Absolutely delighted to share that SQUISHED is out now and available to buy wherever books are sold!(Scholastic, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Bookshop, or your local indie!) Can’t wait for all of you ALLERGIC readers out there to meet Avery and her family in SQUISHED!
: ) Megan
P.S. A little more about SQUISHED:
From the powerhouse duo behind the instant bestseller Allergic comes a spirited new graphic novel about finding your own space… especially when you’re in a family of nine!
Eleven-year-old Avery Lee loves living in Hickory Valley, Maryland. She loves her neighborhood, school, and the end-of-summer fair she always goes to with her two best friends. But she’s tired of feeling squished by her six siblings! They’re noisy and chaotic and the younger kids all love her a little too much. All Avery wants is her own room — her own space to be alone and make art. So she’s furious when Theo, her grumpy older brother, gets his own room instead, and her wild baby brother, Max, moves into the room she already shares with her clinging younger sister Pearl! Avery hatches a plan to finally get her own room, all while trying to get Max to sleep at night, navigating changes in her friendships, and working on an art entry for the fair. And when Avery finds out that her family might move across the country, things get even more complicated.
Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter have once again teamed up to tell a funny, heartfelt, and charming story of family, friendship, and growing up.
If you haven’t read it yet and think you would enjoy a cozy and heartfelt animal adventure story, definitely add HAVEN to your TBR! It’s a very quick read and would also make for a good read aloud (and the audiobook is a delightful listening experience!). Writing HAVEN was a labor of love, and it makes me so happy to see my little cat making her quiet way into readers’ hearts.
LUNA is my and Michelle Mee Nutter’s third graphic novel with Graphix (after ALLERGIC and this year’s SQUISHED). It won’t come out until 2025, but I’ve finished the bulk of my work with the script. Michelle is working on the characters now, and it will progress from there! I’m sure we’ll make some changes to the script as we go along, but the big part of my job is finished. This script was really a joy to write, and so wonderful to work on with our editor Cassandra. I really can’t wait to see Michelle’s art continue to develop.
I prepared the pitch for this in 2020, and finished planning, writing, and revising it (and got to see the art and design develop!) this year. (This is the secret, unannounced project in last year’s post!)
A SECRET PROJECT
…that hasn’t been announced yet (but I think will be fairly soon!). I pushed back some of the other ideas I thought I might work on this year after this, to my surprise and delight, sold.
Various smaller revisions, edits, and art notes
…for SQUISHED, SUPER PANCAKE, SUPER PANCAKE AND THE MINI MUFFIN MAYHEM (book two in the Super Pancake series!), and THE CREATIVE WRITING PLAYBOOK. I love how many rounds of notes and edits each book goes through (I also love getting the chance to see the illustrations at multiple stages). Each round catches so many mistakes. I know some misspellings and errors inevitably make it to print, but being careful and having so many people (me, illustrators, editors, copyeditors, designers) go through the manuscript at different stages and in different ways fixes so much.
What I Worked on in 2022 (that hasn’t sold…yet!)
I wrote a new chapter book, expanding what was originally a picture book manuscript. I actually wrote it by hand and drew all the pictures so that I could understand how I wanted the art to work (it’s meant to be heavily illustrated). But then I typed it up and turned my (very mediocre) drawings into art notes. The whole process was very fun and different for me. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with it next—we’ll see. For now, it’s marinating on the back burner. I think it might need some more work, or just shifting in one direction or another, but I’m not quite sure how to do that yet.
And I revised a picture book manuscript. (Crossing my fingers for some good picture book news in 2023!)
Usually I always want to write more, but in 2022 I struggled a bit with creating personal work in addition to my sold projects (aside from the two projects mentioned above). I just didn’t feel as creatively inspired as usual, and had to take some time to do things like catch up on other important life stuff, read more, binge watch Stranger Things :), etc.
Surprise Good News in 2022
I try to focus on what I can control in writing, like word count, revising, finishing projects, etc. But I wanted to take a minute to celebrate some out-of-my-control and very much appreciated surprises from this year. Hooray!!
ALLERGIC was nominated for an Eisner!
ALLERGIC was nominated for a Rhode Island Book Award!
OUCH is the fourth book Michelle and I are making together (after ALLERGIC, SQUISHED, and LUNA). While Michelle’s working on the art for LUNA, I’ll start working on OUCH a bit later this year and into 2024.
I want to get some work done on some personal (unsold) projects this year, but, although I have some ideas, I’m not totally sure where to start. I have a pretty big collection of partially-finished work, and I’m just not sure where inspiration will strike. Usually I have a bit more of a plan, but this year I guess it will be a surprise to see what else I’ve worked on by the end of the year! As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t feel as creatively inspired in my personal not-on-deadline work in 2022, so this year I’m hoping to really indulge myself creatively, and give myself permission to work on whatever I find the most fun and engaging in my free time.
My 2023 Book Releases
I’ve never had more than one book release in a year before, so I’m excited, grateful, a bit overwhelmed (and still a bit surprised!) that I have three books coming out this year! I’m including pre-order links below for those that want to buy a copy (or all three!). If you are planning on buying, pre-ordering gives books an extra boost because it helps publishers and retailers know ahead of time that there’s excitement for the book.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… pancake? Here is a delightfully clever and endearingly funny graphic novel about a pancake named Peggy, who accidentally develops superhero abilities and must defend her home of Breakfast Town.
Out February 14th, and available for pre-order now.
I thought it would be fun to share what I worked on in 2021 and my plans for 2022. I love hearing this kind of stuff from other writers, so this is for those you that also enjoy a deep dive into the details.
