March 20, 2012 Interview from Tina Scott
1. What is your favorite bit of writing advice?
Excellent question—my favorite bit of writing advice would be this one simple thing. If you have a desire to write, you probably do have the talent, but I do not know of any author who was “born with a silver pencil” in their hands—all writing needs to be developed, regardless of how natural it comes to you. So, here’s my advice—do not fall into the trap of thinking you’re ready to publish, until you really are. If you publish something below quality, you’ll automatically loose a chunk of your readership. Take the time to develop your craft—and it will take a significant amount of your time, but if you really desire to be a writer, you’ll be more than happy to do so.
2. If you had something to do over again along your road to publication–what one thing would you NOT do over, and why?
I would not have the false notion that your editor was the one who was supposed to “polish” your novel. I just expected from observation (mostly Hollywood style) that an editor would kind of help you rewrite whatever didn’t work. Wrong. I caused my editor undue stress and work, because of that assumption. I was LUCKY that she was so willing to educate me in the finer points of submission. Now, I utilize my writing group to the max as I’m writing, and after I’m finished, I revise and edit my manuscript then it gets read by no less than four or five beta readers, after which I revise again from their advice. Then and only then does it go to my editor.
3. Favorite activity when not writing
That’s easy—I love playing games or going places with my family and/or friends.
4. Have you experienced writers block?
You mean today? Ha ha! Of course I have, but I don’t think of it as a negative thing at all—in fact, writer’s block has saved me from taking my story in the wrong direction many times. When I experience writer’s block, it has always meant that I’ve gone the wrong direction with my story.
5. If so, what do you do when you’re feeling stumped
I archive where the story began to take a different turn (usually the scene I’m stuck on) and rewrite. It always amazes me how much better the story becomes when I change the direction my story was going.
6. Do you snack when you write? If so, what?
I only snack on fruit and veggies, because writing is already so sedentary—I don’t need to be adding calories to that as well. I only drink water too, for the same reason, and I try to take a nice walk sometime during the day.
7. What genre do you write?
I write in three genres—spiritual fantasy, fantasy, and mystery/suspense, but spiritual fantasy is my favorite.
8. Favorite flavor of ice cream?
I love vanilla, but I’m pretty picky about the brand—I love Breyers.
9. Favorite writer’s memory?
My favorite memory is seeing the long line in Barnes & Noble for No Angel’s book launch last September. It nearly brought tears to my eyes, but even more than that, are the incredible responses I receive on a weekly basis from satisfied readers. It amazes me and thrills me beyond imagination.
10. Favorite way to get the word out about your book/s?
There are so many ways to get your book out and all of them go hand-in-hand with much needed publicity for your book, but I guess my favorite would be book signings, even though I make literally nothing when you factor in time/travel expenses, but I get to meet my readers and that’s priceless!
11. Your favorite time of year.
Another difficult question—I’ll be optimistic and say, “Whatever time I’m in,” and then I’ll add that I’m from Maine, so the change of the seasons there is breathtakingly beautiful—I love autumn for the brilliant leaves, but I love spring the most, when the bare trees get covered in tiny, light green buds and everything is fresh and new.
12. What’s the name of your new book coming out?
My new book is called, Earthbound and it is the prequel to No Angel.
13. What is the name, release date, and please share a short blurb.
Earthbound; it’s supposed to go to press the end of March 2012 and will be released probably the first or second week in April. I’m hoping for April 12th as that’s my birthday!
Earthbound is the story about the couple at the beginning of No Angel who are on the departer passageway heading to earth—the ones Jonathan snaps at to “Hurry along! You’ve already said your goodbyes!” It’s their story—and a fine one at that! The main characters are Sophie and Daniel, members of a valiant group in heaven called the Freedom Fighters, but the handsome and ostentatious Coe—one of the leaders of the No Choice movement, also has his sights on Sophie and will stop at nothing to claim her as his.
14. Did you have this book written before your first one came out?
No, I did not write Earthbound before No Angel, but I knew about it and planned on writing it. I needed No Angel out first, because of spoilers in Earthbound. I have also completed two additional books in the No Angel series and have about three more in mind.
