Readers give high marks to first-time author

By Phil Major
Posted 1/19/23

To say 2022 was a whirlwind year for Brittany Bessonett, the marketing director for Mineola Community Bank, is putting it mildly.

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Readers give high marks to first-time author


To say 2022 was a whirlwind year for Brittany Bessonett, the marketing director for Mineola Community Bank, is putting it mildly.

She checked a huge item off her bucket list with the publication of her first novel in the spring, all while undergoing a pair of back surgeries.

Indeed the day she went in for the first surgery in June coincided with the day her book, “The Locket,” came out.

It was the one shining moment in an otherwise tough year, she noted.

Although the story is entirely fiction, the idea came from a trauma suffered by one of her best friends.

The book has been receiving numerous positive reviews and has qualified for notoriety through the international Readers’ Favorite book reviews and award contest.

It has received high marks on Goodreads and Amazon.

The first-time author said the great response has made her heart swell.

Bessonett grew up in Grand Saline, where she still lives.

The story takes place in nearby Brownsboro as well as Victoria, Texas – a place she’s never visited.

She spent plenty of time learning about the city so that her descriptions would be accurate.

That accuracy, she thinks, is one thing that helps the book resonate with so many readers.

The parts of the story that involve police were vetted by a law enforcement friend to make sure they were situations that could occur.

Developing all those details also played into the book taking nine years to complete.

Though she claims to have a knack for story telling, writing a book was not something that she had any experience to lean on.

She also admits to having a wild and vivid imagination, and as an event planner, doesn’t like loose ends, which can sometimes lead to overthinking things.

Now that Bessonett is back at work after the second surgery in December, she plans to begin doing what she would have been doing last summer, promoting the novel.

She hopes to have some local book signings and tackle one of the tough parts of book publishing – getting it on the shelves of stores and libraries.

It is already available at the usual online booksellers, which is where those wonderful reviews have been generated.

Those in turn led to her taking a chance on the Readers’ Favorite award where she placed third in the young adult-thriller category.

At first reticent to travel that far due to her back issues, she instead decided to take the plunge and go to Miami for the event in November.

In addition to the gala where the winning authors were recognized, she also learned more about book publishing from various speakers and made important contacts – as well as having the book appear at the Miami Book Fair.

She said that getting the right person to read a book can be the difference between breaking even and breaking into the mainstream.

Independent publishing is an expensive proposition and not one for getting rich. She just hopes to cover her investment, she said.

And as many of her reviewers have requested, yes there will be a second book.

But it is not a sequel or prequel to the first but the introduction to a new story. It will be in the same genre.

She has begun the plot line and the character development and promises this one will not take nine years, planning instead to try to complete it by the end of the year.

Although she left “The Locket” open for a possible sequel, she said that she needed a break from that story.

The nine-year journey included periods of self-doubt after starting the project, she explained.

In what she describes as a “God nudge,” she lost her mom to cancer in 2015, after having already written about a similar situation in the book.

“It was not about me anymore,” she said. “I needed to see this story.”

She wrote the ending after the fifth chapter, which was not part of the plan.

Then she fleshed out the story which runs 85,000 words.

That daunting number is something that she did not initially understand as the true challenge of a novel – developing the storyline without including any fluff.

Bessonett said she enjoys reading but seldom has time. She can devour three books in a week while on vacation.

To continue following Brittany’s journey, follow her on social media, where she posted the following:

“I can’t thank you guys enough for going on this journey with me! You have all been such a HUGE part of this process and I have been more than overwhelmed by the response I’ve received! To everyone that’s bought my book, read it, shared it, left me a review online, posted about it on social media ~ you’ve given me the confidence to keep chasing this crazy dream! So cheers to you, my friends! 

Thank you for believing in me....and for already asking for book #2!”