Monday, October 18, 2010
MEGAN CREWE - YA Author Interview
CS: The interview this morning is with MEGAN CREWE, author of the YA novel GIVE UP THE GHOST. Good Morning, Megan. Why don't you tell us a little about yourself.
MEGAN CREWE: I'm living in Toronto, now with my husband and two cats of my own. By mornings I write; by afternoons I tutor children and teens with special needs. When I'm not doing either, I'm reading everything I can get my hands on (about an equal mix of YA and adult fiction, with the occasional nonfiction title thrown in), learning Fut Gar kung fu, and planning my next overseas exploration.
CS: Tell us about Give Up the Ghost. How was your story birthed? What was your motivation?
MEGAN CREWE: The idea just popped into my head--the image of a girl hanging out with her ghostly sister like it was a totally normal thing. I wanted to figure out why she'd be so comfortable with ghosts, and what might have come out of her friendship with them, and the story developed from there.
CS: What messages/life lessons did you wish to teach your readers in Give Up the Ghost?
MEGAN CREWE: Well, I don't write to teach. But I think the main theme of GHOST is that it's better to take the risk of getting hurt and try to connect with people than to totally shut yourself off--that you can't possibly be happy if you close yourself off from everyone else.
CS: Looking back on writing Give Up the Ghost, is there anything you would have done differently?
MEGAN CREWE: Probably lots of things! One of the odd things about being an author is that by the time one of your books comes out, you've already written others and grown as a writer, and the book that's published at that moment is not the book you'd write at that moment, if you had to do it over right then. I try not to think about what I might have done differently very much, because otherwise it'd drive me crazy!
CS: What part of writing is the easiest for you? And the hardest?
MEGAN CREWE: I'd say the easiest parts for me are outlining, which I really enjoy because I get to see the story coming together, and I'm usually pretty good at figuring out plot holes and that sort of thing, and revising, because I find it much easier to focus on making a story good once I have the whole thing down. The hardest is the rough draft, because I'm never sure everything's going to work out on the page until I get to the end, and I'm always aware that there are things that aren't quite right but that I can't fix until I can see the whole picture. Both of those factors can make it pretty stressful, so I usually write the first draft as quickly as possible.
CS: What advice would you give aspiring authors about getting into the game? What do you know now that you wish you had known back when you started in the business?
MEGAN CREWE: I think the most important thing for any aspiring author is to be persistent and not give up. There is a certain amount of luck and timing to being successful in this industry, and not every good book gets published right away. Plus it often takes at least a few books before you're writing ones that are good enough to be published. If you want to make it, you have to be willing to put in a lot of time and a lot of work toward making your writing as good as it possibly can be, and then getting it out there to agents and editors.
One thing I wish I'd known when I was starting out is that getting the first book published doesn't mean you're set for an entire career. It was harder for me to sell a second book than to sell GHOST. I'd expected it to be easier, and I think if I'd known how many ups and downs there can be even after you're published, it wouldn't have worried me as much as it did.
CS: What was the wisest thing about writing that was ever said to you?
MEGAN CREWE: That the most important thing you can do for your career is write the next book (and of course, write it as well as you can). It's easy to get caught up in promotional concerns but ultimately, if you write a book that readers connect with, it'll find its audience.
CS: Tell us about your next book.
MEGAN CREWE: My next book is called THE WAY WE FALL. It's about a teenaged girl living on a small island that's suddenly struck with a deadly illness, and then placed under quarantine, leaving her and her family and friends struggling to survive.
Thanks for the interview!
CS: Thank you, Megan, for taking the time to do the interview with me.
And just a little something I found on Megan's site, some news on her THREE-BOOK DEAL:
The Publisher’s Marketplace announcement:
Megan Crewe’s THE WAY WE FALL, in which a 16-year-old challenges her fears, finds a second chance at love, and fights to keep her family and friends safe as a deadly new virus devastates her island community, to Catherine Onder at Disney-Hyperion, in a significant deal, at auction, in a three-book deal, for publication in Winter 2012, by Josh Adams at Adams Literary (NA).
Congrats on your new successes, Megan!