Thanks for the great questions, Tina! You’re the best! ~Theresa
March 20, 2012: Interview from Cindy Williams
1. Tell me a bit about your family, such as how many children do you have?
Bill and I were married in the Washington DC Temple in 1978. We have six children and five grandchildren. Our youngest son is currently serving a mission in Romania, Bucharest and our youngest daughter will be graduating from Mountain View High School this May then she’s off to BYU Idaho this fall!
2. What ward and Stake are you in?
I’m new in Northpoint Ward, Citrus Heights Stake, but was in Greenfield Ward, Mountain View Stake for eleven years.
3. What is your current calling?
I do not have a calling yet, other than a visiting teacher, but in the past I have been YW President, Primary President, among others, though my favorite callings have been teaching gospel doctrine and directing the choir.
4. Please write a blurb about No Angel, between 20 to 40 words.
Jonathan Stewart is an angel with an attitude—he didn’t like earth and doesn’t want to go back, but has to, because Celeste Knight chooses him to be her guardian angel on earth—a place he only wants to forget.
5. Who is your favorite character in No Angel?
My favorite character in No Angel is Jonathan. He’s an angel with an attitude—a bad attitude. I had so much fun developing his personality. He is a character that you won’t like very much at first, but by the end of the book, you’ll love him!
6. What inspired you to write No Angel?
Several things inspired me to write No Angel, including some pretty incredible spiritual experiences which I’ve recorded at theresatalks.blogspot.com, but mostly my inspiration comes from wanting to write a book that put the premortal existence as a backdrop, because when I was investigating the Church, it was the one thing that I had never imagined in all of my nineteen years of life—and it made total sense to me. I figure if I didn’t know it existed—that I came from heaven, there are probably a lot of people who do not know that profound, yet simple truth.
7. Why are you a writer?
I believe that I am supposed to write—that it is a gift from God, and He would have me develop and make use of it. All of our talents are meant to bless others much more than ourselves, and I’m grateful for the talent to write—I take that stewardship very seriously.
8. Do you plan on writing any more books?
I’ve already written four books in my No Angel series and have three more in mind. In fact, the second angel book, From Heaven to Earth which is the prequel to No Angel, will be available by the time this edition of the Beehive comes out as it is due to go to press in late March 2012. Currently I am revising Sons of Elderberry, which is a wizard/fairy fantasy. I’ve also written a mystery/suspense called Escape which recently won first place in the ANWA BOB (Beginning of Book contest.) I hope to have those two series out sometime this year as well.
9. What inspires you to write? Such as taking classes, joining a writer’s groups, your family, your beliefs . . . etc.
Life inspires me to write—I feel it, so I want to share it. I am continually inspired by my friends and family too, especially my twenty year association with ANWA an LDS woman writers organization founded right here in Arizona, which has now expanded across the nation and into other nations as well.
10. Is writing a religious experience for you?
Oh yes, writing is a very spiritual experience for me—quite often when I write I will listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Steven Alder’s flute and harp music, or the inspiring music of George Dyer among others.
11. Do you hope this book will help others?
That has always been my hope, and I’ve seen that happen many times. I’ve received a three-page letter from a man in prison thanking me and countless emails, reviews and comments from readers who have been grateful for No Angel and its unique perspectives. You can check most of them out on my website at www.theresasneed.com
12. Will this book make readers smile?
Yes, I have had readers of No Angel use strong phrases like, “tears of joy”, “laugh, cry and wonder”, “cheer”, and “brought me to tears and left me feeling so good about myself and life in general.”
13. Will this book be an example of life?
I believe No Angel is a unique perspective of life—a look into the spirit world that surrounds us and how we interact with it.
14. How can The Beehive readers get a copy of your book?
No Angel and From Heaven to Earth are available at Deseret Book, Latter Day Cottage, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com among other places. If you check out my website, you will find on-line purchase links there as well. No Angel is available in paperback and Kindle, and From Heaven to Earth will be as well.
15. What is your website so that readers can learn more about you?
My website is at www.theresasneed.com I will be launching From Heaven to Earth, the prequel to No Angel sometime in April, so check out my website for the date, time and location.
