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.
The winners from last week’s Author Spotlight with Jessica Dotta is Melanie Backup! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This week we are feature two more authors! Becky Wade and Beth K. Vogt! To win a copy of Becky’s Undeniably Yours (Bethany, 2013) or Beth K. Vogt Catch a Falling Star (Howard Books, 2013), leave a comment on this post.
Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?
I’m married with three children (ages 12, 9, 4) and the majority of my time is spent caring for my family and home. As you can perhaps imagine, there’s quite a bit of ongoing kid chaos surrounding me. Unfortunately, I’m not someone who can write amid chaos. I need silence and solitude in order to chase the occasional coherent thought! I block off chunks of writing time when my kids are at school or when they’re home with my husband (in which case, I head to the library to work.) The past few years I’ve written only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Surprisingly, the days of rest in between have proven beneficial to my creativity. Whenever I return to writing, my imagination is ready.
Share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…
I write contemporary inspirational romances. Love stories are definitely my greatest area of interest, and have been since I was a young teenager. Nothing will keep me turning pages faster than a hero’s great love for a heroine.
How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?
I had no dream of becoming a published author. I was simply an avid reader who once read a book so bad that I thought I could write a better one. As it turned out, no. I couldn’t write a better one. Writing looks so easy when it’s done well! Until I tried it for myself, I had no inkling of how incredibly hard it was or how little I knew about the craft of writing.
After you started writing seriously—how long was it before you were published?
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well?
Prayer. Before a writing session, I always make time to read scripture and pray. During that time I confess to God with complete honesty that I’ve taken on (in my attempt to write a book) something that is so big that I’ll fail unless He’s in it. Then I ask — beg is maybe more accurate — Him to write the story through me, to use me as His vessel. I really do believe Romans 11:36. “For from him and through him and for him are all things.”
Once I’ve prayed, I typically sing along to a praise song. Then grab a snack. And go!
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?
Practice. As helpful as writing groups and non-fiction books on the craft of writing were to me, my most helpful stepping stone was practice. I wrote a new manuscript, from beginning to end, every year. Over time, I gradually improved, found my voice, and discovered the sub-genre I loved most.
Is being a writer what you thought it would be?
In some ways yes. I do get to enjoy all the perks of working from home that I’d imagined: writing in slippers, working with my hair in a top-knot, ready and available snacks, a flexible schedule, a non-existent commute.
On the other hand, it’s less glamorous and more humbling than imagined. I’m still the one who does the family’s endless loads of laundry. I’m the one who has to take the negative reviews with the good. I’m the person who gets anxious and overwhelmed by my job at times. I’m my household’s resident throw-up cleaner upper.
What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?
I least like the stress of the workload that comes 1) during the final few months leading up to a deadline and 2) during the weeks surrounding a new book’s release.
I most like the thrill and joy of the writing itself. It’s freeing, challenging, imaginative and exhilarating work. It’s truly satisfying to complete a novel I felt the Lord lead me to write.
What advice would you give to new writers?
Don’t get bogged down trying to follow all the ‘rules’ about the craft of writing or trying to figure out what’s marketable to editors. First and foremost, write what you feel led to write and write it how you love it. Aside from earning money or becoming a published (or multi-published) author, the writing should be its own reward.
Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.
“This one here is funny and emotional and really, really romantic. It’s a love story and a faith story both. Admittedly, the author’s a bit of a nut, but try not to hold that against her.”
What’s on the book horizon for you?
In Undeniably Yours, I introduce readers to Bo Porter and to the entire Porter family. My next three books will be about Bo’s three siblings.
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?
Thanks for asking! I love to connect with readers. I can be found at:
Next up Beth K. Vogt
Tell us a little about your new book
Catch a Falling Star asks the question: What do you do when life doesn’t go according to plan? Do you keep pushing for Plan A? Pull Plan B from your pocket? Or do you settle? I got the idea for the novel after talking with a friend whose life was going so well in lots of ways – her career, her friendships, her activities – but in some ways, she was still waiting for dreams to come true. Everyone faces life not going according to plan in some way. And we have to figure out if life is about making plans, or wishing on stars, or is it about something more?
