*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Interview with Jill Meengs, Author of "Trigger"

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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.

Author Interview

What is your favorite childhood book? I am not sure I have a favorite because I read so many books as a kid and loved a lot of them. From the time I was very young I was always reading something and I went through several phases, genres and series at different ages. At one point I loved CS Lewis, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and Madeline L’Engle’s a Wrinkle in Time. I devoured Nancy Drew mysteries as fast as I could get my mom to buy them. I also went through a period where I read classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina. Sometimes a movie would come out based on a book and then I would read that. Anything that caught my eye or my interest for some reason I would read.

How did you come up with the title of your book? I had a different working title that I used for the longest time that was more sentimental than anything. After I started sending out queries I really started to look at the marketing aspect of publishing a book. One of the things I thought about was the book title and how to make it relevant, interesting, and have impact. Trigger fit the bill for various reasons. It is the initial book in the series, there are a series of events that are triggered that lead Jordan on her journey, and something inside her is triggered and brought to the surface as she learns what she is capable of.  

Pen name or real name? Why did you choose it? My real name; after all that hard work I would like to have my real name out there! Plus, I am proud of what I have accomplished and seeing my book cover with my name on it is part of that.  

When did you know you wanted to be an author? I have always loved reading and writing, but it wasn’t until my husband first encouraged, and then bribed me to write Trigger that I learned just how much I love to write. Even though I was working full time and commuting two hours a day, I found that the 1-2 hours I spent each night on my book were the happiest times for me. To have that creative outlet for the first time in my life was amazing and very fulfilling. Then to see all that hard work pay off when I held my first copy of Trigger was the icing on the cake.

Are you a full-time author or do you have another job? My “real” job is working as a vice president, commercial loan officer and branch manager at a $180MM community bank in Oregon. My dad is the President and CEO and after graduate school the job market was tough so I went to work for him to get some valuable real world experience. Ten years later, I am still gaining that experience! My two brothers also work at the bank, in the same branch, which keeps things interesting and enjoyable.  

Chocolate or Vanilla? Dark chocolate all day long and multiple times on the weekends and vacation days!    

Summer or Winter? Summer for sure. I love great weather, the ocean and the beach, preferably some place tropical. In fact, as much as I love the Pacific Northwest I believe I could easily live in the tropics and would like to someday. The one stipulation would be that I would like to be able to get home fairly easily in order to visit family.

 Favorite sports team? I love watching college sports much more than professional sports. I am an OSU alumni so l am a Beaver fan, but I grew up watching the Duke Blue Devils basketball team which is a favorite of my mom’s. Some good friends of ours have season tickets for U of O football and I have to say, there aren’t a lot of experiences as amazing as watching the Ducks play at Autzen Stadium.

Favorite vacation/trip? That is a tough one, I have been to so many incredible places and I have gotten to see so many amazing things it is hard to pick just one. I can say that my favorite country that I have been to is Indonesia. That place is just magical. The culture, the people, the scenery, the scuba diving is fantastic and I would go back there in a heartbeat. One of the most unbelievable experiences I had on a trip was visiting the Pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx. We had perfect weather and we went during a time when a lot of people were not traveling there so at one point we were the only people inside the Great Pyramid and I have pictures of us on camels and the Pyramids and then by the Sphinx with no other people in them. Most people think those pictures are photo-shopped! The trip that was the most fun was probably when my husband and I took my mom to China. Before that the only time she had left the country was a trip to Jamaica so to take her some place so exotic and to see how much fun she had was really great.
jill meengs

About 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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