Vermont Author Applegate Creates Fantasy Fiction For Young Adult Readers

Her New Book Series Coming In October, 2018!

BELLOWS FALLS, VERMONT – Meet Megan Applegate, a fiction writer residing in southern Vermont and a published author since 2014. Specializing in the category of “paranormal and fantasy fiction,” Megan’s writing caters mostly to young adults, with book series titles such as Shamans Of The Divide, The Solomon Legacy and Ghosts of July. Her imagination and writing style was developed and cultivated from a young age.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Megan Applegate

“I’m pretty sure it all started with my obsession with leprechauns,” Applegate said. “I was the kid who’d sit in my aunt’s backyard next to the forest with a box, a string on a stick and a half-eaten peppermint candy trying to catch myself a leprechaun and dream about what I’d do with all that gold! Imagination and the slightest possibility of magic in the world means everything to me.”

Originally from New England, Megan grew up in Texas and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Texas A & M University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Texas El Paso, before settling in Southern Vermont with her husband and four children. “I was raised in Texas and attended school there, but I was born in Rockingham. After college I got married and we were adventurous, living in places like Alaska, Houston and Virginia before returning to Vermont when the house that’s been in my family a long time became available.”

In college, Applegate took a lot of English and writing classes and many of them involved mythology, fairy tales and folklore, leading her into the writing world of fantasy and paranormal fiction. “Life is hard enough and bills are due, so reading should be fun and take you far away, and for me, writing and reading fantasy and paranormal fiction is just that for me – a lot of fun and a way to express myself and momentarily forget how high last month’s electric bill got.”

After Megan graduated from Texas A & M she started writing for their newspaper, The Battalion, and worked for a few other publications over the years as a reporter. But the deadlines "aged me a few decades" and the long nights were difficult once she had a family. Along with writing for newspapers and magazines, she's created technical writing for projects on Alaska’s North Slope, and even written video game reviews and covered a minor league hockey team in El Paso! She also currently hosts a writing workshop for second-graders at Central Elementary School in Bellows Falls.

"I was also part of a great organization called Writers In The Schools where I worked directly with inner-city classrooms each week as a writing mentor and coach. It was one of those life-changing experiences that I've tried to recreate here at the elementary school in Bellows Falls. I pitched my idea to the teachers, they gave their blessing and I've been spending Mondays with my second-grade writing crew, which this year includes one of my own daughters!"

Megan’s first book was published in 2014, a young adult paranormal romance about a girl who battles beasts and monsters from Native American lore along the Continental Divide. “The Shamens of the Divide series would include four books, before I switched the series,” she said. “In 2016, I then published two books in a new series set in Vermont called The Solomon Legacy and I still owe my readers a third book in that series.”

Applegate has been traditionally published, as well as self-publishing her books, and has enjoyed both platforms. "I am comfortable with both worlds - but I honestly prefer to captain my own ship. I like (mostly) being in charge of the book release date. Having the marketing and other perks of a large publishing house is certainly a great advantage, but having to wait a couple years or more to see the final product in your hands is too long for me. In this business, if you write a series, you have to give the readers what they want and in this day and age of e-books, nobody wants to wait two years for the next episode of a story.

"To each his own, however... as a creative, you've got to do what's right for you and your art. That said, I'm passionate about indie authors and helping them however I can. I've hosted a couple workshops over the last couple of years, just to pass along whatever information I've picked up about self-publishing."

Getting her point across has never been a problem for Megan and writing has always been her creative outlet, a way of getting all the thoughts, feelings and ideas out of her head. “It was clear from an early age that I had a flair for the dramatic and the gift of gab. Writing is my outlet, and I always tell the kids that I became a writer the day I said that I was, and so are they. Fancy degrees probably help, but the degrees didn’t make me a writer, my love of storytelling made me a writer.”

Applegate is currently working on a new book and has also hosted a couple writing workshops at the Rockingham Free Public Library. “My next release is a new series that I’ve wanted to write for a long time called Love & Other Useless Magic, about a senior in high school who realizes she is a modern-day fairy godmother. It actually touches upon a few issues that are close to my heart – friendship, rivalry, fitting in and taking care of each other. The book will be available October 15 and is the first in a three-book series.”

To learn more about the fantasy and paranormal writing of Megan Applegate, please visit www.meganapplegatebooks.com and www.facebook.com/meganapplegatebooks. (Editor's note: There is also a condensed version of this article appearing in the local, Bellows Falls Shopper, community newspaper.)