16. Please share a favorite thing from the book.
I love the scene on page 142 in No Angel, where Jonathan wonders why mortals fret over their trials because they last for only a moment in God’s time … “For instance, four agonizing days of the flu or a bad cold was equal to only one second of heaven’s time, and a nine-month pregnancy was actually only sixty-five seconds of God’s time. Why, even a whole lifetime on earth of a little over eighty-three years was only two hours of God’s time. Being away from heaven wasn’t so bad if you looked at it that way.”
17. How long did it take you to write the book?
No Angel only took me a little over three months to write the rough draft, but that’s because technically, it was my fourth completed novel. I completed Sons of Elderberry before it and two other books that are in the bottom of a filing cabinet.
18. Do you have a favorite scripture you would like to share and why?
There are so many, but a favorite of mine is Matthew 5: 14-16. I t has special significance to me because my patriarchal blessing makes reference to it. 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
19. What would you like the readers of The Beehive to know about you?
I’m a friendly person and love to meet others and would love to hear from them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for this wonderful shout out, Cindy! You’re awesome! Love ya! ~Theresa
March 19, 2012 Questions from Walnut Springs for their blog:
1. What is your favorite line, scene, or character from one of your books and why?
I love this question, but I cannot answer it quite yet, because my favorite scene is in From Heaven to Earth and it hasn’t gone to press yet. I can tell you about a scene on pages 19-21 in No Angel that I love though. It’s where the main character, Jonathan Stewart arrives back on earth as Faith’s guardian angel. I love the part where Celeste, who is Faith’s premortal spirit, meets her earthly mother’s spirit as she departs back to heaven after dying in childbirth—I really love the part where Celeste enters her tiny body and begins her mortal probation as Faith.
2. Why do you write in the genre you do?
I love to write spiritual fantasy, because I spend inordinate amounts of time imagining what heaven must be like or will be like when we return—it naturally follows that I’d write about something that intrigues me so much.
3. What are you working on next?
I’ve already written three more angel books in the No Angel series, one of which is due to go to press soon! Currently, I have been busily engaged in marketing and have created www.theresasneed.com as a place to drive internet traffic to in hopes of getting my name and my books out to more of the world. My current WIP is a fantasy called Sons of Elderberry which is not part of the No Angel series, but a fantasy with wizards and fairies.
4. Do you map out your stories beforehand or do you let the characters speak and direct the story?
I would have to say that I always “begin with the end in mind” and know exactly how the story is supposed to end, although all of the “in between stuff” is mostly driven by the characters.
5. In one word describe the best thing about being an author.
6. In one word describe the worst thing about being an author.
7. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I knew I wanted to write from third grade on, but didn’t imagine that I’d become an author of novels until much later, probably only five or six years ago.
8. How do your beliefs shape how/what you write?
My beliefs are carefully woven into everything I write, because I believe that the talent I have directly comes from God. Also, as a mother, grandmother and an educator, I take my words very seriously and hope to only inspire and uplift rather than any of the many destructive things you could do with words.
9. What’s the last book you finished?
The last book that I have finished reading is John Hauserman’s, Retirement Quest: Make Better Decisions, a great resource for anyone wanting to ensure financial security in their retirement years. You can read my review at bestauthorsread.blogspot.com
10. What’s on your nightstand now?
I’m currently reading Stealing Mercy by Kristy Tate.
11. Which author (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with?
Not counting religious authors, I’d say without a doubt J. R.R. Tolkien—and hopefully he’d have his good buddy C. S. Lewis with him!
12. Book you read that you wish you hadn’t.
There are a few books that I’ve read that I wish I didn’t have to, but none I would mention here, as any book written comes from someone who put a great deal of effort into it no matter how poorly it turned out. I would not publicly defame any author.
13. Book that changed your life.
Notwithstanding scriptural works, believe it or not – Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, because of the beautiful insights embedded within his words, and also C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, which was an assignment in college or otherwise I’d never have picked it up—it was a surprise and a delight to me.
14. If they were to make a movie of your favorite book, who would play the leads and why?
I patterned the main character in No Angel, an angel with an attitude, after Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory, so I’d have to say him—Jim Parsons.
15. Book you most want to read again for the first time.
I’m a very picky second-time reader book, and if I choose to read a book more than once, then it’s a book I’ll read more than twice even. My favorite rereads are Tolkien’s, Lord of the Rings, Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre, Emily Bronte’s, Wuthering Heights and though I haven’t done a reread yet on all seven of Rowland’s, Harry Potter series, they are on my list!
