Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘#sutterslanding’

Author Interview – BETTY THOMASON OWENS

slide 1 

 

WRITING PROMPTS & THOUGHTS & IDEAS (oh my)

INTERVIEW BLITZ

Betty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s also a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. Annabelle’s Ruth (June, 2015), a 1950’s historical novel based on the Book of Ruth, is the first book in the Kinsman Redeemer Series (Write Integrity Press). Her 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series, released October, 2014 (Write Integrity Press). She also writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor, and Unlikely Merger. She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale Books™, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell Press™.

 

So glad you’re here, Betty!

 

 slide 2

 

My advice to all those interested in writing: join a *critique group or writers’ organization such as American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Word Weavers International, or Romance Writers of America (RWA). Whatever you write, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, historical, romance, fantasy, or devotional, there’s an organization or group out there for you.

slide 3

Critique also means criticism. Most of us don’t really want to have our work criticized. Hopefully, you will find a fellow writer or group of writers who will engage in gentle criticism of your work, be more concerned about helping you along your writing journey.”

 

rem: Welcome to my blog, Betty, so glad to have you here. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

Betty: Daddy was a nomad, so we moved a lot. San Diego and West Tennessee were his favorite spots, so we moved back and forth for a while. He finally found his niche in the insurance business and they sent him to Knoxville, Tennessee, then Louisville, Kentucky. I put down roots in Louisville.

rem: My mother had gypsy blood, too, and we moved every year for several years. Oy! Tell us three things about yourself.

Betty: I’m a major klutz. I can trip over invisible things. (rem: a special talent)

I was once “mama” to two Charolais calves. They followed me around like puppies. Imagine two full-grown cows that loved to play chicken with their “mama.” A thousand pounds running at you, full-speed, to stop just inches in front of you. Chilling. I’ve always been a storyteller. Mom called them “lies.” I didn’t make up the cow story, though.

rem: Well, now, that’s different, calves following you around! If you could have any super power what would it be?

Betty: I’d like to be able to run really, really fast—like The Flash. Actually, I’d like to be able to run.

rem: I hear ya—and I plan to after my surgeries! Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

Betty: I’m a coffee drinker and a coffee snob. I like the cool beans, cream—no sugar, please.

rem: I’m particular about my coffee too, cinnamon hazelnut, no cream or sugar. Vacation: beach or mountains?

Betty: I love both, but we usually end up lazing our days on the beach.

rem: With the water lapping at your toes, of course. What is your greatest regret?

Betty: I didn’t have big hair in the eighties. Honestly, I try not to do regrets, but there really is one and it’s big, at least to me. I wish I’d kissed my dad goodbye the last time I saw him.

 

rem: cute. Sorry about you dad, I know that must have been hard. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?

Betty: I love happy endings, but sappiness gives me indigestion.

rem: Yeah, I don’t do sappy either. ick ick Your fiction pet peeve?

Betty: A cliffhanger! Hate! Hate!

rem: Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

Betty: There is a tie between Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. I love them both and have read them a ridiculous number of times.

rem: Both excellent choices. And both favorites of mine. Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Betty: Edmond Dantes in The Count of Monte Cristo. He lived an amazing life—actually several—and gave up everything for love.

rem: Another favorite of mine. Which is more important: plot or characters?

Betty: I love character-driven stories and I tend to write that way.

 

rem: Tell us a little about your writing journey.

Betty: I started writing as a release. I was a stay-at-home-mom with three boys. Yeah, release! Several years later, I’d finished my first novel, a 1920’s coming-of-age story, and stuck it out there on the ACFW critique loop, where I met Fay Lamb. She believed in my writing and later encouraged me to send the manuscript to Tracy Ruckman at Write Integrity Press. Meanwhile, my husband told me this was my year to be published. The year drew to an end and it hadn’t happened. Tracy called me on New Year’s Eve and offered me a contract.

rem: Oh! How I do love those “serendipity” moments! What a great way to ring in the New Year! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

Betty: I’m retired and my day starts early. I have quiet time, then get a little marketing and socializing done, then open my manuscript and work until it’s time to make breakfast for my husband (he works second shift). Where do I write? I prefer to use a laptop wherever I can get the best view of the sunrise. I move around during the day, usually ending up in the family room. When I’m really into writing, I’m oblivious to most distractions. Except bright sunshine. Tends to lure me away from the computer screen to the outdoors.

rem: I’m with ya on the outdoors! But when I’m writing, I stay put. What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?

Betty: I get stuck sometimes. Maybe I can’t think of the right word, or maybe the plot’s not working out. I go for a walk, or if the weather’s bad, I clean. Physical activity seems to “un-stick” my mind!

rem: Again with the outdoors. Sometimes I just sits on the front porch and watch the clouds and the trees! Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?

