Thank you for offering to do an interview showcasing your new novel, Somebody Like You. Not giving out any spoilers, I would like to ask you some questions to acquaint readers with you and your writing style.
The first question I would like to ask is ~ Did you have twins in mind when you wrote your story? What a difficult choice for your antagonist to make with both her vision and memories engaging her heart.
Twins was the first plot element I had in place for Somebody Like You. I’ve always wanted to write a story that had twins in it because I am a twin – I have a fraternal twin sister. I wanted to weave my real-life experience into one of my novels. As I fleshed out the story idea, I thought identical twins presented a challenging romance component. Yes, that’s an understatement.
Have you been thinking about this story for a long time ~ did the ideas come while writing another book?
I was writing the fast draft of another novel and at the same time I was playing the “what if?” game that writers like to play – mulling over ideas for other books. During this time, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference and had the chance to talk with my editors at Howard Books. They asked what I was working on and I talked about both ideas, tossing out the “Can a young widow fall in love with her husband’s reflection” Story Question. Ultimately, they requested that novel.
When is your favorite time to write? Before or after your family time? Now that summer is approaching and school is out, do you take your laptop with you when you go on outings or do you keep notes in a notebook for future writing?
I’ve learned to write in between all the interruptions. My dream is to have hours and hours of time devoted to writing – but that isn’t realistic. I get a couple of hours to write by getting up early in the morning, and then real life happens and I have to ignore the imaginary characters for a while. Right now I’m on deadline, and my family is extremely understanding. My 13-year-old daughter is writing a story with her best friend – how fun is that? – so sometimes she’s sitting on the couch with her computer while I’m sitting across from her with my computer!
Do you have volunteer activities or hobbies you enjoy doing with others?
I am careful what I say yes to – and, not surprisingly, my other activities are writing-related. I mentor other writers because my life has been changed because others took the time to pour their expertise into me. I’m also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy, the writing community started by best-selling author Susan May Warren. And then I’m the president of the Colorado Springs chapter of ACFW.
I have noticed the similarity in the layout of your fiction covers? Have you had input in the designs? I like that they are easily identified as yours.
I love my book covers – and so appreciate how my publisher has allowed me to have input on them. And yes, I like that there’s a unified look to them: the font title and style, where they position my name – that sort of thing.
What is your favorite part of your story? Did it sneak up on you, or did you plan it in advance of writing?
I love when my story surprises me. For Somebody Like You, there were scenes that flowed from my own life, my own heart, out onto the page. Some were written with tears, some I laughed a little as the words filled the page . . . I do plot all of my stories in detail, but always find that there’s always a surprising scene or two that shows up and becomes a favorite. My endings? Those always change from what I first imagine. Always.
Is there a question(s) you would like to explore that you haven't been asked in your book tour interviews?
I truly believe a book doesn’t become complete until it is in the hands of readers. And I love to connect with my readers. I try to do that through my author newsletter and my blog and my author Facebook page with questions and contests and giveaways. I’d love to know how readers like to connect with authors . . . what’s their favorite way to get to know authors? And is there something they’d like to know about Somebody Like You or writing?
One further question (or two!) ~ Do your antagonists take off with you typing to keep up, and are you surprised where they take you? Is there one who wants to speak out and keeps at you?
I love when my characters surprise me, taking over the story and doing something I hadn’t planned on happening. That occurred several times in Somebody Like You – well, in each of my books – and I just sit back and let it happen. My characters end up knowing the story better than I do!
Thank you, Beth, for stopping by Lane Hill House today.
Beth has graciously offered one copy of her novel Somebody Like You to a resident within the U.S. ~ Comment below answering one of Beth's questions and leave your e-mail address ...[at]...[dot]com to contact the winner of this drawing on July 16, 2014.
Beth's questions ~I’d love to know how readers like to connect with authors . . . what’s their favorite way to get to know authors? And is there something they’d like to know about Somebody Like You or writing?