16. What book would you give to a child?
That depends on the child and its age, but other than scriptural, I’d say all children should have Dr. Seuss’, Cat in the Hat—for the pure gift of imagination it so joyfully brings.
12/15/2011 Here you go Ranee!
1. There are tons of books out there right now in the “angel” category, but yours is so unique! Where did you get the inspiration for “No Angel”?
Where did I get inspiration for No Angel? Probably from my own guardian angel who will no doubt insist on all the rights in some future day! Actually, I have had a few life experiences that have given me a unique perspective of the spirit world—add that to a rather active imagination, and No Angel was a cinch to create!
2. I’m always curious about the “publishing experience” of other authors. From the start of submitting, how did it go for you?
I submitted No Angel to several national agents first and got a few nibbles, but wasn’t disappointed when I got rejected, because I was always a little worried that the wrong publisher would try to make No Angel something that it was not. I was destined to be exactly where I am with a team who didn’t touch my story line or character development at all, but allowed the story to stay the way I envisioned it.
3. What is your favorite scene of “No Angel”?
That’s a hard one—there are a few scenes that I go back and read over and over again, because I enjoy them so much. If I had to pick a favorite, I guess it would be the last scene of the book, but I really love the final scene with Jonathan and his sister Maggie too.
4. Did you have to leave out/cut any scenes you really liked? Can you share them with us?
I guess I’m really fortunate that I didn’t have to cut any scenes from No Angel, but I have continued the story with my 4th angel book – Earth Angel with a few interesting twists!
5. You’ve mentioned the second “angel” book for you is in the hands of your editor. Can you give us any sneak peeks about what adventures it will hold?
I’d love to give you a sneak peek about From Heaven to Earth. Do you remember in No Angel when Jonathan snaps at a couple who are departing for earth and tells them that ‘they’ve already said their goodbyes’ and to ‘move along’? That couple becomes the two main characters in From Heaven to Earth—Sophie and Daniel. Daniel is a leader in the Freedom Fighters and Coe is a leader in the No Choice Movement—both are attracted to Sophie, who finds it everlastingly hard to choose between the two. I really love this story!
6. If you could choose any actor/actress you wanted for the characters in your book, who would it be?
You’re going to laugh, but I initially modeled Jonathan after Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons in the television sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, but only parts—mostly his standoffish personality. As far as actors and actresses are concerned—I think a cast of totally unknown actors would be fun!
7. Working on anything non-angel right now?
As a matter of fact, I have two non-angel books that might come out in 2012. Sons of Elderberry is a fantasy—complete with wizards and fairies—that tells the story of four brothers who are heirs to Elderberry Castle, and the wicked Sirusas who seeks to destroy the castle from within. Escape is a murder/mystery about a 16 year old runaway who is abducted and kept captive for five years until she escapes from her captor who aggressively hunts her down. Because I write three different genres, I will publish the fantasy and murder mystery under slightly altered names—T. S. Sneed for the murder/mystery and maybe T. M. Sneed for the fantasy, but I’m not sure.
7. Let’s get to know you! What is your favorite book?
Second to religious-based books, my all-time favorite is the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien. It’s been my favorite since high school. I reread it every other year or so.
8. If you could sit down to lunch with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Again, other than writers of scriptures or religious-based books, it’d have to be Tolkien—I like the way he thinks. I’d love to talk to him about the ‘untold’ story—what drove him to write Lord of the Rings and who his favorite characters are. Next to Tolkien, I’d have to say Charlotte Bronte for her strong sense of virtue and honor embedded throughout another one of my favorite novels, Jane Eyre.
9. Who is your biggest cheerleader when it comes to writing?
My biggest cheerleader has to be fellow author and friend, Betsy Love, author of Identity and soon to be released, Soul Fire. We’ve been through a lot together as far as our writing journey is concerned and have seen each other go from the very beginning of being developing writers through all the way up to becoming published authors. As a matter of fact, Betsy published Identity about one month before I published No Angel with the same publishing company!
10. Any advice for those waiting to get published?
Yes! You can do it IF you want it bad enough to never give up, IF you are willing to take criticism and learn from it, and IF you dedicate yourself to a strict writing regime!
