Five Fun Facts with Meg Tilly
- You, famous actress (Big Chill, Valmont, and Agnes of God to name a few), walked away to raise your kids and turned to writing. Did you start like many writers I know (quivering behind a curtain, hoping no one will see you pretending to be a writer and laugh), or did you go into it with a burst of confidence?
When Singing Songs, my first novel was published, I had to go on book tour and I was terrified. I had never been to an author reading. I didn’t even know there was such a thing, and they wanted me to do it?! Now you have to understand, I started writing Singing Songs because memories from my childhood, the real ones, not the PR spin ones I presented for public consumption, those unacknowledged memories were threatening to drown me. I wrote with the hope that the act of writing them down would help silence the memories and allow me get on with my life. So, this created dueling impostor syndromes during that first book tour. First impostor syndrome: I was pretending the novel was absolute fiction. 100% fiction. I spent the entire book tour terrified that someone was going to leap up in a reading, or during an interview and say, “Wait a minute, you’re lying! This isn’t a novel. It’s how you grew up!”
The second layer of imposter syndrome: I had no illusions. I knew I wasn’t an author. I just wrote the darn thing, and weirdly someone wanted to publish it. I was worried… Don’t laugh… I was seriously worried people were going to yell “She’s not an author! What is this crap?” That they were going to boo and pelt me with rotten tomatoes and rotten eggs that they had saved up just for the occasion. Seriously. It wasn’t until my fifth novel was published that I started to think, “Hey, maybe I am an author…” (JFL side note: I can so relate to this! With every book, I think, this is where they find out…)
- You and Colin Firth (Hands down the best Pride and Prejudice Mr. Darcy EVER, fight me) were partners around the same time he was supposed to be my boyfriend. Don’t worry, I’ve sort of gotten over it. But it begs the question – what is your favorite Jane Austen novel?
I discovered Jane Austen as a teenager and loved all of her novels. They were one of my rainy-day comfort reads. If I had to choose, my favorite was Mansfield Park because there was something about the family dynamics and interactions that reminded me of my own family, albeit in a kinder, gentler package. (JFL side note: I loved Mansfield Park!)
As far as the Colin Firth thing, you have great taste. He’s a brilliant actor and even more importantly, a dear friend and a wonderful guy.
- You have penned some fabulous romantic suspense books, such as the Solace Island series set in the Pacific Northwest, and now, The Runaway Heiress, set in Hollywood. How old were you when you started reading romance? What is the first romance novel you can remember reading? What was the last one you read?
Thank you! I just need to sit here for a moment and gloat over the fact that you, Julia London said I’ve “penned some fabulous romantic suspense books…” I’ve got the biggest grin on my face right now. You see, Julia, you are one of my auto-buy authors. I have read every book you have ever written and your site is Bookmarked on my Favorites bar so I know when you have a new novel coming out. (JFL side note: OMG! I’m not blushing, YOU’RE blushing).
Okay, back to the question(s). I started reading romance as a teenager, although I didn’t know it was a category. The first one that comes to mind is The Blue Castle, by L.M Montgomery. I loved that book. The last one? I read a LOT! Recent releases that I loved are Mariah Stewart’s, An Invincible Summer, Mary Bly/Eloisa James’s Lizzie & Dante, Jess Q. Sutanto’s, Dial A for Aunties. I’m going to be cracking open Susan Elizabeth’s, When Stars Collide, tonight! Can hardly wait to dive in. Okay, that’s not one. It’s more like a fruit salad of delights.
- You have a fabulous series on YouTube (Meg’s Cozy Tea Time), started in the pandemic, where you drink tea and tell fascinating stories about your life and people you’ve known and things you’ve done. What has been your most popular episode to date? And what is your favorite tea?
My most popular episode was the one where my sister, Jennifer, came to tea. We had so much fun! I don’t have a favorite episode. Some conversations might be more interesting than others, but they all sort of blur together for me, and I don’t re-watch them. What remains is the feeling. The sense of warmth and community that’s been created. People write in and ask me questions and I answer them. I started Meg’s Cozy Tea Time to give my husband something to focus on during the lockdown. He does all the uploading on YouTube etc. I just plop in my armchair, sip a cup of tea, read a question and open my mouth and talk. Whatever comes out, that’s the show for the day. I’m surprised anyone is interested to tell you the truth. (JFL side note: You have to check this out. She tells the most amazing stories).
As for favorite tea. Ahem. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s difficult for me to narrow favorites down to one. However, Murchies Tea put together a Meg’s Cozy Tea Time Collection. You can order online. They ship around the world and if you use the code MEG they will take 5% off the purchase price. (I don’t get paid or kickbacks for this. I just love their tea, and some of my TeaTimers wanted to sip along with me while they watch.)
- Important question: What is your favorite thing you own? And can you buy it at Target just in case we all want one?
The thing that SAVED us during the pandemic was my old Cuisinart 2 Qt Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker. I purchased it at a hardware store, so I’m sure Target would have it as well. There was something about having homemade ice cream that helped calm my husband when everything was locked down and the world as we knew it had ground to a halt. If he had ice cream, for that moment in time, all was well with the world. I’ve always made a little ice cream over the years, but nothing like this last year and a half. I’ve made copious amounts of Rocky Road, chocolate chip, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, pina colada, malt, chocolate, mint chip, coffee, rum/whiskey/chocolate chip/peanut brittle ice cream, cherry brandy, vanilla for banana splits with hot fudge sauce… If I could think it up, I made it. There were some weeks when the world seemed on fire that I needed to make two or three batches. As long as there was ice cream in the fridge, there was the promise that everything was going to be okay. (JFL side note: OMG, I am dying and why didn’t I know about this during the pandemic? Show of hands – who is on their way to Target right now?)