Pasadena City + North Seattle College - English Studies (Just Shy of a Degree)
Megan Munroe began her career as an actress, appearing in feature films, music videos, TV shows and commercials before moving to Nashville to pursue her career as a country musician and recording two albums. A teen beauty queen, personal trainer and former literary publicist, her range of life experiences and proven ability to succeed as a nice girl in a bitch's world have led to features in Cowboys and Indians, Country Weekly and more.
At age 27, Megan was a frustrated publicist pulling her hair out. Dealing with hard-to-please authors on a daily basis while dreaming about becoming one herself, she wasn't quite sure how to cross the bridge from her "job" to her "calling" without drowning in the process. Tired of living for a dream instead of living her dream, Megan took the risk of losing her job as a publicist and pitched her book idea to her publisher in hopes of becoming a published author.
Today, Megan truly has her dream job. It isn't the typical rise-and-shine type of profession, but she is able to seamlessly combine working and stay-at-home-mothering. And this April, she will release her book in major chain bookstores across the nation.
When she's not writing and promoting the Nice Girls Rule Movement all over the Internet, she enjoys listening to her son laugh, being married to a man who gets her, and a wonderful glass of Sauvignon Blanc, which reminds her of summer no matter what season it is.
Trust your instincts. If you don't, the only person to blame is yourself.
How did you discover your current job?
I was hired as a publisher's assistant turned publicist at a mid-sized publishing house in Nashville. Like so many before me who take jobs in hopes of getting a record deal, becoming an editor, or being promoted to manager, I started at the bottom in hopes of someday being one of the authors myself. After nearly three years of pushing the publicity needle, I approached the publisher with the idea for what is now affectionately called, "Bitch? Please! How Nice Girls Can Succeed in a Bitch's World." Just as providence would have it, I became pregnant with my first child and ended my job as a publicist to stay home to finish my manuscript and take on a slew of other freelance writing jobs.
What has been your path so far to get you where you are today?
My path has been fragmented to say the least. Eager to start my life, I moved out when I was 17 and moved to Los Angeles to become an actress. As I look back I remember getting my high school diploma in the mail at my Burbank address while other students were picking out their prom dresses. Although, I was trying to get TV and film jobs, I always had a dozen books started on my computer and hundreds of story ideas in journals. Acting led me to auditioning for a singing group and recording my first album. From there I moved to Seattle to be closer to family and took a job at a restaurant (where ironically my Barnes and Noble book launch took place across the street!) I began songwriting, playing in a band and met my future husband. We got married and moved to Nashville, where I began working in publicity full time, recorded a second album and was taking on a hefty amount of freelance writing in the evenings.
I thought my day job was the end of my creative life. I remember days where I would cry from frustration because I never thought I would be able to do something outside of the normal parameters of a job again. While I enjoyed what I did -- it never fulfilled me, like writing did. That frustration led to the beginning of my manuscript, and in essence, the beginning of my dream job.
Was there any one situation that helped you along your way?
When I was younger I competed in Miss Teen USA. The whole lot of us were promoting a local jewelry store in Shreveport and another one of the pageant girls singled me out and announced that nobody liked me. I was humiliated. This began the thought process for my book. I knew right then and there that I wanted to write a book promoting nice girls who may not be the most outgoing, but who would never intentionally hurt somebody else to get attention.
What is your typical day like? Does it ever change?
A typical day with a five-month-old son and a writing career is never the same. I wake up when my son does, get a large cup of coffee and take my day moment by moment. Whenever he takes his naps, I write like my hands are on fire to meet deadlines and to promote my book. Between blogging, promoting the book, and writing fitness articles, as well as ad copy for local businesses, I keep myself pretty busy. The only typical thing about my day is that I spend every moment I have to myself at my desk.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Being a published author is kind of like running a marathon in reverse. You go miles and miles to get to the finish line, and once you do you discover that, you're actually at the beginning. My book being completed and published is a reward in itself, but when I read that another woman has read my book and that it has "stayed with her," or that it felt like she was having a conversation with an old friend over a glass of wine, that proves to me that the written word is as powerful as it has proven to be in my own life. It can connect strangers through the simple act of penning a thought. Intrinsically communicating without saying a word? Powerful.
What is the most challenging part?
Being alone. You have to be wired for hours of constant isolation. I have never minded being by myself and creating my own conversations, but it can get lonely.
What is the biggest personal sacrifice you have to make because of your job?
A paycheck. Writing is rich in personal fulfillment but can be a little too thin sometimes to make ends meet. I am able to manage my own calendar, which is what I have always wanted to do, and with that comes the sacrifice of a timely and consistent salary.
What is one lesson you've learned in your job that sticks with you?
Trust your instincts. If you don't, the only person to blame is yourself. And when you are a writer, if you don't trust your own voice, you will only produce convoluted ideas, which I have learned by trial and error.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
Luckily, the way for women writers was paved early on by those who had to take on male pen names in order to be taken seriously. But today even though women write a large percentage of all books, we have to be careful that we use our ideas to fuel productivity and progression. Books that teach others how to tear each other down or that encourage women to use their sexuality, their bodies or bad attitudes to get ahead are taking our gender back decades back of progress.
Who are your role models?
Madeline L'Engle and Anne Lamott. Two very different writers from two different times, but they both have such strong and recognizable voices in literature.
Is there a quote or mantra that you live by?
My husband and I were just joking about living in Seattle and decided that my slogan should be. "Who needs the sun, when you have a sunny disposition?"
What advice do you have for girls who want to be in your industry?
Never stop writing, and don't write to get published. I did both of these things and they set me back. Don't give up on writing because you aren't published, and don't write in hope to become published. Write because you love it. The publishing part will either happen or it won't.