I am very please to have as my guest, author Bethany Averie. She is the reason I am here with you as ‘the Friday Fox’. I met Bethany online when I read an interview she did with one of my favorite authors and was immediately taken with her charm. Some time later I had excerpt booklets from another author to distribute and I offered them to Bethany’s followers . Jeff-the-Hound was among the winners and when I sent his copy to him, I asked him how we two transplants to Kentucky ended up on a site full of Texans! When we found we had some things in common, he invited me to visit here at 4F,1H.I made enough of a pest of myself that when Fox Lynn got a book contract and became too busy to continue, I guess Our foundress,Jillian Chantel,(who will be sorely missed), figured she may as well put me to work, since I was here all the time anyway! So, blame me on Bethany; (but she really is a nice girl. Thanks, Bethany!)
For those of you who are not fortunate enough to know Bethany well, let’s have her answer a few questions for us. I will probably learn a bit along with you.
So, Bethany, Welcome! Thank you for coming here to visit today.
Thank you so much for having me, Tonette. It’s truly an honor and a privilege.
I’m so glad that you agreed to come. You said that you always loved fairy tales and I know you have a love of books, but you didn’t spend all of your childhood with your nose in them and in a dream world. Did you write as a child or think that one day you’d like to create your own worlds?
As a little girl, I had imaginary friends, so I guess in a sense, I was dreaming up worlds a good portion of the time. I made up little songs for myself—one my Dad actually picked out the tune on his guitar (I think I was half-flattered/half-embarrassed when he played it). As I got older I got into poetry and lyrics. I wrote some short stories. I can’t remember a time in my childhood that I wasn’t making believe something—whether it was playing with friends, or just thinking about things. In high school, I got more into the idea of writing books. Sophomore year, I had a teacher take a look at a retelling of Beauty & The Beast I wrote. She had a lot of nice things to say about my creativity, imagination, and ideas. However, the red all over my hard wrought pages intimidated me (I don’t have that story available anymore, and it’s probably just as well. I prefer to come up with my own ideas). Junior or Senior year, I had a poem published in my school’s literary magazine based off an interview I did with folk-rock group, Lowen & Navarro. Dan Navarro’s words about writing something new really hit me. He said, “…the agony of the blank page…” and it stuck with me. I continued writing poetry and lyrics, and played around with ideas, but I never thought I’d make it in the publishing world. I didn’t have the guts to send in anything, and truly, I didn’t have anything to send. Junior year, my English teacher kept encouraging me to follow the writing path, and to go for publishing. She knew how much I loved to write, how much I loved to read. She kept telling me to go for it. I told her I wasn’t good enough. (I’m still good friends with this teacher, and my debut novel is dedicated to her). Early 20’s saw me taking a creative writing correspondence course through The Writers’ Digest School, and I learned a lot from that experience.
In my mid-twenties, I got married to my real-life hero. My younger brother—a fantastic musician and composer—put a duet I wrote to music and it was one of the preludes at my wedding ceremony, sung by one of my brothers-in-law and the parish’s soprano. (Unfortunately, I don’t have the song recorded).
During my late 20’s, my writing finally found its niche and focus with Romance, paranormal elements, fairy-tale/fantasy elements, and I took off writing. Eventually All’s Fair In Love & Lion took shape, and several drafts later, here I am awaiting my authorial debut with AFIL&L in July of this year (No longer in my 20’s, but loving life! I have an awesome family, great friends, fantastic mentors, and a release, I’m truly blessed).
I’m continuing writing, of course. I’ve got a companion to AFIL&L in the works—another in the planning stages, and I’m revising/editing my YA Paranormal, and plotting book 2 of the YA Paranormal.
I stand corrected!
You are a romance writer. Do you write in any other genre,(like pure mystery),or form ?
I don’t write a lot of poetry anymore. The last poem/lyrics I wrote was soon after my best friend, Sarah’s death. She died on February 20th of this year. I miss her deeply. She was always such a big fan of mine. She heard some of my work (not so much AFIL&L, but some of my other novels). She loved what I read her of my YA Paranormal, but, unfortunately, she died before I could finish reading it to her. I do plan to dedicate one of my books to her, but I won’t say which one just yet—it’s a surprise. (No, it’s not the YA—that one is dedicated to my critique partner, but that’s a different story).
The YA Paranormal is being revised, and I’m getting it ready to send out, but yeah, even that has romance in it. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. I love the whole knight-in-shining armor, Cinderella trying on the shoe thing. I guess it’s in my blood. My Dad is an incredibly thoughtful man and I’ve watched how he treats my Mom like a princess. So I don’t see myself getting away from Romance any time soon. But who knows what the future holds, right?
Right! We have a few poets around,(Jeff included), but not so many fellow lyricists! I never anticipated most things that have happened in my life.
You belong to Romance Writers of America and your local chapter. What do you find helpful about the organization? Do you regularly attend meetings?
I belong to the Northwest Houston RWA (NWHRWA). And yes, I do attend regular meetings (I’ve missed a few, but it’s very rare).
