CROSSING THE LINE Cover Reveal

9780803739260_NearlyGone_JKT.inddCROSSING THE LINE

Meghan Rogers’ spytastic cover for the first installment of The Raven Files, CROSSING THE LINE is here! In this life-or-death action-packed spy thriller, Meghan Rogers creates a teen girl character whose toughness, intelligence and determination rival Jason Bourne, Sydney Bristow and James Bond.

Hooked yet? You should be! Here’s the official book description to get your grabby hands grabbier:

When Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped by a North Korean spy agency, she was only a little girl. Young. Scared. Powerless.

But when she makes it to US soil, she finds that not everyone believes her story. Will she be able to get the Americans to trust her? Or will the North Koreans discover her deception before she has a chance?

The first novel in the Raven Files will leave you breathless.

Okay, this description leaves us Sixteen to Readers breathless!

Meghan Rogers shares her inspiration for CROSSING THE LINE

Meghan Rogers

Meghan Rogers

I saw The Avengers.

Really, that’s how this started.

It was May of 2012, and I had just graduated from my MFA program. I was working on the final revisions for another novel I was prepping to query and I took a break to see The Avengers with my sister and cousin. While I’m really not a comic book person, I have always loved the core stories. The medium itself just never grabbed me. So, I had no expectations or background for this movie going in. But, as a massive Joss Whedon fan, I was fairly confident I would leave happy. In the end, I was right—just for a surprising reason.

About halfway through the movie, I became fascinated with the character of Natasha. In the movie, her character is a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. (a.k.a. the good guys, if you missed this particular pop-culture train). However, it becomes pretty clear that this wasn’t always the case—that there was a time where she actually worked for one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s enemies. I thought that must have been such an interesting transition— to go from an enemy to a fellow agent. And that concept became the backbone for CROSSING THE LINE.

I spent most of the summer character and world building while I finished the other book I was working on. (Fun facts: I am a major planner and outliner. I am also generally, working on two projects at the same time). By September, I had started querying the other book, and I was ready to make CROSSING THE LINE my main focus.

One thing I’ve learned about myself when it comes to writing is that I really can’t do two things at once—I can’t think about the story and write the story at the same time. So, I spent September thinking, researching, planning, and outlining. This included serious brainstorming sessions with my cousin, who knows things I don’t about spies, weapons, and the world in general. When I was contemplating who the enemy agency should be, I was leaning towards Russia or the Middle East. He was the one that said, “No. You want North Korea.”

By October, I was ready to write the first draft. When I get to this point, I have a pretty standard process, and CROSSING THE LINE didn’t really deviate from it. I tend to draft quickly and frequently, and I almost never let anyone read my first drafts–mainly because at that stage I can pick up and work out a lot of the bigger issues on my own. I also rely heavily on new perspectives, so I hate to burn a first read for someone until I need help and feedback. I usually reach that point after the second draft. That’s when I start sending it out to my first reader and my critique group. Then I workshop and revise based on their killer thoughts and suggestions, and repeat as needed. I also add a new reader every complete draft or so, which helps give me a sense of how the draft stands on its own and not compared to a previous draft (related: I’m seriously lucky to have so many literary-minded friends).

It took me a little over a year to move CROSSING THE LINE from conception to “Query Ready.” When the time finally came, I had a list of agents I thought would be a good fit, but my first choice was Michelle Wolfson. She had sent me a helpful and encouraging response to project I’d queried months before I even had the idea for CROSSING THE LINE. She also said I should keep her in mind for the future (I guess it was technically a rejection, but I really never considered it to be). My favorite thing about that response was that she seemed to be able to see what I was trying to do, even though I wasn’t really doing much of anything yet. She just got me and my work. I remember reading that email and saying out loud, “That’s my agent.” So I was ecstatic when she loved CROSSING THE LINE as much as I hoped she would.

From there, Michelle matched me with Jill Santopolo at Philomel/Penguin. Jill’s notes have been an inspiration from the start. I can honestly say this story could not be with better people, or in a better place.

There was, of course, a lot more that went into CROSSING THE LINE, but that’s a basic overview of how the book came to be! I can’t wait to share it with you next year!

Find out more about Meghan by visiting her website or following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.