WG: Welcome Beth. Thanks for stepping into my spotlight this month. To start off, please tell us about yourself.
BC: I’ve lived all over the country- Maryland, Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee- but most of my life I’ve lived in either Georgia or Louisiana. I got my degree in public relations from the University of Georgia and worked in PR for a little while before I moved with my husband to Louisiana. Once here for a few months I decided to pursue my love of writing fiction. I have one preteen son and two cats. I love reading and traveling to see new places.
WG: Let’s talk about your own personal road to publication:
Is there some individual, group or event that you can point to as the catalyst/impetus that set you on the road to becoming a writer? Explain.
BC: I owe much of my romance writing training to my local RWA chapter, the NOLA STARs. Once I got involved with them, I began attending conferences and found critique partners with whom I honed my writing.
WG: Tell us about your journey.
BC: I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid I had the desire to be published for many years before anything I wrote was anywhere near publishable. After I learned the craft through RWA and the NOLA STARS, I began entering contests to fine tune my writing. Once I finalled in a few contest I was encouraged to take my writing seriously and I really buckled down and pursued publication. It took several months to land an agent and many more months (3 years) after finding an agent to get my first print publishing contract. So you could say I’ve been on the road to publication for most of my life with serious pursuit for around five years before I sold.
WG: How many books did you complete before you sold your first? Have all/any of them sold since?
BC: I finished about ten books before I sold and my June release, IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY, was a previous manuscript that I reworked and sold.
WG: What changed most about your life as a direct result of joining the ranks of published authors?
BC: I found out how much work there is to being a writer besides just writing books! There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes with editing, promotion, travel (optional), production work for the publisher (art facts sheets and the like), website maintenance… the list goes on and on!
WG: What about your writing process:
Do you maintain a set schedule? Is there such a thing as a typical day for you?
BC: I do most of my writing in the morning before lunchtime. I’ll generally re-read what I’ve done the day before to get me back into the flow of things, but if I get stuck, I’ve been known to write scenes out of order.
WG: Do you have a ‘mood setter’, something (music, ritual, environment, etc) you use to get you going when you sit down to write?
BC: Music works well for me to set a mood and keep me going, especially for tense action scenes or other highly emotional moments.
WG: Do you do a lot of up front plotting before you start or do you just dive in?
BC: I generally have a pretty good idea of where my story is going, but I don’t always have every scene plotted out. Sometimes ideas come that surprise me and I work them in if they fit the story. Sometimes I have to scrap ideas I’ve had since the story inception because the plot moved in a different direction I hadn’t expected. Having an outline or framework, though, helps me keep moving forward.
WG: Has anything about the way you work changed since you became a published author?
BC: I’m having to plot out more in advance to sell the story ideas to my editor. So yes, I’m plotting in advance more.
WG: And on a more general note:
Do you have a favorite genre/sub-genre as a writer? as a reader?
BC: Romantic suspense is my favorite as a reader and as a writer.
WG: Is there a genre you haven't been published in yet that you'd like to try your hand at someday?
BC: I’d love to write inspirational romance. My faith is important to me and I’d love to share it with others through my writing.
WG: Do you have any advice to offer writers still striving toward publication?
BC: Never, never, never give up! J
WG: Great advice!
I love to collect quotes, all kinds of quotes - inspirational, quirky, motivational, profound, etc. Do you have a personal favorite you'd like to share?
BC: Well, other than the Winston Churchill quote I just used J…I have this quote on my website.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams; live the life you've imagined.
-Henry David Thoreau
WG: Tell us about plans for future books.
BC: My next two upcoming books are IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY coming June 2006 from Silhouette Intimate Moments and CHASING A DREAM from Five Star Expressions in September 2006. IN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY won the Golden Heart back in 2001 as an unpublished manuscript and just received a 4 ½ star Top Pick rating from Romantic Times Magazine! It is a sentimental favorite of mine and I’m thrilled to be sharing the story with readers. In a nutshell, IPC is about a man who promises his sister to protect her newborn son from the criminal family of her dead husband. He’s really got his hands full with learning to care for a newborn, but he receives help-and finds love- from a most unexpected source.
CHASING A DREAM tackles the tough subject of domestic violence. The heroine is escaping an abusive relationship after she learns her “husband” is responsible for several murders as well. It’s an on-the-run, woman-in-jeopardy story, which I love! CHASING A DREAM will be available in hard back.
WG: And before we close, tell us how your fans can get in touch with you.
BC: Contact me though my website: www.bethcornelison.com