It's been a while since we've had an author interview, so I thought we'd do something different today. Today I'd like to welcome author, Megan Whitson Lee.
Welcome, Megan. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was a little kid. My grandfather asked me to write a story about a ghost with six toes that lived on their street. I relished this task, going to the trouble to illustrate and deliver it in booklet form. My grandfather was thrilled with the finished product, and this fueled me to write more stories. By fifth grade I was writing longer stories and plays, and by high school I had friends asking me to write fan fiction of sorts, starring them and their favorite singer, actor, etc. in the main roles. I feel like I’ve always been a writer.
Chuckle. I can relate. I started writing little stories at an early age and was also asked in high school to write stories starring some of my friends. :) When do you fit writing into your day?
I work full time, so all of my writing happens early in the morning—usually between four and six. I can revise and edit in the afternoons, but mornings are my most creative time.
Wow. That takes a lot of commitment. Where did you get the inspiration for your latest book?
Dangerous to Know is based on the historical figures of Lord Byron and Annabella Milbanke. Byron achieved rock star fame in 1812 with the publication of his epic poem Childe Harold. Born with a clubbed foot, Byron had a troubled childhood—his father abandoned the family when Byron was very young, and he was abused by his nurse. All of these occurrences colored his outlook on life. Even so, Byron was wildly intelligent, creative, and talented. He was also extraordinarily good looking and people were naturally drawn to him. Unfortunately, he was also agnostic and obsessed with his own damnation. Annabella Milbanke hailed from a background of wealth and nobility. She was a well-bred young lady—Byron’s equal in intelligence but his reverse in faith. She was a true believer and devout in her Christian faith, but she made the mistake that so many other young women make in the assumption that she could win Byron over to her beliefs. The result was disastrous.
I wanted to write a creative non-fiction book about Byron when I was in grad school. However, there were already a lot of biographies about him, and I knew if I were to write a historical novel about him specifically, it would be scrutinized by scholars. By infusing his characteristics into a separate identity, it allowed me some freedom with the story line as well as the ability to bring in Christian principles.
What a tragic story abut Lord Byron. I hadn't heard it before reading your book. How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing?
I write from a Christian/Biblical worldview. Even my mainstream books written under a pen name have some form of God’s Truth in them. One of my main goals is to remind people that God is good, even when events and circumstances are NOT. It’s a tragedy to hear people say “God is good” only when things are going right or in the midst of blessings. No. He is good ALL the time. Even when things are going oh-so-wrong. I hope my books convey that.
Those are important truths to convey. What does your writing space look like?
I have an office space upstairs (a messy one which is more of a storage space than anything), but I usually write on the kitchen table. That allows me easy access to coffee.
I imagine you consume a bit of coffee with being up that early. :) What do you plan to work on next?
I plan to return to my contemporary leanings. My previous novels were women’s fiction/mystery/thrillers, so this next book will be a murder mystery set in rural Virginia. It is based on a real-life murder mystery in which two roommates were killed and a third survived. It took a long time for the police to figure out “whodunnit,” but once the truth was uncovered, it was a real shocker. This novel will have a massive twist but a redemptive ending.
Sounds interesting. Thanks for visiting with us today.