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GUEST POST: Five minutes in the mind of a writer by Megan Fatheree

Sometimes you wake up with your mind completely blank. Other times, you wake up with a serial killer in your head.

Sometimes the love story turns out perfectly. Other times, some minor character suddenly thinks he’s the star and should get the girl.

Sometimes you cry with your characters and sometimes you smile as you wreak havoc in their lives.

Welcome to five minutes in the mind of a writer.

There is a story behind each and every one of these dilemmas. Some are ongoing. Some haven’t started yet. (If you’re wondering, it’s the serial killer that has yet to start. I’m trying to ignore him.) They all live in my head all together at any given time.

Sometimes even the writer can’t control what happens in her story. People think I’m crazy when I talk about my characters like they’re real people, but they are. To me. I watch their lives and write down what happens. It’s just as simple and as difficult as that.

I say all this to make the point that writing is hard work and far more detailed than most people think. It’s a job that requires passion for the art. It’s hard work that may or may not pan out in the end. It’s putting a piece of your most vulnerable self on paper and praying that people don’t rip that part of you apart bit by bit. It’s unpredictable.

Just like life.

I’m a writer partly because I want to help people escape reality into an epic adventure. However, we all have to deal with life and what it throws at us. Even I have to deal with life.

Let me make a confession: Hello. My name is Megan Fatheree, and I hate the unpredictable.

Long story short, I’ve had too many unpredictable things happen in my life, and change and I don’t often get along. I’m an introvert and – even though I’m better now – grew up painfully shy and bashful. Change forces me out of my comfort zone. I don’t like that. Do I have a choice?

No. Sadly.

I hate to be the one to break the bad news, but you don’t have a choice either. You do have a different choice though! You can be the person that sees “two steps forward, one step back” and thinks it’s a delay. Or you can be the person that sees it and thinks, “It’s like a cha-cha!”

It’s the unpredictable that makes living interesting, but it also makes life cruel. I deal with that all the time. Life throws the most odd curveballs at every one of us. No one is exempt. Not even writers. Not even characters.

I’m going to admit that in my latest book, A Time to Live (affiliate link), I had so many of these unpredictable moments I began to question my own sanity. As the third book in the trilogy, everything started coming together and crashing into a climax. Not, however, before everything went wrong and I had to reevaluate both my plot-line ideas and my existence on this planet.

However, even for these characters, I had to try to look on the positive side. I know it’s hard, y’all! Our little human selves want to complain about everything and see all the negative and eat a gallon of ice cream in one sitting. All of these are bad ideas! How are we ever going to learn to deal with the unpredictable if we aren’t a little bit positive about what’s coming down the road?

So… Is life unpredictable? Yes. Will this writer continue to shut out the serial killer character until he finally wins over due to persistence and sociopathy? Probably. Will you join me in embracing life’s unpredictable moments?

That’s up to you.


Hey all, Amy here! Here to tell you all about the wonder of Megan and her stories. Megan Fatheree is the co-founder of #writersslumberit, where we spent many a night discussing psychopathic villains. If you enjoy Christian romantic thrillers, Megan is your gal. I was proud to copyedit Dust to Dust (affiliate link), the first of the trilogy. A Time to Live, the final book in the series, launches today!

Check out the book:
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Disclaimer: All of the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. I may receive a portion of sales. More importantly, you will gain a new favorite author with piles of romantic thrillers for you to binge-read.

for the Bookworms, for the Writers

The Problem with Free E-books

 Free E-books. It’s quite a wonderful concept that a debut author makes an e-book available for free in order to pique a reader’s interest and gain readership. At least that’s what I used to think. Then I read about 20 free e-books – some not-so-good and some quality. I still hated it.

The Problem

The author needs money for their work, I get that. The author needs to leave the reader hanging at the last sentence of the first book, so the reader feels the need to purchase the second. And so the story builds to the climax – and then ends. No grand finale. No resolution. Just the cliffhanger. The second book presumably leads to the conclusion the reader awaits. Think the style of “Inkspell” or “Catching Fire” ending abruptly in the climactic moment, then “Inkdeath” and “Mockingjay” respectively concluding the story. The difference here being that this free e-book is likely the first story read from that author. We as readers are still evaluating the author, on if he/she is trusted with our emotions and worthy of our time. And to suddenly be dropped at such a moment, I lose confidence. Because it’s one thing to write a great beginning and a great middle. The mark of a great author though, is a great resolution. So I’m wary to spend my money in hopes of a great resolution when I don’t know the author yet.

My Solution

And that’s my dilemma with free e-books. As a writer, I don’t want to do that to readers. But I also think that a free e-book is great marketing if I can convince readers to purchase that my writing is worth their money. In a hypothetical future, I could see myself potentially publishing a free e-book short story to lead into a purchasable novel. But asking a reader to invest in a full-length novel with no resolution is personally devastating. I also would consider the first book in a series, complete with a resolution, as a free e-book – and then including a sneak-peek into the second at the end that leaves the reader hanging. But I think there needs to be a resolution for the reader’s first introduction to an author.

What about “The Selection?”

The Selection This brings me to “The Selection.” I purchased “The Selection,” put down good money and trusted the publicity, readership, and – let’s face it – the cover, that this would be worth every penny. Then this book did not have a huge conclusion, other than knowing that the next round of the Selection was starting. Wasn’t even a free e-book and it left me hanging. Though I had yet to read a great resolution from this particular author, I was so hopeful that I purchased “The Elite” and “The One” together. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Great job bringing it all together! I still wish there was a little more conclusion to the first, but in case you were wondering, it is totally worth the risk here. The political intrigue escalates, which is what I was really hoping for, that it would overpower the romance drama. And I go back and forth on who SHOULD end up with whom, as well as who WILL end up with whom. And the resolution is both satisfying and believable. So that’s my plug. Kudos, Kiera Cass.