How can readers find you and your books?
Both Catch a Falling Star, and my debut novel, Wish You Were Here, are available on Amazon and through other major book stores. And there are links through my website at bethvogt.com.
Why do you write?
I write books because … life is messy. And I write stories about that. About how we make a mess of our lives … or someone else messes up our lives … and there is hope … there is redemption … It’s the whole reality of “But God … ”
Best author moment?
I’ve had several readers contact me and say how something I’ve written has influenced their relationship with God in a positive way. That’s my prayer: That I reflect God through my writing and somehow bring readers one step closer to God, wherever they are in their faith journey.
If you weren’t able to write, what would you do?
Clean my house, I guess.
Describe your ideal circumstances to write.
Long sessions of uninterrupted time. That doesn’t happen very often. I’m learning to write through the interruptions.
Right this moment, what does your office look like?
I have two stuffed otters sitting on my desk, along with several favorite photographs, and a bunch of “don’t forget” sticky notes. If you turned around, you’d see the baskets of papers, waiting to be filed. I’m a much better “piler” than filer.
How would you describe your writing style to a reader?
I write fiction based on real-life that includes humor, romance, and also delves into the deeper issues we face every day.
If you could write any book—on any topic—and be guaranteed a publishing contract, what topic would it be? (Or genre?)
I’ve already partly written the book – it’s even gone to pub board and been considered by several publishers, but never picked up. It’s a nonfiction book titled Blindsided directed to moms, teaching them that one of the very best things they can do to help their sons choose purity instead of pornography is to be in relationship with their sons.
Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?
Every writer gets bad reviews.The rule is: Don’t respond to bad reviews. My caveat is: Don’t respond in public. You can’t help but have a reaction – but I do it in the privacy of my home. I might talk it out with my husband or my mentor or my closest writing friends. Ultimately, I have to let it go. It’s someone’s opinion – and not a judgment on me as a person.
How do you solve a grammar dilemma?
I don’t have too many of those, since I have a journalism degree. But a handy online resource is Grammar Girl.
Are you an introvert? Extrovert? In between?
I am an introvert who is willing and able to function as an extrovert as needed. But I require downtime, too, to refresh.
Do you enjoy public speaking as an author? Why or why not?
I was involved with public speaking before I was an author. I loved it then and I still love it. I enjoy talking about issues that are important to me: relationships, faith, family, children, writing.
Can a person make a living as a writer?
I know people who do. But usually those people make a living as a writer by writing and doing something else: writing and speaking. Writing and editing. Writing and teaching.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on my third inspirational contemporary romance novel, Somebody Like You, which is set in Colorado. It has twins in it – and I’m excited about that because I’m a twin.
I’ve recently discovered Becky’s writing and have been enjoying it. I follow Beth’s blog, but have yet to read any of her books! Thanks for the chance to win.
They both look great. Thanks for the chance.
Undeniably Yours and Catch a Falling Star sounds wonderful. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.
Would enjoy reading either one. These are new authors to me!
Love good books! Keeping my fingers crossed for the win.
Just a bit about me…. I am married,mother of two and the proudest grandmother of three beautiful grands! My life is full and blessed!
I have not read either author but will get their books they sound like they are awesome. Thanks for introducing me to them
Thank you, Suzanne, for spotlighting Beth and me (both contemporary romance authors!) here on your terrific blog. It’s a treat and an honor. I so appreciate your support of other authors and of Christian fiction.
Good luck, everyone! Warmly, Becky
thanks for this lovely feature and learning about the authors is very special.
I’m so excited to read both of these books — I’ve heard a lot of good things about them! And the covers are lovely. 🙂
I thought that I was the only one that went to the library to get work done! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone! Would love to win and read these books. Thanks for the entry.
I have read Undeniably Yours, and loved it. Beth Vogt is a new author to me and I would enjoy the chance to read one of her books.
I’ve been eyeing up Undeniably Yours on Amazon for my Kindle but haven’t bought it yet.
I would love to win either one of these books.
I would love to win! Can’t wait to read the books!!!
