers brushed the brass ring, only to have it snatched out of reach. I know I’m not unique in this, but it does add to the sweetness of today!


In a post-apocalyptic world, where the earth is buried by asteroid dust that’s mutated the DNA of some humans, orphaned, sixteen-year-old Glory must hide and protect her younger brother. If their Deviant abilities are discovered, they’ll be expunged—kicked out of the dome to be tortured and killed by the Shredders. 

Glory would give anything to get rid of her unique ability to kill with her emotions, especially when Cal, the boy she’s always liked, becomes a spy for the authorities. But when her brother is discovered, and she learns their father, who was expunged for killing their mother, is still alive, she must escape the domed city that’s been her entire world. 

Outside in the ruins, they’re pursued by the authorities and by sadistic, scab-covered Shredders who are addicted to the lethal-to-humans dust now covering the planet. Glory’s quests to transport herself and her brother to safety make up the thrilling and fascinating first volume of The Dust Chronicles.

A deliciously dark, harrowing world, brightened by dazzling characters and sparkling prose." -- #1 NYT bestselling author, Kelley Armstrong

"A tense thriller with a strong, beating heart at its center. Glory and her impossible choices will keep you glued to the page. I'm still trying to catch my breath!" Diana Peterfreund, author of For Darkness Shows the Stars

“Exciting... McGowan keeps the suspense throbbing...” Kirkus Reviews 

"McGowan launches the Dust Chronicles with a bang, painting her post-apocalyptic world with a dark brush and featuring a strong-willed and determined protagonist. Readers will be immediately transported to this world where businessmen rule the job-based class system." -- RT Book Reviews, 4 stars


MAUREEN:  Where do you most like to read and how often?

MAUREEN:  Traditionally, I’ve most often read in bed. But since I bought my kindle, I actually now read a lot on subways and streetcars, also waiting in lines, and in movie theatres before the movie starts. Basically any second of down time. I’m too disorganized to pack my “bed” book with me every day, and if I don’t get a seat on the subway it’s hard to hold a book anyway, but it’s easy to always carry and hold my kindle and so now I usually have at least two books going: a bed book and a purse book.

MAUREEN:  What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

MAUREEN:  These last couple of years, it’s been young adult fiction. When I was a teen, most YA fiction was decidedly juvenile. Either heavy-handed “message” books or genre fiction minus the elements that makes readers love genre fiction—thrillers with no violence or thrills, mysteries with no murders, romances with no sexual tension, horror with nothing gory or scary. Boring.

But today’s YA is not like that at all and most are decidedly un-juvenile. The books are fast-paced, tackle big subjects, and are highly entertaining for readers of all ages. I also love how YA novels blur genre lines.

MAUREEN:  Cats or dogs?


MAUREEN:  What hidden talents do you have?

MAUREEN:  I’m actually a good knitter. I love doing complicated patterns where the color changes with nearly every stitch. I haven’t knit as much since I started writing, though. Partly due to time availability, but it’s probably more because I’ve got an outlet for my creative side now that had been sorely lacking in my previous career.

MAUREEN:  What turns you off like nothing else?

MAUREEN:  Arrogance. I have zero patience for arrogance and this got me into trouble more than once in the corporate world which has more than it’s fair share of men (in particular) with this flaw.

MAUREEN:  Would you rather sky dive or scuba dive?

MAUREEN:  Ha! I’ve done both. (This a question I added to our questionnaire.)

I did a tandem sky dive and it was amazing. I like to joke that I jumped out of a plane at 13,500 feet without a parachute. And that’s true. Technically. But the burly dude who was strapped to my back had a parachute strapped to his back.

The cool thing about tandem dives is that you can experience a free-fall on your first jump—and with very little instruction
The hardest part was standing up and walking forward in the plane while strapped, very tightly, to the instructor. Once we jumped (fell), it took about a minute to go the first 10,000 feet, and then about ten minutes to go the final 3,000 or so, once the chute was open.

