Today's guest for Saturday Stories is Betsy Love, published author extraordinaire.
Q—Would you please tell us about yourself?
Besides my passion for writing stories, I love to cook and clean. Oh, did I tell you I lie for a living. My characters love to cook and clean…oh, wait. No they don’t like that either. I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, but spent most of my life in Mesa, AZ. I have 8 children, 14 grandchildren, two horribly behaved dogs, one obnoxious cat who thinks she’s too good to join us in the house. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in English and Secondary Education. I’ve taught English and Theater for the past 13 years. I am currently unemployed and couldn’t be happier about it. It means I get to spend most of my days sitting in front of my computer and either writing, editing, or blogging. I’m hopelessly addicted to my computer.
Q—Tell us about your book Identity and any other books you’re working on.
Identity is my first published book. When I was about ten or eleven years old my mother began reading a novel to me about a princess and her handmaid who were on a small airplane. The plane crashed. The girl who survived and had amnesia was so badly disfigured they couldn’t tell who it was. (That was before DNA testing). My mother never finished reading the book. I’ve searched for it and have never been able to find it. I was telling my daughter about it and she suggested I just write my own ending, and that’s how this book came about. It only took me about 4 months to write, and another 5 years to get it published. I sent it out multiple times, and was rejected almost as many times. Linda Mullineaux at Walnut Springs Press loved it!
The premise for Identity is that two women are on vacation in Mexico. Amelia is there with her fiancé, and Savannah is there with her best friend. Neither of these two women knows each other, but they look very much alike. When their traveling companions start crossing paths with the look-alikes it leads to intrigue and deceit where identity means everything.
I have another book coming out the early part of 2012 called Soulfire, which is the story of one young woman’s struggle to remain faithful in spite of the wickedness around her.
Q—How has your job as an English teacher affected your writing?
I love teaching writing to my students. They say the teacher always learns more than the student. For me this is true! I learned so much about the English language and structure through teaching. So many times ideas have sprung after class discussions. They’ve also been great for feedback. Teens have a way of being brutally honest.
Q—Which do you prefer: tator tots or french fries?
Actually, I prefer a good baked potato with chili and cheese, chopped green onions and a dab of sour cream on top. But if I had to pick one, it would be French fries. I hardly ever eat them.
Q—If you had to choose one writer to script the next year of your life, who would it be and why?
Living or dead? Dead—Victor Hugo. He really understands the human emotion. Living—Janette Rallison. She just knows how to tell a story to make you laugh. If I could have one tenth of her humor, I’d be writing some pretty funny stuff!
Q—As a published author, share one gem of enlightenment you have gleaned along the way.
Writing is hard. Publishing is harder! And editing—the hardest of all.
Q—What is the strangest thing to ever inspire a story idea for you?
My dreams. Sometimes I wake up and think, “Wow, that was really weird.” And as the day goes on, I can think of a way to either write a story around it, or incorporate into what I’m doing. The other thing I do, and it’s probably not odd, but I talk to myself in the mirror as if I am one of my characters. Sometimes my characters tell me some pretty bizarre things.
Q—Which animal in the animal kingdom best exemplifies who you are and why?
Wow, after a lot of thought, okay maybe a couple of minutes, I’d have to say a dog. A really loyal, attention seeking mutt. While I’m loyal to my friends and family, I’m also in the middle of the attention. I’m the dog that runs to the door when the bell rings. The one that barks and growls from time to time when I’m tired or grumpy. I am very much a people person. I love to be around people—except when I’m in writing mode…then leave me alone.
Q— How do you squeeze in time to write each day?
When I was working I had to really force myself to sit down and write. My goal was 300 words per day. That’s just one page. Often, I’d find that at the end of the page, I just had to keep going, because I’d get on a roll. When my kids were little I’d have to stay up late at night after they went to bed, which of course, made for a grumpy mommy in the morning. But they survived—I think.
Now I find that I have to minimize distractions. I have a laptop that I do all my writing on. When I sit at my laptop, I know that this is my writing time and I deliberately stay off Facebook, and resist checking email. Most days I can write close to 3000 words. Editing is a much slower process and if I can manage to edit 10 pages per day, I call that a pretty good day. Once in a while I get up to 20 pages edited. That grounds for celebration! Where’s the chocolate?
Q—Was there one book that ignited your love of reading? If so, what was it? If not, what did spark your interest?
The book that stands out the most is Paddington the Bear. I loved those stories as a kid. I used to read by the light from the hallway after my mother had sent me to bed. I place the book on the floor so that the beam would land right on my pages and then hang off the mattress in order to read. My mother caught me about 3 pages from finishing the book. She took my book and grounded me from reading for a whole week. I call that cruel and unusual punishment. I still read late at night…and often my husband will wake up in the middle of the night and ask me to please turn off the light.
Q—If you could be a superhero(ine), what would your name be and what super power(s) would you possess?
In spite of my love for words, I am a very slow reader. If I could be a superhero, I’d be Madam Reads-a-lot. My super power would be to devour books in a single sitting!
Q—What’s one thing you wish you had known when you first started writing?
I wish I would have known that I should NOT feel guilty for the time I spend writing. My gift for words is a gift from God and He wants me to use them to bless the lives of others. Now, I suffer no guilt from a messy house IF I’ve spent that time using my gift.
I want to thank Betsy for the interview. It was really fun getting to know her better. I always love hearing how people reach their writing dreams because it makes me feel like I can too.
If you'd like to learn more about Betsy you can find her here: