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  • Heather Steadham

"It keeps on being wonderful."--Megan E. Freeman in the KidLit Studio

Updated: Mar 14



As a newly-agented KidLit author, I feel like I hit the jackpot when Deborah Warren from East/West Literary Agency offered to represent me. She has represented such amazing folks as the many-times-over bestselling Llama Llama creators, the newest ALA Pura Belpré Children's Author Award-winner Ernesto Cisneros, and the 2015 Newbery Award-winning author of The Crossover and Founding Editor of VERSIFY (the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint that plans to "Change the world, one word at a time)," Kwame Alexander. I couldn't help but geek out to learn that East/West cultivates a collaborative environment and that I'd get to rub elbows with the amazing authors on Deborah's roster.


Enter Megan E. Freeman, stage left.


A Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, Megan has so much on her resume I admire. She studied drama and dramatic literature, she's taught arts and humanities to a wide array of students, and she's wanted to be a writer since her elementary school days! Her entry into the world of KidLit came earlier this year, when Alone, a middle-grade novel in verse about a twelve-year-old girl left alone to survive in a Colorado town that has mysteriously been evacuated and abandoned, debuted and reached Amazon's #1 New Release in Stories in Verse. Inspired by a read of Island of the Blue Dolphins in a mother-daughter book club, Megan wrote a dystopian tale that Simon & Schuster/Aladdin couldn't resist and that has garnered comparisons to that classic survival tale by Gary Paulsen, Hatchet.


Read on to she how survived the Inside the KidLit Studio hot seat.



1. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I’m very proud of the life I’ve created. I worked hard and made mistakes and learned a

lot. I have wonderful relationships with people I adore and I am deeply grateful.


2. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A day with my husband at the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival. A day with my younger

daughter at her home in Singapore. A day in the Texas Hill Country with my husband

and our older daughter. A day with my dad sitting in the oak grove at Descanso

Gardens. A day with my aunt walking along the beach in Oceanside, California. A day

with my mom at Vroman’s Bookstore. A day lunching with friends on the Pearl Street

Mall in Boulder. An evening with my husband watching snow fall as we soak in the hot

tub.


3. When and where were you the happiest?

I was a single mom for many years, and I loved every minute of raising my daughter. We

made a great team. Then I met my husband four years ago and fell head over heels in

love. Being married to him is bliss.


4. What is it that you most dislike?

Passive-aggression.


5. What is your greatest extravagance?

I like scented soaps in my bathroom and freshly cut flowers in my house. Flowers are

usually above food on my grocery list.


6. Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d love to snap my fingers and be able to play the piano. I dreamed once that I could

play and it was wonderful.


7. Where would you like to live?

I love to travel and have been all over the world, but my favorite place is our house in

Colorado. I have views of the Rocky Mountains and I’m surrounded by farmland. It’s a

perfect place to come home to.


8. What do you most value in your friends?

Integrity, self-awareness, a sense of humor, whip-smart insights, compassion,

creativity.


9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Loyalty. I think a lot of people suffer unnecessarily because of loyalty. Sometimes it’s

better to move on.


10. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’ve been working for a long time on becoming the kind of person I want to be, and I’m

pretty happy with my progress to date. The older I get, the more I enjoy being me.


11. What is your favorite and least favorite word?

I love the words “friend” and “family” and “love.” I also love the word “tacit.” The first

time my husband used the word “tacit,” I knew I was a goner.


I dislike the word “bitch.” I might feel differently if I were a dog breeder, but I’m not.


12. What is your perfect environment for creative work?

Quiet, natural light, a view of bird feeders, flowers on the windowsill, books on shelves,

a pot of loose-leaf tea, a little pitcher of oat milk, a mug with a handle that fits my hand.


13. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I’d love to work in a flower shop.


14. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? (Doesn’t have to be kidlit.)

Such an impossible question. I loved Joy McCullough’s Blood Water Paint and Maggie

O’Farrell’s Hamnet and Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanessa. I loved William Kent

Krueger’s This Tender Land and Kevin Wilson’s Nothing to See Here and Lily King’s

Writers and Lovers. For KidLit, I really loved Kate Albus’s A Place to Hang the Moon and

Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish. For non-fiction, I was fascinated by Hidden

Valley Road by Robert Kolker and Memorial Drive by Natasha Tretheway. I could keep

going…


15. What is the favorite book of your childhood?

If I can really only pick one (also impossible), I’ll pick Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy

Freedman. It’s based on the life of a real woman in the early part of the twentieth

century who fell in love with a Canadian Mountie and moved with him way up north.

It’s sweeping and brutal and adventurous and romantic. I read it many times and I

reread it to my daughter when she was young. She loved it, too.


16. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God/Goddess say when you arrive?

“It keeps on being wonderful.”



More about Megan:

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