Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
Welcome Betel Arnold, author of Buried Beneath the Words, to Author Spotlight! Leave a comment below for the chance to win a copy of her book.
As the mother of four children and a stepmom to one, my plate is full and I am satisfied. While being a mom and wife is a full-time job, I’m also pursuing a degree in writing studies at the University of Massachusetts—Amherst. As a “writer of books,” I would say I’ve passed full time and I’m on overtime.
And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…
My interests in writing are diverse. Now that I’ve finished my first book—a non-fiction autobiographical self-help book called Buried Beneath the Words, I’m going to get back to working on my young adult novel, Jordan City.
As I progress into this world of words, I continue to be awed by the different styles, genres, and mysteries I’m on my way to discovering. Soon, or maybe not—I’ll settle on a genre. But for now, I am as a child awed by each new discovery.
How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?
My writing began as a fluke . . . if you believe in those. My youngest child, Jordan, was bored one day and looking for a way to keep her occupied, suggested we write a story together based on a picture she had drawn. It was bursting with bright colors and high buildings situated on a hilly road. We called that place “Jordan City.” After a while, my little one got bored, but I was intrigued. Could I tell a story from beginning to end? Could I?
That’s how my writing started. Many roads can lead to a destination—that was mine.
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?
My best writing happens when I rise early, the earlier the better, usually while the rest of the world sleeps. I grab a good cup of joe and head upstairs to my room. It’s part library, part office, and part escape. The curtains are drawn, so it’s dark. All there is, is me and the world I’m creating under my fingertips. This is pure heaven for me. But then the sun rises, the world stirs, I’m back to planet earth and my fingers tire. I rise up, pour myself another cup of joe and wonder what happened to the words guiding my fingertips? I struggle to put two sentences together until the next day when my time to escape rolls around again.
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey as a writer? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?
I find that writing groups help with my creativity. I get to meet new people and experience the world thru their eyes and their words. Recently, I met a mature woman—a world traveler. We met in her home—a historic high school building turned into condos. What a wealth of history contained within that beautiful old building. What a great store of facts, peoples, and colors for an emerging writer to pull from.
I must admit that I’m just beginning to discover what a “writer’s life” is. I’ve just arrived on this planet. A newborn looking at her surroundings; my vocal cords have not matured.
What are your biggest distractions?
My biggest distractions when it comes to writing are perfectionism, fear, and the creeping thought “Are you kidding me? You—A writer?”
What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?
The best moment was finally realizing, that, “Yes!” I had done it. I had written a book I believed in. The worst moment was when I realized others were going to read it. The ultimate fantastic moment was when I shouted—And they’ll love it!
What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?
Honestly, when I have to tell the gals, that I “Can’t go.” That I can’t accompany them as they hunt for a rare find in the quaint shops we frequented, because now, I am shut up in my room creating words that will someday lie between two book covers, and they shake their heads, thinking “Poor Betel, so alone.” Hidden between those two statements is what I like most and least about being a writer.
What advice would you give to new writers?
Never ever give up. Keep writing.
What’s on the book horizon for you?
I am working on two books. 13 Ways to Beat Clutterism Disease will be out in October. Jordan City is on the horizon . . . .
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?
For a limited time, get the Amish Values for Your Family ebook for just $1.99 from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & Christian Book Distributors.