Libraries make me giddy—I smile pretty much the whole time I'm in them.
And I devour biographies and autobiographies like chocolate—can't get enough of 'em.
Now, I write biographies—for children—especially about inspiring women, kids and other often-overlooked folks, who have heart-touching stories about helping people, animals or the planet.
For the past few years, I've been sharing picture book biographies with kids—about real people who've made a difference (for a chimpanzee, a neighbor, a redwood tree...)—as part of a character/humane education program I created. As I read the kids these true stories, I watch their whole beings light up.
"Wow, that's so cool!" they say, almost jumping out of their seats. "I could do something like that!"
"Exactly!" I tell them. (As my eyes get watery...)
And I know we need more of this kind of true story in the world.
My Writing Life
I've been writing professionally for over 20 years, though I've loved to write since I learned to read.
My first full-time writing job was as a staff writer for a newspaper, where my favorite stories to write were profiles of remarkable local people. I still remember those people—that refugee teen who made bold, heartbreaking, award-winning paintings in the leaky basement of his run-down apartment building; that white-haired spitfire of a woman who risked her life to hide Jewish families during WWII.
As a non-fiction writer and editor (using my full name Megan Pincus Kajitani—which is pretty long and kind of hard to pronounce), I've had my writing published in books (like Mama Ph.D. and Chicken Soup for the Soul) and magazines (like Mothering Magazine) and lots of other places. My editing pen has marked drafts from children's history textbooks to more fun books like The Daring Book for Girls and The Double-Daring Book for Girls.
Now I'm coming full circle, again writing stories about inspirational real people—though this time writing these stories specifically for kids, using my children's author pen name, Meeg Pincus ("Meeg" is what my loved ones call me anyway).
I've written several picture book biography manuscripts, aiming for traditional publication—with a book forthcoming in 2019 (details to come soon!). I'm also an active member of the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI, San Diego chapter) and excited to be attending the Highlights Foundation Master Class in Non-Fiction in Summer 2017.
MY first children's book
In 2015, I published this picture book—the true story of my daughter's quest to help the California Sea Lions—as a fundraiser for marine mammals and as a teaching tool for K-5 students:
More Random Tidbits
Along with being a writer, I'm also lots of other things, such as..
- A mother of two kind, curious children (them being kind is what I'm most proud of—though curious is a close second).
- An educator, and the daughter of educators (these days I teach workshops for women and kids, and at schools through my non-profit SolutionaryStories.org).
- A wife of one award-winning, math-rappin' teacher, who travels the country training other teachers and teaching the times tables (and who writes books for teachers that I get to edit).
- An artist (spending my free time doing artsy things like creating figure sculptures out of 50 pounds of clay and singing in a 9-woman musical group).
- A book lover—did I say that already? (I always have a stack of about six I'm reading. And I read biographies to my kids most nights, which we all love.)
- A plant-based chef (well, not really chef—but I do make a mean vegan black bean brownie and berry green smoothie!).
- A parakeet grandma (my 10-year-old daughter is our sweet budgies' mama, so...).
- A perennial student (after grad school, I still wasn't done—I'm always taking some kind of class!).
- A Broadway musical buff (my whole family can bust out lyrics from Hamilton, Wicked, Newsies or Into The Woods — just ask us; really, ask us!).
- A Southern Californian (I love playing with my family at our local beach, and scanning the waves for dolphins and sea lions. I squeal every single time I spot one. Every. single. time.)