I am uber excited to introduce to you, author-to-be, Megan Besing. Although we usually have established writers here on the Diamond Mine, I thought it would be fascinating to promote an author who’s still striving to reach that ultimate writing goal—publishing. And who among us doesn't love the thrill of discovering a budding new author? Plus, she’s near and dear to my heart because she’s my very own daughter! Woot, woot! Please welcome, the beautiful, the talented, Megan Besing!
Hi Megan! Fancy meeting you here! LOL
Hey! (laughs) Yes, we usually meet on less formal occasions! Like around the dinner table.
Well, let’s dive right in. So you are a stay-at-home mom, a babysitter, and a photographer. What started you on the road to publication?
Don’t get mad at me, but I was super late coming into the game of reading. I thought books were for education and Bible studies, while movies covered everything else. LOL I know. I know. Thankfully, I am no longer blind to the idea that books are actually heart-thumping wonderful! During my past three years of devouring books, I finished a story that didn't place God in a good light, and to be honest, I didn't like the ending. It wasn't how I wanted it to go at all. So the next morning, I woke up and started writing. It probably also helped that earlier in the year, my mother told me she was going to get serious about her writing career. Otherwise I may have thought my idea to write a book was pure craziness.
Craziness describes a lot of an author’s life! But let’s get to genres. Authors often have trouble deciding which genre to write. How did you decide to go with Christian Dystopian?
One of my favorite genres to read is YA, especially Dystopian. Hunger Games, Divergent, Matched, The Fifth Wave, and The Selection are some of the popular secular Young Adult Dystopian books right now. Of course there are tons of others! It’s what I enjoy. I just wanted to make sure that God was a factor in my stories, since He’s the factor in my life. And I feel like there should be more Christian Dystopian books, mainly because I’d like to read more of them. But my second novel isn't Dystopian. It’s a YA Contemporary. So I suppose I decided to go with YA because it’s what I enjoy, and it pops into my head the easiest.
Since many of our readers may not be familiar with Christian Dystopian, tell us a little about this type of genre.
It does sound like a frightening term, but it’s not! To me it’s just a made up world, that often resembles what we live in now, but something in the society is causing fear or problems. Of course that may not be the exact definition, if there even is one. And if you put Christian in front of it, then typically that means the characters are dealing with their faith in one way or another. Or as in my story, the world is trying to do away with faith.
So getting to the nuts and bolts, tell us some of your struggles of finishing a novel.
Sleep. For some reason I need it? LOL. But my life is like so many of you--busy. I may stay at home with my kids, but I feel like I’m never there. I babysit along with running my photography business. I also review books over at Edgy Inspirational Romance, teach the youth at my church, play the piano for Sunday’s service, and for some odd reason my husband actually likes to see my face. So I believe the biggest challenge is finding time to get my hiney seated in my writing chair with the discipline to block out the temptation of social media, which can be both a blessing and a curse for me.
True. You can’t write without planting that old gluteus maximus (and minimus) in a chair. (laughs) Let’s go from the bottom-side to the topside. Disappointment. It’s a big part of being an unpublished writer. Wow, it's a big part of being a published writer! Tell us some of your big discouragements and how you've overcome them.
The road of a writer is…interesting, stressful, oh, you can pretty much add in all of the seven dwarfs and that should cover the average day. Receiving honest feedback from your critique partner and rejections from the publishing world are up there, but I think my lowest point has been when I received what I call, my first “hate mail.” I have received two unpleasant emails from an individual who apparently doesn’t want me to be a writer.
At first, I was a bit stunned, not because I think I’m an awesome writer, but because someone bothered to take time out of their busy day to demand that little unknown-me, “retire.” I do blog a tad, and I have two flash fiction stories published in Splickey Love Magazine, but besides that, most of my work is hidden from the world. Of course I started questioning my writing and abilities, and panic bubbled in my chest for a few days. But after praying and seeking advice from others, I wrote this blog Through Our Weaknesses and Dealing with the Haters. I think it answers this question best.
Let’s get current. You're working with an agent to tweak your first novel. What would be the ultimate publishing goal for you?
True, I am technically working with an agent, but she’s not my agent…at least not yet. J Currently, I just call her ‘the agent lady,’ as if there’s only one in the world. Earlier in the year, I received offers from two different publishers for my first manuscript. I had questions piled in my mind about the contracts—those very intimidating contracts. I mean I didn’t want to sign away my left arm or something. So, I contacted an agent who I’d pitched to at the 2013 ACFW conference to see if she’d be willing to offer advice. I liked her, and thought the worst that could come from emailing her, would be her ignoring me. But she surprised me and emailed back. She provided me with a couple options. Choosing door number three, I decided to take a leap of faith and reject both offers from the publishers I received, and instead, work with her (the agent lady) as my content editor. After I finish tweaking, or after I sweat and bleed all over my manuscript, my ultimate publishing goal would be to have my book printed and on the shelves of Family Christian, Lifeway, and Barnes and Noble. Where I could hug it, prance and twirl around the aisles not caring that I’m receiving awkward stares and finally take a selfie with the cover. And to be able to do that with multiple books would be dark chocolate-fantastic. J Maybe I’ll wake up one morning and find it true. A girl can dream, right?!
Oooh. That’s sounds fun. I may steal your idea! Lol Thanks for appearing on the Diamond Mine, Megan. Many blessings, on your writing journey! She’s just another of God’s fine raw gems just beginning to gleam.
You can catch up with Megan on these websites and/or follow the links above for more information about her.