A Big Howdy to Author-to-be, Megan Besing!

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. JCurrently, 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-fantasticJ 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.
In honor of unpublished writers everywhere, we are offering a chance to win a $25 dollar gift card from Barnes and Noble. And here’s all you have to do! Become a member here at diamondsinfiction.blogspot.com, and you are entered to win!  Don’t forget to leave a comment or a question for Megan. 



Interview today with author Morgan Busse

Morgan writes Christian fantasy and the first two books of her three-book series are already out, soon to be joined by the third one. For our giveaway, the winner will choose whether to receive book one, “Daughter of Light” or the second one, “Son of Truth.” Enter by leaving a comment. Winner will be notified by email on May 21st.

Daughter of Light:
What if with one touch you could see inside the soul?

Rowen Mar finds a strange mark on her hand, and she is banished from her village as a witch. She covers the mark with a leather glove and seeks sanctuary in the White City. She lives in fear that if she touches another person, the power inside her will trigger again, a terrifying power that allows her to see the darkness inside the human heart . . .

But the mark is a summons, and those called cannot hide forever. For the salvation of her people lies within her hand.


Son of Truth:
Can a killer find forgiveness?

The war in the north is over, but the war for all the Lands has just begun.

As the Shadonae solidify their hold on the city of Thyra, Rowen Mar, the last Eldaran and savior of the White City, awakens to find herself hunted by those she has saved.

Meanwhile, the assassin Caleb Tala finds himself in the presence of the Word. The time of reckoning has come, and he must pay the price for all the lives he has taken. But in his moment of judgment, Caleb is given a second chance to change his life.

These two hold the power to save the Lands from the Shadonae. One must escape slavery, and one must choose to forsake everything before the world is consumed in darkness.

Okay! Here we go!

Hi Morgan, glad to have you on the Diamond Mine! Christian science-fiction and fantasy appear to be blooming, and in that genre, your books certainly stand out. Tell me what inspired you to write.
I never grew up wanting to be a writer. However, I always had a huge imagination and so the seeds to someday be a writer were there. As an adult, I had a lot of ideas and would share them with people, who in turn would say I should write. I would laugh, but inside I would say, “No way!”
Then one day I walked into a Christian bookstore looking for Christian science fiction and fantasy. I asked the lady working there and she gave me a weird look then pointed at the lone Frank Peretti book at the bottom of the shelf. What? That’s it?
I went home and my husband said I should write a fantasy. I still wasn’t convinced until we were on a long car ride to Seattle and I had this idea of a woman who could see inside people with a touch of her hand. As soon as I was back home, I found my husband’s old laptop and started writing. Eight years later that story was published and the title is Daughter of Light, the first book in the Follower of the Word series, a fantasy series.
         It’s always interesting to hear how an author begins this incredible journey into writing. I find it especially true with fantasy or speculative fiction, since the author is creating a world. I’m wondering, how much of yourself do you infuse into your characters?
All of my characters carry a piece of me inside of them. I know many authors who write characters apart from themselves, but I don’t know how you can dive deeply into your characters without firsthand knowledge of what they are like. That doesn’t mean they are all copies of me, but there is a quality, a fear, or a quirk that trails back to me.
         What aspect of writing do you enjoy most?
I once heard Jerry Jenkins say he doesn’t like to write, he likes to have written. I didn’t understand that at the time. Why write if you don’t like writing? But now having finished three books, one under a tight deadline, I get it. Sometimes you get so tired of writing and pushing yourself that you just want a break, but you can’t stop until you finish the story. So I love writing the end.
However, before you start to think I hate writing, I love it when the ideas flow, when everything comes together in a scene. It’s that aaaaahh moment! And it’s those moments that keep me going.
I also love the emails that come after the book is published. I love hearing how much people enjoyed my story and how it touched them or helped them through a difficult time (fiction can be such an encouragement during dark times).
         That’s so true. Good books and movies have given me many moments of inspiration and encouragement. What do you find is the least enjoyable aspect of writing?
Slogging through the wordcount each day. Sometimes the ideas flow, sometimes they don’t. But you have to keep pressing forward. However, it is very gratifying to look back after a couple months and see how far you’ve come and the scenes or chapters you didn’t think were good are actually quite good!
         Outside of your own books, if you were a literary character, who would you be?
Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. She’s smart, confident, and can be counted on through thick and thin.
         Good choice! How about describing your series in a single sentence for each book.
What if with one touch you could see inside the soul? Daughter of Light
Can a killer find forgiveness? Son of Truth
What would you sacrifice to save mankind? Heir of Hope
         Now describe each one of your main characters with a one-word attribute.
Rowen Mar: Hope
Lore Palancar: Loyalty
Caleb Tala: Strength
Nierne: Faith
         Admirable traits! What’s the most important thing you want your readers to know?
I write stories about how in darkness there is light. There is always hope, no matter how small. I have been through cancer scares, my husband has lost his job twice followed by months of unemployment, we’ve lost a house, and our youngest son almost died. Dark, dark moments in my life. But God was still there with me. That doesn’t mean I didn’t cry or wasn’t afraid. It means that even when I couldn’t see Him, He was still there, holding my hand. That is what I want readers to take away when they read my books: that God is with them.
         A message we all need to hear and remember, especially during the times of fiery trials and chastening that we all go through. Thank you for sharing some of your heart today. May God continue to bless you, your family and your writing. It’s been a pleasure to host you!
Morgan L. Busse writes fantasy for the adult market. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, including Daughter of Light, 2013 Christy and Carol Award finalist. Morgan lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at www.morganlbusse.com