10/06/2011 This is my interview from Mandi Slack:
1. Tell us about your book.
No Angel is the story of a reluctant guardian angel named Jonathan Stewart. He had a bad experience as a mortal and doesn’t want to return to earth as a guardian angel, but it’s required of all post-mortal spirits to do just that—at least one time. He makes it quite clear on the Guardians Unlimited application, that he is not at all interested in being a guardian angel, and even requests an EMD (a spirit marked for early death) just in case. Several years go by and he’s settled into his job as a director of H&EB (Heaven and Earth Bound) where he meticulously runs a smooth operation making sure that the departing and arriving spirits are on the right passageways at the right time. It’s a complete shock and an obvious inconvenience to him when his presence is request in HR (Heaven Resources) and he discovers that he has been chosen to be a guardian angel by the beautiful Celeste Knight. Because he never took the required classes in heaven and did not read his client’s manual in preparation to be her angel, what Jonathan does not know is that an EMD is also a Death Resistor and she can choose the time of her death. Celeste has no intentions of dying early and now Jonathan is stuck in a place he only wanted to forget, as a guardian angel to someone he really could care less about.
You will not like Jonathan at all at the beginning of No Angel, but at the end you will absolutely love him!
2. What inspired you to write No Angel?
I have a strong belief in the unseen spirit word that surrounds us, and wanted to write a ‘fun’ book that used that knowledge as a backdrop.
3. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are several messages in No Angel—first and foremost that we came from heaven and will return there after our own mortal experience is over. Other strong themes in No Angel are love, choice, accountability, loyalty, honesty, faith, hope, forgiveness, patience, and endurance.
4. When and why did you begin writing?
My first published poem was in 3rd grade, but because I gave it to a friend who was struggling with our writing assignment, it was actually published in the local newspaper under her name! That’s the when of it, but the why is much more involved. I believe that writing is the easiest way to have your voice heard. I write, because I want to share who I am and what I believe, feel, desire, and even fear. As a youth, I derived so much pleasure and hope from reading—it’d be so awesome if I could do that for someone else!
5. Any ideas on a sequel for No Angel?
Yes! Occasionally Yours is the prequel to No Angel and is in the final stages of editing right now. Lip Reader is the sequel to No Angel. The rough draft for Lip Reader is complete, but it hasn’t gone through the beta-reader, revision, editing process yet. Once Occasionally Yours is in the hands of my editor, then I’ll revise/edit Lip Reader.
6. Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely! Though I have a BA in Education, I see writing as my career.
7. Do you have any advice or tips on writing you would like to share?
I do! The greatest thing that you MUST have to be a writer—is the desire to write, honestly! There has to be a reason for that desire, and I believe that the reason is a deep understanding of an important part of who you are. But, you MUST be willing to develop that desire into something tangible. You MUST be able to take constructive criticism. You MUST be willing to take that constructive criticism and learn from it! I recommend building up a writing resource library. Read about point of view, how to develop scenes, characters, settings, etc. Study grammar as needed, especially if someone critiques your work and points out specific problems—take those really seriously and dive into everything that you can to understand and improve that part of your writing. I also strongly suggest that you find a reputable writing group that shares your standards, otherwise you might be reading things you’d rather not. I’m a member of an LDS women writers group named ANWA—it is a perfect fit for me and has helped me to hone my craft more than any other thing I have tried. On that note, don’t be afraid to step out of your writing group from time to time and learn from the many other talented authors in your community. Check out your local colleges and libraries for guest speakers and go to their classes prepared to learn all you can about the writing craft. It’s also important to commit to a schedule to write—put aside a time every day and stick to it. I wrote No Angel by committing to writing just one page a day six days a week. Most times that one page morphed into many more! Lastly—you MUST, MUST, MUST read! The best writers are avid, passionate readers! You learn TONS from reading—read with a critical eye—identify what works, and what doesn’t work in the books you choose.
9/30/2011 Thanks Bonnie! I’d love to do an interview with you!
1. What made you decide to become a writer?
That’s easy—I’ve always loved the connection between words and life. I remember as a young teen spending hours in my hometown library in Dover-Foxcroft Maine, just leafing through whatever book caught my fancy. I’d seek for passages that gave my life meaning and then copy them down by hand and tack them on my bedroom wall. And I loved getting lost in a good book that made me feel like a heroine or like I could overcome every obstacle in my path.
