Welcome, Betty. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Oh my. That’s very telling, isn’t it? Betty ends up in a lot of my characters. In fact, I recently had someone notice that the characters on several of my book covers look like me. I’m not sure how that happened. Maybe it’s because the heart of the character comes from my heart. Once upon a time, I set out to write a character who was my opposite, just to prove (mostly to myself) I could do it. On the surface, I succeeded. She looked nothing like me. Blond, blue-eyed, petite. Then she began to take on some of my characteristics. At first, I edited them out, then I realized she is who she is—part of me.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirky is weird—in a good way. So, I’m not feeling at all defensive about that question. Lol! Please don’t ask my husband, he’ll give you a list. Hooking my foot on the corner of a wall and falling flat on my face while playing with the cat, would be on the top of that list. I can narrow it down to performing several dance moves from the sixties at a New Year’s Eve party. The hostess loved it, while my husband looked on in disbelief. I was the life of the party, but it was weird.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have always loved to write and tell stories, but I was in my early thirties when I realized the calling on my life. It started as a powerful desire to tell a story. I sat down to translate a scene from my imagination into words, thinking that if I could successfully “paint a picture” and have someone else read it and “see” what I saw, then I might have something worth pursuing. Sorry for the long sentence, but that’s exactly how it happened. I gave my story to a trusted friend who taught high school literature. She loved it and encouraged me to learn the craft.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I devoured classics as a teen and young adult. I visited the library and started at the “A” shelf and read everything that looked interesting, then moved to the next. Alcott, Austen, Bronte, then Dickens, du Maurier, Dumas…you get the picture. Later, I moved on to classic writers of mystery. I loved the “Miss Read” books. I was never much of a romance reader, and you can probably tell that by reading some of my earlier novels. But lately, I’ve mellowed. I still prefer a rich, well-researched historical with romantic elements to an out-n-out romance. My taste in movies, however…tells another story altogether. I love a good, sappy romance!
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Morning quiet time, prayer, and praise keeps me going! Long walks, whenever I have time. And I retreat into my stories. But real life tends to encroach. I’m semi-retired with two part-time bookkeeping jobs that keep me way too busy. But I don’t have the super-busy life of the modern Mom. Busy as I am now, sometimes I wonder how I managed to keep up with a full-time job, kids, house, dog, laundry, sports, church, etc.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I often name my characters after family members. The father in the Legacy series, for instance, is named after my husband. For surnames, though, I have a go-to “surname/last name generator,” I found on Google. I play around with it until I find a name I like.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising three sons who turned out well. I was a stay-at-home mom for their early years, and though difficult financially and physically draining, it was totally worth the investment.
I did the same thing. It is valuable. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
What a funny question, but you know, I didn’t really have to hesitate. A horse. Preferably a mare or a filly with a beautiful, golden coat and flowing mane.
What is your favorite food?
I love Italian, but prefer meatless dishes like spaghetti pomodoro, or linguine with pesto.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Passive writing. On my day job, I was a business writer, creating engineering proposals. “In order to utilize the property to the fullest extent allowed, one must…” And then there was the long history of classical reading. I thought “show, don’t tell” was something done in kindergarten. No, wait, that’s “show and tell.” I had to relearn writing, which required study and practice. I joined a couple of critique loops through ACFW and hashed it out. Cried a lot. Still, whenever I think I have it licked, I discover new problems to overcome.
All of us keep learning more. Tell us about the featured book.
Rebecca’s Legacy is historical romance, and the final book in my Legacy series. The novels follow a family through three decades. Amy Juliana Emerson is the daughter of the couple in book one, Amelia’s Legacy. It’s 1947, and she’s eighteen, around the age her mother was in the first book.
Amy’s father, Robert Emerson has received a threat against his family in an attempt to take over his company, Sanderson Industries. To guarantee his willful daughter’s safety, he sends her to work on a produce farm run by her Aunt Rebecca. Maybe her quiet strength and unconditional love can work on Amy, keep her from becoming the prodigal daughter she seems insistent on being.
Matt Wordsworth is the man Robert calls upon to make sure his daughter stays in line. His only interest in the beautiful girl is purely part of his job. Purely. Amy considers him a fuddy-duddy which suits the situation perfectly, allowing him to stay close without concern for her losing her heart to him. And his own heart … well, his feelings didn’t matter. This was business.
Humiliated and angry, Amy contemplates a path that will lead her even farther from home and away from Dad’s protection. Rebecca’s influence begins to change her feelings about everything, even about Matt, but Amy might find she’s playing into the hands of the enemy.
Please give us the first page of the book.
April 5, 1947
“Are you crazy? My father’s going to kill me.” Amy Emerson stood near the edge of the dock. One hand shading her eyes, she searched the placid surface of the water from Hammond’s Inlet to Kettle Creek. “How could you let this happen?”
“Aw, quit your caterwauling. The skiff’s tied up over there.” Howie Thompson nodded toward a stand of willow trees near the lake shore. “We’ll be back way before your daddy gets home.”
Amy propped her hands on her hips and sucked in a breath. He’d lied about the boat drifting away? She wanted to give him a piece of her mind. Why did she put up with him, anyway?
He removed his cap and ran his fingers through his thick, dark hair. One stray lock fell over his dark brown eyes, giving him a rakish look. Kind of like a young Clark Gable. He sent her a sideways grin, replaced his cap and set off toward the water. “Can’t blame a guy for trying. Now, grab your stuff. Let’s roll.”
Amy stared at his back as he climbed into the boat. He was well aware of the effect his looks had on her. Not just her, but any female within sight of him. She returned to the bench where she’d left her jacket. After tying on a scarf to protect her hair, she draped the jacket over her shoulders, and followed him, brushing at tears behind his back. She refused to let him see her cry. He’d tell all her friends she was soft.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Betty would like to invite you to her Facebook author page, Twitter, GoodReads, Pinterest, Instagram, Amazon Author Page. She posts weekly on her blog, Hello, Thursday Morning, found at https://bettythomasonowens.com/ and regularly on the multi-author blog, Inspired Prompt.
Thank you, Betty, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read it.
Readers, here’s a link to the book.
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