Published on LancasterOnline and in print June 24.
When a young Megan Hart found out that she could write for a living, she says she found her calling. Her passion for writing has sustained her into adulthood.
Ray Bradbury’s stories helped inspire her to start a career as a fiction writer. She says her love of writing, however, started much sooner.
“I vividly remember writing vampire stories since I was in first and second grade,” says Hart, an Annville native. “It’s definitely something that’s been a big part of me for as long as I can remember.”
Hart will be the keynote author for Romance Saturday, an event Saturday at Aaron’s Books in Lititz. Nine other authors, many of them from this area, will join Hart on the panel.
Her dedication to her chosen craft not only led her to a degree in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, but it also carved her path to success as a published author.
One of Hart’s books has made its way onto The New York Times best-seller lists.
“It’s something I never thought would happen,” she says. “It was very surreal and gratifying.”
Hart has worked in many different genres, including romance, horror, science fiction, contemporary and erotica.
One of her novels, “Hold Me Close,” delves into the romantic and complicated relationship of Effie and Heath, two people who were abducted and abused by the same man when they were teenagers.
“Little Secrets” features Ginny and Sean, a couple with a baby on the way looking for a new start in a new house. After spending a night in the house, Ginny looks into its history, convinced the house is haunted.
Hart says the ideas for her books are typically based on thoughts that she turns over in her mind. She builds upon the ideas until they become a tangible story premise.
First and foremost, she says, she writes for herself. “If other people like (my writing), too, that’s terrific,” Hart says.
Published writers are often faced with both positive and negative feedback. Hart does not let the negative reviews discourage her. She says they aren’t easy to disregard, but it’s “part of the job.”
Creating worlds that people can relate to or get something from is also one of her inspirations for writing.
“Taking an idea and building an entire world and characters, and making something that makes someone feel something from reading,” she says, “that’s fantastic.”
Hart often gets to connect with her fans at various events, like the one in Lititz. She presents each year at several events, including everything from independent, one-person book signings to conventions featuring panels and workshops.
She says book fans and the general public can gain a lot from an event like the one at Aaron’s Books.
“There is a chance to meet (the authors) and get (your) books signed,” Hart said. “For the general public, having the chance to meet an author is still pretty interesting and fun, even if you haven’t heard of them.”
For people who are considering writing books, but don’t know how to get started, Hart suggests asking the authors who will be with her in Lititz. They include Vicky Burkholder, Sara Walter Ellwood, Natalie J. Damschroder, Patty Yalor, Allison B. Hanson, Brandy Ayers, Victoria Smith, D.R. Grady and Gerri Bowen.