2. Who inspires you?
Good people inspire me of all walks of life and faiths. As far as writers go—of course, any scriptural writings, but beyond that, I love any fictional books that make me ponder and reflect. Believe it or not, for me, the writings of Tolkien, most C.S. Lewis, and the Bronte sisters, are among my favorites. As far as modern day writers go, I’m a huge fan of Steven King. Even though I shy away from his writings, I recognize his genius.
3. What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?
More than anything, I’d like my readers to consider the possibilities of there actually being a heaven that we came from and will return to, and that our choices determine our eternity.
4. Where did this idea come from?
The idea for No Angel came from several personal experiences and a strong belief in God and life before life and after life.
5. Who was your favorite character to develop?
I’d say Jonathan was my favorite character to develop. Right off the bat, my writing group fell in love with him, even though he was hardly loveable. He was a fun character to create.
6. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes! If you desire to be a writer, then you CAN do it! But you must be willing to put in the work – learn the craft through study and practice, and believe in yourself! I highly recommend joining a writing group that has your best interest in mind, and preferably, your same standards.
7. What can we expect next from you?
I’ve already written two additional angel books, the second of which is in its final stages of beta-editing. It’s called Occasionally Yours and its set entirely in the premortal existence. It’s my favorite, by-the-way. I LOVE the story! I love No Angel, love, love, love it! But Occasionally Yours, in my opinion is twice as good!
8. Where can we purchase your book?
You can purchase No Angel at Deseret Book, Pioneer Book, or any LDS bookstore. You can also purchase it at Barnes & Noble, order it through any bookstore, or online at Amazon.com, among several online stores. I have those purchase links listed on my author blog at http://theresasmallsneed.blogspot.com. I love to meet my readers and I have several book signings coming up. I always post the most current on my author site. I also would LOVE to be invited as a guest speaker at any book reading clubs that choose No Angel! If I can’t physically be there because of distance, I would still LOVE to visit with them through skypes!
3/05/2012 interview from Mary L. Walling:
1. When did you first realize you wanted to write books and what genre?
I never imagined myself as a book writer until a few years ago. I recognized my love of writing and had written several articles, short stories, poems, etc., but the idea of actually writing a novel alluded me. I esteemed novelists on such a high pedestal that becoming one seemed a bit lofty to me. As far as the genre goes, my first book was realistic fiction with a slight touch of fantasy. It remains hidden in the bottom of my filing cabinet. My second book, co-authored with my dear friend, Kari Pike, is a self-help book which hides with my first book. My third book, Sons of Elderberry is total fantasy. It was buried for five years until recently and is my current “rescued” WIP. My fourth book, No Angel is my first book published. It is in a category called speculative fiction, but I’ve also heard it referred to as spiritual fantasy. Its prequel, From Heaven to Earth is due to go to press this month! I’ve already written an additional two books in my angel series and have at least three more in mind before that series is finished. I write in the mystery/suspense genre too and have a novel called Escape completed. It’s the second in a two-book series and cannot be published until I finish writing book one ~ after I complete Sons of Elderberry.
2. Who is your favorite book character and why? What is your favorite book?
My favorite book character is the wise Galadriel from the Lord of the Rings – I love her good choices. I also love Jane Eyre too – for the same reasons. My favorite book (next to religious books) is Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.
3. Life can be a little challenging sometimes. What do you do that helps you get through life’s challenges?
I pray, then I ponder, then I thank.
4. I know that some of you do something special when you write. I like to drink iced lemon water and eat peppermint patties (sugar free) or yum, dark chocolate. What special something do you do when you write?
I drink lots of water. I’ve learned that soda pop is not my friend, but an addiction – as much as I LOVE it, I now try to avoid it. I really love to snack on blueberries and grapes…
5. My parents were my inspiration growing up. Who inspired you the most in your life? Why?
My mother was a great inspiration to me. She could make-do with nothing. She was kind and pleasant to be around. She was hard working and loved her family fiercely. She instilled a love of reading in me from reading to us regularly out of the back of an old set of Encyclopedia Britannica ~ Hans Christian Anderson, as well as the Bible.
