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Monday, August 14, 2017

Back & So Much To Tell...

Happy Monday Everyone!

Sorry I've been MIA for so long. A ton of things have been going on:

For one thing, I attended my first Romance Writers of America National Conference (RWA Nationals) in Orlando, Florida in July. While there, I got to go to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom (my very first time going to Disney World and my first time going to Nationals since I joined RWA in 2009).

Nationals was an amazing experience. Normally I'm nervous when going to conferences, but for the first time, I wasn't. I'm not sure why. Maybe I had a lot of people praying for me, and sending me positive thoughts. Maybe I went in with the right attitude. Either way, or both, I am not sorry one bit that I went!

Arriving!
We--that is, the whole Averie clan--arrived in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday, July 25th. Everything went smoothly with getting our luggage, and despite a little issue at the rental car place, that even went smoothly.

Then came trying to find the hotel. Our GPS kept sending us in a circle, and we didn't quite understand the directions people gave us. It took circling the same
area FOUR TIMES before we managed to figure out what to do. And then, came finding the hotel itself. We got lost and had to call the hotel twice. So needless to say, either know your way around, have a reliable map or really good GPS. We finally managed to get to the hotel.

Raspberry Sorbet
Lemonade Smoothie
I had with dinner (yum!)
We got to our room without a hitch (and the hotel staff were super-nice). Soon after, we found a place to get dinner and felt much better afterwards. The Disney Boardwalk was just a short walk away, so we decided to go explore it. 


Juggler we saw while on the Disney Boardwalk


Disney Boardwalk was all lit up at night. It was so pretty!




I had my nails done before I left for Nationals. On my left thumb 
Right thumb with purple/pink
butterfly wings
Left thumb with blue
butterfly wings
was half a blue butterfly, and on my right half a purplish-pink one. The blue one represents my deceased friend, Sarah. Blue was her favorite color and butterflies were special to her. The other one represents my writing. On my business cards I have a purplish-pink butterfly. When I put the two thumbs together it made a whole butterfly. I don't have that on my nails anymore, but it was nice for Nationals...until I fell and broke the purple one! But oh well. I was okay. Mostly just embarrassed, but I can laugh about it, now.
Together the thumbs made a pretty butterfly


I have a ton of other pictures, so I'll have to do a whole series of blog posts because there is so much to tell and show you.

August isn't as busy despite Offspring being back and school and some of the other activities we have going on. They're doing well, and enjoyed going to Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom. They also went to Legoland, which also looked like fun, but Real Life Hero (my husband) said Legoland was even hotter than Disney World. But our Offspring enjoyed it, so I call it a win.

I'm working on Book 5 in the Immortal Dreams series and some other thing that's been playing in my head for a long time now. I hope everyone who is reading Book 4, Perfect Love, is enjoying it. I've already had some readers say that they thought it was my best work so far, which made my day.

I'll do more posts talking about Nationals and my visit to the Magic Kingdom, but for now, let me assure you, I had a fantastic time. :-)

What's been going on with you? What are you reading? Have you had a good summer?

Have A Marvelously Magical Monday!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Pop A Cork! It's Release Day...

Happy Wednesday Everyone,

Wow! Can you believe it? It's release day for Perfect Love!



Perfect Love follows after the events in the first 3 books of the Immortal Dreams series (Divine Love, Astral Love, Immortal Love) and picks up several years after Immortal Love.

Perfect Love is Hailey, Laney's best friend's story. When I wrote the first 3 books I didn't think about Hailey's story until Immortal Love. It was then I thought, "Hmm. I don't know. I might write Hailey's story. Some time. I better give myself a jumping off point." That's where her letter to Laney near the end of the novel comes in. I needed a place for Hailey's story to start. I thought some people might pick up on it, but I didn't think it would be a big deal.

Imagine my surprise when nearly every reader asked me:  "Is Hailey an Immortal? Are you going to write her story, too?"

I had toyed with the idea of writing Hailey's story, but I wasn't sure. I didn't want to say much because I knew that it was possible the story wouldn't come to me. So I said "I would like to, but I don't know if it will happen."

And then, it did. The idea for Hailey's story came a lot sooner than I thought. And I discovered I had a leading man already built into the series. (You first meet Arion in Astral Love).

So I wrote Perfect Love. I already knew I wanted it to be about Hailey and Arion having to be perfect at everything. At one point, I thought it would be the first in a new series, but then I scratched that idea and decided it fit in with the rest of the Immortal Dreams books.

