Megan Bushree is a freelance writer, novelist, lyricist, and sometimes singer. While she hails from southern California, she recently left her heart in the state of Washington. The mother of two badass kids that beg her not to sing at the dinner table, she’s a lover of literature, film and music, and like John Cusack in High Fidelity, she thinks those things truly matter.
Bushree has been published online and in print since 2007 and has a BA in English Literature. She is currently hard at work on her MA in English Rhetoric.
Your first book, Coming Soon to West Knox, was written for younger readers. Your next book, Another Day in the Motherhood, was written for adults. What challenges did you face in writing for two very different demographics?
With the first book, I was often concerned about the voice of my narrator. The narrator is a twelve year old boy, albeit an intelligent twelve year old boy, but a child nonetheless. There were times when I questioned whether certain sentences or bits of dialogue seemed unrealistic. I never wanted to talk-down to the target audience, but I also wanted to connect with the way they speak. With the second book, I was more concerned with whether anyone would actually relate to my same struggles, or if I would just come off as a jackass rambling about being a mom.
Which book was more enjoyable to write? Or are they like your children… different and unique, but still lovable in their own way?
I had an absolute blast writing Coming Soon to West Knox. The second book was fun, but fiction is where my heart will always be. Creating a characters and the world they inhabit is extremely satisfying. Since the book was intended to be about fantasy and wish-fulfillment, there are no limits to where the story can go, which is exciting.
What has been the most unexpectedly rewarding aspect of raising children?
Watching them become human beings. It is truly bizarre when children grow up and need you a little less each day. There is a sadness that comes with it, but it is also what makes being a parent so rewarding.
If you could sit down with your ten year-old self and have a heart-to-heart chat about what she’ll experience in the coming years, what would you tell her? What sort of advice could you provide that might help her out?
I would tell her to relax a little. From 5th grade until the end of high school, I hated school so much that I would make myself sick every morning. I just thought the kids my age were dumb, mean, and spent far too much time thinking about meaningless things. I really thought the torture of interacting with my peers would never end. I would want ten year-old me to enjoy life a little more. I would also tell her that she is going to make a lot of mistakes, but that is what makes life an experience to be had. I would also tell her to place a bet on the Red Sox for the 2004 World Series.
What book do you think everyone should read? Aside from your own, obviously.
The Great Gatsby. It seems like a no-brainer, and most people have read it at least once in high school, but I think it is flawless. It is also a book that becomes something new each time you read it in each different stages in your life. I think of books as friends. If you find one that is truly special, revisiting them every few years is important.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life?
I have had so many influences in my life. My grandfather had aspirations of being a journalist, but worked as an engineer, His passion for writing and film was passed down to me. Filmmakers, especially writer/directors such as Cameron Crowe, Joss Whedon, Noah Baumbach and Richard Linklater have been instrumental in the way I write, and live my life in general. Creative minds that are able to emotionally and intellectually connect to an audience, in such a real way, will always be influential to me.
Which Almost Famous character do you identify most with, and why?
Almost Famous is my favorite movie. I would say that I most identify with William Miller. The movie came out when I was 15, same age as the character, and I too wanted to be a journalist. I did not have the spectacular opportunity of writing for Rolling Stone magazine, but I understood his passion. His angst and his ability to connect to those who were older than him far more than the kids his own age, was exactly what I felt at 15. Such a wonderful film.
In the movie version of Another Day in the Motherhood, who plays you? And what’s on the soundtrack?
That would be interesting. I think Alison Brie would probably capture my personality best. I think that if the characters, Annie and Abed from Community, had a love child, I would be that child.
I think the soundtrack would be filled with a lot of 90’s alternative music from people like Liz Phair, Weezer, Live, Beck, and Gin Blossoms. Maybe with a few newer songs from people like Gotye and Damien Rice. I actually wrote and recorded two songs with my father. Maybe I would put those on there too.
What are you working on next?
A Young Adult fiction novel called Juliet Again. It is another story with a fantasy element, about a young girl who must repeat her life until she finds her destined path. The protagonist is a bit of a screw-up, so she suffers a bit while trying to figure it out. I am hoping to have that one out by the summer, but the multiple timelines have made it a bit of a headache. I am hoping that the readers will not suffer the same headache.