I'm SO excited to introduce y'all to one of my dearest writing friends - and here's the kicker - we've never actually met in real life! :( Someday!! I love this girl SO much - she has just been the best encouragement on days when I needed it the most (and not just about writing), she's been the kick in the pants I needed on deadline days and such a sweet sister in Christ!
Betsy just released a new novel, Fireman Dad, which I found in my Walmart here recently (GO BETSY!). She's married to - oddly enough - a fireman and they have a gorgeous little girl. And she's one of my co-conspirators on Scribble Chicks. All important question first. What's your favorite drink to order at Starbucks?
Mmmm this is easy. And now I'm hungry. Grande, non-fat, white chocolate mocha with no whip (unless it's a booksigning, then I splurge)
What are the odds??! We have the same order, if you change out the non-fat for fat and the white chocolate mocha for a caramel macchiato. :) Tell us a little bit about how you got started writing.
I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was 7! I was always pecking away at our first home computer, trying to write Baby Sitter's Club books (hello, Fan Fiction! haha) or making up my own characters, usually a girl with a dog and zero plot. ::grin:: I've been a character driven writer even since childhood! haha. I got serious about publication when I turned 18 and started attending writers conferences and trying to network and figure out how this whole thing worked. Gayle Roper introduced me to the ACFW and the rest is history! I've been a member there for 7+ years and it's amazing. Their website is www.acfw.com - highly recommend.
So fun - I love how similar our stories are. Summer or winter – which one do you prefer?
Winter! I love sweatshirts and hot chocolate and blankets and not worrying about being tan. LOL. One brush with melanoma and tanning beds are officially a thing of my past. Hello, Jergen's Glow Lotion.
Well. We all know my feelings on winter. Any new books out or in the process of coming out?
Me either! Though, I have to tell you. I told Jon the title of your new book and he said, "Confessions of a place kicker? She's a football fan?" It's fall, I guess. :) So, what's your least favorite part of writing?
The waiting game! It never ends. First you wait to finish a story then you submit and wait to hear from an agent, then you get an agent and they submit to editors and you wait to hear from them. Then you wait to hear from committee and then you wait to get your line edits and then you wait to get your cover art and then you wait to get your author copies and then you wait for your release date and then you wait for reviews and then you start the process all over :) Writers can't be impatient. They'd go insane. I think the waiting does get easier but man, at the beginning, when I was new to the industry, it was brutal!
Preach it, sister! Tell us a little about the genre you write in. Why did you pick that route?
I've written 6 contemporary romances for Harlequin Love Inspired, but now I'm starting to branch out into YA, and actually, that genre picked me. Or rather God directed me to it. It all started when I pitched a contemporary romance to an editor at the 2009 ACFW Conference in Denver. When she reviewed it later, she told me it wasn't quite what they were looking for at the time, but she liked my style, and did I happen to have a YA? I was like, uh....if you want one, I've got one! ha. So I realized that I had a story I'd already started, a "secret story" if you will, that was just for me, a "vent" book for expression. And it was a YA. So I brainstormed with a friend, fleshed it out, put it into proposal form, and Addison Blakely, Confessions of a PK, was officially born. It ended up being rejected at committee level at that house, but then we sold it to Barbour a few weeks later. You'll get to meet Addison on January 1st ::grin:: God's ways are so much higher than ours! I would have never thought I'd go that genre route but now, I can't imagine NOT writing YA. I have a head full of new ideas eager to come out for teenagers. It's becoming my new passion from the Lord.
Yay! What is your favorite part of writing?
The blank document screen of a new story waiting to be written. It's an incredibly intimidating, incredibly inspiring (wow, how's that for alliteration? lol) moment when anything is possible, when the story is fresh in your fingertips, waiting to be released. The opportunities are endless. It's scary and awesome all at once. ::grin::
It's totally scary and exciting! So, what's your favorite character you’ve ever written?
That's like asking to choose between my kids. LOL Thankfully I only have one kid right now, so Little Miss wins that category ::wink:: But in fiction...Wow. I guess if I MUST pick, I'd have to say Addison Blakley. She's the heroine in my new YA coming out in January and she was so fun to write, probably because of the first person style. She's quite snarky and witty but honest and relatable. She taught me a lot.
I have a favorite child too. ;) Any advice for prospective authors?
DON'T GIVE UP! So many writers get discouraged after their fifth rejection or their tenth or their twentieth. But if you stop writing, stop submitting, stop trying, then you are guaranteed not to ever be published. You truly never know what door God is opening just around the corner. You have to keep moving to get there.
You have an entire day with nothing planned – what would you do if money was no object?
Oh great question! There'd be Starbucks, there'd be writing, there'd be new books from Barnes & Noble, there'd be dance lessons, and of course, there'd be shoe shopping. If $ is truly no object, then I'm going for the Jimmy Choos and the VENTI mocha. hehehe.
Ha! Great answers, Betsy!! You can find out more about my friend on her website, www.betsystamant.com. And, yay for this one, Betsy has very generously agreed to give a copy of Fireman Dad away!!
Every comment counts as an entry into the contest. Sorry guys - this contest is only open to folks in the continental U.S. One comment per person, please! And remember - every comment over the next two weeks enters you into the drawing for the Old Navy gift card! Time to stock up on those winter sweaters Betsy and I love!
Today's comment question: If you had to watch the same movie 50 times in a row, what movie would it be and why?