Perfect Love is a combination of a thank you to my readers for asking about Hailey (which was another form of motivation to write her story) and a gift to myself--showing myself I still had Immortal Dreams stories to write.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Hailey is sassy, straight-forward, and driven. Arion is a reformed partier-turned-gentleman trying to escape his past. Together, they're trying to figure out whether perfect sucks or if it's just perfect.

Currently Perfect Love is only available in Amazon Kindle. I'll let you know when and if that changes.

Have A Wonderfully Wishful-filled Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Everybody Wants To PreOrder...

Happy Wednesday All,

Wow, I can't believe that Perfect Love's release is NEXT WEEK! It's incredible. Two years ago, I wasn't even sure this novel would
Book One
Where you first meet Hailey!
become a reality, but here we are!


Book Two
Where you first meet Arion!
(who is in PERFECT LOVE)
As I've mentioned before, there is a little something at the end of the story. It's meant to be a gift to my readers. Something fun, kind of a "thank you" for being so loyal and enthusiastic. Part of the reason Hailey's story became a reality is because you, my darling Immortal readers, asked me about her. I hadn't thought there would be so much interest, but I kept getting asked. I had wanted to write it, but I was afraid I couldn't. I left myself the opening at the end of Immortal Love just in case. So between the fact that I wanted to write her story and there was so much interest in it, it became a reality. So thank you, darling readers. Thank you so much for your kind words, awesome reviews, and asking me for this book. You all enjoying what I write makes my day. I really hope you enjoy
Book Three
At the end of which I left
myself an opening
for PERFECT LOVE!


Perfect Love!

Book 4
Hailey & Arion!
Perfect Love releases next week on June 7th, but you can Preorder it for your Kindle now. Just click here!

Have A Wonderfully Whimsical Wednesday!

Friday, May 26, 2017

5 Things I Didn't Know About...

Happy Friday All,

Lately I've been doing 5 Things About... type posts, and I like this format. Eventually I'll do other kinds of posts again, but for now, this seems to work. And yes, I don't have a consistent day, yet. Still trying to figure that out, but I am trying to post at least once a week.

So what's the 5 things topic today? 

5 Things I Didn't Know About Publishing

Years ago, before I really got serious about writing, I didn't know much about the publishing world. In fact, I'd say I knew next to nothing. I don't think I know everything now, or even half of what someone can know, but I know more than I did then, and so I thought I'd share some of that.

1.  I didn't know an author didn't HAVE to pay to publish his or her work.

This is a big one because it's a common misconception. Unless you are self-publishing, you do not pay up front to have your work published. Typically agents and publishers will take a percentage of what you make and you keep what's left. If you self-publish, depending on how you do it, you might keep more, but you could still end up giving a portion out to whatever you use to publish (like Amazon, etc.) in some cases, in self-publishing you might have up-front costs (like cover art). I don't pay for any of it up front because my publisher covers it, and takes a percentage of my royalties (what an author earns from sales of the book).

2.  Publishing is a waiting game.

You wait for email responses to queries/pitches/submissions. Agents and editors are INUNDATED with requests/pitches/queries, etc. It takes time for them to go through their inboxes and it takes time for them to go through manuscripts, and get things done. Very
few things in the publishing world happen quickly. Expect to wait. No one is super-fast at any of it (after all, it took you more than a day to write, polish, and format your work, right? You didn't finish in one day, and if you think you did, you probably have some editing and polishing left to do, or you wrote something very, very short--like a blog entry, novella, or an article).

3.  Typically you will do the majority of your promotional work.

Those glossy posters or displays you see at bookstores? That's not the norm. Especially if you're not well-known.

For my upcoming release,
I put together this graphic.
Not too many publishers do much promotional work in general. Some will do a little, but the majority of it is up to the author. This means you figure out Tweeting and Facebook posts. Unless you have an agent, you're the one scheduling appearances (unless you have a publisher that sends you on a book tour, but that's very rare, or someone approaches you for an appearance/event). So you have to get used to "blowing your own horn" so to speak. Get used to telling people you're a writer and what you write and what's published. All of that. Expect to pay for promotional items like bookmarks, or pens or whatever. There are ways to use cost-effective places for these things, but on bookmarks and business cards you can spend $25-$500 depending on what you do, where you have them printed, and how many you order. Business cards you can spend $25 or more for 250-500 business cards depending on where you go (I like Vistaprint and many authors really like Zazzle--I almost went with them--for business cards).  Some authors have gone to Next Day Flyers for items. I used Got Print at one point for one of my bookmarks. Also, I was told that Pens.Com is a good place to order some promotional items, but I haven't ordered from there, yet.

