I’m thrilled to welcome Megan E. Freeman to the blog today to celebrate the release of her debut middle grade novel, ALONE, beautifully written in verse. I’ve read excerpts and am eager to read the rest of the book. Megan is a member of my local Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) group. I’ve already preordered two copies which I hope to get signed when we can safely meet again in person. Megan has generously offered to giveaway a signed copy of ALONE, US only. Don’t forget to comment on the blogpost to be entered to win.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
I don’t know for sure, but I remember being a pretty serious kid. Or maybe I just wanted to be taken seriously. My dad was a college professor and I grew up in Los Angeles. On long drives across town, he and I would have what we called “intellectual discussions,” and we would talk about everything from politics to religion to history to pop culture. He always made it clear that he was interested in my thoughts and ideas, no matter how old I was. I was also lucky to have wonderful teachers who taught me to love writing stories and poems, and I grew up surrounded by books. I don’t remember learning how to read, but I know I’ve always loved it. I used to transpose characters from the books I was reading into the places where I was. We’d be driving down the street and I’d picture Laura Ingalls or Jo March standing on the street corner, and I’d imagine pulling up in our car to offer them a ride and how shocked they would be by all the modern changes and technology. I infused my present reality with the fictional realities of the books I read.
What inspires you?
Beautiful language takes my breath away, and if it’s employed in the telling of a good story, I’m pretty much a goner. Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet and theologian who has a short podcast called Poetry Unbound where he reads and talks about different poems he loves. The episodes are only about ten minutes long, but they are sublime and I always feel inspired afterward. I also love watching live dance and live music performances. There is something about the creative collaboration between human beings that touches a deep, primal place in my heart. I am very fond of our species and its limitless ability to create beauty and meaning and connection. I’ve really missed live performances during COVID. But I’m also deeply inspired by the natural world, and I love the opportunity to go for a walk or sit and watch the sun rise or set. I love watching the birds at the feeders outside my office window. It’s a kind of meditation.
What’s the one thing you hope your readers take away from your book?
The question “What if?” is always at the beginning of every story idea that tickles my fancy. It was asking that question that led me to explore all the different ideas that became ALONE. I don’t have any specific message or lesson for readers to take away. It would be wonderful if the book inspires young readers to explore their own “What ifs.” Humans need creativity to thrive and reading keeps imaginations fertile. I also hope reading ALONE will make readers hungry to read more books.
What’s next for you?
I have some things in the pipeline right now, and I’m finishing revisions on a work-in-progress that I’m hoping to send to my agent soon. I’m having a great time connecting with readers and working on all the launch events for ALONE, but I’m also eager to get back to my current characters and story. I love spending time in their world so it’s really fun to write.
Megan can be reached at: https://www.meganefreeman.com
Facebook: @meganefreemanwrites Twitter: @meganefreeman