- Does writing energize or exhaust you?
While I am writing I feel energized but it often leaves me exhausted afterwards. I get excited about an idea and can’t wait to see where it goes but almost feel deflated when I get it on paper.
2. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No, I want to be known for what I write and not have people guessing.
3. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have many writer friends in the Writers Foundation who work to help writers improve their work. They encourage, make suggestions on changes one might make and help promote work.
4. Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I work in many different genres, so each of my books stands alone at this point. I want to keep it that way for the foreseeable future.
5. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Membership in the Writers Foundation
6. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I think the dragonfly would be my mascot. It represents so many things. It is like a fairy spirit.
7. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Right now only one.
8. What does literary success look like to you?
I feel if even a few people enjoy what I have written I am a success. If I make a small influence on someone’s thinking I have achieved something.
9. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It depends on the book. If I want the book to be so fictional it could happen anywhere and there aren’t facts that are in question then I spend very little time. One of the next books I will work on requires a lot of research in order to make it real. I want to make sure the reader will feel sure the events could really happen. I also don’t want to be using a cliched format.
10. How many hours a day/week do you write?
I try to write something every day but it doesn’t always work out. Having a deadline helps push me. It is difficult when I am ghostwriting if I am waiting for information. Then things can get behind.
11. How do you select the names of your characters?
I have a hard time with the names. I start with what pops into my head but sometimes I have to change them if they don’t fit the time period or if I find I have chosen names that seem too similar such as same first letters. I became conscious of that in one book I read where the two male characters had names starting with the same first two letters and it became confusing.
12. Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write in more than one how do you balance them?
With my first book, the genre was chosen by my professor as it began with a class assignment. My second book followed that genre. I decided I wanted to try mystery as I enjoy reading murder mysteries but at the same time I felt a need for a young children’s book so I ended up working on the two simultaneously.
13. How long have you been writing?
Although my first book started about twenty years ago, I feel I have actually seriously been writing for about six years.
14. What inspires you?
I can’t say any one thing inspires me. Sometimes it is a story I have read. Other times it is some event I have been at. It could be a conversation with someone or something I saw while on a trip.
15. How do you find or make time to write?
To begin with it was difficult for me. Now I have an office where all the things I need are well-arranged so I can go in and shut the door if I have to. Then the worst thing is telephone interruptions.
16. What projects are you working on at the present time?
A science fiction novel and a ghost writing project.
I have two books I am ghostwriting. The next project is going to be an outer space science fiction story which I have begun the research on and have an outline in mind.
17. What do your plans for future projects include?
Once I do the sci-fi book I want to work on some more children’s stories. I may consider a sequel to the sci-fi depending on how it goes.
18. Share a link to your author website.
Beth was born in Denmark and moved to Canada when she was two. Raised in Red Deer, she completed her schooling at Lindsay Thurber Composite High. She received her Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Alberta in 1971. Her teaching career took her north to the Peace River country where she met her husband-to-be. Moving to High Prairie, they raised two daughters. Finally settling in Sherwood Park, she was a substitute teacher for many years. During this time she began to write. Beth is a director on the board for the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County (WFSC) and currently produces the group’s monthly newsletter. Beth has five grandchildren and enjoys spending time with them.