Welcome, Beth. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Many of Maggie’s, the female main character’s, likes/dislikes/quirks are mine. She’s a died-hard Diet Coke fan, loves chocolate, is not outgoing or in the “in” crowd. Her faith is important to her. However, none of her experiences are based on my life. The two moms in the story are not based on me or my style of mothering.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I have a feeling my kids would jump at the chance to answer this question. If we go with the “peculiar” definition of quirky, then my penchant for fountain Diet Coke probably qualifies. I will drive across town for a fountain Diet Coke, snubbing my nose at other varieties of cola as well as bottled or canned variations. Prior to our vacation in
, I contacted the hotel—via email and
telephone—to inquire if they were a Coke or Pepsi establishment. I then
contacted the convenience store I thought was next door, but was actually in
the hotel’s lobby, to inquire about their soft drink selection. Upon arrival,
and much to my delight, I discovered very palatable Diet Coke flowed from a
fountain beverage center in this convenient location. My husband has dubbed me
a “pop snob.” I prefer the term “pop connoisseur.” Hawaii
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’m not really sure how to answer that. I’ve been writing for over thirty years sporadically, wishing I would/could write more regularly. For the past eight years, writing has been given a greater importance in my daily life. For the past three-and-a-half years, I’ve written something nearly every day.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
The great majority of books I read fall into one of two categories or are a meshing of both. In fiction, I prefer books that combine a contemporary, true-to-life story with realistic characters. If the story is based on true events, that’s even better. In non-fiction, I like to read about people’s lives, the paths and journeys that make or break them. The lessons they learn along the way and how those experiences change and mold the persons’ lives. I’m a people person, so I have to force myself to read about ideas, facts, and/or concepts unless many people anecdotes are sprinkled into the book.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Sometimes I don’t! Run, run, run does quite often describe my world. Although I enjoy being busy, too much of a good thing, as they say, is overwhelming. I attempt to look ahead and allot time for all the to-dos on my list, but I find that too often, the tasks take longer than I want/hope they will, creating an overwhelming time crunch. When the list is long and the line items involved, I try to zero in on the most pressing/immediate task and adopt a tunnel-vision approach. Deep breaths and a mental, sometimes oral, chanting of, “Everything will be fine,” does help. Massive amounts of Diet Coke, and the fact I’ve gotten used to short nights helps as well.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
The two main characters’ names just came to me as the story brewed in my mind. The names fit them as their personalities formulated in my mind. I try not to use names of family members or people I know well. Aside from that and since I write YA, I try to use names that are at least somewhat common among today’s youth.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Although several publishers showed interest in this novel/series, the timing did not pan out, so I decided to take the indie route. Deciding to “go indie” was one thing, but actually, bringing the project to fruition involved countless hours of research and a continual push to move forward. I had to put aside the fear that I couldn’t do it and make myself advance toward the goal. Holding the actual book in my hand and downloading the formatted ebook to my Kindle completed the dream and stirred a deep sense of satisfaction.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’m not an animal person, so this is a hard one. Something cute, cuddly, loyal, loves everyone—oh, and low-maintenance which means not whiny, no shedding, probably sleeps a lot. Is there such an animal? Sounds like a dog, maybe? If there’s a breed that fits these qualifications, I might even consider getting a dog myself.
What is your favorite food?
Mine, too. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Making the completion of the book a priority. I worked on this book and series for years. I’m sure people grew weary of me talking about the never-ending-project. I considered dropping it altogether or at least putting it aside for a time, but I didn’t feel right about doing that. The story would not leave my mind. So, I sloughed along with more dedication at times, less so at other times. I took a no-turning-back step when I worked with a photographer and a cover designer to complete the covers for all three books in the series. That commitment solidified that I would complete the series.
before I knew you presents a realistic, candid, and relevant cast of high school-aged characters as they navigate choices and consequences in the choppy waters of friendship, dating relationships, saving sex for marriage, and “renewed waiting.”
The novel’s main players are:
Preston, the 17-year-old hot,
popular high school junior who’s determined to chart a new course as far from
his ladies’ man ways as possible. And Maggie, the new girl in town, also a
17-year-old junior, who’s quiet and shy but oh so ready to be in a relationship
with an amazing guy. A guy who will respect her “white-wedding-dress future.”
Please give us the first page of the book.
Memorial Day weekend
won’t do anything illegal or immoral. Just hanging out. No big deal.” Muttering to an empty room, I grabbed an
sweatshirt and opened my bedroom door to scope out the hall. Right toward Mom’s
and Dad’s room, left toward my brother Patrick’s. Indianapolis
The hall was empty. Good.
I found Mom in the kitchen rinsing the supper dishes. “Hangin’ with the guys tonight, Mom. Won’t be too late.” Not that an almost seventeen-year-old should have to report his every move to his mom, but considering what I’d put my parents through last year, it wouldn’t kill me.
Preston.” She tapped my arm
with wet fingers. “Have fun.”
I zipped toward the front door, hoping to avoid Patrick’s older brother advice.
“No big deal.” More muttering, to convince myself there was nothing wrong with a night of hanging out with the guys. As I jabbed the key into the ignition, I scanned the front of the Jacoby family, ranch-style house.
Patrick filled the doorway, his arms crossed, a menacing glare shooting from his narrowed eyes.
I jerked away from his obvious disapproval and backed onto the street in my hand-me-down Honda Accord that would scream middle class in Jake Nelson’s east side neighborhood.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/bethsteury
Facebook: Beth Steury, Author
Pinterest: Beth Steury, Author
Goodreads: Beth Steury, Author
Thank you, Beth, for sharing this new book with us.
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