What planning or research did you do for your book?
I didn’t know it at the time, but the years I spent as a child and teen taking classical music lessons were all research for this book. Like Rose, I play the violin. But unlike Rose, I do not want to be onstage! So I had to imagine the performance scenes and how Rose would be feeling. I also did a fair amount of internet-based research. My setting was inspired by a mish-mash of photos from music festivals around the world, as well as my imagination.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve known ever since grade two when I wrote my first book about an adventurous horse named Monty. That was my first and last book where I was both author and illustrator. Ever since then, I’ve tried to incorporate writing into all my jobs.
Is there a genre or form you’ve never written in but would like to try writing?
I’ve always thought it would be interesting (and difficult!) to try to write a song.
Do you have any unique hobbies or pastimes?
In grade four I wrote my second book (also about horses!) entirely in calligraphy. I’m not sure I could replicate that feat today.
What is the most challenging part of being a writer?
Getting stuck in the middle of a book! I find that characters come easily to me, but then sometimes I get stuck on plot and the only way through is to put the story aside for a bit. Doing something active can help unstick my thoughts so I always carry a tiny notebook or my phone with me when I run or bike… just in case.
What is the most rewarding part of being a writer?
Connecting with readers and having the privilege of working and learning from other writers. I’m lucky to be part of a few critique circles and I love the process of reading other people’s work and having people critique my work as it inches forward towards a complete story.
What types of conversations do you hope will come out of your book?
I hope that readers will think about how they too can follow their dreams. I also hope that the book sparks conversations that everyone – including adults – makes mistakes and sometimes don’t communicate in the best way, but change is always possible.
Offbeat is available now!
Megan Clendenan is a freelance writer and editor. When she’s not writing, she spends her time running or biking through her local mountains or trying to play her violin. She lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia, with her family and their two incredibly fuzzy orange cats. Offbeat is her first novel. For more information, visit meganclendenan.com.