M. M. Koenig - Lovers From Opposite Sides of the Tracks
M. M. Koenig enjoys being active and has a variety of interests that coincide with her passion for life. Always one to try new things, she has acquired a variety of skills. Her sarcastic nature and multitude of experiences tend to find their way into her novels. When she has free time and isn’t writing, she spends as much time as she can with friends and family. To fuel her soul, she is constantly looking for new music, movies, and books to keep the writer’s block at bay. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Fighting for Someday.
Please give us a short introduction to what Fighting for Someday is about.
I will readily admit that I am terrible at giving a short introduction to my books. I can write over 150,000 words for a novel, but I am terrible at putting it into a concise introduction. I’m not that great at blurbs and rely on my editor and critique partner to help me develop them. I think what really sums up Fighting for Someday is the tidbit below. It reflects where the characters are coming from when they meet and implies that they certainly don’t have an easy road ahead of them as they try to build a relationship with one another.
Sparks certainly fly when bad boy, Trey Donovan, from the wrong side of the tracks crosses paths with preppy and popular, Bri McAndrews, from upper-class wealth. As Bri and Trey grow closer, more than a few vengeful people have a problem with it. The battles they go through to find love will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.
What inspired you to write about a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who crosses paths with upper-class wealth?
There are a lot of different elements that go into Fighting for Someday. I really wanted to write about class differences because of sociology has always interested me. It’s what I hold a degree in and to take that into a story was something I always wanted to do. I think it’s something that isn’t really addressed enough and should be explored in more depth rather than glossed over. This book digs deeper on that aspect as well as many others including anger management, bullying, peer pressure, emotional abuse, and anxiety. I think all these topics deserve more attention, especially with teenagers. I really enjoyed picking them apart and showing just how much they can affect kids in high school who are already dealing with the stress of sports, academics, peers, and what’s going on at home while trying to tackle these other elements as well.
Tell us more about Trey Donovan. What makes him tick?
Trey is a fighter in more ways than one. He believes in standing up for what you believe in, and above all, protecting your loved ones at all costs. He holds his family and friends dearly and will do anything for them. He’s hot-headed at times, but it’s typically because an outside force is pushing him to the breaking point. He’s your classic bad boy on the surface, but underneath is a true heart of gold. He keeps people at a distance because of how poorly the world has treated him by judging him based on where he comes from and not who he is. When you push past that and make him open his eyes, he’s the kind of guy you want on your side. He’s loyal to a fault and loves with all his heart. He won’t be walked on and he won’t let anyone walk all over someone he cares about.
What makes Bri McAndrews so special?
Bri is my warrior. She is one badass chick who has unfortunately had a lot of trauma happen to her, but managed to come out of everything stronger and better because of it. She’s taken the bad things and found the light in the situation. She’s got a heart of gold and truly believes that everything happens for a reason. She sees the glass as half full at all times. She’s so much more than just the most popular girl at Chamberlain or the daughter of a senator. She has grown up under the spotlight, but there is so much more to her than what people see because of who her Dad is, and she works hard that there is way more to a person that what you see on the surface.
Bri’s the character I’ve related to the most and felt the most for while writing. There are many moments throughout Fighting for Someday that my heart ached for her. Most importantly, her character gave me a chance to explore how people cope with anxiety. As someone who has mild OCD, I can relate to the attacks that come on with anxiety and really just wanted to share more about mental health in general. It’s still something we don’t talk enough about in our society and I wanted to write a story that showed that teenagers deal with these issues just as much as adults do and what we can do to help those around us who are battling with them.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I’m ambidextrous. I’m not sure that qualifies as a secret skill, but it gives me to do a lot of things differently than most people because I don’t really favor one hand or the other as dominant.
Which of your characters was the most challenging to create?
This is a prequel series so a lot of the characters were already established in my Secrets and Lies series, which takes place after the Someday series. When I began with my first novel, Conflicted, I never anticipated I’d go back to before that time period and tell stories with these characters, but I couldn’t shake Bri and Trey’s voices. There was just something so special about each character and the challenges they faced outside of trying to build a relationship with one that I wanted to share with the world.
