Megan was awesome enough to answer a few questions for me after I read her amazing book Give Up the Ghost. Read my review if you haven't already.
Would you mind sharing a little bit about yourself and how you became a writer?
I've always loved stories. My parents are both avid readers and read to me every night, and I couldn't wait to be able to read books to myself, too. I started making up my own stories when I was very young as well. Some of them I wrote down, and some of them I acted out with my toys (my plastic animal figures used to have epic battles between the carnivores and the herbivores). For a while it was just something I did for fun. But as I got older and started seeing how much friends and teachers enjoyed my stories, I began to think maybe I could do this thing I loved as a career, too. I wrote my first novel (and a number of others) and started sending out short stories to magazines when I was in my teens. I didn't have a lot of success then, but I kept at it, and, well, here I am today!
What inspired you to write Give up the Ghost?
I had this idea of a girl hanging out with her ghostly sister, and feeling totally at ease with it, and I wanted to explore that. I hadn't seen a character who liked being able to see ghosts before. Why would she prefer the company of the dead over that of the living? What might come of her friendship with ghosts? How might she re-connect with living people? With so many interesting questions to figure out the answers to, I just had to write a book about her!
What made you decide to write a young adult novel or, rather, have a young adult as your protagonist?
All of my novels have had teen protagonists. When I was in my teens, I felt that I didn't know enough about being an adult to write one's story convincingly. But as I got into my twenties, I found I still liked writing about teenaged characters. So much goes on in the teen years–you're figuring out who you are and who you want to be, defining yourself apart from your parents, re-evaluating ideas and people you took for granted as a kid–and I love writing about characters going through all of that. It's so intense.
Have you ever encountered anything ghostly yourself?
There was one time I thought maybe my cat had seen a ghost. He was in my bedroom, and all of a sudden he freaked out and scratched me and ran out of the room. And then he spent the next hour at a distance, staring at my bed. He refused to go under the bed ever again after that, even though that had previously been one of his favorite places to hide. So there was definitely something going on that was beyond my abilities of perception!
What do you need with you when you're sitting down to write?
My laptop (which has no internet connection–on my desktop computer I'm easily distracted) and the index card with the outline of the scene I'm currently writing. That's about it!
What are you working on currently writing-wise?
I've got a few different projects at different stages–all of them YA, and all of them some sort of speculative fiction (paranormal, fantasy).
Thank you again Megan for taking some time to answer my questions!