4. Every author has a stack of rejection letters. Yes, even the big names. And, very rarely will an agent or editor give you details on why your work was rejected.

An NY Times bestseller that I know personally has done many talks where she pulls out folders, and boxes, and suitcases full of
rejection slips of all shapes, sizes. Rejection happens. It can suck, but it doesn't mean you'll never sell your work.

Also, most rejection letters are form letters. In the rejection slip/letter you might get something along the lines of "Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately, this isn't what we're looking for at this time."

To deal with the sting of rejection, most authors (including myself) will recommend chocolate, wine, or some other comfort methods (perhaps a massage?)

What else can you do about it? You can dust yourself off, get up, and keep trying. Keep writing. 

5.  Writer's groups. I knew there were magazines and books for writers, but I had no idea about groups. I'm glad I found Romance Writers of America (RWA) and my local chapter. It's made a difference in my life and career.

Happy writing!

Have A Fabulously Fantastic Friday!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

5 Things Throwback Thursday Style...

Happy Thursday All,

In honor of Throwback Thursday, here's 5 things you might not know about yours truly...


1. I was never a fan of most boy bands...not even New Kids On The Block, N'Sync, or the Backstreet Boys, but I knew people who were. However, I've always liked the Ramones. And I am a fan of Straight No Chaser.

Me and Sarah on the occasion of her wedding
2.  I got a B in Shakespeare Class (the English course I took in high school). My friend, Sarah, (who died in 2013) tutored me. My learning disabilities made some of the lectures the teacher gave hard for me to understand, but I was too shy to tell the teacher that, so I asked Sarah for help. She got an A. LOL (Nowadays I'd probably ask, but back then I was too nervous--I'm sure my teacher would laugh to know this--she was a wonderful teacher, and I enjoyed having her for a teacher, I just was shy to ask for help from her).

3.  I took horseback riding lessons starting from around the time I was about 12 and continuing until I was about 16. I learned how to ride both English and Western styles. (I even did some low jumps in the English style riding).

4.  The only time I ever attended a school dance was my school's prom, and my date's school's prom senior year of high school. I never went to any other dances.

5.  I learned how to two-step at my wedding reception.

Have A Thrillingly Terrific Thursday!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

5 Things To Know About...

Happy Wednesday All,

As the time draws closer, I'm working on the edits from my publisher and getting ready for the big day...

RELEASE DAY for Perfect Love.

In preparation for the June 2017 release, here are 5 things you should know about Perfect Love:

1. It takes place years after the events at the end of Immortal Love.

2.  Hailey and Arion are the main point-of-view characters.

3.  Laney and Jason make cameos.

4.  There is a special surprise at the end of the story. (No, I'm not dropping any hints).

5.  I don't know whether or not it's the last book in the Immortal Dreams series. I haven't decided, yet. So, I've left myself an opening in case I continue the series. I'll let you, the reader, see if you can figure out the opening...you probably will...a lot of readers figured out Hailey's story was next. I'm sure you readers figure out the room I left myself in this one. (And no, this isn't the surprise, the surprise is something else).

So, the question you have to ask yourself now is...

Are you ready for Perfect?


June will be here soon!


Have A Wonderfully Whimsical Wednesday!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Featuring Author Angela Archer...

Happy Friday Everyone,

Sometimes I like to feature different authors on my blog, and today is one such day. Meet author Angela Christina Archer and her release, A Road Paved In Copper.

First a little about her novel:


Armed with her six-shooter, Ava De La Vega dips the pen into the inkwell and etches her name on the Esmeralda County tax record book. A formidable force, that's what her peers have called her. The woman in a man's world, what did she know of mining ore, silver, and copper? Plenty. And it's this knowledge that makes her of the richest miners in Nevada in 1903.

Of course, it also makes her a target.

Traveling back and forth from Tonopah, Nevada and San Francisco, Ava spends her life digging up precious metals from the depths of mineshafts then blowing her money on the finer things in life. A woman who blazes the trail from the dirt and grime to the fanciest hotel rooms, the finest wines, the most decadent meals, and the company of attractive young men.

