I’m always amazed by how different we writers are. We all have different backgrounds - some of us are journalists, others are teachers, many work in the arts, but the one common goal we share is publication. Today’s featured author, Megan Miranda, is one of those people who has an amazing background (she is a scientist who went to MIT) but like the rest of us, she had the single wish of seeing her novel on the shelves of her local bookstore. Her debut novel, FRACTURE is a stunning mix of the paranormal and science with a bit of mystery thrown in for good measure.
Her path to publication is an interesting journey I am thrilled to share with you today.
Amy: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Megan: Growing up, I loved to write, but I can’t remember ever thinking I wanted to be a writer—it seemed like such a dream, to write for a living, and I was a painfully practical teenager. That said, in the back of my mind, I always wanted to write books… I just spent a lot of time not doing it. It wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I decided to take a real shot on being a writer.
Amy: You have a BS in biology from MIT which is extraordinary. So I have to ask, what drew you to write YA fiction?
Megan: Thank you! I love to read. I have always loved to read. And those are the books that really resonate with me emotionally. I think there’s something really universal about that time in our lives. Secondly, I find writing YA very freeing. I do love science, and there is definitely science in my books, but there’s also death and love and friendship and family. The rules, if there really are any, are very fluid.
Amy: How many manuscripts had you completed prior to FRACTURE?
Megan: Fracture was my first book, but it was the third time I had written it. I guess I’d consider Fracture-version-1 and Fracture-version-2 my prior manuscripts…
Amy: Did you have critique partners or beta readers that helped you polish FRACTURE? How did that influence your writing process?
Megan: I have fantastic critique partners now, and they really helped kick my second and third books into shape. However, when I wrote Fracture, I didn’t know any writers and I wasn’t really online much (shocking, I know), so I wasn’t sure how to go about finding critique partners. My agent was a huge influence on my writing process and taught me so much about shaping a story and digging deep into the heart of it.
Amy: What was your first query process like? Did FRACTURE go through many drafts?
Megan: As I mentioned above, yes, there are many drafts! I did a lot of research on agents before querying, and I tried to target people who were really looking for the type of book I was writing. I signed with my agent on that first round of querying (with an earlier draft of the book)—she took a leap of faith and signed me, with the understanding I’d need to try again. I tried again. And then again. I revised/rewrote for six months after signing with her before we sent the book on submission to publishers.
Amy: How many agents did you query for FRACTURE?
Megan: I think somewhere between 8-10.
Amy: Did you receive instantaneous response or did you have to wait for requests/rejections?
Megan: I did get pretty fast feedback. Some fast No’s, and a few fast requests.
Amy: Can you tell us what your call was like with your agent, Sarah Davies?
Megan: Our first call was to discuss what wasn’t working with the book yet, and we had an impromptu brainstorming session right then and there. I knew, right away, that we would work well together, and that I would really, really like her to be my agent.
Amy: What was one piece of advice you got during your early writing stages that has stuck with you to this day?
Megan: During the rewriting process, Sarah asked me about the heart of the story. She told me to make her care. I still hear her voice in my ear as I’m writing. Make me care. Make me care. I think it’s something universal—doesn’t matter what type of book you’re writing, but if you make someone care, you make a connection.
Megan Miranda is the author of Fracture. She spends a great deal of time thinking about the “why” and “how” of things, which leads her to get carried away daydreaming about the “what-ifs.”She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children. Hysteria, a young adult psychological thriller, will be published by Walker/Bloomsbury in February, 2013. For more information on Megan check out her website or follow her on Twitter.