Advice for young writers, office cats and UP IN THE AIR: Three Questions With Ann Marie Meyers
Ann Marie Meyers grew up in Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies. She has a degree in languages and translates legal and technical documents from French and Spanish into English. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and daughter. Meyers is an active member of SCBWI and facilitates a children’s writing group twice a month.
Synopsis of UP IN THE AIR by Ann Marie Meyers, illustrated by Ethan Aldridge (Jolly Fish Press):
When Melody lands on Chimeroan and gets wings, she thinks life is finally going her way. She can fly! Yet she soon realizes she cannot outfly her past and is forced to come to terms with her part in her father’s accident and the guilt that plagues her. Ultimately, she must choose between the two things that have become the world to her: keeping her wings or healing her father.
Q. Could you please take a photo of something in your office and tell us the story behind it?
This is my ‘cat shelf’. Most of the cats are gifts I’ve received over the years, though I have no idea how this trend started. I don’t mind though because I love cats. Many people think they’re cold and standoffish (and yes, some definitely are). However, my experience with them is different. Cats have attitude! Yet when you bond with a cat, they’re loving, while holding on to their independence. They’re patient though demanding, and they are very determined. What I also admire about them is their apparent inner peace with the universe. They are content to sit back and let cat lovers dote on them to their (the cats’) content. I also love how they presume that whatever they see belongs to them.
Witness my cat drinking water from MY glass.
The little girl in the photo below is Melody, the main character of my MG novel, Up In The Air. My daughter created her with the rainbow loom rubber bands, wings and all. Picture tears with a huge smile on my face that she was inspired to do this.
Q. What advice do you have for young writers?
Dare to dream, especially when life throws ‘curveballs’ at you, because no matter what happens, you’ll always veer back on the path if you keep your dream alive. I find that whenever I recapture the exhilaration of the moment I realized that creating stories gave me a sense of joy and fulfillment, this keeps me focused and buffers any obstacles or negative comments that crop up along the way.
I firmly believe that if anyone has a dream and holds on to it in a state of excitement and anticipation, nothing can keep this dream from becoming reality. It will happen… not necessarily in the time you want, or in the manner in which you think it should occur, and it may not turn out exactly as you planned. Nonetheless, life has a way of steering you toward the object of your attention, and it’s simply a question of being open to possibility and throwing limitations out the window.
Q. What are you excited about right now?
I’m working on the sequel to Up In The Air. The story is taking off in a direction I could never have imagined, and this is one of the most exciting things imaginable.
I’m also thrilled about watching my daughter grow into a young woman (okay, she has to pass through teenage-hood, and yes, she’s only 14, but still, she has her whole life ahead of her to shape and direct according to her dream(s)).
For more insights from book creators, see my Inkygirl Interview Archives and Advice For Young Writers And Illustrators From Book Creators.