Meg of write meg! and I have been online friends for a while, ever since we both discovered we are both head-over-heels platonically in love with Jessica Darling from Megan McCafferty's books. Since then, Meg has been a solid delight in the blogosphere, with lovely reviews and a blog bursting with friendliness and gorgeous photos. I can't believe it took me so long to ask her for an interview, but I figure since she was recently shortlisted for several BBAW Awards, now is as good a time as any! Welcome, Meg, to Steph Su Reads!
I’m Meg from Maryland, a small but spirited state in the U.S., and I’m a 25-year-old editor and columnist for three newspapers in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. When I’m not subjecting the public to my thoughts on Starbucks beverages, growing up and trying to be a better person, my nose is stuck in a book! I never leave home without a novel, usually of the chick lit or young adult variety, and I’m notorious for the book hoarding habits that have taken over my life -- and office.
2. Tell us about your blog. When did you start it and why? Where did the name come from? What interesting things can visitors expect?
write meg! began as a way for me to communicate with other book lovers after I quit my part-time job at a corporate bookstore. While I didn’t exactly miss working retail, I did miss the opportunities to talk literature with customers and coworkers. I was an English major in college, too, and lost that outlet after graduation.
I’ll be frank with you, Steph -- my blog name was created randomly. When I was registering with WordPress and trying to choose a username, every variation of “Meg Writes,” “Meg The Writer,” “Megan Writes,” etc., was taken -- but “writemeg” was free. Throw an explanation point in there and we’re good to go! (Exclamation points: I have a fondness for them.)
Popping over to my blog, you can expect to find plenty of book reviews focusing on women’s fiction, YA and literature along with posts on photography (I don’t leave home without a camera, either), travel, dating, family, love and cupcakes. Lots of cupcakes.
3. What is important to you when writing a review?
Isolating and explaining what I really “got” from a book -- whether that’s positive or negative. I’m always looking for what’s at the heart of the matter, if you’ll allow the cliché, and I try really hard to capture that in my book reviews. There’s always a lesson to be learned from the experience of reading, even if it’s “Wow, I never want to waste my time on a book like this again!” I try to share what my experience was as a reader when I’m writing about a book later.
4. Name three favorite books and why you think everyone should read them.
Next up would be The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice, which is such a whimsical and entertaining story. As someone obsessed with England, I loved that the book was set in 1950s London -- and the motley crew of characters here were awesome! And I always like books a little more when I fall in love with the male lead myself, which worked well here: I was enamored with Harry, even with his two-tone eyes. I didn’t want the book to end.
Finally, don’t miss out on The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. I ripped through this story of young Callie and her scientific pursuits in a day or so, barely pausing to take a breath. Though it’s set in 1899, it holds plenty of universal truths that still relate to growing up today -- and that’s what I really loved about it. A quiet, moving story.
Jessica Darling from Megan McCafferty’s series of the same name is my hero. As much as I loved her in Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings, I could really relate to her as she aged in Fourth Comings and Perfect Fifths. At the heart of the books is her love story with Marcus Flutie, a guy I would happily leap into a novel to marry, and the drama, pain and excitement surrounding the back-and-forth years of their romance mirrors my own experiences with first love. The books have a very special place in my heart for that reason!
For as much as I love Jessica, though, we’re pretty different people! I love her outspoken nature, but I’m a little more reserved and cautious about what I say. We’re both writers, though, and have both caused some controversy as members of a high school newspaper staff! I’ll leave it at that.
6. You already know I consider her my soulmate too. :) So what's the bookwormiest/nerdiest thing you've done?
Well, simply reading about my beloved Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia wasn’t enough for me. I’ve been writing books since I was about 8 years old, and I decided I would go ahead and rewrite many of my favorite plotlines. Over the course of a summer, I wrote an action-packed love story featuring all of my favorite characters that topped out at about 300 pages. Single-spaced.
I probably still have that somewhere -- on several floppy disks! (Remember those? God, I feel old.)
7. Yes! Wow, that is CRAZY. Now, three places you want to go before you die?
I’m dying, dying, dying to get back to England -- I’m a major Anglophile and can’t get enough of the Brits! I’ve visited London twice but never ventured outside the city. On my next trip over, I want to really hit the countryside. I’d also love to visit Poland, my “motherland,” and see Greece.
8. What is the most romantic thing someone has done for you?
I’ve had some sweet boyfriends who’ve made grand gestures -- and I appreciated them! But I think the most romantic things are the small, day-to-day moments you share with someone that really prove how much they care for you. When I had dental surgery a few weeks ago, my boyfriend Spencer showed up with a gift basket he’d made up with all the essentials I’d need for recovery: ibuprofen, soup, ginger ale, ice-cream. He’d had a long day and wasn’t planning on making a drive over to my house but, without having to ask, still made the effort -- and wasn’t all smug about it! That meant so much to me.
But there is the story of the time a close friend took me out on the dance floor at his brother’s wedding, asked the DJ to play my favorite song (“Look After You” by The Fray) and asked me -- in front of friends, family and God himself -- to be his girlfriend. In my memories, I’m not sure if I chalk this one up more as “romantic” or “terrifying and unexpected.” But maybe we’ll just go with romantic.
I guess the obvious answer here is books! But beyond a stack of novels, I love to get clothes, cooking/baking equipment (especially cupcake-related!), jewelry and new electronics to play with. I’m saving up for a DSLR camera, unless someone wants to buy me one of those for Christmas! I’ll let that hang there as a not-so-subtle hint.
10. And finally, tell us two interesting things about yourself that can spark conversation.
I have a very expressive face -- I’m always curling up my upper lip, frowning, crinkling my forehead or chewing my lips. My most off-putting trait, though, is that I can raise an individual eyebrow at a time -- something I do often when confused or annoyed. When people first realize I can do it, it becomes a bit of a parlor trick!
Conversation tends to spark around my hair, too. It’s long, wavy and a little unkempt -- and I usually like it that way. I don’t know how “interesting” it is, but it’s always hanging at the forefront of my conversations! And because I push it out of my eyes so much, someone always seems to comment on it. Thankfully, they’re usually kind!
Thank you so much for your answers, Meg! The more I know about this girl, the more I like her. :) I hope you check out her blog, write meg!, for good conversations about a variety of different books!