Monday, April 11, 2011

Megan Crewe

Today, I'm thrilled to host author Megan Crewe. Her fabulous Young Adult novel, Give Up the Ghost, has just been released in paperback! (Hardcover released in 2009)


Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up.  A few definite facts: she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and two cats (and does on occasion say "eh"), she tutors children and teens with special needs, and she has yet to make friends with a ghost, though she welcomes the opportunity.


Cass McKenna much prefers the company of ghosts over "breathers." Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody... and Cass loves dirt. She's on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.

But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass's whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.

As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim's life, she's surprised to realize he's not so bad--and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it's time to give the living another chance...

"A poignant character study of a deeply wounded girl moving toward a nuanced, forgiving view of humanity. Crewe’s first effort will make readers wonder what else she’s got up her sleeve." -Kirkus Reviews
"This coming-of-age novel avoids unrealistically neat moments of closure--it will make readers hurt, and maybe even believe." -Publishers Weekly

Read an excerpt here: Click

MAUREEN: What’s your favorite holiday?
MEGAN: Christmas.  I love figuring out presents for my friends and family that they’ll love but also be surprised by, and there’s always a wonderful atmosphere when the whole family gets together to open presents and listen to wintery music and eat that delicious turkey dinner.

MAUREEN: It's spring, but suddenly I'm pining for December... Where do you most like to read and how often?
MEGAN: My favorite reading spot is on my living room couch, sitting against the arm so the light from the window hits the page.  But I do most of my reading on the public transit—streetcar and subway—going to and from work, because when I’m home there are so many other obligations I feel guilty sitting down to read.

MAUREEN: I'm a big streetcar reader, too. What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
MEGAN: I love stories that are grounded in the real world, but have a strong fantastical or speculative element.  The realistic parts make it easier to believe in the story and the character’s situation, and the speculative parts give me a glimpse of worlds I’ve never actually experienced.  Probably unsurprisingly, most of the stories I write also have a balance of the two. 

MAUREEN: What’s your favorite hobby?
MEGAN: About four and a half years ago I started taking kung fu classes.  I’d wanted to learn a martial art for a while (partly inspired by watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I have to admit) and after visiting a few classes, I found I really liked the style and attitude of one focusing on Fut Gar kung fu.  It’s great exercise, I feel like I’d do a lot better in a struggle if I had to defend myself now, and it’s even helped my books--by giving me a better sense of how to write fight scenes!

MAUREEN: Hiking boots or high heels?
MEGAN: Hiking boots, definitely.  I’ve never worn high heels enough to get used to them.  Unless they’re not too high and really wide, I’m falling over after a couple of steps.

MAUREEN: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
MEGAN: I usually write to silence, because I concentrate better that way, but if I’m stuck or having trouble getting started, I’ll often put on my playlist for the book I’m trying to write.  Listening to the songs that I relate to the characters and the conflicts can get me in the right mood really quickly.

MAUREEN: What’s your favorite kind of cheese?
MEGAN: Feta!  Oh how I love feta.  On salad, in spinach pie, I’ve even added it to curries before.  Yum!

MAUREEN: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
MEGAN: I love hearing from you!  If you’ve ever wanted to write to me to ask a question or just tell me what you think of my books, don’t be shy—I’m always excited to get a message from a reader.  (Most authors are!)

MAUREEN: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
MEGAN: Back it up!  There’s nothing scarier than the worry that all that hard work might get lost, so I always make sure I have copies at least a couple different places before I give myself a much needed break to celebrate being finished.

MAUREEN: Now that's a smart answer! What is your favorite tradition from your childhood that you would love to pass on or did pass on to your children?
MEGAN: A love of reading.  I think a big part of the reason I love stories so much is that my parents were excited about books and read them to me from when I was very young.  My dad would even put on different voices for each of the characters, which was my favorite part.  I’ll definitely be doing the same thing when I have kids of my own.

MAUREEN: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
MEGAN: I’m the sort of person who’d always rather know than not know, so yes.  I want to see what people are saying and how they’re responding to what I’ve written.  But the thing is, by the time reviews are out for a book, there’s nothing an author can do to change that book.  So they don’t really influence my writing.  If I saw that almost all my reviews were pointing out the same flaw, though, you can be sure I’d be trying very hard to avoid that problem with my next book!

MAUREEN: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
MEGAN: Just having a book on the shelves in most of the bookstores around town is a dream come true.  Having readers write to me to tell me that they enjoyed it is another.  I consider myself incredibly lucky just to be getting my books out there.

