Hi! I’m Meghan.
I spend most of my time chasing after precocious and wriggly mice, trying to get them to stop and tell me about their latest adventures, so I can finish writing The Stowaways series. I update my blog as often as possible but am lately preoccupied with the chase, which in writing may look like a lot of sitting around and doing nothing but my brain is at full speed ahead.
The Stowaways is my first novel, (soon to be followed by a Book 2!), written for middle-grade readers aged 7-11. Yup, it’s about mice. I’m proud to say it was a finalist for three major awards – the Ann Connor Brimer award for children’s literature, the Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year for Children award, and the Monica Hughes Science Fiction & Fantasy Award, one of seven national awards administered by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre at the fabulous TD Gala (think: school bus full of desserts).
So how did I start writing about mice?
For 20 years and counting, I’ve been working as a costume maker in the film and television industry. During a contract where I designed the costumes for 6-inch stop motion puppet-astronauts for CBC/BBC’s Lunar Jim, I remembered my childhood passion for miniature things, and became inspired to write stories for children about tiny worlds. As a child, I used to create homes for my toy mice out of any source I could find – food packaging, Lego, Apple MacPaint wallpaper…. One project could go on for months at a time. I’m the same way as an adult, except now perched on comfy chairs instead of crammed into the last available corner on my bedroom floor (though with the state of my studio right now, it’s happily feeling like that all over again!)
Though The Stowaways is meant for young readers, lots of dads and mums have told me they loved reading it with their kids, with giggles and sniffs shared between them. This has been the best part of writing for me — I’m a believer in the power of sharing stories with children to help them develop self-worth, and I’m delighted that families have bonded over The Stowaways. Snuggled up in the arms of a parent or read to by a teacher in the classroom, children learn that stories about characters their age have relevance; that their feelings and dreams are important to you, their adult role model.
Book 2 of The Stowaways is now complete, with revisions to come from my editor. Meanwhile I’m working on an exciting new project that is calling on that fearless childhood version of myself to tackle a creative ball of fire including design, sewing and writing, plus some new skills thrown in! Looking forward to sharing it with you soon….