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‘I’m a TikTok star from Boston who wrote my first novel living in the Tower of London’

The thought of calling the Tower of London home may sound like a crazy plot from a romcom - and it is. But for Megan Clawson it was also real life.

Sharing an address with some of the most famous royals from history is something most of us could only dare to dream about.

But that lifestyle felt ‘quite normal’ for the author and TikTok star, even becoming the backdrop as she penned her well-received debut novel and created her viral social media posts.

Megan Clawson with dad Chris
Megan Clawson with dad Chris

Today, if you Google the Tower’s famous residents, Megan’s name appears second on the list, behind Anne Boleyn but ahead of Richard II, Guy Fawkes, Sir Walter Raleigh and the second most famous redhead to have slept over, Elizabeth I.

Those iconic four towers may be among the most eyecatching sights on the London landscape, but how the 23-year-old Yellowbelly came to live in the Tower is a relatively normal tale many young people can relate to.

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Studying at King’s College, Covid struck and student life became a far cry from the work hard, party harder lifestyle promised on those glossy prospectuses.

Megan Clawson at the Tower
Megan Clawson at the Tower

Studying remotely, Megan decided to spend lockdown with family and moved in with dad Chris… who just happened to be a Beefeater.

“I went to live in student digs and wanted to let my hair down, but I never got the chance,” she explained.

“I was visiting my dad regularly as he had a better washing machine than me, but as the pandemic happened I ended up slowly moving in and didn’t leave.”

Falling Hard for the Royal Guard by Megan Clawson
Falling Hard for the Royal Guard by Megan Clawson

While millions visit the iconic landmark each year, very few get more than a snapshot of the everyday life lived by its residents.

“A lot of people get disappointed when I say it’s quite normal,” Megan continued.

“It’s just like a village because all the Beefeaters are veterans and their families have grown up in that environment. It’s just like living on a military camp.”

Megan Clawson at the Tower of London, where she called home
Megan Clawson at the Tower of London, where she called home

But while life at the Tower felt normal, the breathtaking views were inescapable - even if the tourists weren’t.

“You can get caught up in your own life and it’s not until something catches your eye that you think ‘wow, I’m blown away’,” Megan continued.

“But I did learn (about the tourists) the hard way. There was a big wall that overlooked my washing line so you very much keep that to yourself.

“People take so many photos of your house and you don’t want your knickers on Instagram.”

Author Megan Clawson
Author Megan Clawson

Although keen not to air her clean laundry on social media, Megan is no stranger to the power of the medium.

Uploading videos about the history of the Tower and the city beyond has seen her amass more than 360,000 TikTok followers, a success she puts down to staying true to herself and producing content that interests her.

After continually putting off and putting off the idea of launching her account, Megan finally hit record and hasn’t looked back.

“It’s one of those things, getting out your own head,” she said.

“It limited me for so long. I thought everyone’s going to laugh at me. But then I thought, ‘I don’t care’.

“I was in my pyjamas and I’d submitted my dissertation. There were no internships or anything available as we were still in the pandemic and I was thinking ‘what am I going to do now?’

“I made a silly little video and people started to say this was cool. It started out as showing people what I was doing and passing the time and learning more about the Tower itself - and from that I got my book deal and it became a way to share my work.

“The history videos, I made them because they were what I wanted to make. They were interesting things my dad would have said to me when we were eating our tea. It was just a bit of fun.”

Writing has been Megan’s other outlet, and spare time at the Tower was spent crafting her first novel, Falling Hard For The Royal Guard, a romantic comedy which tells the story of Maggie Moore, who may just have found love in the strangest of places.

Proving that art imitates life, Megan’s boyfriend-of-five-years George just happens to be a King’s Guard.

“Initially my publisher suggested writing about a prince in the Tower, but I don’t know anything about princes and it doesn’t appeal to me,” she explained.

“But my boyfriend is a King’s Guard and and the guards are such a prominent image it would work well in the book.

“We met online, all very normal and boring. It wasn’t anything like in the book.”

It was that exposure on TikTok which helped Megan land her publishing deal, a foot in the door of an industry which previously felt like another world.

“I never believed I could get a book published. But the internet is giving more opportunities for working class writers to get exposure where, before, we wouldn’t have that privilege of being in the sights of someone in publishing,” added Megan.

Megan Clawson
Megan Clawson

“I went into writing totally blind and wouldn’t know where to start (getting signed) had I not been on social media.

“It’s not really a direction you’re told you can take, it was social media that gave me the privilege of being exposed to this industry.

“Now we’re seeing different voices as opposed to those same voices.

“I never went in thinking the reason I’m going to download TikTok is to get a book deal, it just sort of all happened.”

Love At First Knight by Megan Clawson
Love At First Knight by Megan Clawson

With the first book proving popular and a second novel Love At First Knight - half of which was written in the Tower - due to hit the shelves next month, Megan now hopes her own story can help pave the way for others.

She recently returned to former stamping ground Boston High School to give a talk to students.

“It was so nice to be able to tell them I’ve done something that feels very closed off to people around here,” Megan said.

“I feel lucky to be able to go back and help young people around Lincolnshire. They have something to share with the world and can go out and people will want to listen to them much as someone who lives in central London.”

With dad Chris following a new career path, Megan has now left the Tower to return to Lincolnshire, the county she says ‘always makes me think of family and community’.

And returning home means fewer things going bump in the night around the Tower and its grizzly past, where enemies of the realm were imprisoned, occasionally executed, and from where the princes mysteriously disappeared.

“Sometimes you’d be out walking the dog and you’d feel like you’re being watched, the mood shifts,” Megan said.

Dad Chris Clawson shared some stories which inspired Megan's TikTok profile
Dad Chris Clawson shared some stories which inspired Megan's TikTok profile

“You’re acutely aware there’s an energy. We had some spooky goings on in the house but, if anything, it fascinated me.

“I’d hear banging downstairs when I was home alone, but it really fascinating to think what could it be and who has lived here before me.

“But when I left I was disappointed there wasn’t a big reveal from the ghosts, waving me off or anything like that.”

Falling Hard For The Royal Guard by Megan Clawson, published by HarperCollins UK, is on sale in all good bookshops. Love At First Knight will go on sale on April 25.

You can follow Megan on TikTok at @meganambxr.

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