The League of Scribes: Interview With Meg Dendler

Each week, The L. Palmer Chronicles uses The Shiny Object to hypnotize Intergalactic Cats and use their powers to open up a portal through the universe to bring you a member of The League of Scribes.

Attribution: Archangel12 https://www.flickr.com/photos/archangel12/14463555634/in/photolist-o36vbS-6TPy5b-7fAt9z-so55iY-6G8eHj-7hA4ZX-5Sfeuj-5sGeQZ-7D2ZK7-o3ckie-7GdzYu-GMFWQ-6VYAjy-9pK6ni-6VBZvJ-7G9CWn-soDJ1A-7G9CZZ-7M5iCn-7M5iKp-7xFiZW-85WB14-8vZQLy-pwErVj-9pK3Mn-6VPswY-7B4LPr-rWThwb-8omZHs-xGSvrx-6ABe4S-k1c8CL-GMFYb-57R4xn-ai8HcF-7B8yRo-8VDbii-o2U6QT-6RLhZr-7M5iEi-bFAPvB-c2h5sd-7M9gSo-6TPy1L-8pnWQ-8vWN28-bVSHDT-gdtG4-4exYi-k19Ewg

The League of Scribes is a legendary group of authors who write grand adventures in the realms of science fiction and fantasy. They are able to write rich, compelling stories while keeping content in the PG –PG-13 range.

If you have been on a quest to find clean sci-fi and fantasy novels, you have reached the right place.

This week, we present:

Meg Dendler

Meg Welch Dendler - Author:

Otherwise known by her Code Name: Reclusive Cat Lady

Meg Dendler - author:

I’m happiest at home and would never leave if I didn’t have to. And there’s always a cat around somewhere. I write about them for a reason. I think they are speaking with me telepathically. Maybe I’m just sharing the stories they tell me.

Meg Dendler has considered herself a writer since she won a picture book contest in 5th grade and entertained her classmates with ongoing sequels for the rest of the year. Beginning serious work as a freelancer in the ’90s while teaching elementary and middle school, Meg has over one hundred articles in print, including interviews with Kirk Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. She has won contests with her short stories and poetry, along with multiple international awards for her best-selling “Cats in the Mirror” alien rescue cat children’s book series.

Meg and her family (including four cats and her dog, Max) live at 1,400 feet in the Ozark Mountains on what they call Serenity Mountain, just outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Visit her at http://www.megdendler.com for more information about upcoming books and events and all of Meg’s social media links.

In the first book of the Cats in the Mirror series, “Why Kimba Saved The World,” feisty house cat Kimba learns that she is really part of an alien race and has to pick sides between her loyal human family and her feline destiny. The second book, “Vacation Hiro,” came out in November of 2013. These first two books in the Cats in the Mirror series have been honored with Silver Mom’s Choice Awards, and “Why Kimba Saved The World” won a Bronze Moonbeam Children’s Book Award as “Best First Book.” Book 3, “Miss Fatty Cat’s Revenge,” released on September 12, 2014. A companion book to her Cats in the Mirror series, “Max’s Wild Night,” was published in May, 2015. An adult book, “At the Corner of Magnetic and Main,” was released by Pen-L Publishing in September of 2015. Coming soon will be Meg’s biography of Betty White for kids (from Pen-L this winter) and Book 4 in the Cats in the Mirror series, “Slinky Steps Out” (spring 2016).

A Sample of Meg Dendler’s Work:

The Cats in the Mirror Series

Miss Fatty Cat's Revenge by Meg Welch Dendler:

Why Kimba Saved The World:

Vacation Hiro:

The Cats in the Mirror book series is about seemingly normal house cats who discover that they are really part of an alien race that has an interest in taking over earth. Agent cats are strategically placed all over the planet. Kimba and Hiro, the main characters, have an important destiny within this alien cat agenda. They often have to choose between the Earth family they love and their biological alien cat family.

Interview

Who would love your books?

I have readers of all ages and both male and female, but it’s pretty easy to say the Cats in the Mirror series readers are going to be people who love and appreciate cats. That’s actually why I wrote “Max’s Wild Night.” I kept meeting with people who wanted a dog book because they are not cat fans. “Dottie’s Daring Day” will fit that need as well. “At the Corner of Magnetic and Main” doesn’t have a cat or dog anywhere in the book (on purpose), but it is being really well received by my grown-up readers, mostly women so far. It really fits best as Literary Fiction, but the story deals with issues that so many of us face in life.

What was the inspiration for your latest book/series?

