Saturday, February 06, 2010
My bio states that I love sharing the good news of God’s grace through my stories, and I truly do. I hope to show readers that God loves them and is there for them, no matter what. That even when people let us down, Jesus will not.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Getting married was pretty great, and so was having my daughter! But outside of those big life-changing moments, I’d have to say that one of the happiest days was getting word that Steeple Hill wanted to contract my first novel RETURN TO LOVE. Though I have to admit, that was pretty life changing as well!
How has being published changed your life?
It was not only a literal, life-long dream come true, but it also played a big part in my husband’s decision to let me quit my full time job and stay home and raise our daughter and write! Another dream come true!
What are you reading right now?
I just started reading (for review) BEGUILED by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand, by Bethany House. What an intriguing story!
What is your current work in progress?
I just finished up revisions for my Christmas novella, THE GINGERBREAD SEASON, releasing in October 2010 as part of a compilation book with another Steeple Hill author, Marta Perry. I’m awaiting line edits before brainstorming my next book.
What would be your dream vacation?
Touring Europe, especially Germany and Ireland. That is a shared dream of mine and my husband’s, and we hope to get there one day! I’d love to see the castles and the rolling green hills and all the history just waiting to be explored.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Sometimes my settings choose me! It depends on the story. Occasionally I choose the setting for a novel first, then base a plot around it, but other times it’s the other way around. RETUN TO LOVE and A VALENTINE’S WISH were both set in New Orleans and that was decided first. But my April 2010 release is set on a horse ranch in Texas, and that was decided after I realized I wanted to write about a cowgirl.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Hard question! There are a lot of people I’d like to meet, especially famous authors. Hmmm. I guess I’d have to say Nicholas Sparks. I love his novels and I’d be curious to know where he gets his ideas and how he always manages to pull off that intense emotional response in his readers that all authors try to create.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I used to kick-box regularly, before having my daughter. Now that my time is more limited, I try to work-out through a DVD program as often as I can instead. I also enjoy shopping, new shoes, lunch dates with my mom and grandma and daughter, and date nights with Hubby.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I’d have to say my current obstacle is time. Even though I quit my day job, raising a toddler is 24/7, and with my husband’s shift work, I’m often a “single mom” of sorts. Finding time to write amidst my time with my daughter and our limited time as a family together is sometimes a struggle. But, I’ve learned with discipline and prayer, anything can be done!
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write what you know, and write from your heart. Find a topic that you are passionate about and put it into your story. That passion will shine through your writing and will potentially impress an editor/agent later down the line, when you take that step. Heart really shows through, and your writing will better when you’re telling a story that is important to you.
A VALENTINE’S WISH picks up where RETURN TO LOVE left off, with Lori Perkins as the heroine. (Gracie’s best friend from RETURN TO LOVE) This is a contemporary romance set in New Orleans in a chocolate boutique in the French Quarter.
Here’s the back cover: Unless youth pastor Andy Stewart finds a suitable wife fast, he'll lose his job. Yet the woman of his dreams is his best friend. And Lori Perkins is still smarting over a failed engagement, so he can't just declare his love. His plan: he'll be her secret admirer and woo her anonymously with flowers and chocolates. And then, when romance is on her mind, Andy will confess his Valentine's wish—to spend his life with her. There's just one little problem. Lori seems to think her secret admirer is someone else!
Please give us the first page of the book.
Unemployed. Single. And out of brownie mix.
Lori Perkins tapped her nails against the open pantry door. Canned vegetables and peanut butter crackers were nowhere near sufficient for this kind of low. She rested her forehead against the frame and blew a strand of dark hair out of her eyes. It really wasn't her fault—well, maybe two of the three problems were. She probably shouldn't have quit her job at the aquarium gift shop before the administrative position across town was a done deal, and she definitely should have gone to the grocery store before her chocolate stash ran out. But her single status was most certainly not of her own choosing. Add the fact that Valentine's Day was mere weeks away, and it became official. She was broke, hungry and destined to be alone.
The cordless phone on the counter jangled a shrill ring, and Lori snatched it up while peering one more time at the contents of her bottom shelf. "Hello?"
"Lori? I can barely hear you. Are you in a tunnel?" It was her friend Andy Stewart, the youth pastor at her church, L'Eglise de Grace.
She stretched one arm toward the back of the shelf. "No. The pantry."
"Searching for chocolate, I assume."
"Funny." So what if she'd become a little predictable over the years? Lori fumbled around a jar of peanut butter and felt a crinkly wrapper. Maybe a forgotten candy bar? No, just another package of crackers. She let out a huff. Was a little chocolate too much to ask for a girl having one of the worst days of her life?
"Are you all right? I can call back."
Lori shut the pantry door with a loud click and rested her back against the wooden panels. "I need chocolate."
"You're out? How is that possible?"
"Gracie helped me finish the last of my emergency stash."
"And she didn't refill?"
"There wasn't time before the wedding." She supposed Gracie had more important things on her mind at the time, like planning a honeymoon. Excited as she was for her friend's new life, Lori couldn't help the flicker of jealousy in her stomach. Happily-ever-after endings apparently weren't meant for everyone—her ex, Jason, had proven that point well enough.
She slammed the brakes on her runaway train of negative thoughts. "Look, is there a point to this conversation, or can I finish my desperate search for relief now?"
"Ouch. Bad day?"
"Did you not hear me say I'm out of chocolate?" Men. The cute ones cheated, and the funny ones were dense. Take Andy, for example. They'd been practically best friends for how long now—two years? Three? And he'd never once considered Lori as anything more.
Though it was probably for the best. If bitter thoughts of Jason still crept in her subconscious, she wasn't ready for more. The need for chocolate intensified, and Lori squeezed her eyes shut. Maybe if she pretended hard enough she could—
Andy cleared his throat. "How about I bring over some chocolate doughnuts? I have something I need to talk to you about."
Lori stopped the no from automatically rolling off her tongue. She preferred to indulge in her chocolate bad moods by herself, but without the chocolate, the bad-mood part sounded pretty lonely. "Fine. See you in twenty."
I want more. . .quickly! How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers may reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website, http://www.betsystamant.com/ or my blog, http://www.betsy-ann.blogspot.com/ Hope to hear from you!!
Thank you, Betsy, for spending this time with us. Now I need some chocolate. Can you wait 'til I get back?
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