As to what I learn/get out of it? Shoot, where do I begin?
NWHRWA has some of the kindest, nicest, most talented people I know. They took me under their wings, encouraged me, made suggestions, supported me, laughed with me, commiserated with me…cracked the whip when I got lazy. I adore them. Tess St. John is my critique partner, as well as chapter mate—and she is so talented, so sweet, and such an amazing critique partner. I owe so much to her. She is my writing guardian angel and even when her crits are hard to take, she doesn’t lead me wrong. She knows my writing style very well, and she makes sure I don’t fall off the deep end.
Our meetings are designed in such a way that we have our regular business meetings in the beginning, a break, and then a workshop. We had a marketing lady come in and she was fantastic. She knew a lot about how to utilize Goodreads—things I needed to know (and need to get back to implementing on my Goodreads page!)
I guess my roundabout as to what I find helpful in the NWHRWA is that I get the sense of camaraderie, and a chance to really learn how to be in this business. I listen, I internalize, and I figure out what works for me. There’s a lot of different personalities, so we do our best to have something for everyone. It’s a warm, welcoming group of people and I can’t imagine being in this business without them. They understand what a writer is going through—whether you’re a newbie, or a seasoned pro—there’s so much the NWHRWA offers.
And, oh yes! I can’t talk about the NWHRWA without shamelessly plugging our upcoming annual conference, The Lone Star Conference—happening on Saturday, October 5, 2013. Donald Maass is our keynote speaker! (www.nwhrwa.com for more info). This conference is incredible. I think this year marks the 5th year for me to attend the Lone Star Writers’ Conference. When my parents as me what I want for my birthday, I always tell them “The conference.” (This year it’s 10 days before my b-day!)
Wonderful; I really need a writing partner and I underutilize Goodreads, for sure. Do you find yourself getting sudden inspirations? Do you always act on inspirations?
*Laughs* If I acted upon every inspiration I had, half of my characters would jump off a cliff and die. Oh wait, that’s not inspiration, that’s exasperation! (Exasperation happens when a story is not behaving itself and you feel like banging your head against a brick wall—not that I’ve literally done that, I mean it figuratively, of course).
Actually, no. I don’t act on every piece of inspiration I get. I like to sit around and contemplate it. Let it simmer and see if it renders anything. If I go completely pantser on a story, I don’t know where I’m going and write myself into a corner. I’m one of those half-in-half type authors. I like to have some idea of what I’m going to write, but also don’t like to have every single scene totally mapped out. Some of my best ideas came when I was just writing along and got hit by the proverbial lightning strike.
Have you ever based characters on people you know? (We only need a yes or know; we don’t want you to give away any secrets and we don’t want to embarrass anyone!)
Looks-wise, completely, and utterly, and honestly, I-kid-you-not, UNINTENTIONALLY. (And yes, the people in question are aware that I did, and it embarrasses ME more than it does them—they were flattered LOL).
Personality-wise, I give it my best shot to come up with my own ideas, but if a friend sees a trait that sounds something like him or her, it’s NOT one bit on purpose. I don’t consciously model any of my characters after anyone (although some of them have traces of my personality. I’d love to meet an author who can create all their characters without ANY of their personality in them).
Will you tell us what inspired the story of “All’s Fair in Love and Lion”?
There’s so many things I could say that inspired it. I guess down deep, the biggest thing was I just love romance. I love the whole guy do anything for a girl, and girl getting dreamy-eyed over it. (When my husband does or says something awesome, I become a total mush. What person doesn’t enjoy that feeling?)
I also like the idea of self-LESS love—giving everything of oneself to another, too. So I guess that’s the other part.
[Se the book trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihLyYoe8bhM]
Blurb for All’s Fair In Love & Lion by Bethany Averie:
High school Junior year English teacher, Sasha Brighton has always dreamt of having her own prince charming. But she doesn’t believe it’s possible. After all, fairy-tales are just stories, not reality.
However, when Monroe Dubay steps out of her dreams and into her apartment, she’s forced to rethink the whole concept of what’s real and what’s fairy-tale. But believing means she’ll have to choose between everything she knows, or give it all up for the unknown.
Meanwhile, another female from his world doesn’t think Sasha should have Monroe; and she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to stop Sasha and Monroe from having their happily-ever-after. No matter what.
Thank you, again, Bethany for joining us today. I hope our friends will take a peek, make a comment or ask a question here, below.
Bethany Averie Author bio:
Bethany Averie is the second-to-the-youngest of eight children. As a kid, she loved fairy tales, especially Cinderella and Beauty & The Beast. Bethany still loves fairy tales, Greek & Roman Mythology, and romance. She resides in the Lone Star State with her real life hero, and a shadow who calls her ‘Mom’. When not writing, Bethany enjoys time with family and friends and dreaming up new worlds. You can reach Bethany at http://writebybethany.blogspot.com/ where she blogs about books, writing, and whatever strikes her fancy. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.