Unfortunately, for Ava, she doesn’t see Craig Harrison coming.

A miner from the snowy Klondike, Craig has traveled from the harsh Canadian mountains down to city streets of San Francisco. Not looking for work, he's happy with the comfortable life away from the deep mines, the dirt, and the ever sought-after gold.


Unfortunately, for Craig, he doesn’t see Ava coming.

More about Angela:

Angela lives on a ranch with her husband, two daughters, and many farm animals. She was born and raised in Nevada, and grew up riding and showing horses from hunter jumper, English equitation, western pleasure, trail, and halter. While she doesn't show anymore, she still loves to trail ride her paint horse, Honky. In December of 2007, she and her husband moved to Oklahoma.

In December 2014, Angela launched Long ValleyPress.

I think her novel has a pretty cover, don't you? You can find out more about purchasing Angela's novel on its Goodreads page.

Have A Fabulously Fun Friday!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

June 2017 Release Cover Reveal...

Happy Thursday Darling Readers, Immortals, Humans, & all,

In June of this year, my 5th published book, Perfect Love (#4 in the Immortal Dreams series) will release. This is Hailey (Laney's best friend) and Arion's (Cupid & Psyche's son) story.

Originally, I figured more time would pass before I could write Hailey's book. I always wanted to, which is why Immortal Love ends the way it does. I was surprised when readers started asking me about it. I kept getting requests such as "You're going to write Hailey's story, right?" "Is Hailey an Immortal?"

I'd been toying with ideas, and I realized I wasn't ready to say goodbye to everybody. So, I sat down and thought about it. What resulted is a story about emotions, and relationships, rather than straight adventure or straight romance. It's about how one deals with expectations, loss, and new experiences. How Hailey deals with Laney's lies, different relationships, and meeting someone like Arion.

To answer the question, Hailey is FULLY human. No, that does NOT ruin the story, in fact, that's not a secret, nor a surprise. It's established early on in the novel that she is fully human. This plays into her and Arion's story.

You're probably asking yourself, is this a cover reveal a rundown about the novel?

So, without FURTHER ado...

I present to you the cover for Perfect Love...




I think it's gorgeous, don't you? The amazingly talented Fiona Jayde (who has made all my covers so far) is the cover artist.

Have A Thrillingly Terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Long Overdue...

Happy Wednesday Everybody,

Wow...I have been really neglecting the blog! Last post was in February about Nationals. I'm all signed up and everything to go there. I'm looking forward to it. I've never gone to the National conference, even though I've been a member since about 2009.

I got my first round publisher edits for Perfect Love, the next book in my Immortal Dreams series. For the readers who have been asking, yes, this is Hailey's story. Hailey and Arion's story, I should say. You meet Arion very briefly in Astral Love, but he'll be more prominent in this one. Will there be more books after Perfect Love? I don't know, you'll have to wait and see. However...there is a little surprise for my readers after the end of Perfect Love. I won't tell you what (because it's a surprise). The first round publisher edits got turned in on Sunday (April 9th) which was later than I intended, but at least they're turned in. I'm still waiting on the cover art (believe me, I'm just as excited as you are for that).

My narrator for the audio book of Divine Love texted me yesterday and he's making progress. I expect I'll get those to listen to and either approve or ask for edits on before too long. I'm guessing either end of April or sometime in May we'll release it. It really
depends on how fast I get the listening and we get the editing done. I'm sorry it's taken so long, but both narrator and I have a bit of perfectionism in us, so we're trying to give you an awesome product that you can enjoy, so that takes some time. There will be a cover for that that will give the narrator cover credit, I just have to hear back from the cover artist.

As to everything else--I need to finish reading an ARC of a story that's already released for an official blog book review. I don't know when that will be, but I will do it.

Other than that, I'm trying to keep the Averie household together and do my every-day things that have to be done as well as I possibly can. I hope you all are having a good week!

Happy Passover to all my Jewish friends and readers, and Happy Holy Week and Easter to all my Christian friends and readers!


Hope everyone has an awesome week and weekend!

Have A Wondrously Wishful Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

When Nationals Call...

Happy Tuesday All,

I skipped posting last week for two reasons. One, I wanted to give proper attention to the interview with Meg LeFauve after the hold up with the formatting, and two, I had several things going on.