6. I have traveled a lot in my lifetime. My favorite place to live was Colorado where there were four seasons and the beautiful mountains. Have you traveled and if so, what was your favorite place and why?
Though I currently live in the lovely state of Arizona, USA, my heart and soul are in my birthplace of Maine. I’ve lived all over the USA and have loved each state ~ AZ, OH, PA, UT, CA, NH, and ME. I traveled to Romania when in high school. Our band/chorus was chosen by Leonard Bernstein to be “ambassadors for friendship”, and we toured the beautiful country of Romania, which is really neat, as my 19 yr. old son is serving a mission there right now!
7. I am going to borrow a form of question from someone else. Have you ever used a family member as a character in one of your books?
Oh yes! I have used family and friend’s names in my books many times, but never their personalities, because that can actually limit you in character development. Usually, the only thing I use is their names.
8. What have been the inspiration for the title of your novels? A person, place or thing?
I’ve written whole novels just from the title, although I’ve already had characters created. No Angel is about a guardian angel with an attitude – that’s why I gave it the title No Angel, because he did not want to be a guardian angel. I was thrilled when my editor chose to keep that title, because that doesn’t usually happen. The inspiration for writing No Angel came from wanting to write a fun story that had the workings of the spirit world as a backdrop. Though No Angel is fiction, there’s a lot in it that I imagine to be true.
9. What great thing would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
I would love to be involved in government, but in order to do so, I’d have to have a complete, unbiased understanding of how government works and how to best serve my country. So, if this was a “wish” thing ~ if I could truly attempt something with the guarantee of success ~ then, I would love to be a successful politician who could protect the rights and liberties of its citizens.
10. Are you a pushover for everyone who wants you to do stuff for them? Why?
I wouldn’t want to be known as a “pushover”, because that has a negative connotation of someone who is weak. I am not weak and the things that I am able to do to help others come from my heart and a sincere desire to help others.
11. How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
My childhood experiences have developed me into the person that I am. My love for fantasy came from my mother reading to me. My fascination with Dr. Seuss books helped to develop the ability to look at things from wildly different perspectives. My passion for science kept me searching for the “why and how” of things and a drive to believe that a greater intellect existed than that of man. My belief in angels came from incredible religious experiences as a child ~ so, I’d have to say that without doubt, my childhood experiences weigh heavily on my writing.
2/28/2012 These questions come from Melissa Sugar-Gold:
1. Name one thing you consider your biggest regret in your life so far.
I guess if I had to pick one, I’d still marry my husband exactly when I did, but I’d insist that we live in my home state instead of his. My mother passed away a little over a year after we married and we lived out-of-state. My father has since then passed away too.
2. If you could go back in time and do things differently, what is something you would change?
Oh, that’s easy—I would have continued to get my degree earlier than I did and substitute taught in my children’s schools while they were growing up. I waited until my youngest was in first grade before I taught school.
3. If you could travel to another time period, but you must agree to remain there for a full six months would you go? If yes what time period & where would you time-travel to the future or past?
Oh yes! I would definitely do that! I would time travel to when my mother was a teenager and hang with her just to get to know her.
4. Would you rather be on the best seller list once (only once) or win the single ticket mega multi-state lotto?
I’d actually opt out of both, but if I had to choose between the two, I’d choose the bestseller list only once, even though I’d be sad to be just a one-hit wonder, I’d rather have earned it through my efforts than won it in a lottery.
5. When you write in the privacy of your own home, what do you wear?
I wear just regular clothing—jeans t-shirt, sometimes my jammies.
6. What was the happiest day or time of your life?
The happiest day of my life was the spiritual moment when I realized who I was, where I came from, and where I am going—no kidding, I spent most of my youth searching for that answer.
7. Would you rather have loved deeply and been hurt deeply or have never felt true love before or the hurt that can go with it?
Interesting question—I have true love right now, and he’s never hurt me, nor will he. If his love held deep hurt from wrong doing, I’d choose never to experience it, but if the deep hurt were of a different kind, say the kind that would come from watching him suffer from illness or even premature death—I’d so take his love and the hurt too, and I’d continue to have hope for a future together past this life.
