Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

At the Desk: Megan Crewe

Share |
Megan Crewe

The adventure that began for teenaged protagonist Skylar in Megan Crewe's Earth & Sky continues on an even larger scale in the series' next instalment, The Clouded Sky (Razorbill). After her heightened awareness pulls her into an alien plot, Skylar and her otherworldly friend Win are back in action, this time in the enormous space station that houses Win and the rest of his group of rebels, who are attempting to save Earth. Skylar is forced to pose as an earthling "pet" in order to survive, but soon her instincts and expertise earn her an uncomfortable amount of attention. With enemies closing in and an unidentified spy in their midst, Sklyar and Win have a tough mission before them, even as Skylar tries to hold tight to the memory of those she is trying to protect.

Today we're speaking to Megan as part of our At the Desk series, which asks writers to pull back the curtain on their workspaces and give us a peek into their writing processes.

Megan invites us into her writing space and tells us about the essential role of a space (if not room) of one's own, the importance of snacks during the writing process and why being a pack rat can be an inspiration.


When my husband and I bought our first house, I got the rare luxury of having an entire room as a dedicated workspace. Then our son arrived, and that room became his, and my office moved into our bedroom. But I’ve had bedroom workspaces since I wrote my first (never to see the light of day) novels as a teen, so the set-up felt familiar, and with some ingenuity we were able to transform the room into two separate areas to keep sleep and work separate. (The secretary desk and the filing cabinet you can see in the photo are up against the footboard of the bed.)

I’ve always found sitting at an actual desk somewhat stifling for creativity, so I do my drafting on my laptop, sitting on that comfy armchair by the window. There’s a box of snacks tucked under the desk nearby in case my brain needs refueling. The bookcase on the other side of the window holds reference books on every topic I’ve needed to research. (For the Earth & Sky trilogy, that includes speculations on time travel and space station design.)

The desktop computer is where I do my editing (when I’m not marking red ink on paper, which I still rely on for my early line edits), my design work (my author website, book trailers, bookmarks, and so on are my own creations), and all my writing work that isn’t composing fiction (emails, social media, this guest post right now!). Printing out the 300+ page drafts for those red ink line edits would be a headache without the speedy laser printer underneath. I’ll admit the desk is usually a lot more cluttered than you see here — it tends to accumulate notes, mail, and other documents until I get around to cleaning it off every few months.

The bookcase beside the desk holds all my children’s and young adult novels… As you can see, it’s close to overflowing. So many good books to read, so hard to find the space! It’s also home to my whiteboard, which I mainly use to jot down reminders of what’s most important in my current project to help me focus. While I was working on The Way We Fall, I sketched out a map of the island there.

You can’t see the bookcase beside that one, which is hiding behind the door. It (along with two other bookcases tucked farther into the room) holds my adult fiction collection. The lower two shelves form a cupboard area where I keep notebooks going back to my university days. I still flip through them sometimes looking up story ideas I haven’t gotten around to tackling yet.

The secretary desk is my most recent acquisition, picked up a couple years ago so I had a non-cluttered desktop to work on when needed. The cubbies at the back hold my most used writing reference books, index cards, and an assortment of pens. The upper shelves gave me a chance of display my published books, including foreign editions, for the first time. And the drawers beneath keep my mailing and promotional materials organized.

The filing cabinet beside it is the least-used part of the workspace, but no less important for it. It’s where I store all my contracts and other business documentation. One very large file folder inside contains every print rejection letter I’ve ever received, all the way back to the ‘90s. Possibly I’m a bit of a pack rat, but I like having the reminder of just how far I’ve come.

Megan Crewe

Megan Crewe is the highly acclaimed author of several books and pieces of short fiction for young adults. Her first novel, Give Up the Ghost, was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award. The Way We Fall, the first instalment in Crewe’s Fallen World trilogy, was published to great acclaim in 2012, and was shortlisted for the OLA White Pine Award, with the two following books, The Lives We Lost and The Worlds We Make, coming out in 2013 and 2014 respectively. When not writing, she tutors children and teens with special needs. She lives in Toronto with her family.

Related item from our archives

Related reads

JF Robitaille: Minor Dedications


Open Book App Ad