Betty: Definitely creating, because I love the freedom of storytelling—writing with abandon until I’ve formed a scene or a chapter I like. I also enjoy the editing process when it’s mine. When someone else has done the editing, it’s hard, because I know they’re wrong. After a while, though, I realize they’re probably right and I go fix the problem.

rem: Ohhhh, it’s hard putting our literary babies in somebody else’s hands only to have them slice-n-dice it up. What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Betty: Besides the aforementioned elation of writing with abandon—getting a good review, or a positive feedback from a reader.

rem: Well, yeah. What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

Betty: My first experience with publishing was the old-fashioned self-publishing route of paying a company to make it happen. It was not a good experience, but I loved the stories and continued to work with them. Once the contract was up on the original company, I updated them and re-released them with a small publisher who made them look wonderful. Getting the attention of an agent or publisher is difficult with all the competition out there. It took a while and a lot of querying to get the 1920’s book, Amelia’s Legacy, in print. This was also the easiest thing, once I had signed the contract. I didn’t have the entire weight of the editing process on me. Having a professional work on the book took a lot of pressure off.

rem: What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?

Betty: Top 3 – Work hard. Pray hard. Research well.

Don’t do these – Don’t give up. Don’t think you can edit your own work. Don’t sign until you’ve read the contract and researched the company/publisher/editor well.

rem: Excellent nugget about researching a company/publisher! Also, standard but excellent reminder to (actually) read the contract before you sign. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

Betty: The greatest come from my memories, growing up. I’ve met a lot of people along the way—a lot of truly quirky characters—who add depth to the stories. Sometimes ideas just “drop in.” Love those.

rem: Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

Betty: Annabelle’s Ruth, my latest release, is my favorite. The biblical story of Ruth has always fascinated me. I took the ideas from that book and combined them with the stories I’d heard of my mother’s early life so the setting is 1950’s rural West Tennessee. The personal connection is what makes it special to me. Also, many of the characters in the book actually existed, though I changed their names and adjusted them a little—kind of like caricatures.

rem: Which to me, makes the best reading. Which character in the story is most like/least like you?

Betty: I’m probably in both the main characters. Annabelle (the Naomi character in the book) is actually modeled after my paternal grandmother, and I’m a lot like her. The Jensen character is the least like me, but he was the most fun to write. He’s just mean and greedy!

rem: Those nasty folk really are fun to write, aren’t they? Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

Betty: I recently wrapped up the second book in the Legacy series. The title is Carlotta’s Legacy. Last I heard, it was in the hands of the editor. And I just started writing the second book in the Kinsman Redeemer series (following Annabelle’s Ruth). The working title is Sutter’s Landing, and it will take up where I left off in Annabelle’s Ruth. More adventures in the lives of my main characters.

rem: What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

Betty: All of my books so far have a running theme of forgiveness, which is very important to me. Annabelle’s Ruth emphasizes God’s grace and redemption. Even in seasons of great loss and difficulty, God’s light shines through.

rem: Oh, Betty, that’s so true! Thanks for joining us today, it’s been a pleasure having on my blog!

 

slide 4

 

You can find Betty at the following locations:

Facebook Author Page

Twitter

Pinterest

She also contribute to: Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My!

 

slide 5

 

#bettythomasonowens, #writingpromptscrew, #authorinterview, #kinsmanredeemer, #annabellesruth, #carlottaslegacy, #sutterslanding

Read Full Post »

Angela K Couch

making history and fiction fall in love

R.M. Almeida

A Writer's Lament

Wholehearted Women

Come and let Jesus awaken the warrior within you!

Code Crispy Blog

Immerse~ Enlighten~ Inspire

Kayla Lowe

Christian romance author/Editor/Freelance writer

bookblogarama

a blog for books

The Tales of Missus P.

little adventures of me

lynnjsimpson.wordpress.com/

just a gal doing life, a step at a time, with hope, love and faith

Zoe M. McCarthy

Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites

Cover To Cover Cafe

Escaping Between The Covers Of A Great Read

Author Kari Trumbo

Swoony heroes and heartfelt romance

It's a Buzz World

The Crazy Story of our Life

Fiction Aficionado

The power of fiction, the beauty of words, and the God who made us to wield them for His glory.

Inspired by Life ... and Fiction

Novelists bound by the pen, sisterhood, & more

Simplified

Keeping Things Simple with Jesus

Wisdom for Living

Practical Wisdom Nuggets

FNM

Book Reviews and More

Veda's Vintage Views

…ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls… Jeremiah 6:16 NKJV