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It was clear from the start:
I had my head in the clouds.

As an only child, my favorite pastime growing up was to jump on my trampoline, blast music on the boombox, and daydream. For hours. I’d take the fantasy books I was reading and insert myself in them, adding new characters and new plot lines. I’d spend days reimagining particular scenes, getting the setting, the banter, the pacing just right.

It wasn’t until seventh grade that I turned this now-obvious love of storytelling and revision into writing. I wrote fifteen chapters of an epic fantasy loosely inspired by (cough *plagiarizing entirely* cough) The Lord of the Rings. It was called The Plight of Gryfferniad. My math teacher kindly read it and encouraged me to keep writing.

Following jobs and internships in neuroscience, social work, and education, I rediscovered that childhood love of writing, earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles, and started working in publishing. I’ve published dozens of children's nonfiction books for the school/library market, attended multiple Futurescapes workshops, am a member of SCBWI, and am now the Managing Editor of fiction at Jolly Fish Press and Flux.


While The Plight of Gryfferniad has long since been shelved, I still write young adult and adult fantasy and science fiction. My stories are character-driven and emotional, explore big questions, and tend to feature found families and lots of banter.

Fun Facts:

  • I have a tattoo of a phoenix on my forearm. (Phoenix imagery appears in my YA sci-fi novel, THE VOID HAS NEON EYES.)

  • My hobbies include swing dancing, spontaneous wild dance parties, video-gaming, hiking, traveling, and having existential crises, many of which also appear in various ways in THE VOID HAS NEON EYES.

  • While writing my YA circus fantasy, A VERY STRANGE ENCHANTED, I took aerial silks classes and tried the flying trapeze. Best. Writing. Research. Ever. 

  • My first lesson in “voice” was in a freshman philosophy seminar on paradoxes. I thoroughly enjoyed mimicking the tones of Schrödinger and other writers who seemed to care less about being understood and more about sounding as pompous as possible. I got to use words like “indubitably” in my paper. Got a 10/10.

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© 2022 by Meg Gaertner. Created with  

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