Monday, October 7, 2013

Up in the Air by Ann Marie Meyers

Look at me! I can fly!

The Story

Ever since she can remember, ten-year-old Melody has always wanted to fly.

And when she leaps off a swing in the park one day and lands in the mystical land of Chimeroan, her dream finally comes true. She is given a pair of wings. She can fly! Life cannot be any better.

Yet, dreams do come with a price. Even with wings, Melody realizes she cannot outfly the memories of her past. The car accident that has left her father paralyzed, and her unscarred, still plagues her with guilt—she believes that it was entirely her fault.

In Chimeroan, Melody is forced to come to terms with her part in her father's accident. She must choose between the two things that have become the world to her: keeping her wings and healing her father.
Up in the Air is Meyers' second novel and was released in July 2013 by Jolly Fish Press
*Synopsis by Jolly Fish Press

Review by Janet Jensen

Beneath the story of Melody, who wants to fly so desperately she is summoned to the land of Chimeroan to earn her wings, there is a backstory of a child seeking to escape unbearable pain and guilt. In Up in the Air author Ann Marie Meyers  paints a vivid world populated by such creatures as giants, elves, dragons, witches, leprechauns, snakes, wolves, and evil hoarders called Jibber Jabbers. This fascinating world of Chimeroan also spans forests, oceans, deserts, hills and canyons.

In this new environment  Melody is faced with new challenges as she embarks on a puzzling and dangerous treasure hunt, and she finally realizes she can’t solve the mystery alone. Though Melody yearns to fly away from her regular life, where she feels responsible for a family tragedy, in the unpredictable world of wings she must face new fears as well as old ones. In the process she learns to question what she’s always thought of others, as well as herself.

Graced with scenes  from classic fairytales, Ann Marie Meyers’ Up in the Air is a charming, imaginative read for all ages. Loaded with rich sensory images, quirky characters and unpredictable plot twists, in Up in the Air, Melody learns she cannot escape the pain of either world. In the end, it’s about learning compassion, empathy, friendship and trust, attributes she hasn’t allowed herself to develop in her earthly life. Perhaps the most important lesson she learns is that “to get the things you want you have to let them go.” In the letting go, Melody achieves heights she never imagined were possible.   

 Ann Marie and her daughter

ANN MARIE MEYERS grew up in Trinidad and Tobago in the West
Indies. She has a degree in languages and translates legal and
technical documents from French and Spanish into English. She lives in
Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and energetic daughter. Meyers is
an active member of SCBWI and facilitates a children's writing group.


1)           What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?

I’ve actually made two ‘best’ decisions. One was to continue writing no matter what. And the other was to ignore the fears of my family and to take the risk and become a freelance translator. 

2)           What’s something you’ll never do again?

I can safely say that the last thing I want to do again is to work a regular nine to five job in any company.

3)           What else have you published?

Before I started writing for children, I self-published a book entitled Pain’s Vacation. This is the story of Pain, the main character, who decides to quit her job because no one appreciates her. Of course, everyone knows that physical pain is crucial to life, so the book focuses on ‘emotional’ pain and what can ensue with the absence of such a ‘painful’ sensation in one’s life.

4)     What were your favorite books as a child?
 Laura Lee Hope was one of my favorite authors. I especially loved her series of books about the Bobsey Twins. There was another set of books about five kids going off on some amazing adventures, but I’ve forgotten the name. The Chronicles of Narnia are also definitely at the top of my list, and of course, J,R.R, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. 

5)     Tell us about the charming cover of Up in the Air
The cover was done by illustrator, Ethan Aldridge, who also did the illustrations for Up In The Air. Something most people mightn’t know is that the final cover was not the original one. There are many similarities, but the ‘golden’ border was a last-minute change and quite a surprise. I miss the words “Believe the Impossible” that were on the original cover,  but I have to admit that the change to the current cover was a good one. 


6)     What inspired the storyline of Up in the Air?
The idea for Up In The Air came about in a way that was completely different from any other story idea I’ve had. It happened one day while I was meditating. I had actual visual images of a girl longing to fly away, to escape and then landing in a magical land called Chimeroan, a place where dreams (a person’s deepest desire) came true. I knew I had to explore who this girl was, why she wanted to run away, what was Chimeroan, even why did Chimeroan exist. And the more questions I asked, the more excited I became. I knew I had to write this story.   

7)     What would you like readers to take from this book?
So many things, but if I were to mention them they would be perceived as ‘spoilers’. So I’ll limit myself to this: I would like people, adults as well as children, to finish the book with the gut feeling that it is important to ‘dare to dream’ and to not give up on that ‘thing’ that speaks to the heart of each individual.

8)     What is the best advice you could give to new writers?

First, I would encourage new writers to attend seminars where they can meet other writers, agents and even publishers; and of course where they can get some great advice. Secondly, and this may not be for everyone, I would suggest that they join at least one critique group. Writing can be a lonely path, and mingling with like-minded people can be very helpful, and at times even crucial.

Finally, I would tell them to surround themselves with friends, family and love, sit back and enjoy the ride. 

9)     If  you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

10)  What is your next project?

I am currently finalizing a coming-of-age novel, entitled Out of My Skin. I’ve been forever curious about the folklore of Trinidad and Tobago. Not much has been written about it and so I thought it would be a great idea to add a few stories to the mix. Out of My Skin is set in Trinidad in late 1969, months before the Black Power Movement, and the ‘Soucouyant’ has decided to pay a visit.

Pictures from readings and book launches c/o Ann Marie's facebook page

Back Cover of  Up In the Air 

Up in the A ir
Hardcover ($22.99):
Trade Paperback ($10.99):
Ebook ($5.99):
230 PAGES, 5.5” x 8.5”

1 comment:

Ann Marie Meyers said...

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Janet!!

Ann Marie