Me (Maid of Honor), and
my deceased friend, Sarah,
on her wedding day in 2003
Monday marked 4 years since my friend, Sarah, died, and by the time I thought of doing a blog post it was late in the afternoon, so I decided to switch this week's post to today.

Recently the national organization I belong to, Romance Writers of America (RWA) opened up registration for its annual conference--dubbed "Nationals--which is being held in July, at a resort in Orlando, Florida this year. Talking with my family, it was decided for the first time since I joined in 2009, I would go. I'm all registered with a hotel room and have had a lot of outpouring of
Me at my chapter's conference in 2014
support from other RWA members both ones going and those who have been in the past. I'm excited to see what I'll learn and what connections I might make, but I'm also nervous. It's a lot of people and I feel sort of "lost in the crowd". Fortunately, I have people I know going and many others who have said they would like to see me there. It's wonderful how Romance novelists often stick together like this and encourage each other. It's really helpful!


I've been to my chapter's conferences and to other non-writer-related conferences, but I don't know if I've ever been to anything
Me at an author event, February 2015
as large as this one. I heard one year they had around 2,000 attendees! That's a lot of people. So, prayers and good thoughts for a wonderful experience would be great.


Have you ever been to a big conference? Let me know in the comments!

Have A Terrifically Thrilling Tuesday!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Spotlight On Screenwriter/Producer: Meg LeFauve

Happy Monday All,


Last week was rather crazy for the Averie household, but this is a new week and we get to get started with something I've been really looking forward to sharing with you, my darling readers (and anyone else who stumbles upon this blog).



Me at the age of 5
in my sister's wedding
One of my sisters went to college with screenwriter/producer, Meg LeFauve. Meg was also in my sister's wedding, over 30 years ago (I was 5 years old, so I don't remember meeting Meg at that time). Not too long ago, I got to talking with her on Facebook through my sister's urging, (she remembered me) and last year, I asked if she wouldn't mind doing an email interview with little ole me. She graciously accepted (I was surprised, I was certain she was too busy) and now I have the pleasure of sharing with you the results of this interview, which is as much fun as the interview process itself.

Meg LeFauve works at Disney Pixar. She was one of the screen writers for Inside Out and the screenwriter for The Good Dinosaur. She's also worked with actress/producer Jodie Foster, and she's done some of her own producing (among a million other things). She's a wife, a mother, a friend, and a fellow writer. More recently, she's been tapped to write the new Marvel's Captain Marvel screenplay, a movie scheduled to release in 2019.

Gaining this interview was such a privilege for me. I can't thank Meg enough for taking time out of her super-busy schedule and family life to answer my questions. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

Me: What made you decide to go into screenwriting versus other 
 types of writing?

Meg: I've always had a deep love of film - the way an image can
communicate so much.  I'm also fascinated by people's behavior,
how what people do and choose shows--
who they are so much more than by what they say. 
That's a great film character.  I also really like how a film can 
help us all escape and at the same time it can open us up, 
make us think, give a catharsis, expand or even change our point of 

view.  All together in a theater.  
Certainly other forms of writing can do 
these things, but I love how film does it 
on such a large scale - 
how many people you can reach and talk to.   

Me: Based on what I've heard/read, early 
in your career you worked under 
Jodie Foster. Could you talk a little 
about that experience and how it 
shaped your career path?
Meg: I worked with Jodie as an executive
and then a producer for 10 years.  
She shaped me as a storyteller.  She always asked,  
"What's the big beautiful idea in here?" -- so first we had to talk
about what the story was about.  Not in a literary way, more from
an emotional place.  Why is this something we need to put out into
the world? What are we asking people to think about? How are we
exploring the human condition?  And why is it, in some way,
personal and powerful for us as filmmakers?  Articulating this
theme or emotional point of view can be challenging — 
can take many drafts- and years - to fully clarify.  As my friend
Jane Anderson says, "Theme is the DNA of each scene." 
Jodie taught me to build out  from theme — to a character and
their transformation - which creates plot which creates set pieces.
Knowing how to dig into this, how to build a story from theme,
has been crucial in my own writing.  

Me: So far, (aside from current projects) what has been a favorite 
of yours to work on?

