Q&A With Megan Close Zavala

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Q&A With Megan Close Zavala 

Today’s Q&A is with international writing coach, editor & mentor Megan Close Zavala. Megan empowers talented authors to overcome their writers’ block & make their publishing dreams come true! Megan has a website titled 

Q: Megan, what made you choose to have a career in publishing? What are your favorite parts about being a writing coach, editor and a mentor to authors? It sounds like such a dream come true and an honor!

A: I have always been entranced by the world of books – first as a reader and then as a writer. I had already been working as a freelance editor, but when I transitioned out of working in the entertainment industry, publishing seemed like an obvious choice. While I had been a great consumer of books, I hadn’t given much thought to how they were “made,” so getting to delve into that was incredibly illuminating.

And it is absolutely an honor! I am continually humbled and appreciative that so many authors have entrusted me with their words. I know the effort that goes into putting those words down on the page, and it can be incredibly scary to put oneself out there – I like to think I help make that part of the journey as painless as possible for my authors. I have seen countless times now how life changing the process of writing and publishing a book can be for people, and it will never get old helping my clients achieve their own dreams.

Q: Would you please give names of some of the authors who you’ve coached & edited their works for? 

A: You can see a sampling in the “portfolio” section of my Reedsy profile: 

Q: How long have you been a writing coach, editor & mentor? What important lessons have you learned that you would like for anyone wanting to pursue the career that you have?

A: I’ve worked in publishing for over 20 years. I worked for several years as a literary agent, which was exciting, and I had a really wonderful mentor as my boss. But I realized when I was speaking at writer’s conferences that I would get most of my questions from beginning authors. Agenting is 100% commission-based, so I could really only “afford” to work with clients who were already 100% ready to publish, and I realized I really wanted to work with “newbie” authors. I started my company in 2017, and while I miss some aspects of agenting, I am very happy.

Anyone wanting to be a book editor and/or writing coach should first and foremost read, and read EVERYTHING. We all have favorite genres (I love a good thriller), but it’s important to learn about different types of writing, different types of books, and different methods of storytelling. Then I think it is imperative to get a job in publishing, whether it is freelancing or as a 9-5 job. At this point I’ve worked for self-publishing companies, traditional publishing companies, literary agencies, studios, production companies, and then of course individual clients. I’ve learned important skills at each and every one of those places. People can also learn a lot from scouring Publishers Weekly,, Writer’s Digest, and so on. It’s also good to read books about writing – even if it is about things you already know, hearing them from a different perspective not only reinforces the ideas but also gives you methods for teaching them to different people (clients). Also attend writing conferences!

Q: If you were to write your own book, what genre would it be in & would you be your own editor & writing coach?

A: While I recently published The Heart Will Find a Way with my two co-editors (, I am currently working on my first book as an author. It is a detective story set in Los Angeles. And I will absolutely, 100% NOT be my own editor and writing coach. I am very good at what I do, but, after a certain point, not when it comes to my own writing.

I actually look forward to working with my own editor in the future. I will welcome the outside perspective, and will really welcome the help. When you are too close to a project (i.e. your own), it really blocks you from seeing what you need to do (even if you know better). 

Q: Did you have to go to school to be an editor, writing coach & mentor? I would love to know your personal journey. 

A: You do not have to go to school to do what I do, but you do require education regarding creative writing and the publishing industry. You need the aforementioned passion for the written word, a personality that allows you to connect with others, and an ability to think outside the box. I think you also really need to be interested in helping people, not just doing a job. My clients’ dreams truly matter to me. 

As far as my personal journey, I would have never imagined that I would “grow up” to be a book editor and business owner – I have a B.A. in cinema, and I moved to Los Angeles to become a screenwriter. I loved Los Angeles, but after spending my entire 20s slogging through the entertainment industry (I primarily worked in business and legal affairs), I was burned out. I longed to go back to just enjoying watching movies, which I can happily report I do now.


As I mentioned earlier, the transition to publishing hadn’t really entered my mind, even though I had already been freelancing consistently for many years, but once it did, it seemed like I was suddenly on the path that I was meant to be on. I am grateful for every step along the way, and I feel so fortunate to wake up every morning and do what I do.