Author Archives: Megan Williams

94.5 Virgin Radio Vancouver – According to Amy – Don’t Call The Office

94.5 Virgin Radio’s – According to Amy 

A blog about twins, marriage, life and other ramblings from a blissful, exhausted woman. This is life… According to Amy. 

Our first book review!!!

Lucy and Sam were lucky enough to get a copy of Don’t Call The Office, written by Madison Reaveley and Megan Williams, and illustrated by Cathryn John. (It was even autographed!)

dont-call-3-new

I read the story to Lucy and Sam, my six year old twins, before bed one night and asked them to help me review it for my blog.

Me: What is this story about?

Sam: The story is about Cameron and how she always has to go to the office at school and it’s not even her fault.

Lucy: Yeah, she doesn’t even do anything but she has to go to the office.

Me: Why does Cameron have to go to the office?

Lucy: Because her mom and dad are always late. And the office calls her so they can take care of her.

Me: What was your favourite part of the book?

Sam: My favourite part was when Cameron does this (see photo) when her Nana picked her up.

Lucy: I like it when her whole family surprises her at the office.Don't Call The Office on Virgin Radio

Me: What did you like about the story?

Lucy: I like that Cameron had the idea to make a fort with her friends at school. I’d like to do that!

Me: What would you do if you were called to the office every day after school?

Sam: I would make the same faces Cameron did!

Me: What ages do you think would enjoy this book?

Lucy: 3 (years old) and 4 and 6 and 5. And maybe 2 years old.

Sam: 91 years old or older. And younger too.

Me: What did you learn from the story?

Sam: If you’re going to be late, DON’T call the office.

Me: What’s your final review of the book?

Lucy: Two thumbs up!

Sam: Yeah, two thumbs up!

Virgin Radio Vancouver Don't Call The Office

Don’t Call The Office is available at Chapters and at MeganWilliams.ca

(See full article on Virgin Radio’s website here.)

Don’t Call The Office in the North Shore News

Lesson for West Vancouver parent turns into book
Step-daughter’s suggestion inspires self-published story

Don'tCallTheOffice in the North Shore News

As a young student named Beckett flies from a school swing set and high into the air, his three friends stand by, smiling, with score cards at the ready. He gets high marks for his daredevil manoeuvre.

The move is, thankfully, fictional, and is captured in an illustration describing the “biggest, greatest, most awesome game of Rocket Launcher that their school had ever seen.”

It is nine-year-old Madison Reaveley’s favourite part of the book she co-wrote with her step-mom Megan Williams titled Don’t Call the Office.

The colourful illustration includes Cameron, Sadie, Kayla, Beckett and Jeremy, the book’s main characters.

To some extent, Cameron is Madison and Madison is Cameron.

They share some obvious similarities: “The hair, the skin, and my favourite colour is orange, so the orange backpack,” notes Madison. The family and friends depicted in the book are also based on Madison’s real-life family and friends.

Don’t Call the Office was inspired by a true event as well: “Megan was late to pick me up one time and she called the office after school. I didn’t know what was happening so I just went down to the office and then I had to stay there because when people call the office, whoever is coming to pick you up, you’re not allowed to go back outside to play,” explains Madison.

Megan offers her side of the story: “She was at a new school and I was nervous that she would just be standing on a hill by herself.”

Instead, Madison was enjoying playing with her friends outside, but once she got called into the office, school policy dictated that she had to stay there until a parent picked her up.

“So Megan was two minutes or three minutes late and she just walked right in and I said ‘Megan don’t call the office so I can go play on the swings,’” recalls Madison.
Megan admits: “It was funny because when she said it it made total sense to me why I shouldn’t do it (call the office) but it was like a rookie move on my part.”

That simple sentence, “don’t call the office,” soon became the basis for a children’s book the pair self-published through Amazon in July.

The idea grew during one of the duo’s regular long rides home from school. Madison, just like her fictional counterpart Cameron, has a blended family that includes her parents, step-parents, a younger sister, and grandparents. She divides her time between West Vancouver, where Megan lives with Madison’s dad, and Coquitlam, where Madison’s mom, sister, and step-father live.

It was during their trip back to West Vancouver from her Coquitlam school that day that Megan and Madison hatched a plan. Often on their long rides between the two homes, Megan and Madison listen to audio books, and one of their favourite authors to listen to is Robert Munsch.

Madison made the suggestion that “Don’t Call the Office” might be a great book title for Munsch. Megan liked the idea, but came up with one of her own. She thought they could write the book themselves.

This wasn’t Megan’s first brush with writing. In 2014, she penned and self-published a non-fiction love story called Our Interrupted Fairy Tale based on the relationship between her and her late boyfriend Chad Warren, who passed away in 2009 from a form of blood cancer called multiple myeloma.

So Megan was familiar with the process of writing and self-publishing, but she also thought it would be a good learning opportunity for Madison. Then halfway through Grade 3, Madison wasn’t too interested in reading at the time, and Megan thought writing a book together might present a unique way to expand her literacy skills.

That weekend, the duo came up with a character list. The following weekend, they put together a plot line, and it grew from there. The ideas flowed easily. The creative pair worked on the book almost every weekend and rarely disagreed about anything.

“It wasn’t me pushing this project on Madison at any point,” says Megan. Madison calls the process “fun work.”

Don’t Call the Office tells the story of a young girl named Cameron who has a different family member pick her up each day after school one week. Each day, that family member is late to pick her up and each day they call the office, forcing Cameron to sit and wait inside instead of playing outside with her friends.

Megan enlisted the help of family friend Cathryn John to illustrate the book. Cathryn, also a West Vancouver resident, had never worked on a children’s book before, but Madison says she successfully captured her ideas in the drawings. She especially likes a fort Cathryn created for one of the chapters.

