Following Her Dreams: Megan Williams, Author

posted on: January 22, 2014

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I've only known Megan Willams a short while, but I had a hunch that Patisserie Fur Elise would be the perfect location for our interview, as she shares my affinity for high tea in the girliest of settings.  Tucked away on Hamilton Street in downtown Vancouver, I opened the front door of the quaint patisserie and climbed the stairs to an almost empty room.  There sat Megan by the window in an oversized chair that only emphasized her petite figure.  Her cream blouse with pearl collar detailing, grey fur vest, and perfectly executed bun solidified my choice in venue and matched her calm, but at times playful demeanor.  She greeted me with a smile and a hug, and we sat down to order tea.  There on the table was the first (and at the time, only) published copy of Our Interrupted Fairy Tale.  I squealed in excitement and reached across the table to preview this much anticipated book.  Flicking past the first few pages, I landed on her dedication and felt an immediate wave of emotion.  Just knowing bits of Megan and Chad's journey together is enough for me to know the joy and pain this great love brought to them both.  Fighting back a few tears, I carefully closed the book and declared that I'd read my own copy later on and that she should probably throw in a pack of tissues with every purchase.

You see, Chad and Megan met many moons ago, when she was just 16.  And only a few days later, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the blood.  Now sitting across from me, at 29 years old, Megan has been through more love and heartache than most adults I know.  And luckily for us, she's now sharing that story in Our Interrupted Fairy Tale.

When our finger foods arrived, we started talking more about the book and the writing process itself.  We caught up on recent life events and swapped old relationship stories.  We laughed and reminisced over macarons and cucumber sandwiches.  Here is my interview with new author, Megan Williams.

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You and Chad have such a special story and I'm so glad you're allowing us a glimpse into your journey together.  What compelled you to share it with us now?

Four years ago, I was cleaning out one of our closets, and in the bottom of a bag filled with old household manuals, I found one of Chad's journals from when he was first diagnosed with cancer, nine years earlier.  I flipped through to the end.  On the last page of his diary, he left one simple instruction: 
Publish this when the time is right.

So that's what I've done.  Combining his diary entries with mine, love letters and blog entries, the story of "us" has been published.

I just can't even imagine that.  It reminds me a little bit of that P.S. I Love You movie, finding a note from Chad after he'd left.  What was it like, having to revisit that time in your life?  A lengthy and exhausting process, I'm sure.

It was lengthy and sometimes exhausting - but I imagine that's not a unique feeling to anyone writing a book.  However, as I recounted our life together, I felt like we were dating all over again.  It was very enjoyable and very emotional all at the same time.

I think many of us would hesitate to divulge information about our romantic relationships.  Since it's such a personal tale, were there any bits you were reluctant to share?

OH YA.  And I shared them anyway - because it's a true story, a real relationship and blurring out intimate details discredits that I think.
BUT it does not mean that I don't feel weird that my Mom read our first sleep-over-date details disclosed in the first draft.  Yikes.

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Was there any piece of advice you received that helped you get through it?

Serendipitously, a few months after finding Chad's diary, I sat beside a bestselling author on a bus from New York to DC.  His advice for me was to write 1,000 words a day until it's done.  So I did.  And in 6 months, my first draft was done. (Though that also meant Friday night on a long weekend choosing my laptop and hoodie over cocktails and a little black dress).

I had to pause our interview and excuse myself for a washroom break (all that tea, ya know?) and came back to find the woman who was sitting at a table behind us (obviously overhearing our entire conversation) asking Megan all about Our Interrupted Fairy Tale.  "...So when does the book, come out?" the woman asked, "and what is it called again?  I'm going to write it down," she added.  I gave Megan a look of excitement that she shared, as she gracefully answered her questions.  "All the best of luck," the woman said she left, "I can't wait to read it!"

And when you needed a break from writing altogether, what was your go-to way to relax and escape?

Umm...in no particular order?  Running with girlfriends, champagne, weekends in Whistler, Downton Abbey, champagne, and playing tennis with my Dad.

Haha I hear ya.  Thanks goodness for champagne!  And finally, just because I think it would be an Oscar winner, who would play you in the movie adaption of Our Interrupted Fairytale?

Great question.  Original casting idea? Rachel McAdams, because I think we'd be good friends in real life.  Then someone suggested Jennifer Lawrence - and I could totally get on board with that.

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Our Interrupted Fairy Tale is available for purchase on Amazon on February 11th, 2014.  You can pre-order a signed copy here, which is highly suggested for Canadians to save on shipping!

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We'd also love to give you the chance to WIN an advanced, signed copy of Our Interrupted Fairytale.  See below for details - good luck!


*Following Her Dreams is a new feature on aliciafashionista.com.  I spend so much of my time meeting new people with the most amazing stories, fascinating careers, and inspiring attitudes.  It's about time you met these women as well!  Please let me know what you think and if you have anyone in mind that would be great for this feature, please let me know aliciafashionista@gmail.com.  As always, thanks for reading xx

16 comments:

  1. WOW. So incredibly touching. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I look forward to your book!

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  2. Sounds like a great read! Can't wait!

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  3. What a lovely interview! It seemed like two dear friends, sitting down for a chat over afternoon tea. I will be sure to take your advice and read the book with a box of tissues close at hand! I also loved your pictures taken at Pâtisserie Für Elise! I must go there soon! I know some friends who absolutely adore it =)

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  4. Can't wait to read the book!

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  5. this sounds great, cant wait to get a chance to read it

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  6. Really nice! I'll have to give it a read!

    http://chelsealeighbeauty.blogspot.ca/

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  7. Great interview! I really like this idea for a new series - can't wait to read the next one!

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  8. Can't wait to read this book! and note to self must do a high tea soon! it looks delicious!

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  9. Thanks for sharing your story, Megan!
    Looking forward to your book!

    Karen

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    1. Thank you Karen...its a bit uneasy sharing it all so openly, but I hope you like it!

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  10. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing a part of your story. It brought tears to my eyes. I look forward to reading your book. Blessings. Kate

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    1. The interview wasn't meant to bring on tears...the book on the other hand might do just that. I would love to hear what you think once you're done reading it! x

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  11. 1000 words a day - brave and dedicated.... looking forward to reading!

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  12. I would love to read her book. Thank you for being so raw and vulnerable.

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  13. This sounds like such a heartbreaking story but I would love to read it! Thanks for the wonderful interview.

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  14. Thank you all for the lovely words of support and encouragement!

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