Welcome to the Mine of Christian Fiction

Welcome! We are the Rough Diamond Writers.
Let me introduce you to the miners…
Renee Blare
Renee is a contemporary Christian writer of romance and suspense. When she’s not busy working as a pharmacist, she loves spending time outdoors. She weaves faith and hope into the fabric of her fiction…where the wild meets the Forgiven. Her first book, To Soar on Eagles Wings is scheduled to be published by Prism Book Group in March of 2015.
Nancy Bolton
Nancy Bolton is a Christian writer who loves the Lord.  A wife of 41 years, she’s a mother of five sons and has two beautiful grandchildren. Her portfolio includes poetry, song lyrics, short stories, non-fiction and fiction works. Women’s fiction is her lastest endeavor, and she writes quite the variety from contemporary and historical romance to fantasy. Above all, she strives to show how God changes human lives in both the huge and tiny ways. Soon to be published in September, The Right Ingredients by Prism Book Group!
 Amryn Cross
Amryn Cross (Amory Cannon) is a writer of Christian romance and suspense as well as young adult. With a blend of dust and shadows, all of her books contain the message of grace and the love of God. Her debut novel, Learning to Die will be released in September 2014 by Desert Breeze Publishing.
Misty Russon
Our fourth miner is Misty, a mother of six and a lover of storms, although she spends more time chasing the two-legged kind than her dream, the tornado. Awed by the Lord’s majesty and power, and how He shows it in this world, she snaps pictures of His handiwork as well as sprinkles pages with His love in the hope of one day seeing her name on a cover. In fact, she’s writing a story on her blog right now. Check it out here
Peggy Trotter
Schoolteacher by day, Christian author by night… and loving every minute of it. Peggy Trotter loves to write about the Lord. From contemporary to historical romance, her characters find themselves in impossible situations relying on a wondrous God. Due to be published by Prism Book Group in April 2015, watch for Year of Jubilee from this miner!
Erin Unger
Illustrating children’s books is one of Erin’s many gifts. She’s also a Christian writer of romance and suspense. Through the pen, she edifies and encourages those turning the pages to keep trekking forward for our Savior Jesus Christ.
Welcome to the Diamond Mine. Let’s start digging!