This week’s featured interview is with Megan Harris M. Author of Not You: A Memoir

About the Author:

Having begun Not You as part of her master’s thesis while attending Southern New Hampshire University, Megan Harris M. is now working on her PhD in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Literary Theory at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. Her creative works usually include pieces of her past that she uses to help others who’ve experienced the same, as well as some academic projects that explore the lasting effects of colonialism and sexism. On a normal evening, you can find her typing rhythmically away, a glass of Merlot close by her side as she listens to the hypnotic sounds of jazz floating in the background. She is the mother of five children and resides in Maryland, just south of the city of Baltimore.

About the Book:

Shortly after graduating high school, Megan purposefully conceives a child in one of many failed attempts at securing the acceptance she desperately wants from anyone who would offer. She soon finds herself in a variety of dire straits that includes 12 months in a homeless shelter for pregnant women. For the woman who has been mocked and abused, has lost a baby, lost herself, or lost her community due to decisions she’s felt the need to make, this memoir will appeal to anyone who has found the courage to love themselves first.

This is Megan’s interview:

What is your book about?

Not You: a memoir describes one young woman’s struggle to provide for her son while searching for love and acceptance as she attempts to overcome the self-loathing that imprisons her inside of one bad decision after another. The memoir is graphic and honest as it takes a look back some 20 years to deliver answers about the human condition in an effort to show readers that they, too, can surmount any obstacle through self-confidence and perseverance.

What do you hope other people will take away from reading your book?

My hope is that if a reader is experiencing some of the same struggles detailed in this book, they will realize it is their responsibility to get out of a harmful situation so they can eventually become the healthy and responsible parent their children deserve. While I remained the “victim” for much of this account, I had to finally come to an understanding that as an adult, I had the power (and duty) alone to escape the toxicity that continued to drag me down. Holding onto that victim mentality did absolutely nothing for me after a while. And if there are readers who have not gotten into some of my same “adventures,” this memoir’s message will show them to please not– stop and think first, and steer clear from the self-imposed struggles they’ll find described in this book.

How can our readers get a copy of your book?

The book will be available on Amazon and in bookstores on May 7, 2024. As soon as I get the preorder link, I will post it to my website, . This site also includes a link to my Instagram page, on which I’ll also post the preorder link.

What is the best way for our readers to connect with you? 

The best way for your readers to connect with me is via my website, or via Instagram: @meganhm.writes.  I can also connect via Facebook: Megan HM.

Who are your favorite authors (and why)?

I’d like to say that my favorites are also memoirists or nonfiction authors. But quite honestly, I get most of my inspiration from fiction authors. One of my favorites is Ernest Hemingway. Though he was a male author, he did a wonderful job of exploring society’s expectations of women. His short and to-the-point use of dialogue expertly drives the gist of his plots. Another favorite author of mine is Jhumpa Lahiri. I applaud the quiet and peaceful tones she uses to present challenging marital and other family issues, as well as her subtle examination of gender roles. And I can’t leave out Kate Chopin, who is one of my favorite female author “heroines” for her bold, but also quiet, way of rebelling against societal roles imposed on women, by both men and women.

How long did it take to write your book?

It took me almost six years to write this book. I started it as part of my master’s thesis when I was a master’s student. After graduating, however, there were some gaps in time that I took because I thought I wasn’t “good enough” to publish, especially when you had the “practical people” questioning you: “Are you really gonna write a book and think you’ll be successful from it?” During this time, I took about a year off from writing to create some space between me and my work, and to find my self-confidence again.

What do you do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m taking care of the kids (there are five in total; however, my soon-to-be 25 year old doesn’t need me anymore). And when I’m not taking care of them, I’m doing the last little bit of school work needed to finish my last year of PhD coursework, while also teaching English courses.

What’s next for you?

When I finish my coursework this May, I will begin my dissertation phase. The dissertation will actually be a second (and last) memoir that will explore the oppression, madness, and eventual rebellion of women in heterosexual relationships. Seeing as though I have until 2027 to finish my program, I actually plan on finishing this project by 2026. When I find the money, I’m also planning on starting a charity for women in Maryland. I’d like to make a way for intimate partner violence victims to have a way out. I don’t want obstacles, such as money and childcare, to keep a woman trapped in an abusive situation. In between that and writing projects for school, I have been trying my hand at finishing my first collection of poetry.