Alone by Megan E. Freeman
The book is the number 1 New Release in Stories in Verse.
1- The dog in Alone is a Rottweiler. Why that breed, and will the dog survive?
George, the rottweiler in the book, is based on a real rottweiler I knew years ago, also named George. And yes, he absolutely survives.
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
Once you’ve written a draft, go back through and question every. single. word. Do the same with every punctuation mark and capital letter. Make sure each is critical. Distill.
3- What most motivates you to read a new book?
I’m usually motivated by the premise of the book, but sometimes it’s an author I love or the recommendation of a reader friend. Sometimes I line up several books I’m excited to read, and then choose based on the first sentences. I go with the one that grabs me in that moment.
4- What was the best part of your Zoom online @BookBarDenver launch party on Jan 12?
I loved seeing so many friends and family tuning in from around the world. It’s definitely a highlight of the pandemic that we are able to connect virtually via technology. I can’t imagine how an in-person event could have been more wonderful.
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book with some wildflowers?
Nothing blooms in Colorado in January, so here’s a picture of my book with the amaryllis bulbs I’m forcing on my kitchen windowsill.
6- Have you ever had to survive on your own?
I’m lucky to have a large support network, so even in the hardest times of my life, I’ve never been alone. I’ve experienced the existential angst that all humans are subject to, but it was usually short-lived and I’ve always had people I could turn to.
7- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
I’m @meganefreeman , and I’ll shout out to fellow #the21ders middle grade debut authors Kate Albus @katealbus , Alysa Wishingrad @AGWishingrad and Andrea Wang @andreaywang . Go pre-order their books!
Hopefully they'll sign up to be interviewed too!
8- When did you first know you wanted to publish a book someday?
I first wanted to be a writer when I was in elementary school. We made and “published” books out of cardboard and contact paper for an annual Young Authors Festival and I loved everything about it. When I was ten, I even dropped in on editors at publishing houses in New York City to let them know to watch out for me. I was very audacious.
9- Are you a Plotter, Pantser, or Plantser, and how did you adopt that style?
Every project is different and I’ve done all of the above at different times with different stories. I love the improvisational nature of letting a story tell itself, but I also appreciate plot structure when looking down on a project from 30,000 feet.
10- What does your basic writing schedule look like, and how often do you write?
My writing schedule depends on what I’m working on. I do something related to writing and/or publishing every day. I email my writing partner every weekday and we set daily goals that we hold each other accountable to. When I’m in a generative drafting mode, I set word count goals that I strive to achieve. When I’m revising, sometimes I set page count goals. Other times I set a goal related to how much time I’m going to spend working on something. Small, measurable goals are hugely helpful to me.
11- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!
Right now I’m loving all the books coming out from #the21ders debut group. So many great new MG and YA titles and such a rich variety of genres and topics. You can browse them all at https://the21ders.com
Author name: Kate Albus @katealbus
Title: A PLACE TO HANG THE MOON
Love because: It’s a wonderful story with darling characters you can’t help but adore and root for, and Kate gives us a deeply satisfying ending.
12- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?
Maddie, the main character, feels the gamut of emotions from excitement to fear to fury to serenity. I hope that readers can experience all of that vicariously through her at different points of the story. Part of what I love about fiction is the ability to feel things strongly in the safety of a fictional construct.
13- What kind of impact do you hope your book will have?
I hope it makes young readers hungry to read more books. I hope it inspires them to play and explore the “what ifs” in their own lives. I hope it fires up their imaginations.
14- What is your favorite creative non-writing activity to do?
I love to mess around in my sewing room. Sometimes I quilt. I go through phases where I’ll get excited about a sewing project and work on it intensely for a short period of time. I also love to go for hikes and walks in nature. I live in a beautiful place, and I find being in the natural world very inspiring.
15- diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks What's your favorite book with a diverse main character?
Impossible to pick favorites, but I recently loved Trevor Noah’s fantastic memoir BORN A CRIME and A.J. Sass’s debut novel ANA ON THE EDGE. I also had the good fortune to read an advance reader copy of PAWS by Kate Foster, and I’m really excited to read LIST OF TEN by Halli Gomez.
16- What method do you feel is the best way to get book reviews?
For ALONE, I reached out directly to the community of kidlit book bloggers and reviewers and was warmly received. The ARC sharing groups on #MG Twitter were great about reading review copies, posting reviews, and passing them along to share. That’s been huge.
17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
I’ve wanted to be traditionally published since I was a kid, and I trusted my agent to help determine which publishing houses would be the best fit for submissions. Finding a good steward who would champion the book was more important to me than the size of the press.
18- What's the biggest writing goal you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
I accomplished it on January 12 when I published ALONE, my first novel for children. I hope I’ll be lucky enough to do many, many more.
19- Would you please ask our audience a question to answer in the comments?
Everyone should answer this question from Mary Oliver’s poem “The Summer Day” that Maddie reads in ALONE:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
I really appreciate the chance to join you on the blog today. Thanks for all you do to support authors and readers!
ALONE by Megan E. Freeman
Perfect for fans of Hatchet and the I Survived series, this harrowing middle grade debut novel-in-verse from a Pushcart Prize–nominated poet tells the story of a young girl who wakes up one day to find herself utterly alone in her small Colorado town.
Megan E. Freeman attended an elementary school where poets visited her classroom every week to teach poetry and she has been a writer ever since. She writes middle grade and young adult fiction, and her debut middle grade novel-in-verse ALONE is available from Simon & Schuster/Aladdin. Megan is also a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet, and her poetry collection, Lessons on Sleeping Alone, was published by Liquid Light Press. An award-winning teacher with decades of classroom experience, Megan is nationally recognized for her work leading workshops and speaking to audiences across the country. Megan used to live in northeast Los Angeles, central Ohio, northern Norway, and on Caribbean cruise ships. Now she lives in northern Colorado.
Alone by Megan E. Freeman