We're talking to a new author to my blog today. Welcome, Betsy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I think most of my characters have snippets of my likes/dislikes, or have qualities I wish I had or wish I didn’t. For instance, in my July 2009 release RETURN TO LOVE, the heroine loves penguins and works at the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. Penguins have always been a collectible of mine and my favorite animal. So it’s fun to incorporate little things like that into my characters.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’m very much a Type A personality and stay quirky about my house. Everything must be clean and in its place, a quirk I have to really work on now that I have an infant! But I’m the girl who will walk into someone’s house or office and immediately straighten a crooked picture on the wall or restack a pile of magazines on the coffee table to look neater.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was about seven years old and my dad brought home our first computer. I pecked away at the keys and wrote short stories and attempted novels as a child and young teenager. I got serious about my writing when I was 18 and began attending conferences and learning the craft. But the other day, my mom showed me some homemade little books I had made when I was just a little girl that were absolutely hilarious! So maybe in a sense, I was born with the desire to write. =)
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My favorites are romance and romantic suspense. But lately I’ve even been enjoying historicals and thrillers as well. I try to read a broad range to expand my horizons and grow as a writer. Sadly, I just can not get into sci-fi or fantasy novels, as much as I’ve tried.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I have a novel MIDNIGHT ANGEL available on Amazon, published through The Wild Rose Press. It was the first full length story I ever wrote. I also have two short story e-books available through The Wild Rose Press. Past that, I contribute articles to Crosswalk.com and have short non-fiction stories in two compilation books – LIFE SAVORS FOR WOMEN published through Tyndale and PRAISE REPORTS VOLUME II by Xulon Press and Crosswalk. My favorite story that is not yet published is a romantic suspense that I am praying gets placed soon. It’s about a cop, an orphan, and a cult leader targeting teenagers, called WHEN SHADOWS FALL.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m a busy lady, for sure. I’m a wife, a new mom of a precious baby girl, an author, and I work a full time job. Plus you remember what I said about keeping a clean house! Haha! Things get hectic but I try to keep my relationship with God and my family first and it all works out.
Have you ever had those moments where it seemed literally impossible to get done all the things you needed to do in a single day, and you were tempted to skip your devotional time in order to get to work? Well I believe that in those times when we press on and keep God first, that God blesses our effort and our obedience and gives us "holy time warps" where it all somehow gets accomplished. =)
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Usually when I get my basic plot in mind, I will have the character’s name already chosen. They just sort of come to me. A few times I’ve had to view baby-naming websites to acquire new ideas but I’ve never had trouble naming my characters. I actually have more trouble naming side characters than I do my hero/heroine! =)
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Outside of my writing career, it would definitely be my daughter. She is so amazing! Inside my writing career, I am most proud of becoming a multi-published author with Steeple Hill. I know it is only by the grace of God and His will, nothing I could have ever done on my own!
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a penguin. I definitely got the waddle thing down when I was pregnant. Haha. But I just think they’re cute and they’re always dressed up for a fancy occasion – sort of like me. I like to dress up and usually will be the one overdressed at an occasion rather than under.
What is your favorite food?
Mexican food, definitely. I’ll eat chips and salsa any day, any time. Even for breakfast! When I was pregnant, that was especially all I wanted.
I was that way with spaghetti when I was pregnant with my second child What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest problem regarding the actual craft of writing was, and still is at times, incorporating "high stakes". My stories tend to be more character driven and while I can easily invent a fun or interesting plot, I often have trouble getting those stakes in there! You know, the urgency, the "why this can’t happen to the poor character but why it must happen" type stuff. But I’m getting better! =)
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
KEEP WRITING. Don’t give up—rejections will always be hovering, even after you are published. If you quit, you’ll never know if an acceptance was right around the corner! So hang in there and take the good with the bad, the positive with the negative. And definitely attend those conferences and really learn the craft of writing.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
RETURN TO LOVE is a really special story to me. It’s set in New Orleans, which is where my husband’s family is from and where he proposed to me in 2004. I really had fun writing this story and incorporating the Cajun culture into the setting. RETURN TO LOVE is about a man and woman who grew up in Louisiana as best friends, but were torn apart as young adults. This story shows their return to love and to each other. Plus, it’s got penguins in it—what could be more fun? =)
How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can email me at email@example.com
or visit my blog at http://www.betsy-ann.blogspot.com/
or my author site at http://www.betsystamant.com/.
They can also find me at http://www.shoutlife.com/betsystamant .
Thank you, Betsy, for spending this time with us.
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