Meghan Rogers has been telling stories since she could talk and writing creatively since she was first introduced to the concept in third grade. She spent her high school years completing her first novel and has been actively writing ever since. After college, Meghan went on to work with high school writers while earning her MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. She is currently living in the Philadelphia area and working on her next novel.
THE LONGER-AND-(POTENTIALLY)-MORE-INTERESTING VERSION
I was born on January 8. My mom is a medical technologist, and my dad is a salesman. My favorite was when he sold Keebler products because I was, like, four and there was a truck of snacks parked in our driveway. Naturally, I was convinced it was my own personal cookie warehouse. I also have a sister. She is younger, though most of the time you wouldn’t know it.
I’ve loved telling stories since I was a kid. As you can see to the right, I would tell them to whoever was around, regardless of their ability to listen to me. It also wasn’t uncommon for me to dictate a play to my grandmother or tell my mom exactly what her Barbie was supposed to do and say to fit into the scene I had envisioned in my head.
The first time I remember writing a story of my own was in third grade. It was about aliens invading my school, and it was something like sixteen pages long. Nine-year-old me was SUPER proud of it!
My stuffed animals were riveted by my storytelling abiliities -- I think I'm about two here
Yes, I slept with my book after my first midnight release --Summer before sixth grade
As much as I had always liked stories and books, it wasn’t until fifth grade that I truly became a reader. My teacher started reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to my class whenever we had down time. I was completely and totally hooked from the start, and I got the first book in the series shortly after that. My mom read it to me at first, but a chapter a night turned out to be too slow for my liking and before long I was reading it on my own. At this point in time, there were only three books in the series. I couldn’t handle leaving that world after just three books, so I would reread them on a loop. They were (almost literally) the only books I read in middle school. I was very happy any time I could add another book to the rotation.
While Harry Potter made me a reader, it was a TV show that made me seriously want to write. I discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer towards the end of eighth grade, and it completely changed my perception of storytelling. It was about a year later – at the end of
my freshman year of high school – that I decided I wanted to write a story of my own, though I would do so in book form.
I spent my sophomore year brainstorming a young adult fantasy trilogy, which I planned to start writing my junior year. The only way I was going to actually have time to write it was to build an independent study into my school schedule. But to do that, I needed a teacher to be my advisor. I went to my favorite teacher, and she agreed in seconds. (I am forever indebted to her.)
I spent my junior year writing the first draft (by hand), then my senior year, I typed the whole thing up and edited. I was determined to have the book done by the time I graduated, so I was pretty much pulling it out at any chance I got. That summer, I submitted it to about twenty agents, but of course no one was interested because I didn’t really know what I was doing. I mean, I didn’t even revise, I just edited.
At that time, I also was under the impression that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Even though a part of me always loved the idea of being an author, it felt too impractical. I remember, even as a third grader who had newly fallen in love with writing, thinking, that’s too much of a long shot. However, by the end of high school the process of writing a book—rejection and all—had completely swept me up, and I knew that I needed a future built around writing. The summer before college I let go of my education major and switched to communications, which would allow me to minor in writing. I was all in on the author dream, long shot or not.
My writing minor was the best thing about college. That minor taught me how to think differently about writing and also led me to fix my original book.
Got caught editing at a track meet (with my first and current critique partner) -- Senior year
And by “fix,” I mean that I threw the whole thing out, kept the characters and core concept and found a way to tell the story differently. (This is something I still do if I have an idea I like but a book that isn’t working). I finished the first draft of this book, again, right before graduation. I workshopped it through grad school, but it didn’t amount to too much beyond that. While it never sold or got me an agent, it did catch the attention of the person who would later become my agent. So all was not lost!
Launch of Crossing the Line -- April 2016
After college, I went on to get my MFA from Rosemont College. I learned so much there. There are plenty of awesome authors who get agents and published without MFAs, but I one hundred percent would not be here without mine.
During grad school, I also spent some time as a substitute teacher at my former high school. Remember the teacher who agreed to be my independent study advisor? Well, when I started subbing, she had newly taken over the creative writing classes. When I wasn’t assigned a class, I’d spent my time in her room, working with her students. I got to know so many awesome teens who continue to inspire my characters and stories. I also learned that I really enjoy working with students one-on-one, which has led me to become a college writing tutor.
Shortly after I graduated from my MFA in May of 2012, I had the beginnings of the idea for Crossing the Line. I knew it was unlike anything I had ever written before, and I was pretty sure it would be the one.
Now I get to do the job that third grade me thought was too much of a long shot to seriously consider. It’s pretty amazing!