I did scuba in a slightly “cheater” way too. I did a “resort” dive when I was at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. For resort dives, you don’t need much training and you can’t go below 10 feet (or so) which was plenty deep enough for me! And plenty deep on the reef. I think we had three of us to an instructor and he constantly monitored our equipment so that we didn’t need to know that much about the gauges or how anything worked. I always thought I’d find scuba diving claustrophobic, but I loved it. Some day, I’d love to get certified and try it again.

MAUREEN:  What sound or noise do you love?

MAUREEN:  Toddlers giggling. When my niece was little we used to spend hours doing very silly things that made us both giggle. I wish I’d had a tape recorder running the entire time.

MAUREEN:  What’s your favorite kind of cheese?

MAUREEN:  I could eat goat cheese at every meal. On special occasions I love yummy cheeses from France or Québec. The stinkier the better.

MAUREEN:  Vanilla or chocolate?

MAUREEN:  I’m in camp vanilla. Heresy, I know.

MAUREEN:  What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

MAUREEN: Collapse. Sometimes cry. If she’s around, I go for a drink with my critique partner, the fabulously talented Molly O’Keefe.

MAUREEN:  What’s your favorite dessert?

MAUREEN: Lemon meringue pie.

MAUREEN:  Strawberry daiquiri or a beer?

MAUREEN: Beer. No question. If I want a cocktail, I’ll usually choose a dry gin martini, with a twist. Or a margarita or mojito in the summer--if--it’s a place that uses real lime juice.

MAUREEN:  Do you remember your grade one teacher’s name?

MAUREEN: Miss Chevalier.

MAUREEN:  Who was your first best friend? Are you still in touch?

MAUREEN: My family moved—a lot—when I was a little kid. I’m sure I had BFFs before this, but the first name that popped into my mind was Shelley Martin, who was my best friend from kindergarten through grade two. Sadly, we’re not in touch anymore. Shelley, if you see this, e-mail me.

MAUREEN:  Did you belong to a clique in high school? Which one of the standard high school stereotypes did you best fit in to?

MAUREEN: I feel like I kind of defied the stereotypes. I’d be interested in asking some people I went to high school with this question to see how I was perceived. 

I was a “brain”, but I was also an athlete and was also in the musicals and the “folk club” and several nerdy and/or artsy things like that.
Believe it or not, I played Oliver in my high school musical when I was in grade 12. Yes, a seventeen-year-old girl playing a nine-year-old boy... Elastic bandages were involved.

MAUREEN:  Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?

MAUREEN: I do read them... Although I try not to. The ones on Goodreads and Amazon can be harsh! But one good thing about having two books already out there, and taking part in the Amazon Breakout Novel competition a few years before that, is that I became used to seeing reviews and accepting that no book is ever going to please every reader. But for DEVIANTS it’s going to be harder. I’m really proud of this book and it’ll be hard to hear when people don’t like it.

MAUREEN:  Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?

MAUREEN: Coffee. Black. And keep it coming.


According to a recent study, 55% of all YA books were purchased by adults intending to read the books themselves. If you’re an adult, do you read YA? If not, why not?


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Where can I buy DEVIANTS, you ask? 
Why, right here or at your favorite bookseller:
IndieBound      B&N     Chapters Indigo


  1. Thanks for the giveaway!!, if I could have a deviant it would be to grow weapons from my limbs.

  2. Sounds like a great book!

    And yes, I am an adult who buys a LOT of YA books. Partly because a lot of my favorite writers write YA and adult books.... (eg Richelle Mead, Meg Cabot....)

    1. I read a lot of YA too. I find them less predictable than some genre fiction, but with the great pacing and tension of great genre fiction... Kind of the best of both worlds.

  3. Love your interview of yourself, Maureen. But just wait till tomorrow -- I interview you! And then you get the tough questions. Congratulations on Deviants!!!

    1. Thanks, Donnell. It was fun to interview myself. But you asked better questions. :)