Meg: Well, working at Pixar was a dream come true.  
So INSIDE OUT and THE GOOD DINOSAUR were both special 
experiences. I am very proud of having been a part of both of
those films, and helped those directors  bring their vision to the
screen.  That is also a difference between novel writing and
screenwriting.  Once a director is on a project my job as a 
screenwriter is to help that director articulate their vision for
the story. Of course I have to find my own personal passion
within that but the guiding light, the storyteller, is now the director. 
Working with Pete Docter and Pete Sohn was an honor.  
I’m always so moved when people let me know how these films
have effected them and their families.  One Mom told me that her
young son has watched THE GOOD DINOSAUR every day for a
month, as he tries to understand the death of his own father, and
how to move forward. A woman who works for LA County told me
that she is a psychiatrist who works with traumatized children and
that INSIDE OUT has helped her in her job - because she when
using the concept of emotions “driving” she can so quickly talk
to the kids and get to what is happening inside of them.  
So — that kind of impact is amazing.

Me: For fun: What's your favorite indulgence?
 (sweet treat, trips, whatever)

Meg: Reading historical fiction, during the day,
in my pajamas, with a cup of tea and a cookie.  
I have two kids and work, so this is more a fantasy
than anything I get to do too often.  :)
Thank goodness for my amazing husband - he makes sure 
I get time to reboot.

Me:  Roughly how long does it take you to write a screenplay?
Can you talk a bit about the process?

Meg: Years.  A screenplay goes through many drafts, I’d guess 
 15 drafts is an average before it hits the screen. 
Each draft will have at least one rough pass, if not 
several rough passes.  And then bring into the process producers, 
executives and a director giving notes. Even if the process started 
with me alone writing the script of a story I feel passionately about,
to get to the screen it will be turned over to many hands.
And while that can be overwhelming, I also find it very exciting.
Because all of those creative people are great storytellers as well 
and they push you to do your best work, to stretch your creative
abilities, to see things differently, to discover — to not take our 
 first answer, or second or third.  Even if all those answers were
good, you keep pushing to the BEST story.  I love having a high bar. 
I love collaboration and the special sparks that can happen 
when smart people all have the same goal - to tell a great story.   

Me: What advice do you have to novel writers who would like to
see their books turned into screenplays?

Meg: Well, first that films are not novels.  Meaning your novel
 will be interpreted into a film.  A screenwriter will see your novel
 as the “paints” to use to paint a new picture— a new work.
If you don't want that to happen then don't do it :)
As a producer I worked for years with a writer on a book
adaptation.  Draft after draft after draft.  Until finally I realized --
it's a really good BOOK but it's not a film.  If you’d like to adapt
your own novel to a screenplay then you have to learn the craft of
screenwriting and film storytelling (as you learned novel writing).
I don’t mean that to sound daunting - it can be fun, exciting and 
challenging.  It's a different form than novel writing.  And learning
 it may help your novel writing.  But expect to write bad screenplays
 to start :)  That's just the way it is when you start something new.
You have to be brave enough to stink at it and be open to getting 
notes and learning.   If you want someone else to turn your novel
into a screenplay then learn the marketplace.  What books get
bought by film studios and why.  Agents are good but maybe find
new ways into that market - for example notice the producers who
makes films that are book adaptations that are similar in genre to
the books you write.  

Me: You've worked on Pixar's Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur,
any other Pixar projects you can talk about or do you have a
"wish list"?

Meg: Can't talk about any other work at Pixar as it's all
confidential :)  I am down at Disney Animation now working
on GIGANTIC as a writer/director - so the wish list is manifesting. 
And here, like at Pixar, the bar is "is this the best story" and all that
means.

Me:  What advice do you have for aspiring screenwriters?