8. If you current novel is made into a Major Motion Film; who would play your protagonist?
My current novel is called No Angel and it’s about an angel with an attitude. I patterned the main character after Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory so I’d have to say the actor that plays him—Jim Parsons.
My current WIP is a wizard/fairy fantasy and the protagonist is a 15 yr. old boy, so any unknown, really cute actor would be perfect.
9. If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
That’s too funny! I would definitely want someone who closely matched my personality, more than my looks—and someone completely unknown.
10. Name one thing about you that you seldom share with others ~ or something that we in the blogosphere do not know about you.
Hmmm, let me think back in time—how about this—I don’t think that even my bff knows this! I had lots of friends in high school, but my best friends eventually became two boys my age—David and Bruce. We hung out all the time. They were a blast to be with because they were so smart and actually got my jokes!
11. You are a character and are being interviewed: What is your greatest strength? Worst flaw?
As a character my greatest strength is loyalty—no matter what my friend or family member had done, I’d stick by them. My worst flaw would be that it’d take me a while to remember my greatest strength—I’d struggle to “act” what I “believe,” but eventually, I’d be on it.
2/21/2012 Interview from author, Betsy Love:
1. What is your first memory of writing or reading?
My mother read to all of us out of the back of an old set of Britannica Encyclopedias ~ I remember being quite young on her knee while she read from Hans Christian Anderson ~ probably why I love fantasy!
2. If you could be a character in a book, which one and why?
Oh, so many to choose from! – I really like Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings ~ so much power and yet, she chooses the better way instead of ruling the world.
3. An unexpected package has just arrived for you. What do you hope is inside?
Something magical ~ like a do-it-yourself portal kit, either that, or a box of fresh apples shipped from Maine during apple season.
4. Which would you rather lose your hearing or your vision? Why?
I’ve already lost a lot of my hearing, probably from playing in a band years ago and its not so bad, in fact, now if my son decides to make a racket in the kitchen cooking something at midnight, it doesn’t bother me (well, except for the mess in the morning.)
5. If you could travel to anywhere in the world where would you go? What would you do?
I’d visit the land(s) of my ancestors ~ direct links to Ireland, Scotland and England. I’d track down where my family lived and see if I can find living relations then I’d sample the local cuisine and visit the historical landmarks and castles. That’s what I’d do the first few days, after that, I’d relax in a hammock in an old oak tree and use the rich scenery surrounding me as inspiration for writing.
6. If you could be a bug, which one would you choose?
Ick. Not much of a bug person ~ I guess if I had to be a bug, I’d be a bee – a queen bee or a cute ladybug.
7. When you’re in your writing “zone” do you like to snack? If so what’s your favorite?
I really like eating grapes – no guilt, good for you ~ but right now? I’m staring at a huge Reese’s peanut-butter bar (YES! It comes in a bar now!)
8. Where is your favorite place to write?
I prefer to be outside surrounded by trees and flowers, but alas ~ I have to settle for my mostly quiet bedroom.
9. What is one thing you would change about yesterday.
I’d never have left my family in Maine, USA after I graduated … I would’ve stayed right there and become a part of that community. I guess after you reach the age of adulthood, you want to get out on your own, right? I moved clear across the nation and attended college. Okay, so maybe I have a few regrets from that, but given the incredible experiences I’ve had in the many places that I have lived – I guess I wouldn’t want to give those up either.
10. You’ve been given a million dollars. What is the first thing you would do with it? (You can’t put it in the bank.)
Well okay, I was thinking, “I’d pay my debts” and while that is VERY true, I doubt it’d be the first thing that I’d do. I think the first thing that I’d do would be to visit my grandson in Florida and take my other three grandchildren with me so they could meet him too. Then I’d buy a small condominium there so that we could have a place to stay and visit him frequently.
11. If you were give three wishes what you wish for? (No wishing for more wishes. One other warning, be careful what you wish for. It didn’t turn out so well for the fisherman’s wife.)
Real true wishes? ~sigh~ I’d wish for complete knowledge ~ to understand everything that exists down to the minutest detail. I’d wish for complete wisdom ~ to know the spiritual aspects associated with that knowledge. And I’d wish for the ability to speak and understand all languages ~ what a great thing that would be to freely speak with anyone and understand them in their own tongue.