We really enjoyed learning about your YA novel earlier this month. Now you're back with an adult romance. Welcome, Beth. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
In this book, A Case of the Heart, there was a lot of me in the book. I used to be a CPS worker and wanted to share some of my experiences. In my YA, Love at first Flight, There was a lot of my daughter in the character. From there all of my characters have become unique, not like me but maybe people I’d like to be.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
As far as writing goes, I read the obituaries. And for awhile I made it a daily habit which eventually led to a story I’ve been working on titled, The Funeral Hopper. It’s a fun read with very unique characters. You never know where your quirks may take you.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I didn't start writing until 2003, and I was never one of those kids who hid under the covers at night to read after bedtime, or started writing my first novel at age five! No, I began writing articles for inspirational magazines because I thought I had something to say and wanted to share with others. An author friend of mine read my articles and encouraged me to write a book. That book was, Love at First Flight, yep, my very first manuscript. Then came the memories of my social work years and, A Case of the Heart, was created, and I've written six more. For me, writing is all about life experiences on steroids. Each situation, conversation or feeling is heightened to give everyday situations a fun, new kick:)
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I don’t have any particular genre that I like, maybe historical if I had to choose, but I like to read all types of books and see everything that’s out there. I’ve been surprised at some of the books I’ve really enjoyed that I never thought I’d like. When you see all the different genres I write in you’ll understand my tendency to jump around a lot. It’s all about the story not the category for me.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I have written a historical, Remnant of the Fall, women’s fiction, Reclaiming Tess, urban fantasy, Fear of Falling, and an Amish, Annie’s Truth. Presently I’m writing another YA.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Sanity can be a tricky thing for writers who live in another world for a good part of their day. I try and keep my quiet time each morning a priority and if I follow through with that my day seems to start out right. I’m a runner, have been for 15 years which helps relieve everyday stress. I also rely on a circle of girlfriends who are always there for me to cry to or play with. My family is very supportive as well.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes I go with someone I know, but most of the time I try and find a name that would fit the character, something unique or different. I like to research names, especially when I was writing my historical. Names in ancient times have a lot of meaning to them which I found interesting.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
What I’m most proud of is that I’m doing something I never thought I would, writing. As I mentioned previously creating a full-length story was never something I’d even thought of doing until I moved to Texas. I had a hard time with the adjustment moving from Colorado but I found comfort and a way to express myself with writing and a connection that made me feel whole again.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
When we were in Carmel, California, I loved watching the otters play with each other in the waves and lie on their backs and eat crabs. Playing and eating are good, so I think an otter is the way to go for me.
What is your favorite food?
Sushi. Goes with the otter thing.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I am not an English major, teacher or experienced writer, so I had to learn from scratch. I found the process daunting because all I wanted to do was write the story in my head. But I learned how important the basics are and have grown with each manuscript I’ve written in my mechanics and basic skills as a writer.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
It’s hard to break into the market. It’s all about timing, finding an editor who likes your writing and perseverance.
Tell us about the featured book?
Liz, a spirited and compassionate social worker, has one of the roughest beats in Denver. Officer Alex Demas has bailed Liz out of more than one tough situation, and his attraction for her is building. When one of her clients is caught up in a drug ring, Liz and Alex must face what lies between them and snare the drug dealer before he finds her client.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Liz never liked getting to the destination before the cop, especially in this part of town. Fortunately, even though these were non-emergency after-hour calls, social workers usually had Denver PD assist them at night.
She checked the car doors to make sure they were locked, and then sank down in her seat to survey the house. She could see occasional movement in the upstairs room. A black silhouette passed by through a burnt orange curtain.
Liz scanned the area. The houses had been converted to multiple occupancy; lawns were neglected; torn shutters hung from dirty windows. Aged paint blistered and chipped off the siding. The streets were littered with old cars, some parked in driveways, others in yards.
There was a little moisture from an earlier snow, and a cold wind was picking up. It was otherwise quiet and still except for two bundled-up figures walking away from her up the street into the dark night.
She reached forward to start the car for some heat when she caught a flash of blue lights in her rearview mirror to see a black and white pulled up behind her.
An officer got out and started to walk over. She observed the confident stride, the nice physique.
Yep, it was him. She took a look in the rearview mirror to do a quick check of her appearance.
She squeezed her cheeks to add some color and opened her eyes wide, pressing lightly on her lashes to curl them back. She ran her fingers through her brown hair, twirling it into a twist and then stuck it into a clip. Liz kept thinking throughout the entire ritual of how pathetic she was.
She rolled down her window and looked into the handsome face of Alex Demas. He was one of her favorite cops and had been with Liz on some of her toughest calls.
He leaned into the window, the streetlight shimmering in his blue eyes. He ran his fingers through his dark hair as he fixed his gaze on her.
Sounds really interesting. Now, Beth, how can readers find you on the Internet?
Beth, we enjoyed having you come back.
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