The titles, alone, make me want to curl up (with a cup of coffee in hand) and dive into their worlds!! They sound absolutely splendid!
I love Becky’s books! Her writing is excellent and her characters are so interesting! They are developed so well that you feel you know them – they could be your friends! I have wanted to read her new book for awhile now – it would be great to win it! I haven’t read anything by Beth yet so it was great to get to know her a little bit! Thanks!
Would love to win either of the books.
Have both of Becky’s two contemporary romances. Read “My Stubborn Heart” for our book club. It was an overwhelming success. I own both of Becky’s books, but could certainly use another copy to gift.
Have not read Beth’s latest books. Thanks for featuring her.
Would love to win eithe of these books also!
I haven’t read either of these books, but they both look so good!
Thank you for another great spotlight double feature! I love learning more about an author’s personal and writing life!! I can’t wait to read these wonderful books; thank you for the chance to win!
Wow! Great interviews. I would love to win one of these books.
would love to win. Thank You for the chance.
I really enjoyed this interview! I appreciate the advice within, and find it relieving to be given a pass to relax, to write for the love of writing, not to try to replicate another person’s ideal writing style. Practice! Yes! I would love to win Undeniably Yours! Thank you!!! Blessings…
I would love to win these books. I just added them to my book list.
Thank you for the chance to win them!!
I really loved reading both of their interviews. I am a Momma who is homeschooling her youngest and dealing with the oldest being on her own. To hear that they struggle with their writing is refreshing. I cannot write in chaos either. I agree that you should handle rejections in a quiet way. Thank you for letting us in to your lives!
Both books look great. Would love to win either of them. Thanks for the opportunity.
Always so interesting to read Suzanne’s interviews and find out about new writers. Would love to win this give-away!
Hi, Becky & Beth!
I enjoyed both interviews – learning about your books, finding out the reasons why you write, & the techniques used by each of you. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of your books!
Suzanne: How fun to be featured on your blog along with Becky — she’s such a talented author! Thanks for the opportunity to share a bit about writing and romance.
I actually read on Pinterest about this post so I came to check it out. I haven’t read either book so would love the chance.
Great interviews with both Becky and Beth! Please enter me in the giveaways.
I’ve read reviews on both books and they sound fantastic. Great interviews with Beth and Becky. Would love to win. Thank you for sharing and please enter me in the giveaway.
I really enjoyed reading both interviews. I would love to read both of your books. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you!
Interesting reviews! Thank you for a nice give-away!
Becky I love the comment on how you would try to interest someone in store to read your book. Most don’t answer the question right seems to me. You did. A+ I would love to have your book.
Beth enjoyed your interview, especially answer to what you would do if you weren’t writing. Clean my house. Gave me a laugh. Neat you are a twin. Is is fun or a nuisance? Would love to win your book.
My sister and I are fraternal twins — growing up, we could barely convince people we were sisters, much less twins. So … in some ways I lived life like a non-twin. 🙂
Oooh! They both look good!
Thanks for the interviews with Becky and Beth. I recently finished Undeniably Yours and really enjoyed it. When I was only a couple of chapters into the book, someone asked me what I was reading. Since I know that person reads more “serious” books, I responded I was reading a “fluff” book. After more reading, I discovered I was quite wrong. Though the cover and title may indicate it is a “fluff” book, it certainly has depth to it. Bo is such a wonderful hero. I am glad to learn Becky will be writing more books featuring Bo’s siblings. I hope Bo and Meg will also appear.
I read Beth’s first book and have been wanting to read Catch a Falling Star. I think her unpublished nonfiction book sounds great; I hope someone takes a chance and publishes it. Thanks for the chance to win one of these books.
I have not read either of these two authors and would welcome the chance to win, read and review them! Thanks!
Enjoyed “meeting” these writers. Always blesses me to know that writers write on real-life & it’s messes, but God’s mercy carries us through. Thanks for the chance to win
Love the insight into these ladies. I’ve read Beth’s books and Becky’s first book but need to get her second. It looks good. Thanks for featuring them here today!
Both look good. Thanks for the chance.