[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Megan Sheperd. Be sure to check out Megan’s new YA novel ‘Grim Lovelies’]
Frolic: What is the most exciting part about being a part of Miami Book Fair and meeting fans?
Megan: Miami holds a special place in my heart because it’s where my husband was born. Writing is a solitary occupation, so whenever I can leave my farm and meet readers, it’s one of my very favorite things.
I read your most recent book and loved it! Is there a favorite character that stood out for you that was intriguing and fun to write?
Grim Lovelies is about the often-overlooked characters in fairy tales. My main character, Anouk, was enchanted from an animal into a maid by a witch in Paris—she’s inspired by the mice in Cinderella. Only she doesn’t want to turn back into an animal at midnight. She’s fallen in love with the human world and wants to experience everything, and will fight for her chance.
As an author, how do you best prepare for your next writing assignment? Any advice on inspiration?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. You might hear something in a podcast that sparks your imagination or get a glimmer of an idea from a movie. Be ready for it. Take a few hours to brainstorm wildly. Write down any initial characters, scenes, or lines of dialogue that pop into your head. It’s important to have your initial impressions written down because once you’re 300 pages into the book, it can be hard to remember what you first loved about it!
Who is your favorite YA author currently and why and how do they inspire your writing style?
I could never narrow it down to just one. I love the intricate speculative worlds of Leigh Bardugo, Dhonielle Clayton, Roshani Chokshi, Victoria Schwab, and Maggie Stiefvater. All of these authors are deft at combining stunning prose with thrilling magical worlds.
Any advice for fans looking to write as well and get their big writing break?
Focus on three things:
1) Write. It’s incredibly easy to think about writing, talk about writing, dream about writing, but not ever actually sit down and do it.
2) Read. Don’t limit yourself to reading books in the genre you write in, or else your voice will begin to feel overly familiar. Read widely outside of your genre.
3) Live. You must have something to say, and you get that by interacting with the world, pushing yourself to try new things, meeting new people and soaking up as many experiences as you can.