Monday, November 11, 2013

Interview: Ann Marie Meyers

Author Interview of the Week

Meet Ann Marie Meyers, author of children's book Up in the Air.

All Rights Reserved to Annmarie Meyers

What made you want to be an author?

I’ve often wondered about that. I don’t think it was a conscious choice. In primary and high school, I always loved English Literature and writing essays, but I never wanted to write. In fact, when I studied D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce, I felt sorry how unhappy their lives were. I decided that being an author was a tedious path indeed. And then, one day, in my late teens, I started a journal. The first words I wrote were: “I want to be a writer”. That blew me away, and I didn’t really act on it for many years.

Who has inspired you the most?

My parents. Their dedication and integrity are something I admire tremendously. Their goal for their eight kids (I’m no. 2) was to give us an education so we could make our way in the world, to be autonomous and independent. And they achieved it.

Can you tell us about some of your earlier days of writing?

It was tedious and exhilarating at the same time. I would get up at 5:00 a.m. before I went to work and write for two hours. It was hard, especially in winter, when it was so dark outside. I had to force myself out of bed, but then once I was in front of the computer and got into the story, I would soar with ideas (well, most of the time).

I’d go to the office, happy and excited that I was working towards my goal; that my book was progressing. And those mornings when I would succumb to laziness or exhaustion and stay in my warm bed, I would feel guilty all day because I hadn’t woken up to write. Usually though, the joy of getting further along in my story usually won out over how tired I felt when everyone else was asleep.

 Has your life considerably changed since you've been published?

My book was released on July 6th so my life hasn’t changed all that much. Still, It’s a bit chaotic planning readings, preparing interview questions and posts for my blog tour. And truth be told, it’s also been somewhat nerve-wracking knowing that people are reading my book. 

 What made you want to write children's books?

My daughter! When she was born, I started having ideas about what stories might interest her as she grew older. I tried my hand at picture books, but soon realized I didn’t have the knack for it (at least as of then). The idea for Up In The Air came to me when my daughter was three years old. And since then all the ideas I’ve had are for middle grade and young adult.

What made you go from being a freelance translator to an author?

Actually I still translate. At times it feels like a juggling act; I’ve never been able to find a good balance because translating involves tight deadlines, and writing tends to slip into the background when I get large jobs.

However, as I mentioned above, it wasn’t a decision to want to be an author. Call it a compulsion, if you will. A feeling deep within that I couldn’t ignore. Believe me, I tried. I wanted to be ‘happy’. I didn’t want to have moments of deep pathos like D.H. Lawrence or James Joyce. But I soon found that ignoring the desire to write was stifling. I wasn’t happy. Quite the contrary, I was miserable and intolerant. One day I realized I had to embrace the fact that I wanted, needed, to write, and accept it. Once I did, the resistance fell away, and life has, overall, been good. My fears were just that: fears. Life, after all, is what we make it.

What has been the best experience so far on your journey as an author?

Would you believe revising my WIPs? I enjoy shaping my stories and improving them with each revision. Despite the obvious frustration at times, there’s a deep sense of fulfillment when the story comes together and I can see it evolving before my eyes.

Can you give us some insight on any upcoming projects?

I am finalizing a YA set in Trinidad in 1969, and which involves the folklore of that island.

What advice can you give to any upcoming authors?

There’s a comment in Star Trek Voyager that Hansen Harry Kim made. It goes something like this: it’s not the destination, but the journey.

To me, writing encapsulates these words.  There will be lots of ups and downs, and for most writers there will be way too many rejections. There will be times when you want to give up and throw it all in.  And if you’re like me, you’ll feel that if you didn’t get published you would have ‘failed’ somehow.

So my advice is this. Surround yourself with friends and family and realize that writing is a journey.  And always come back to the reason you want to write, and the joy it gives you to create. Publication will come in its time. Getting there surrounded by people who love and support you is much more fulfilling than the opposite.

Thanks so much, Annmarie for interviewing with us! Don't forget to follow her outlets below!
Annmarie Meyers Website
Jollyfish Press

All Rights Reserve to Annmarie Meyers
Get your copy today!

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