I had to say no to alot of things and find the right things to say yes to. I’m still learning that, and you probably are too.
All that to say, it’s been a journey. One that obviously isn’t done, because I don’t have a novel out yet. But I *am* now published. You heard that right! I had my first paid gig, that is to say, my dayjob paid me to write an article. It’s a step in the journey I am thrilled to have taken.
Did you know that “cirqueophile” isn’t a word? Weird, ’cause I’m pretty sure I am one.
Okay, so I’ve been to the circus before. But my inability to speak to strangers, especially super exciting amazing talented performers I envy a little a lot. Umm, I always find some reason to not actually interact with them.
Not this time though.
A serendipitous turn of events, involving coworkers that are not cirqueophiles, led me, my business manager Yasmeen, my research assistant Courtney, and my niece Emily to receive free tickets to the Shrine Circus. And my research assistant wasn’t going to let my excuse of helping Emily enjoy her first trip to the circus stop us from meeting the cirque folk.
Arriving, Yasmeen and I were naming off characters from my book – “Hey, that looks like Phoebe!” – and ideas for my book – “We need more fire acts….” Little did I know these people that were inspiring my story might actually speak with me, to me, tell me their story.
That’s right, I’m the aunt that lets the kiddoes stay up late after a circus show to meet the performers. If that’s not “the cool aunt” I don’t know what is. Courtney told Lola that I was writing a book set at the circus, and asked if we could have a brief interview after the show. She arranged for her sister Julie to meet with us. Julie’s story was amazing and had us remembering that the wonder of the circus extends past childhood.
Julie has grown up in the circus, training for all the acts she wants to perform. We got to watch her ride the elephants and perform aerial silks, but she does even more than that.
The dedication of performers is exceptional – it makes me think of adrenaline junkies, only more nitch to crazy dangerous beautiful acts of spectacle. Always a little stronger, a little faster, a little farther. And it’s all for the gasps and applause of a worldwide audience. Only circus performers aren’t like a celebrity, they don’t get the glory, their names aren’t known. If there is any glory, it is all passed on to the idea of circus.
A while ago, Julie was injured during an act. She wasn’t expected to recover, was in crutches for about 6 months. She couldn’t imagine what she would do without performing, without this life she’d been so dedicated to. She pushed and trained and here she was, performing, living her dream and awakening ours. I was so blessed that she opened up about that time of her life, which gave me an idea for my story, but more importantly gave me a glimpse of her and motivated me to move forward.
Consider me obsessed – I fully intend on going to the circus and meeting as many performers as possible. And uhh, maybe Courtney can tag along to arrange the meeting. And uhh, while we’re at it, maybe Yasmeen could tag along for photography. And uhh, while we’re at it, I might take my nieces too 🙂
This past week Megan Fatheree’s new book “The Half-Shape Child” came out, and just last week you had the chance to read my fanfiction for it. Megan Fatheree was kind enough to take time to give this fangirl a behind-the-scenes glimpse of her story. Check out the interview:
ALS: Tell me about your book.
Megan: Wow, you cut right to the hard stuff, don’t you? Okay, let’s see… The Half-Shape Child (THSC) is a story of friendship, true love, and a never-give-up attitude. It’s a journey through space and a tale of redemption. There’s action, alien creatures, some romance and a lot of other fun stuff. I’m trying not to give too much away here!
ALS: What genre would you say THSC is?
Megan: I would call it Sci-Fi, but others might put other sub-genres on it. Either way, I tend to just call it Young Adult fiction since it covers so many areas of other genres.
ALS: How did you come up with the idea for this story?
Megan: This is actually a really interesting question, because usually I don’t know how I come up with story ideas, but I can nail down the exact moment that I had this idea. It started with a Pinterest post with an idea about “what if your soulmate had a necklace that got colder when they were farther away from you and warmer when they were closer, and when you were ready you could go on a journey to find this person”. It evolved from there.
ALS: With all the different genres THSC covers, who would really love this book? What types of readers do you see reading (and re-reading) this?
Megan: From the beginning, I’ve known this book has fandom potential. As soon as I wrote the first draft, I knew this book needed to be loved by hordes of amazing fangirls. So, in reply to this question, I think that the people who would REALLY love this book are those from the ages of 13 to 25. I don’t know why, but that’s the age range I feel would love this book the most.
ALS: Oh yay, I just make the cut. But next year I still plan on loving THSC 🙂 Who is your favorite character? Why?
Megan: OH Come on, Amy! That’s like asking me to choose my favorite child! For the sake of time, I’ll tell you my top 3 – the main characters. Collin because he’s loyal and thoughtful and an all-around good guy. Henry because he’s funny. Really funny. And Terra because I fell in love with her story from the first word of this book. She’s complicated, but she has depth.
ALS: Henry is hilarious! And is there a character you love to hate?
Megan: There are two actually. First of all, Madame Kowalsky. I have to confess, before this book I had never written a character I actually despised. There were times when I wanted to strangle the woman, and I created her! She’s maniacal, diabolical, and ominous. I love her so much! Also, Kelvin. He’s kind of a background character, but he’s loyal to the wrong people for the wrong reasons. I’m with Terra, he should be shot.
ALS: Is there any backstory scenes that you had to cut out of the finished piece?
Megan: I tend to reveal backstory through the current story, so no backstory had to be cut out. However, there was this great scene toward the end where Collin was rounding up people for a posse of sorts and he went to get Dulsa. They had this great dialogue and Dulsa offered to pay him back in “cash or ploosh”. I miss that scene.
ALS: How many times did you cry writing THSC? How many times did you laugh? How many times did you worry that your characters were going to die on you?
Megan: I cried at least thrice. (That’s 3 times, for the less literary). All three times were because of strong emotional scenes that I wish I could explain but shan’t for those who haven’t read it yet. At least 2 involved a death, that’s all I’ll say. I laughed a lot. Pretty much, if Henry’s in a scene you’re going to get a funny line or reaction. I love writing humorous reactions to things, so those are in there too. And sarcasm is my friend. I worried that my characters would die a lot. There’s an entire scene dedicated to how much I worried that Collin would die on me. I’m still worried Henry might not make it. We’ll see how it goes in book 2.
ALS: Not Henry! :’( Say it isn’t so.
For this story, you invented so many different things. What’s the favorite thing you created for this fictional world – whether creature, techie object, planet, etc.?
Megan: I think the one object I’m most proud of creating all on my own is the Solar Ray gun that Terra uses. And it’s only in one scene! I was like, “Solar rays. They’d literally burn you to a pile of ash. Yes, this has to go in there!” Really, really proud of that one.
ALS: That is a really cool invention that I hope I never encounter in real life. Is there anything else you want the readers to know?
Megan: Yes. I know I left a few things open-ended at the end of the book. That’s on purpose. This is the first book in a trilogy, so be watching for the next one. We’ll delve further into some minor characters’ stories and visit a new planet. It’s going to be really fun.
ALS: Can’t wait to read the sequel. And, finally, for those who are as psyched as I am about this book, how can we buy THSC?
Megan: Good question! This book is currently an e-book only exclusive. You can find it on Amazon and iBooks.
ALS: You heard it here – go buy The Half-Shape Child for a crazy ride of laughs, tears, aliens, and solar-ray guns.
Megan Fatheree was homeschooled from Pre-school through 12th grade. During this time, she was blessed to be able to focus her efforts toward the craft of writing. She is now in her early 20s and a full-time author. Some of her books include “Precious Jewel”, “Eminent Danger”, and “Rose-Colored Glasses”. She loves what she does and wouldn’t trade it for anything. She looks forward to all the great adventures that lay in store for her in the near future.