Meg: Write.  I know, that sounds silly but you’d be surprised how
many aspiring writers don’t write!  Every day. Even just for a half
hour, write every day.  So that your brain begins to trust you, that
you are serious and are taking this dream you have seriously - and
it will start to open to you.  And know that writing badly is part of
the process.  Every writer everywhere writes badly. Don’t use it as
an excuse to not write. Judging yourself is boring and not going to
get you anywhere but to eating a cookie.  :)  
Be brave, be vulnerable —and write through the bad.
That’s what writing is.  And for screenwriting learn the craft.  
It’s a visual medium.  There is a specific craft to writing for movies,
 vs tv,vs plays, vs web series.  Learn from watching and reading the
masters of the area you want to write in (and genre).  
Also watch/read the bad ones as they can be equally helpful to
your learning curve. Find a mentor. Find a group of other
screenwriters to support you and to help support.  Get as much
feedback on your work as you can.  No, it’s not easy.  It’s super
hard to get feedback -  just remember they aren’t talking about
YOU they are talking about a story.  Any note you get is just
what they don’t yet understand. That’s incredibly important for you 
to know.  How to address that note, is up to you and your vision for
 the story.   Read as many scripts as you can get your hands on 
- preferably the actual script (vs someone online writing down the
 movie).  If you have an action sequence see how great writers 
have written action sequences.  You’ll be amazed how much 
you learn from reading scripts.  Have lots of ideas— 
meaning don’t just carry around one “passion project” for 
ten years.  Have that project and another 5.  Because writing 
isn’t about ONE idea — trust the creative well in you.  If you go
to it every day, there will be more and more ideas….
After you’ve written 5 scripts (and each script has been rewritten
at least 3 times) go back and read your first one.  You will be
amazed at the progress you’ve made just by WRITING.
  
Me:  For fun: My sister told me you two watched a lot of sports
in college, do you have a favorite sport?

Meg: :)  I watched all the Syracuse University sports with your
 sister.  Basketball and Football.  Now I love baseball. 
My teenage son plays and the game has taught him, and me, 
so much that applies to life. And being a writer/artist. My son has
learned that you strike out more than you hit but you stand in that
batters box and you believe and you try - each time.  When you
make an error you learn from it, and let it go - get your head back
in the game. And that it isn’t always about talent - sure that helps -
but the person who can keep their head on straight, aren’t afraid to 
learn from failure, know what they want, and work their butts off -
they are the ones who rise. A story that I think applies to being a
writer too — My son started last year hitting at the bottom of the
batting order.  His dream was to hit a home  run at the big
tournament in Cooperstown —a tournament that only happens
when you turn 12, and only one time. And he knew his grandfather
 would be there watching.  But how was he gonna hit a homer 
when his batting average wasn’t great?  He’d never even hit
 a home run.  He started to practice every day hitting balls
 off the tee in our front yard.  He worked so hard and we saw
 the commitment so we got a hitting coach for him - and that 
meant he got WORSE first! (because you are changing core
 dynamics of HOW you hit).  But my son hung in there, he kept
trying, he kept working hard, he learned the skills needed to hit
well.  For a year he did this work - it was physical, intellectual and 
emotional work (like writing!) And then he went to Cooperstown
.... and he hit SEVEN home runs!  It was nuts. And I was so
happy because he learned something really important about life and
 about himself -- that it's about trying and believing its possible,
about knowing what you want, about working hard and not letting
other people get you down even when you are failing.  
Understanding that failing is how you learn, so get back in it and try
 again--- and you do it EVERY DAY. That is how magic happens.  

Me: You've been both a producer and a screenwriter,
which one is easier?

Meg: Easier??? Ha!  Both are super hard, wonderful jobs
that you must be passionate about.  For me personally, my
worst day of writing is still better than a good day of producing.
 That's how I know I am where I am supposed to be. 
BUT I still use all my producer skills and wouldn't be 
the writer I am without having done it.  Everything you 
do feeds into your writing.  Everything that happens to you 
-even the not so great stuff. It’s all valuable.  All of it.  
So stop worrying about it, analyzing it or bemoaning it. 
Use it and write.

Me: Do you have a dream list of actors you'd want to be in a movie you'd write? Are you able to you say who and why?

Meg: Oh, just what you'd expect, I guess.  I'd love to work with Meryl Streep someday.  I am just such a huge, huge fan.  I love 
Louie C.K. as a writer and creator, just being able to watch his shows make me feel so happy.   

One other thought before I go -- writer's block. 
one thing that has helped me is to realize what I am fighting for -- 
every day I sit down and push through that block (be it inspiration 
block, craft block, story block - or just huge doubt!) I sit and I work FOR THE CHARACTERS.  Because these characters have chosen me to tell their story.  And if I don't sit down and do it, if I don't find a way to tell that story so people get it -- then that 
character will never exist.  They will never come into the world.  You are their conduit -so sit down and work at it - so their story can be told.

Again, thank you, Meg, for doing this interview! 
It's been fascinating to read your answers, and I learned a little about what you do, which is also very interesting. I wish you the best in all your projects and in your family life.

To my readers, and those who stop in, 
I hope you all enjoyed the interview as much as I did!

Have A Marvelously Magical Monday!