MAUREEN: What’s in your purse right now?
MEGAN: The usual things—keys, wallet—as well as my notebook, at least two pens (you never know when one might run out!), the latest book I’m reading, headache pills (I am headache prone and it’s never fun to have one on the go), a Swiss Army knife, hand cream, and lip balm (I hate the feeling of dry hands or lips).

MAUREEN: Do ghosts exist? Have you ever seen or felt one?

MEGAN: I remain on the fence.  I’ve heard a lot of stories that have no obvious explanation, but I’ve never experienced anything ghostly myself.  I think I’d need to see the evidence with my own eyes to totally believe.


Have you ever had a ghostly experience?  What happened?


Megan will give away a signed copy of the Give Up the Ghost paperback, to one lucky random commenter within North America.


Twitter ID: megancrewe
Goodreads author page:

Thanks, Megan!

Remember to come back tomorrow when Cat hosts Ruth Logan Herne.


  1. If the book blurb hadn't reeled me in, then the trailer would have me jumping in the boat without a hook. Wow...wish this reading material had been around when I was a teen.

    Welcome to GLIAS Megan. Awesome interview. Sounds like an awesome book.

    To answer your question, yes I've had several ghostly encounters. Everything from the imagined to the impossible. Putting the experiences into words don't do them justice.

    Best of luck with future releases !

  2. The closest thing I've had to a ghostly encounter was going to see INSIDIOUS last night. I am still spooked. It is scary and definitely not for kids! lol.

  3. I had a few Ouija moments as a teen that kind of freaked me out. But not really a ghost encounter. I remain quite skeptical of all the "evidence". But LOVE a great ghost story.

    Simone, I could not see INSIDIOUS. I barely made it through the trailer.

  4. Hi Megan! Welcome to GLIAS :) Loved the blurb...I will be looking for your book.

    And yes, I LOVE Feta. One of my favorite dishes is a squash, chickpea and feta dish...yum!

    As for ghostly encounters, I am also on the fence. Normally, my analytical scientific side would say absolutely not...BUT, twice, while living in an old highrise building downtown with my husband, we were awakened in the middle of the night. The first time, I woke from a dead sleep, and quickly became so increasingly terrified for no reason that I woke my husband. He quickly had a the same feeling, like something awful was going to happen if we didn't get out of there immediately, that we fled the apartment in our pajamas. We learned later that a woman had committed suicide there years earlier, jumping from the 11th story window. And, the even spookier thing is that a couple of years later, the last night in that apartment building, we'd already packed and dismantled the bed, leaning the headboard up against the wall and throwing the mattress on the floor. Both my DH and I woke at the same moment, throwing our hands up over our heads just before the massive walnut headboard crashed down upon us. Weird.

    Still, I'm analytically on the fence :)

  5. Oh Megan, you are going to get some very good tales, I expect!

    I had a girlfriend who owned a horse ranch up in the hills above Bakersfield. (We met because we both showed horses.) She and I used to visit each other often even though we lived miles away from each other. One night she was driving in the middle of the night to help a friend whose mare was having trouble foaling, slid through an ice patch on the road, hit an oak tree head-on and died.

    Quite a shock.

    (A quick bit of background: She knew how much I love crows. I have two beautiful wooden crows who sit high above my living room and gaze down at visitors. Also, the last time she drove to my house she had to pull over to the side of the road because the hood to her truck came unlatched and flew up and covered her windshield. Lynn and I owned identical pick-up trucks, by the way. same color, same make)

    On the way to her funeral: I'm driving down highway 39 which has this reputation for being the most dangerous two lane highway in California. (Many deaths on this road.) As I drive along, of course I'm thinking about Lynn, suddenly the hood to my truck flies up and blocks the wind shield. I pull over, get out of the truck and close the hood. Back out on the road as I begin to accelerate a crow flies right up beside the driver's side window and flies very close alongside the truck. This went on for a good half a mile or so.

    Personally, I believe Lynn was saying good-bye.

  6. Right after my son was hit by a car, I had a couple of other-worldly experiences at the hospital. I tell myself they were caused by sleep deprivation, but I've always thought I might write them into a book someday. (Yes, he survived:)

    Your cover is fantastic. My daughter loves ghost stories, so count me in on the drawing. I'm looking forward to reading it before I share it with her:)

  7. Hi, Megan! Welcome to Get Lost in a Story. Your blurb sounds so poignant. As for ghosts do they exist, I ,too, don't want to discount their existence. When my dad passed away I was working in my newspaper office and it was late at night. I was facing my computer and I felt a chill enter the room and then someone lightly put his hands on my shoulders. When I turned away there was no one there. I've never forgotten that, nor experienced anything like it since. I was grieving at the time (still am)so....