Work Published in 2021
ALLERGIC, with Michelle Mee Nutter
Thank you to everyone who watched and participated in our launch events, and to everyone who has read, reviewed, and recommended ALLERGIC. It was on the Indie’s Bestsellers List for months, and just popped up again on there again for the first two weeks of 2022!
“A Sweet Spring Strawberry Day,” illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
I also had one other small publishing experience this year: a little short story about going strawberry picking in June’s Ladybug magazine called “A Sweet Spring Strawberry Day.”
What I Worked On in 2021 (that has sold for publication)
SQUISHED is my and Michelle’s next (standalone) graphic novel together and will be out in 2023. In 2020 I finished the final-ish draft of the script for SQUISHED, and then this year I worked with our editor Cassandra and Michelle to revise the text as Michelle drew sketches and sketch revisions. Michelle has now moved onto the inking stage—very exciting! I will have more updates about SQUISHED as we get closer to the release date.
After finishing the greater part of my work with SQUISHED (I will still be part of double checking and revising the text in small ways up until the book is finished), I began working on my and Michelle’s third graphic novel together, LUNA (another standalone). This is still in early stages, but I’m very happy with how it’s developing so far, and have been really enjoying working on it.
In 2020 I wrote the script for my and Abhi Alwar’s new graphic novel project, SUPER PANCAKE. And then this year I worked with our editor Rotem to revise the text now that Abhi has drawn the sketches.
SUPER PANCAKE AND THE MINI MUFFIN MAYHEM
I wrote and revised the script for book two, SUPER PANCAKE AND THE MINI MUFFIN MAYHEM. I can’t wait for everyone to read these super silly books.
5. HAVEN: A SMALL CAT’S BIG ADVENTURE
I finished the bulk of my work on HAVEN in 2020, but I did spend time in 2021 with copyediting and proofreading. And got to be part of the excitement of seeing the cover develop! We also went through a title change. Originally it was going to be called HAVEN: THE STORY OF A CAT, but I love how HAVEN: A SMALL CAT’S BIG ADVENTURE communicates so much more of the scope of the story to readers.
What I Worked on in 2021 (that hasn’t sold…yet!)
(More info to come if these projects sell…)
1. Finished putting together a YA graphic novel pitch (with a super talented illustrator–wish us luck!).
2. Wrote/wrote and revised four picture book manuscripts.
3. Started two middle grade novels. One is in pretty rough shape, but I’m seeing a little more potential in the other one.
Writing Plans for 2022
I need to finish up:
1. SQUISHED—any remaining revisions as Michelle finishes the art.
2. SUPER PANCAKE—any remaining revisions as Abhi finishes the art.
3. SUPER PANCAKE AND THE MINI MUFFIN MAYHEM—a few remaining script changes and then any revisions as the art develops.
And then the projects that will be my focus this year:
1. LUNA—I need to finish writing and revising. I’m really happy and feel very lucky that I get to work on this story. It feels very “me” in a way I can’t quite explain.
2. A secret project that hasn’t been announced yet. I’m looking forward to sharing more about this!
3. A new middle grade novel about a doll with starry-eyed dreams—I’m hoping to finish the rough draft and possibly get to revising as well.
4. A fantasy novel for adults—this project is one of my long-term goals. I’m hoping to make some amount of progress—even just a little—on it this year.
(And of course I will rearrange these priorities a bit if one of my other projects sells :)
My 2022 Book Releases
On to the most exciting part of being an author—book releases!
HAVEN: A SMALL CAT’S BIG ADVENTURE
The big author event of 2022 for me will be the publication of HAVEN: A SMALL CAT’S BIG ADVENTURE with Candlewick. I’m absolutely thrilled to share this story, and I’ll be sharing the cover and doing some ARC giveaways soon! It comes out in August, and I can’t wait for you all to read Haven’s story. (HAVEN is already available for pre-order!)
The North American Spanish edition of ALLERGIC will also be releasing in August 2022! I’m really excited this version will be available for young readers. (Also available for pre-order!)
Where You Can Find Me in 2022
February 5, 2021, 11 AM EST: I’ll be part of the All About Graphic Novels webinar panel through MD/DE/WV SCBWI—register here
Instagram: I haven’t been on here as much lately, because it wasn’t bringing me as much joy, but I still pop in occasionally, and I always post any big news. You can find me @meganwagnerlloyd
Newsletter: You can sign up here. I send it about 2-4 times a year.
HAVEN events: TBA! As always, I will post these on my website and on Instagram
Wrapping up the Recap
If you’ve read this far, I’m truly impressed. Thank you for following along on my writing journey and supporting my books.
Wishing you all the best <3
P.S. Here’s my full future publication schedule, current as of this posting, for those of you that enjoy seeing the chronological plan:
2022, August HAVEN: A SMALL CAT’S BIG ADVENTURE (Candlewick) ALÉRGICA, with Michelle Mee Nutter (Graphix)
2023 SQUISHED, with Michelle Mee Nutter (Graphix) SUPER PANCAKE, with Abhi Alwar (Knopf) unannounced project
2024 SUPER PANCAKE AND THE MINI MUFFIN MAYHEM, with Abhi Alwar (Knopf)
2025 LUNA, with Michelle Mee Nutter (Graphix)
2026 (Nothing scheduled yet!)
2027 OUCH, with Michelle Mee Nutter (Graphix)
TBD THE ABCs OF CATCHING Zzzs, illustrator TBD (Chronicle)