Writer Interview: Meg LaTorre

Today we are going to be talking to fellow writer and YouTube darling, Meg LaTorre. If you haven’t heard of her iWriterly series – GO DO THAT RIGHT NOW! If you were ever curious about writing and have no clue where to start….start with her channel. You can thank me later.

Writing Related:

1. Where did you get the idea of iWriterly?

We founded the iWriterly YouTube channel in March of 2017 (a few months after my son was born). At the time, I was working as a literary agent at the Corvisiero Literary Agency. After seeing so many writers make the same mistakes when they queried me, I wanted to create a resource to help writers avoid common pitfalls and hopefully have a (slightly) smoother road to publication. At the time, I’d also been writing blogs for places like Writer’s Digest and Savvy Authors. While I enjoyed blogging for them, I got the sense that the blogs weren’t connecting with writers in the way I’d hoped. (Let’s face it, most folks don’t sit down to read articles or blogs these days!) So, my husband convinced me to start a YouTube channel. (I actually fought starting a YouTube channel because I knew becoming a content creator was a butt-load of work!) However, we quickly started connecting with writers in ways our blogs never did. When our channel grew, we eventually branched out to other social media platforms as well as rebranding my author website to become what is now the iWriterly website. I’m so glad my husband convinced me to start a YouTube channel. Now, it’s one of my favorite things. 

2. Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Everywhere and nowhere. Usually, I’ll get a spark of an idea—something magical that forms at the back of my mind. It could happen while watching shows or movies, or from something else entirely. My latest manuscript was actually sparked from a conversation with an agent friend back when I was working as an agent. 

3. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Author platform. Like most writers, I flippin’ hate rejection. In the past, when I’ve gotten close to the querying stage, I’ll quite suddenly have so many author platform tasks to do—tasks that consume my time and make my writing take a backseat. I’ve learned this is my mind’s way of trying to avoid rejection—by delaying getting it. So, I have to consciously fight that fear and take the plunge (and not let my writing take a backseat). We have to do one thing every day that scares us, right? 

4. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Most of my settings are not on Earth, as I write primarily adult science fiction and fantasy. But as a Lord of the Rings gal (I have two LoTR tattoos), I would absolutely love to visit New Zealand and let my writer’s brain roam free. That, or Dublin. I feel like so many shenanigans could be had in Dublin. 

5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I always have to be drinking something when I’m writing—preferably something highly caffeinated. 

6. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

I would have chosen a college that specialized in novel writing and publishing. While my college had a lot of great things about it, the writing program wasn’t as specialized as I would have liked it to be. (I have a degree in English with a concentration in writing.) I also would have loved to intern at a publishing house. It would have been great to witness the behind-the-scenes of the makings of a book.  

7. What would the main character in your book have to say about you?

Haha! Good gracious. I have a feeling we’d be too into doing our own things to get along. I’d say we are both very goal-oriented, so our paths likely wouldn’t intersect. But if they did, I imagine my main character would think I make for passable company. (She’s the brash, sharp-tongued type.) 

8. Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists or C) Epic settings?

D) All three (with characters taking the lead). 

9. What is the funniest typo you’ve ever written?

The latest one I can think of is accidentally swapping “queue” for “cue.” Thanks, Kevin, for spotting that one. 

10. What is your favorite childhood book?

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke and East by Edith Pattou were probably two of my favorites as a kiddo.

Non-Writing Related:

1. Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? 

I fancy myself as a hunter, but I have a bad case of self-preservation, so it’s hard to be sure. 

2. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Gold! Because be bold or go home. 

3. What do you think about when you’re alone in your car? 

Books! I think about parts of my story where I’m stuck or parts of my stories that my imagination is caught on and wants to replay.

… Or grocery lists and other things I need to accomplish that day because #adulting. 

4. What’s your favorite ’90s jam?

I used to love Underoath and As I Lay Dying in the 90s. Good old screamo. 

5. If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?

My life isn’t all that interesting! But if it was made into a movie (which I do not recommend), I’d love to see a female version of Max Greenfield (who plays Schmidt in New Girl). His delightful quirkiness has always appealed to my inner Megara. 

6. Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?

Neither. Definitely neither. Remember that whole bad case of self-preservation? 

7. If you could pick one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?

In the past, I would have said cheese. Now, it’s sunbutter (basically peanut butter made out of sunflower seeds).

8. If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

1.) A plane with fuel.

2.) Someone to fly the plane (or a manual to fly the plane). 

9. What would you do if you found a penguin in the freezer?

Call my husband and demand an explanation. 

10. How many friendships have you ruined because you refused to play a game of Monopoly mercifully?

More than I care to admit. 😉 

About the author

Meg LaTorre is a writer of adult science fiction and fantasy, YouTuber (iWriterly), developmental book editor, creator of the free query critique platform, Query Hack, Publishable co-host, writing coach, blogger, and former literary agent with a background in magazine publishing, medical/technical writing, and journalism.

On Meg’s YouTube channel, iWriterly, she geeks out on all things books—from the concept to the bookshelves (and everything in between). Spinning off the YouTube channel, she co-launched the monthly YouTube show, Publishable, where experts from across the publishing spectrums discuss which path might be best for your book—self, traditional, or hybrid publishing—and the ins and outs of the modern-day publishing industry.

Meg also launched Query Hack, a query critique platform where writers can submit their manuscript queries or Twitter pitches for free feedback. She has written for publications such as Writer’s Digest and Savvy Authors on topics related to writing and publishing, participated as an editor in Twitter contests, including Revise and Resub (RevPit) and Pitch to Publication, and is a Resident Writing Coach at Writers Helping Writers.

In her free time, she enjoys reading, competitive sports, long-distance races, running after her toddler, and sleeping.

To learn more about Meg, visit her website, follow her on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook, sign up for her monthly newsletter, and subscribe to her YouTube channel, iWriterly.

Make sure to check out iwriterly and publishable!

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