Interview with Children’s Author Meg Collins

TAEM- The Arts and Entertainment Magazine is very proud to introduce one of the leading authors of children’s books, Meg Collins. Meg, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by you recently on Page Turners Blog Talk Radio, and was pleasantly surprised to learn all about you. You excel in teaching, writing, editing, and conduct lessons on motivational speaking. Tell us about these interests in these multiple fields and what inspired you to work in them.

MC- Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, Joseph, and it is an honor to have this interview with you. I began my journey as an artist of words at the age of eight years old. Reports were being sent home that I seemed to have a great passion for writing and reading; I discovered these letters later on in my adult life. I have been writing for over ten years, beginning at a local bookstore open mic venue in which I was fortunate enough to meet famed artists such as Kwame Alexander, Lorraine Oberlin, JaHipster, and Beth Baruth Joselow. After each open mic and poetry slam, these outstanding writers would hold free mini workshops for nearly one hour long. Outside of this venue, some would even charge $25 for a six session writing workshop once a week. I attended these sessions of brainstorming and writing, hence excelling in my writing field. I attempted greeting card writing, short story writing, and several others; however my greatest passion at that time in my life was poetry. I began to find myself at the bookstores and local libraries all the time and went into the magazine section to discover where I could submit my works of poetry. The submission process soon thereafter began for me, and I received ample poetry awards and was published with Iliad Press, Poetry.com, and Library of Congress. My family thought I was plagiarizing, for I could write a poem in less than two minutes on any given day. When my Mother was diagnosed with her second cancer, I began to write my first novel and networked with several families and people who had lost his or her loved ones to cancer. I did ample research and began marketing my work at that time. I branded myself for three to four years in the industry, wrote several query letters, read several writing and poetry magazines, and found that my favorite writer was Kevin Alexander from Writers Digest. He told the harsh truths about being published; getting an agent, and the massive rejection letters he received and the pure honesty of him acting like he was fine when he really went to sleep in tears over the entire rejection hat was received in the mail regarding his writings. I began editing the same day I was asked to hold a poetry and writing table at a County School, the same exact day I met Dr. Win Wenger of Mensa. None of my books had been published at that time, however I was a volunteer in the fifth grade classroom and fifteen of my children’s books had been completed. I had also sent an email to the CEO of the radio show for an interview so that I could promote my work after being stolen from by an agent. My interview was July 5, 2010. I got the interview, worked four days on my career day tri-fold for my table, met Dr.Win Wenger the day I printed out my very first business cards at Staples. He had published 54 books and asked if I was a writer, we had a wonderful conversation and I displayed his book, “3 Easy Tactics,” at my career day table for promotion of him and his talents. My crew of two did filming for Win and attended a few seminars with him, which was an outstanding honor and priveledge. I have been hosting Page Turners with Red River Radio Show since July 2010 with Nancy Duci Denofio, editing pro bono for Dr. Win Wenger of Mensa since May 2010,, have written over thirty children’s books that I am still working on publishing, and am on my fourth novel. My first novel is currently being edited by the famed artist, Leonard Greenberg, my dear mentor and friend. All my illustrations at this time are done by my dear friend, Lorna Mack, who is a fabulous illustrator and Author as well. My hopes for the year 2011 are to publish several more books, in the hopes to aid in cancer research within local hospitals with children.

TAEM- Meg, we have many college students, and Students of the Arts, who look to enter these professions. What ‘words of wisdom’ can you bestow on them to guide them in these careers?

MC- Read often, study your completion, network with other artists of your genre, and stay true to your calling of artistry. Blogs, Twitter, Branch Out, radio and television interviews are imperative in any industry. I encourage branding yourself through these social media channels as often as possible. I also highly recommend getting involved in at least three groups of your artistic genre so that you are networking regularly with other artists and learning from others. Most importantly, be yourself, not matter what the situation, people will recognize you and your talents if you believe in yourself and the causes in which you may be fighting for as well. In mentioning that, I strongly recommend getting involved in causes that truly matter to you and make that a part of your branding. With seven cancers in my family in a very short time, I was determined to make a difference in the lives of individuals battling cancer, so partial proceeds of all books purchased are being donated to cancer research in children.

TAEM- You have written many books, and among them is, “My Magnum Opus.” Please tell us about it and the main protagonists in the story.

MC- My Magnum Opus is a decade of my poetry which in Latin means, “Great work.” I was aiming for a catchy title that would make people think about my book, as for me personally, it was my best poetry at that time. In doing so, I studied book covers in the bookstores for days before picking my cover and my title, as I wanted a cover and title that would stand out in a book crowd and scream, “Look at me!” This was my first book published in 2010.

TAEM- What was the theme behind it, and what was it based on?

MC- This book was a dedication to my Mother who passed away of brain cancer.

TAEM- Another of your works is, “Twinkle, Twinkle Starry Sky.” Please describe this book and what influenced its storyline.

