Sunday, November 16, 2008

Author Beth Wiseman - PLAIN PERFECT - Free Book

I met this debut author at the ACFW conference in Minneapolis, and I'm excited to introduce her to you. She's a fellow Texan.

Welcome, Beth. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I think all of my characters have some of me in them. And I tend to extract character traits from those I love, sometimes not realizing it. I think Grandpa Jonas is my most loveable character in Plain Perfect. It wasn’t until my sister said, “Wow. Jonas is just like Dad,” that I thought…yeah, he really is. What a great tribute to my father. I hope he’s smiling from heaven.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Oh my. There’s been so many. As of recently, it would probably be wrapping houses with four other middle-aged women during a slumber party following my first book signing. Getting pulled over by the friendly trooper in my small town for a burned out taillight added an interesting twist. Did I mention we were in our jammies?

Beth and I were in a large group of women who went out to eat together our first night in Minneapolis. Needless to say, we had a good time. Now, Beth, when did you first discover that you were a writer?

I announced to the world that I was a writer at the tender age of five, penning my first story to my grandparents – On a cold, rainy night… sort of thing. However, after freelancing, writing a column in Houston, and being a fulltime news reporter for five years, my writing continues to be a discovery that surprises me sometimes.

I know how that feels--wonderful. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

There’s something for everyone on my bookshelf. I love Nicholas Sparks, his bittersweet love stories. As a romance writer, I also have tons of that genre. True stories like Don Piper’s 90 Minutes in Heaven find their way to my shelf also. Right now I’m reading The Shack. Of course, my Amish collection continues to grow as well. And I love books that scare me to death! They have their place and time, but on a cold, rainy night…perfect! Several years ago, I tried my hand writing one. I scared myself so bad by chapter seven, I put it away – where it remains safely tucked in a file cabinet.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

I didn’t know writers were sane.

We're not, but I just like to see what you'll say to that. How do you choose your characters’ names?

Usually they just come to me while the character is developing in my head. However, in book #2 of the Daughters of the Promise series, I couldn’t seem to come up with a last name for my protagonist. A trip to the grocery store took care of that. When I turned into my subdivision on the way home, the street sign jumped out at me. Carley became Carley Marek. My Amish names are a little trickier. I have a list of common names given to me by my friends in Lancaster County, and I also scan the Die Botschaft, a weekly newspaper serving Old Order Amish communities.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Surviving motherhood through the teenage years! And that I am finding my own peace by writing novels through words that glorify God.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A big bird. I’m terrified of birds. It’s a long story, but I’ve been terrorized by them on many occasions. They’ve swooped down and pecked me on the head, stolen french fries off my plate (while I was eating!), and the list goes on. Ironically, that’s what I’d like to be. It’s the whole flying thing I’m into, but I wouldn’t steal anyone’s french fries.

What is your favorite food?

Mexican all the way!

We call what we eat in Texas, Mexican food, but I've been many places in Mexico, and the food isn't like our Tex-Mex. I love Tex-Mex, too. Tell us a little about your journey to publication.

I’ve been writing in some capacity my entire life. My journey has been a long one! But with warp speed, everything changed in 2007. Not just my writing—everything changed. I was targeting Harlequin when my then 15-year-old son got sick. Very sick. We spent a month camped out at Texas Children’s Hospital with him. It was a paralyzing fear and still hard for me to talk about. I’m glad to report that Cory is doing great now! But when we returned from the hospital, I was in a new spiritual place. There was a strong calling to do something else. Plain Perfect seemed to just write itself. It came with an ease I’d never had while writing other books. I wrote it in three months. My agent sold the 3-book series from the first three chapters of Plain Perfect to Thomas Nelson within two weeks. I thank God every day and pinch myself daily as well.

It's wonderful to be doing what God ordains, isn't it? What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

It’s all about a great story, for sure. But in the early days, I believed that a great story was enough. I didn’t take enough time to hone the craft. When I finally dove into books about writing and applied the techniques, things began to change. Even as someone who made a living as a reporter, novel writing had another set of rules!
What advice would you give to others who are trying to get their first book published?

