When James Lipton asks that question on every show of Inside The Actor's Studio-- "What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?"-- I'm always torn between a painter and an author. Both offer the ability to work from anywhere, like a cute cabin in the woods or that beach house I dream of so often. So, when Atlanta based author, Megan Jean Sovern wrote to me last month, sharing the story of a recent novel she wrote (for kids age 8-12), I was at full attention. I knew I wanted to support her efforts, particularly after I saw how gosh darn adorable it all was....
As Megan shared, "The Meaning of Maggie is about eleven year old Maggie Mayfield's blazing trail to the White House armed with a head full of brains and a backpack full of snacks. She's a girl on a clear mission. But that mission is derailed when her dad's legs permanently fall asleep. What happened? The truth? It's not what happened. It's what's happening. Maggie switches gears from global domination to unraveling the mysteries surrounding her family."
Megan drew on her own life for some of the storylines and characters but as she concedes, "Maggie is way tougher than I am. She can also handle her Mike and Ikes better than I ever could." She wrote the book in coffee shops and on park benches not far from her home in the Poncey Highland area of Atlanta and felt inspired by the South. Megan, "Southerners are bred with an amazing amount of resilience. To heat and mosquitoes and haunted pasts. And Maggie and her family use that resilience to take on every challenge that lies ahead of them."
When her publisher, Chronicle Books, wanted a book trailer, she was quick to take on the task herself. As an advertising copywriter by day, Megan wrote the script along with her husband and enlisted Georgia Tribuiani to direct. This short trailer is as delightful and imaginative as her subject matter.
Megan's writing style helps churn our imagination and create the world of Miss Maggie. What I love about the trailer is how those images in our head now come to life, setting the scene and backdrop so perfectly. Plus, she's conjuring up my own past. Being born in the 70's-- typewriters, candy corn and bad wedding photos on the dressers are all symbolic of my own childhood. I may be older than 12, but I have to admit, this book speaks to me...
Megan, "My intention was to write a story about a family who is handed an incredible challenge and it doesn't tear them apart. In fact, it makes them stronger, better and even funnier. I also always wanted to write something with a Spaceballs reference. I finally succeeded." I'm not sure what other profession Megan herself would like to attempt but I hope she doesn't deviate from author anytime soon.
Find, read, savor and share The Meaning of Maggie, here.
Photos: Raymond McCrea Jones Content: Sweet Peach