It was Cathryn’s idea to also create a complete colouring book version of the story as well.

Now in Grade 4, Madison says she enjoys writing more, and is planning on working with Megan to publish more stories, probably featuring their main character Cameron.

When her step-mom asks her what the biggest thing she learned from the six-month process was, Madison answers simply and quickly: “How to write a book.”

Don’t Call the Office is available through Amazon, at meganwilliams.ca, and in local Indigo stores.

See the article the North Shore News site here.

Don’t Call The Office in the TriCity News

Coquitlam student co-writes book with stepmom
Madison Reaveley, 9, penned a children’s book about her frustrations — and joys — with having a blended family.

Don'tCallTheOffice in the TriCityNews

Madison Reaveley is a Grade 4 student at Leigh elementary in Coquitlam and has a large family that adores her.

But sometimes they get in her way.

Because she comes from a blended family, Reaveley is picked up and dropped off from school by a host of relatives: Her mom and dad, step-parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents all make sure Reaveley is looked after.

Typically, on their way to collect her, they get stuck in traffic so they call the school secretary. As a result, Reaveley has to sit in the office to wait for them. And that bums her out because she’d rather be playing outside with her buddies.

In January, when her stepmom telephoned the school secretary to say she was running a little late, Reaveley piped up. She had had enough.

On the drive home to West Vancouver, Reaveley explained to Megan Williams her frustration. Williams agreed to not call the school — even when she was two minutes behind. The pair also agreed to write a story based on Reaveley’s experience of having a blended family.

Over the course of two months, they sketched out the plot — in the same style as Canadian children’s author Robert Munsch — for a new book, aptly titled Don’t Call The Office.

They also hired a friend’s daughter to illustrate the publication. Cathryn John, a New Westminster resident and a student at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, worked with Williams and Reaveley to create the colourful characters and scenes (it was also her first time to work on a children’s book).

And, at John’s suggestion, the trio also created a companion colouring book.

Williams then used her experience as a self-published author (Our Interrupted Fairy Tale, 2014) to get the finished product to the printers and to market it.

Yesterday (Monday), they stopped by The Tri-City News’ office for their first interview; last night, they were featured on the radio station CKNW and, on Saturday, they’ll make an appearance on the Global News morning show. It will be followed by the book launch at Chapters Metrotown from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (a Chapters Coquitlam unveiling is set for this fall).

Reaveley said she enjoyed writing the 24-page book with her stepmom and she plans to show it to her class when the academic year restarts.

Williams also said Don’t Call The Office fills a publishing gap: Most books about blended families are self-help and geared to adults. By contrast, theirs is a story co-written by a child, for children.

Already, Williams has contacted School District 43 to see if the book can be available in Tri-City school libraries. And she promised another story about about the protagonist, Cameron Parker, and her big, blended family is on the way.

• Don’t Call The Office and its colouring book are available via meganwilliams.ca, Amazon and Chapters/Indigo.

jwarren@tricitynews.com

– See more at: http://www.tricitynews.com/entertainment/coquitlam-student-co-writes-book-with-stepmom-1.2323670#sthash.ebgP27Ak.dpuf

Book Launch! Don’t Call The Office

Don't Call The Office - Book Launch!

Just in time for school (or, one last pool-side read), Don’t Call The Office is hitting book shelves!

Come celebrate with us, meet the authors and illustrator and pick up a copy of Don’t Call The Office and it’s colouring book!

You’ll love it, we promise!

Where: Chapters Metrotown, Burnaby, B.C

When: Saturday, August 20th from 11am – 1pm

You should write a book.

you-should-write-a-book-web

May 11, 2016 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Indigo Marine Drive, 1025 Marine Drive, North Vancouver, + Google Map
$10/Person

“You should write a book.” – Three ways to start writing your story.

In a succinct 45 minute session, aspiring writers will leave with three practical tools and processes to start writing their first book.

Background:
Megan Williams is an award winning, self published author. She doesn’t have a degree in literary arts, she isn’t a journalism student and three years ago, she didn’t know how to write a book. What Megan did have, was a story to tell.

Megan researched, navigated and tested her way through writing and publishing her first book. Taking the advice of others and developing her own set of tools, in two years, Megan was a published author. Knowing the hardest part is figuring out ‘where’ to get started, Megan has developed the ‘You Should Write A Book’ workshop series to help other aspiring authors share their story.

The Day I Didn’t Think of Chad

“She agreed with all her heart, but couldn’t understand why at the very moment she said yes, Noah’s face came to her mind.”

I’ve thought of The Notebook’s engagement scene so many times since Chad died. Chad (Noah) was my first big love and so often without warning, he comes into my mind; especially with big occasions. So I figured whenever the time came, a proposal wouldn’t be any different.

Then, the day I wondered about happened without warning – Brad asked me to marry him.

Looking down at Brad on one knee, his zombie princess daughter beside us, surprise, love and adrenaline surged through me. I saw nothing but Brad and Madison in front of me for minutes.

Later, we kissed Madi goodnight as she bounced into her Mom’s car and Brad and I walked tightly, hand-in-hand back to our car. Then, I did a full body check in.

Do I feel different? What does this mean? How does this change things?!…Where was Chad?

Chad wasn’t there!

I smiled quietly – so happy not to have thought of him. On no uncontrolled, sub-conscious level did I think of Chad, eliminating the need to later consciously brush it from my mind.

For me, not having Chad come into my mind meant that on all levels, my love for Brad is pure. It’s pure and not conditional. This love is not based on our circumstances or lives before us. This isn’t second best. This, is it.

Thank you for that space Chad. That was a great gift to give.

Megan & Brad at 65_RedRoses