Hope you all had a lovely World Book Day and are looking forward to a fun weekend. Today’s post is a Meaghan Fisher special, including our very first interview and review of two of her bestsellers, Owlie Learns To Fly and Tyler the Fish Saves Lake Erie.
Meaghan has a degree in psychology and a Minor in women’s studies, and before she was an author she was a nanny. She has won many awards for her books including:Readers Favourite 2014 Award: Tyler the Fish and Mousekabitz, Creative Child Magazine 2014 Preferred Choice: Mousekabitz and Lars the Monkey ,Creative Child Magazine 2014 Seal of Excellence: Tyler the Fish, Literary Classics Seal of Approval: Tyler the Fish, 2013 Best Picture Book : Mousekabitz, Mom’s Choice Silver : Tyler the Fish. As Meaghan lives over the sea in Ohio, USA, we emailed over some questions for her!
What inspired you to start writing?
I first started writing poetry and journaling when I was ten years old. I loved reading books!! I would always have my nose in a book! I would read one book a week and would try to finish it as fast as I could, so I could get another book right away! One day, I was writing poetry during class and my Sixth Grade English Teacher, Linda Gallagher at Concord Elementary in Troy, Ohio saw one of my poems and quickly read it. She then turned to me and said, “keep it up, Meaghan and someday you will be published!”
I continued to write throughout my school and into college and was inspired yet again by another English Teacher in my freshman year, who taught Poetry. I began writing again and was even published in several books, websites for Green Peace, Magazines, and articles. But I never took my writing seriously and wanted to do it for a career until I wrote my first children’s book! I later ran into Linda Gallagher again on a walk near my house after college. She made me show her the book and read it. I sat on pins and nettles awaiting her answer but when I talked to her again she inspired me. She gave me that same look she had in grade school and said, “This is good, you need to get it published!” I will never forget that day, it changed my life. That day, I knew I was an author.
How did you make the transition from nanny to author?
I always loved children. I started babysitting when I was in High School and then I started to Nanny in College because I have always adored children.
When I graduated from college, I came home and I started Substitute Teaching at my old school in Troy, Ohio when I started to write children’s books. I wanted them all to be traditionally written, have moral lessons, and educational tools in each book. I wanted to make a positive impact on parents and their children and also teach and inspire them through my books.
Which of your books is your favourite and why?
I get asked that question a lot and I have to say, I really don’t have a favourite one because they all are like my babies to me, each child, I love the same. All of them have been written for different purposes, reasons, or because of a real life experience such as Mousekabitz, which was real story that took place in my parents’ house. However, there are a few that are really special to me because of the loved ones who are in them, for example, I love Ladybugs is about my daughter, Emma Rose and If I Could Pull the Moon from the Sky is about my son, Kevin and then Owlie Learns to Fly was written for my two children due to my draughters love for owls, and is even more special because my husband did the art work for it, which took him three years! Also, Sadie the skunk, I love because it’s based off my Collie, Sadie who my husband calls Stinky! So they are special to me for different reasons.
What are your future plans?
Yes, I am currently on 4 year tour of America until 2018 and I also plan on going to Germany and Italy in 2015 and 2016 for my books. This year, I am headlining many big events in America such as children’s festivals and author fairs, and I will be going to the BEA in NYC and doing several book signings there and school readings around the country. I am also speaking and book signing at the biggest educational conferences and literacy events on the east coast this March-July! I am very excited! I also have two books releasing this year: June: 2015 called, The Strawberry Festival and Coming Dec: 2015, Tyler the Fish and Marty the Sturgeon which is the second book in my Tyler the Fish Book Series. I have seven in total in the series.
So lots going on regarding my books and my tour!
Finally, Meaghan gave her top 5 tips for budding authors:
-Get a wonderful Editor that you can become great friends with. You need someone who cares about what you want and knows you very well, what you like and what you don’t like, and someone who support’s your mission as a writer!
-Research the Publishing world very well and take your time, even years if needed.
-Get Writers Digest, its great!
-Only do business with a publisher who cares and supports your mission as writer
-Find a supportive Writers group or friend and join many online groups! The more information the better!
We got Meaghan’s books on the day that we drove for 3 hours to pick up a hamster (long story!), so we read the books to Beebop in the back of the car and they kept her entertained for ages! We chose Owlie Learns to Fly to read first.
Owlie is very, very nervous. Today is the day Mother Owl teaches all her babies to fly, but Owlie is scared. Will he have the courage to fly by himself?
The illustrations are very unique and very cute. Beebop loved the bright colours and they stand out against the dark colours of the tree and the night sky.
One of Meaghan’s hopes is to inspire children through her writing and Owlie’s story of being brave would really help little ones to pluck up the courage to do something that they’re scared of too.
We read Tyler The Fish Saves Lake Erie on our way home and by this point, Beebop was getting a bit fed up of being on the motorway (don’t we all on long journeys?!) so Tyler was the perfect distraction!
Tyler is happily playing Fish Tag with his friend Jimmy when they find a load of barrels leaking out toxic goop! It’s up to Tyler to save Lake Erie before it’s too late!
Sandra Burns’s illustrations are really cute, we love the colours she uses to create Tyler’s watery home with lots of detail on every page.
Tyler’s story is great to educate little ones on the importance of looking after our planet and also illustrates the importance of never giving up.
If you want to hear more of what Meaghan is up to (she’s a very busy lady!) she has a website, a Facebook and a Twitter. If you want to buy Meaghan’s books, you can buy them from Amazon. For our American readers, you can also buy them from Barnes and Nobles and Books A Million.
Thank you so much Meaghan for sending us your books and for being interviewed!