My real cats were the inspiration for the Cats in the Mirror series. Each of the main characters is based on one of the cats we have loved. As it develops, secondary characters (some of whom are gaining importance in the series) are imaginary, but they often come from photos I see online. Our crazy cat Kimba really started it all. She would just do such weird stuff, it was only logical that she was really an alien. The story grew from there and evolved into a series.

If a movie of your book were made, what movie(s) would it be most similar too?

The Cats in the Mirror books and Max’s book should be cartoons, like “Secret of NIMH.” I hate those CG movies where the animals are real but their mouths move like humans when they talk. It’s weird. “At the Corner of Magnetic and Main” would be a big hit on the Hallmark Channel.

Do you use music while writing? If so, what music do you use? Is there a theme song for your book?

I need absolute silence when I write. Music would just distract me or make me want to sing or choreograph something to go with it. I’d be dancing in my head. Unless that works with what I’m writing, it’s just a problem. “At the Corner of Magnetic and Main” definitely has a theme song: “Locked Out of Heaven.” It is even referenced in the book. When they make the movie, that will play during closing credits. I’ll make sure it’s in the contract.

What authors or books inspire you most?

Anne+McCaffrey%3A+A+Life+with+Dragons

I’m a huge fan of Anne McCaffrey and have read her books since I was 10. I grew up with Laura Ingalls Wilder and E. B. White and Beverly Cleary. I think they influence how I write for children. Be honest, and don’t dumb it down. Kids don’t want to be pandered to. My reading choices these days are all over the place. I read books by authors I know. I read award winners. I read some of the books that everyone talks about, sometimes. No vampires. Bleh. When Newsweek Magazine said I absolutely had to read the Tearling series, I got them from the library (and was not disappointed).

If you were conquering the world, what fantasy or sci-fi creature/race/entity would you build your army out of? Why?

Klingons2285

Well, if my goal was just to conquer it all and not worry about the consequences, I’d say those Klingons seem pretty good at the job. They love to fight, so you wouldn’t have to pay them much. The problem would be living in the universe after that. Yuck.

Would you rather ride a galactic unicorn or a space dinosaur? Why?

GalacticUnicorn

Galactic unicorn. A dinosaur might decide to eat you.

When did you decide to be a professional writer?

I don’t know that there was a big flash of light moment. I spent many years doing freelance work. It just sort of morphed from a skill I had and a way to make extra cash here and there. Writing books just naturally developed from my love of reading and books, especially those geared toward children. I didn’t sit down and say, “I will now write books.” It was just the next idea that came, and I went with it.

Are you a planner, a discovery writer, or a hybrid?

I’d have to say a hybrid. It really depends on the project. I try to jump on ideas, but I like to know where it is headed to some extent. I write in scenes. I know A will happen, so I write that scene. And I know J will happen, so I write that scene next. I usually know what Z will be (how it will all wrap up), so I may write that next. Then I fill in around those events, how to get from A to J to Z. That doesn’t mean I can’t change J and Z along the way, but I rarely do.

What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring writers?

Go to lots of writing conferences and read lots of good books. Challenge yourself with books you might not normally read. Find new authors. Writing is a skill, just like any other skill. It needs practice, good role models, and lots of nurturing. I make a point of reading books that win awards. Those authors are doing something right. And I love writing conferences. First of all, you will find yourself in room with like-minded spirits. Secondly, writers are normally very encouraging of each other. There’s just an energy and electricity that will inspire you. Finally, I always get some new idea or reignite some spark when I hear other writers give presentations. There is always something new to learn and ways to grow in your art.

Where do your books fall on the Rating Scale of PG to PG-13 Content (1 = How To Train Your Dragon, 8 = The Dark Knight, 10 = Borderline-R-Rating).

All of my books are definitely PG, even “At the Corner of Magnetic and Main.” Level 1. Maybe Level 2 for the grown-up book. No sex or violence at all. No swearing. Mild peril. I mean, you have to have some peril or it’s just boring.

If you could own one magic or sci-fi object or technology, what would you choose and why?

I would love some form of magic wand that could make angry, hurtful, evil people change into loving and kind people. Think how much could be accomplished in this world if there was no need for prisons or courts. All people and animals would be treated with respect. No one would want to kill each other. That’s the world in my head. It would be an excellent place to live.

To explore the worlds Meg Dendler has created, check out the book below:

Autographed Book Copies:

http://megdendler.com/purchase-autographed-books

To Interact with Meg Dendler, check out the links below:

Readers:

  • Do you have any more questions for Meg Dendler?
  • What breed of cat is most likely to be an alien?
  • Would you rather live under a Klingon or Romulan regime?
  • What type of dinosaur would make the best galactic dinosaur?

If you would like to join the League of Scribes, please e-mail lpalmer@lpalmerchronicles.com

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