For a brief Bio, click here
Hello! Meghan here. I’m a children’s novel writer and picture book maker, currently writing, crafting and photo-illustrating stories for children, starring two handmade puppet animals set in nature. My studio is a beautiful forest, where I imagine their tiny world through the lens of a camera. It might seem an odd vocation, but it was always going to come to this!
As a quiet child called ‘Meghan Mouse’, I learned to read and sew at an early age, as interacting with other children felt too loud for me. As soon as I had the ability, I began creating a world I felt more comfortable in – a miniature one, designed for toy mice. I made their houses out of any source I could find – food packaging, Lego, clothespins, yarn…. And when I wasn’t crafting, I studied vast numbers of picture books, wanting to crawl inside them.
As an adult I found my place in the film industry as a costume maker, where among many live action films and tv shows, I ended up as the costume designer for stop-motion puppets on the animated TV series, Lunar Jim. It was my tiny detailed work there that reminded me how much I loved miniature worlds. When the show ended, I decided to write The Stowaways – a novel for children about a mouse who lives in a tiny community but yearns for adventure in the big world beyond. I was thrilled when it was published! It did very well but then I got to thinking…
As I walked in the woods to mull over my next novel, I started taking photos of a tiny Maileg toy by a stream, imagining how it would feel to be a little mouse in a big forest. I was soon taken away to a calm, creative world filled with depth and possibility.
I decided this would be my next project – making the diorama picture book I would have loved as a child. After designing and building two wire-framed puppet animals, I began work on a photo-illustrated story with scenes shot in the forest and on interior sets. I spend a LOT of time, muddy and bug-bitten, trying to get the perfect shot of these puppets. It’s hard work, but fun! When I’m not in the woods I make props for my interior sets, mostly from rubbish and twigs. The environment is important to me, so I like to use found materials rather than buying new stuff. The result is pretty quirky!
My goal in all my writing is to inspire children to connect with nature – to notice its tiny details and the patterns in the chaos – and find their own place in the world, outside the noise of life.
I hope you’re inspired to check out my children’s novel The Stowaways (in print, e-book, or library) and to follow my journey on Instagram, where I share my practice photos with Maileg toys and the process of making miniature props. When I publish the books, I’ll share my puppet characters, too. See you soon!