The Book Riot Live Interview: Meg Medina

Meg Medina is a middle-grade and young adult author, most recently of Burn Baby Burn. Read more about her here.

Q: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser. I just start writing and see where the story takes me.

Q: Got a favorite superhero?

Kids in general.

Q: What’s one thing you want people to know about your book?

That the 1970s were so fun to research. How could all that craziness be compressed into a single decade!

Q: Do you know your Hogwarts house?


Q: You can take one (and only one) book with you on a 4-day trip where there are NO BOOKSTORES. What book do you take?

Mujeres de Ojos Grande by Angeles Mastretta.

Q: Favorite album or band to listen to while writing?

I like Spanish guitar in the background so I don’t start singing lyrics as I work.

Q: What’s the story you wish someone else would write, so you could read it?

Latina detective series of some sort.

Q: Chunky or smooth?

I love ALL peanut butters!

Q: What are you reading right now?

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera.

Q: What book do you wish more people had read?

Just more diverse authors in general.

Q: Which comes first in your process: plot or character?

Character. Plot is what can kill me.

Q: What genre have you never written in but want to?

I really want to write something funny.

Q: What’s the most surprising thing you learned in the course of writing your most recent book?

Two things. One, that the police suspected a serial killer was on the loose long before they let the public know. Two (and I should have known this) it was shocking to see how the media failed to cover the early women’s movement. If you look at newspaper accounts of rallies, etc, it’s just a small mention. But if you go to the archives of the National Organization of Women, you can find a list of the speakers, records of the hundreds and sometimes thousands of women who took to the street.

Q: What’s your least favorite question to get as a writer?

Where do you get your ideas? Also, do I have “permission” to write your story.

Q: What was the worst job you ever had? The best?

I sold ugly colonial furniture when I was in college. The best job is, of course, author.

Q: What question do you wish you could ask your readers?

“What makes a good book event?”

Q: What do you know now about publishing that you wished you knew when you were first starting out?

That you will spend a lot of time on things that are NOT writing but that shape your career just as much.