I recently had the privileged of interviewing author, Megan Spengler. I hope you enjoy getting to know Megan as much as I did! For even more information on Megan and how to purchase her books, visit www.meganspengler.tateauthor.com.
A little about your writing:
What is the title of your book(s)?
Operation Wrinklesteen & Revenge At Camp Tepeki
Who is your target audience?
I say junior high – 5th-8th grade girls mostly
Where did you get the idea for the story line? Did it come from a personal experience?
My first book deals a lot with getting along with difficult people which is definitely a personal experience. I didn’t handle it very well and that’s one of my deepest regrets. My second book deals with forgiveness and that’s also from personal experience, but something I think everyone can relate to. I can’t think of anyone who at one time or another hasn’t struggled with hurt, hatred, revenge, or just struggling to forgive.
Which character in your story do you relate with the most and why?
The main character – Abby. Some of her personality is based off of me, especially the klutzy, clumsy part! You really need to be able to empathize with the main character or you’re not going to have a believable book! I know it sounds weird, but I almost view Abby like a real person. After the first book was finished, I kind of missed the characters, especially her!
If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast to play the main characters?
Good question! I think Emma Stone for Abby because Emma seems so down to earth, but she’s a little old for a junior high character. I’d have to google some younger actors and actresses.
Is there a message or lesson in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
In Operation Wrinklesteen, I want readers to see that things aren’t always what they seem and that things aren’t always about them. Sometimes people act the way they do for a reason, even if they shouldn’t be acting that way. In Revenge at Camp Tepeki, the whole book is about forgiveness and what can happen if we choose not to.
What does your writing process look like?
For my first book, I did a lot of outlining because that was how I learned to stay on track and make sure there was action in every chapter. I do less and less outlining with every book I’ve done. After the outlining, I write the rough draft and it’s usually REALLY rough. Then lots and lots of revising until I think to myself, “You’ve got to stop sometime and be finished!” I’ve never really thought my books are ‘done.’ There’s always more revising that could be done.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Names are huge! I choose names and then change them sometimes based on how the personality of my character develops. Abby’s name started out as Annabelle, but with the current name trends, I changed it to Abby. Noah used to be Bartholomew, but his personality just didn’t fit that name. My husband came up with a character to add to the book I’m working on now and I just changed his name because his previous name just didn’t work in my head anymore.
Do you have any crazy writing habits like wearing a special hat or taking breaks to stand on your head?
Ha! No crazy writing habits. I will put aside a project for weeks, sometimes months, and then go back to it and write like crazy for a couple of days to a week. Every writing expert would tell you that you should write every day, but that has never worked for me. Sometimes I need to take a break so I can refresh my creativity! Plus the break allows me to come back and look at a portion of my writing more objectively and with fresh eyes. Oh, and I like to do my first big revision on paper, not on the computer.
Do you ever experience writers block and what do you do to overcome it?
Yes!! All the time! Like I said in the previous comment, sometimes I take a break from the project because I know it’s stalling, but don’t know how to fix it. Other times, I need to just keep writing and get past the bad part to a part where I know what’s going to happen. You can always go back and change the bad writing. That’s why it’s called a rough draft! Another way is to use some writing prompts not even related to what you’re writing. It just gets your mind going again. If you google writing prompts, you’ll get a whole page of suggestions.
How old were you when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I went to college for education and that’s what my degree is in. I had always enjoyed writing stories growing up, but thought the only thing you could really do with that is journalism, which didn’t really suit my personality. It wasn’t until after I graduated and realized teaching wasn’t my calling that I turned to writing and only then because a friend thought God was telling her to send me an ad for a writing school. I had an idea for a book, but still only thought of it as a hobby until she sent me that.
What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
Editing! I hate looking for those nitpicky things, like missing periods. I especially hate commas! When should you use one, when shouldn’t you. I prefer editing to marketing though. Marketing comes after the writing is over, but it’s probably my least favorite part of writing as a whole. Unless you’re a best seller, you’re going to have to do some of your own marketing. I’m getting better, but I have lots of room to grow!
What writing projects are you currently working on?
I just finished the rough draft of the third book in my series. It’s affectionately titled Book 3! I still need a title. Most of the time, I’m only working on one project at a time. I’ve never been a good multi-tasker!
What question have you always wished someone would ask you about your book(s), but no one has?
If you never made any money off any of your books, would you still write?
YES!!! It would be nice to make money off my writing, but I’d rather know that what I’m writing is making a difference in someone’s life. Even if I only help one person, it would make everything I write worth it. And I love it!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Keep at it and most importantly Have Fun! If you’re not enjoying writing, then your books probably aren’t that enjoyable! I get frustrated sometimes and think I’m not going to write anymore, but I just can’t stay away! That’s when you know you’re a writer!
A little about you:
Do you have a favorite author or an all-time favorite book?
I have a lot of favorites. One of my favorite kid books is Charlotte’s Web. One of my all-time favorite adult books is Arena by Karen Hancock. Her creativity is awesome! Some other favorites are Robin Gunn and Robert Whitlow.
Among your favorite books, which fictional character do you relate to best and why?
I really related to Callie in Arena. She’s kind of stuck in life just like I was when I first read it. She’s stubborn, but still has a soft heart, just like me!
If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What would your costume look like? What would your super power be?
My costume would most definitely be pink. Pink and white. No cape. I think maybe I would have my power be persuasion. I can think of a lot of good things that would happen if people could be persuaded differently. It could be dangerous too and every super hero has to have a flaw! My name… I’d have to think on that. Or ask my husband. He’s good at coming up with super hero names!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Reading! Every writer should love reading! Watching movies, hanging out with friends and family, taking walks, riding bike, and sadly I’m addicted to facebook!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. The pictures of it are just beautiful!
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Quiet, weird, imaginative
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know about?
I love to sing. I’m not terrible, but I’m not good enough to be excited about singing in front of people, except in a big group where you can’t really distinguish my voice from anybody else’s!
Don’t forget to visit Megan at www.meganspengler.tateauthor.com.