MC- My daughter was mesmerized by the stars and moon and would gaze upon their beauty all the time. I studied this and was so enlightened by watching her reaction that I wrote, “Twinkle, Twinkle Starry Sky.” It is a story about a little girl who is so fascinated with the moon and stars, she longs to take them to school with her one day for show and tell time.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Starry Sky

TAEM- You have also written over thirty children’s books and your love for children is quite apparent in your writing career. Tell us about these stories and how you convey their meaning in your written works.

MC- My books are inspired by the toys and animals in which my daughter plays with, which toys she gravitates to, and the role play that goes along with it. We act out the books together in her free play time and the stories then unfold and come to light on paper for me, personally. She is my inspiration in my children’s books stories. Writing books is easy, however getting all of them published is a different story. It takes time to publish thirty books. Currently seventeen books are edited by Leonard Greenberg and my novel, “Her Road to Success,” is currently under editorial review as well. My second novel is almost completed titled, “Letters to a Brother.” I convey their meaning by reaching out to an audience in which to give the readers a deeper moral insight using widespread story lines.

Pending book publications are:

Rompy’s Adventures- a fifteen book arctic series of a polar bear and and his journey with other animals.

Mamada- a story of a little girl growing up with a single parent.

I Painted in the dark-  a little boy cannot sleep at night and chooses to paint in the dark.

Horse and Seal- an adventure in which a horse on a beach meets a seal and they become racing friends.

The Horse and the Carnival- A horse finds out how to bring a broken down carnival to life to save it from being shut down by the owners.

Emily and the little duck-A girl’s journey with a duck and friends.

The Fear of the hole-a lesson in potty training-many children fear the toilet and this book will help parents to encourage potty training with a twist of fun. (Nancy Duci Denofio and I are writing this book series together).

Puree Me-  a five book series in which the tomatoes meet their match up against a enormous puree machine. Only one tomato escapes, saved by many other vegetables. Which vegetables save the tomato? (Nancy Duci Denofio and I will be writing this book together).

Her Road to Success-a corporate business woman and her struggles to find her Independence within her relationships and her career.

Letters to a Brother-the struggles of alcoholism in one family.

TAEM- You also Host Page Turners Blog Talk Radio. Describe this aspect of your life with us as well as your work on this program.

MC- Page Turners with Red River Radio is Hosted by me and Nancy Duci Denofio. I pitched a sale, got what I thought was my thirty minutes of Meg fame, and the next day was offered a radio show. I took the two hour segment. I was asked, “Are you sure you can do this, Meg?” My response, “I can do anything.” The next month Nancy Duci Denofio joined me, as we were truly blessed to have met on a networking website. I knew there was something incredibly intrinsic about Nancy, though we had never met face to face, we were networking with different people carrying immense talent within many different industries. Nancy and I decided to collaborate our networking efforts and Host Page Turners as a joint venue. Page Turners grew rapidly within a short amount of time, and Nancy became one of my greatest mentors in the industry. Page Turners simply began as a radio show opportunity in which we promoted other writers and artists in his or her book publications. Within two months, Page Turners turned into a radio show featuring eclectic genres of writing, editing, book publication, branding and re-branding, poetry, script and screenwriting, and movie productions. Nancy and I now host a round table discussion in an open forum the last hour of the show to discuss different topics that are brought to light by our audience and emails from listeners that we receive weekly. You can follow our shows at Page Turners with Red River Radio Blog Talk Radio Show.

TAEM- You also take in editorial and ghostwriting work as of 2010. How do you perform this work and are there any favorite genres that you care to work with?

MC- I started my career as an editor with Dr. Win Wenger of Mensa in May 2010, he told me I have something to offer the world. I had not taken the, “How smart are you.” brain test at that time, however I knew to follow his lead, and network with him; he had published 54 books and I, at that phase in my life, was emerging from a little guppy fish in the industry to a starfish, as Nancy told me at that time. I said out loud, “A starfish? Fabulous! Thank you so much for that analogy!” In doing starfish research, I discovered starfish grow quite large and there are many different forms in the sea; I then created a starfish blog. I am currently in think tank meetings with Win, his mentors, and his other business associates. Here I was, editing for Mensa on a fluke of a random meeting at Staples, and receiving editing emails nearly every single day. I thought to myself that if I could sucessfully edit for the 1% of the smartest people in the United States, possibly, I had an inner talent that I was not using, so I went under stipend with a few authors and promoting actors. I am currently editing an Autobiography. I enjoy editing any genre of writing and ghostwriting is tied into my editing for these authors per his or her request. What I enjoy most of all is being able to help other writers reach his or her personal goals of publishing. In helping others, I feel that I am giving back part of what I have been given in life.  I am merely a seed planter. A plan is just a plan, a goal is just a goal; it is the action that makes it happen.

TAEM- Meg, your work with children is most commendable, and children’s stories are one of the most prevalent writing undertakings today. There is nothing more important, in my view, then encouraging children to read, and possibly become some of this world’s proficient, and important, writers in the future. We want to thank you for sharing your story with our readers at The Arts and Entertainment Magazine, and hope that you keep us informed of all your future endeavors.