Hone the craft! And attend workshops, network.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

Plain Perfect is about one woman’s spiritual journey to an unlikely place—her grandparents’ Amish farm. After years of neglect and abuse, she turns to a lifestyle of simplicity among the Old Order community. Through the peacefulness of these people, Lillian learns about forgiveness and hope, and what it means to have a relationship with God. But it’s not an easy path, and complications arise when she befriends widower, Samuel Stoltzfus, and his 12-year-old son, David. I think that most people are searching for peace, in some way. Or if they’re not at the moment, they probably have at some point in their life. If Plain Perfect helps even one person get there…I did my job for Him.
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Beth, thank you for spending this time with us. We'll want you to come back when the next book in the series releases.
Readers, you can buy this bestselling book here:

Or, you can leave a comment and wait to see if you are the one chosen to receive a copy of the novel.
If you're reading this on Facebook, you need to come to this blog to leave a comment to be considered for a chance to win.


Debra Ullrick said...

I love what Beth's answer, she didn't writer's were sane. hehehe I love it. And I so agree.

I love all of Beth's answers. If her books are anything like the review, they're awesome. Please add my name to the drawing.

contact info:

Debra Ullrick
The Bride Wore Coveralls
Déjà vu Bride
Dixie Hearts

Debra Ullrick said...

Sheesh. I should have read my post before sending it. With all the editing I do, you think it would be second nature to recheck my posts. Sorry about that. *cheeky grin*

Okay... What I meant to say was...

I loved Beth's answer that she didn't know writers were sane. In fact, I loved all of her answers. And if her books are anything like her funny, upbeat responses to your questions, Lena, then they must be awesome. So add my name to the drawing please.

Hey, Lena, I posted twice, does that mean I get to have my name added to the drawing twice? ~wink wink~ Just teasin'.


contact info:

Debra Ullrick
The Bride Wore Coveralls
Déjà vu Bride
Dixie Hearts

Becky C. said...

I love reading about the Amish people, and community.

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


cpullum said...

Would love to read this book! Great interview!


Anonymous said...

Great interview - Beth, send some light this way on raising teenagers! Would love you to read your book, and if I understood correctly this will be a trilogy? For some reason, I love trilogies!

Please enter me in the drawing.

Cheryl said...

I would love to win "Plain Perfect". Please enter me in the contest. My email is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

Anonymous said...

I loved reading the interview!
the book sounds like it would be a great read!

Merry said...

Plain Perfect sounds wonderful, please add my name. Thanks!

Ausjenny said...

Please enter me. I love the look of this book and I have been wanting to read the book. The reviews look really good.
ausjenny at gmail dot com

Sandee61 said...

I also love reading about the Amish, and so glad to find another author that writes about them. I would like to be entered in your drawing, please. I really enjoy all the interviews with the authors.

Thank you,


Sarah/Robert said...

Loved the interview! I think I'd like "Plain Perfect," too.
Please enter me in the drawing.

Cherie J said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you1


Anonymous said...

I think that sounds like a wonderful story!

Anonymous said...

i enjoy reading amish stories am this sounds ike a good one. please enter my name in the draw.
sarahwoll at hotmai dot com

windycindy said...

She sounds like a young woman who has her act together. I wish her the best on her debut book! I love to read books that have a story line set in an Amish Community. I would appreciate being entered in your book drawing. Thanks, Cindi

Anonymous said...

Hi Lena and Beth

Many thanks for an interesting interview. I enjoy Amish books, so please enter me in the drawing.

Thank you

Ruth Dell

ruthdell (at)

Unknown said...

I'd love a chance to win!
frog123 (at) cyipcom (dot) net

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all the kind words! And a special thanks to Lena for the interview.

This is a very special time in my life, and I'm truly blessed!

And Kristi, I wish I could shed some light on raising teenagers. It's a tough job!

Blessings to all of you!

Beth Wiseman

Ausjenny said...

Please take me out of this draw I just received the book today.

Carole said...

I love Amish fiction and am glad to see a new voice in this genre. This interview and the reviews I've seen certainly make me want to read Beth's book. Thank you for entering me in the contest.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Carolynn said...

Sounds like a wonderful book, I would love to read it.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book! Please enter me in the contest.

Unknown said...

Please enter me in the drawing for "Plain Perfect." Thank you!