In Fighting for Someday, I would say the hardest character I struggled writing was Bri’s father because of the nature of his character and the kind of things that occurred in scenes between him and Bri. It’s very emotional and intense at times. When I write, I tend to walk in my characters shoes. I feel the pain and intensity of those harder scenes when I write them, which can be emotionally draining and a challenge.
Tell us more about the cover and how it came about.
I’ve had the pleasure with working with LJ Anderson at Mayhem Cover Creations for all of my covers. She’s phenomenal with her designs. I always have a vision in my mind of what the character looks like and what I want for a backdrop to cover. I give a general idea to LJ with the models I find that closely resemble the characters I envisioned and then LJ works her magic. Fighting for Someday is one of my favorite covers. From the coloring to background to how she positioned the models together, the whole thing is beautiful to me and fits the story perfectly.
Readers say you had them on an emotional rollercoaster. Was this intentional?
*Quietly Laughs* I don’t think I ever intentionally mean to do it, but it tends to happen in my books. I’m what you call a fly by the seat of my pants kind of writer. Sometimes I have a tentative outline, but more often than not, I end up going where the characters take me, and that tends to be quite action-packed and full of angst. I’ve been known to take a reader up to a great high with my characters and then a chapter later a major twist comes along that they didn’t see coming that gives them all the feels. I think that is where the roller coaster comes in for readers.
What drew you to this audience?
Fighting for Someday is a Coming of Age/New Adult romance. Teenagers are one big ball of emotions and that’s always fun to show and explore, but the other side of it is having major milestones come up and showing how where you grow up influences the way you handle them. The time period that we’re in high school is a point in our lives where most people encounter a lot of firsts. Some of them are amazing (first date, first dance, first kiss, first time, etc.), but there are a lot of other firsts that come along that test a person and help shape who they become as adults. There’s bullying, peer pressure, temptation to cross lines that you probably shouldn’t, family dynamics, mental health issues, anger management, and a whole lot more I’m forgetting to name that are equally as important as all the sweet first moments that come along. I don’t think a light is shined on some of the harsher things teenagers go through and I wanted to explore that with these characters. I wanted to show what things can be like based on where you grow up and who your parents are and the different things that shape your personality.
Do you believe that love conquers all in real life?
I really do believe that love can conquer anything. The caveat to that is that love comes in all forms and Fighting for Someday touches on that in several different ways. From the bonds of friendship to the relationships with parents to that moment your heart meets its other half, Fighting for Someday touches on all of them and it was really fun to show the dynamics of all those relationships and how they influence Bri and Trey and they relationship they want to build with one another. The love we receive from our friends and family can help you overcome anything just as much as the love you receive from the person you hand your heart over to.
When starting on a new book, what is the first thing you do?
I don’t think I really have a special ritual. Usually, I’m so emotionally drained from the book I finished that I take a few days to unload it all and then get back at it. I just finished a book this Monday and I’m already reviewing my tentative outline for its follow up and adding more to that so I can jump in to Chapter 1 by the weekend.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Time is a struggle for me. Balance is too. When I can find a window of time to get some words down, I have a little extra pep in my step those days. I work full-time as a payroll technician for the county I live in, but I also have three other part-time jobs that I dedicate time to as well, so finding time to write and just have some sort of a personal life can get tricky for me. On the days I can get some words down, I always feel much better and closer to this other passion I have in my life that lives outside of my day-to-day routine.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I’m working on the final book in a new series that will be released in 2022. Bri and Trey are actually in this series too, but its years into the future. Once that is finished, I’ll be moving on to a sports romance standalone that I’ve wanted to work on for quite some time. I also have one other book that I’ll begin working on in 2022, but I’m keeping it a secret for the time being.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Find M. M. Koenig online
Fighting for Someday
Waiting for Someday
Finding Our Someday
Secrets and Lies Series
Concealed (Secrets and Lies #3)