The Mighty Pens would be nothing without our volunteers. We wanted to make sure everyone got the recognition they deserve. Each week, we’ll be spotlighting one or more of our volunteers and they can tell you in their own words a little bit about them and why they are a part of the Mighty Pens team.
Up next is Megan Miller (she/her). Megan can be found on Twitter, but for a more in-depth look at her NaNo journey, check out her Bookstagram.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: Hello! My name is Megan (she/her) and I am a writer. So maybe that part is a little obvious, but I just like saying it, okay? Besides, it applies to my profession, too. I work in marketing as a content writer. I live in Louisville, KY with my fiancé and kitty cat—fun fact: I was supposed to get married this year, but with COVID I am decidedly not getting married this year. When I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably getting lost on Pinterest or browsing bookstagram.
Q: Tell us about your pets! Or dream pet, if you don’t have one.
A: I have an orange cat named Toulouse! He’s named after the orange cat in The Aristocats, one of my favorite movies as a kid. Toulouse is about five months old and switches from being super cuddly to a Tasmanian devil at random.
Q: What are you currently reading/watching? What was your last 5 star read?
A: I am currently reading The Camelot Betrayal. My last five-star reads were Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco and Perfect on Paper—another Sophie Gonzoles masterpiece. My current Netflix obsession is Julie and the Phantoms—I HIGHLY recommend this show if you love boybands, diverse characters, and Disney Channel vibes. I cried.
Q: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A: I am a plotter through and through. Save the Cat! til I die. Although, I will say that I love to pants a scene or two at the beginning of an idea just to feel out the characters and story. Plus, I am a discovery writer in that I rely on my characters to tell me their story and not the other way around. If something that I plotted in advance isn’t panning out, that’s okay! I roll with the punches and change directions if need be.
Q: What’s your favorite writing snack or beverage?
A: I love starting my day with a cup of coffee (with stevia and Italian sweet cream). Although I have been known to indulge in a glass of wine or two if I’m writing later in the evening. I usually can’t snack while I write, though.
Q: What’s in your ears while you write?
A: I make playlists for all my major WIPs! They are super fun and really get me in the mood of my story. It can’t be hype music, though. It had to be more low-key. A lot of indie and folk music end up on my playlists and sometimes movie scores. My most recent playlist (for my NaNo story this year) is a mix of dark, witchy music and bluegrass (since it takes place in the Smoky Mountains). It’s a weird combination, but I’m totally in love with it.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about writing? Least favorite?
A: My favorite thing about writing is writing. And my least favorite thing about writing is also writing.
Haha, no. In all seriousness, I just love the feelings I get when I come up with a new idea and start diving in. Crafting a story is so fun to me and is something that is really and truly me. My favorite part of my stories to write are relationships (both love interests and friends) and the dialogue between those characters. My least favorite part to write is beginnings! I really don’t know why they’re so hard to me. Plus, I’ve been struggling with not feeling like my stories are connecting the way I want them to. So the frustrations that come with writing are definitely not a fun part.
Q: Have you participated in NaNoWriMo before? Have you won? Are you participating this year?
A: Yes! I have participated in the last three years of NaNo and won all three years. Hoping to keep my streak going strong this year.
Q: What do you write? And if you can, tell us what you are working on now or will be working on for NaNo.
A: I write predominately YA fantasy. I just finished up the third draft of my main WIP, a story about a girl who learns magic. And now I’m starting my NaNo novel, an enemies-to-lovers, witchy, monster story.
Q: Any advice for someone who is joining the Mighty Pens or NaNoWriMo for the first time this year?
A: Just get the words on the page. It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t even have to make sense. You can go back and fix everything later. Getting your ideas out is the most important part. And if you get stuck, don’t be afraid to bounce around. During NaNo particularly, I find it hard to stick with writing chronologically.
Q: Are you a Mighty Pens vet or a newcomer? Why did you decide to become a volunteer?
A: This is my first year with Mighty Pens! Both as a volunteer and a participant. I saw their call for volunteers in Sooz’s newsletter and thought it sounded incredible. I am always looking for places to build my writing community. Plus, I have more free time this year, since my work schedule is still messed up because of COVID.
Q: What’s your favorite part about the Mighty Pens?
A: Again, the community! I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone interact this year and kick some NaNo butt together.
Q: Do you have a special connection to Every Mother Counts? Or just like raising money for a good cause?
A: I hadn’t heard of EMC before learning about the Mighty Pens, so just raising money for a good cause was definitely a factor. However, I will say that taking a hard look at the systemic racism in this country lately (both with COVID and the BLM movement) has helped me recognize disparities within our healthcare system specifically. Any organization that is standing up for all women, here and around the world, is a winner in my book.