Welcome to Beth Anderson
November 30, 2011
Beth, thank you for visiting my blog today and sharing your thoughts on Inspiration, Author Enjoyment, & Reader Wishes…
Beth Anderson is a multi-published, award winning author in several genres including romance and mainstream crime fiction. A full time author, she now lives in Washington state. She has appeared on Chicago’s WGN Morning Show, The ABC Evening News, as well as numerous other radio and cable television shows. She has guest lectured at Purdue University, Moraine Valley College, and many libraries and writers’ conferences. She loves music, particularly jazz.
Hi, folks! Madeline has asked some great questions, and I’m happy to be able to answer them for her blog readers.
Inspiration? Just about anything and anyone. A newspaper clipping about the murder of a young woman in Chicago where the police could find no clues was the inspiration for MURDER ONLINE. My inspiration for NIGHT SOUNDS was a night out at Chicago’s Ravinia, where I listened to a jazz band and was enchanted by the star-shaped lights in the ceiling. There were no side walls, just the great outdoors and that dark ceiling with tiny artificial white stars twinkling down. Watching fog roll down the mountains in Valdez, Alaska, and a low woman’s voice that I heard speaking the first words in the book was my inspiration for my current novel, RAVEN TALKS BACK.
Every book has had a basically insignificant beginning that somehow turned, in my mind, into a complete mystery novel. Not that I mean to imply the book just came to me like magic and I wrote it. For anyone who wants to write, be aware that there’s a LOT of time and work involved between the idea and the finished novel. I did the work and my books all got published by good publishers. My first book, by the way, which was a Harlequin Superromance, took eight years of hard work, writing evenings and weekends while I was learning to write a publishable novel.
Author Enjoyment? Oh, there’s a certain cachet to it because so many people want to write but don’t want to actually do the work involved, once they find out to their complete astonishment how much work it really is. Newspaper and radio and TV interviews are fun (but if you ever do a TV interview be sure and have your makeup professionally done, because the end result if you didn’t do this is NOT fun to look at). My first TV interview was not fun because of that. In fact I lived in deadly fear that anyone who knew me would see it and recognize me. I had no idea TV lights could make me look so awful, but I learned from it.
Now that I’m retired, writing is fun for me when you consider that the alternative is afternoon bingo or the penny machines on the gambling boats and God knows what else most normal retired people do. I feel I never really retired because I had been writing quite a while before I retired. I’m exactly as busy now as I was then, for whatever that’s worth. As far as real fun in writing, I love getting to that sweet spot in any manuscript, about halfway through, when a lot of plotting problems have been worked out over time and it almost feels as though the book is writing itself. That part I DO like, because it tells me that yes, there’s a viable book here.
Reader Wishes? I want my readers to sit back and think, or even say out loud, “That is one of the best books I’ve ever read.” I want to make them laugh and I want to make them cry and I want to make them as mad as I am occasionally over situations all over the world, and I want to have reassured them that there is decency in this world as well as the injustice they see every day on television news or in newspapers they read. I want them to remember my name and watch for my next book.
I want my family to be proud of me, and they are; I’ve always said that when I’m gone, I want my family to remember me and smile, or even laugh out loud. I’m not egotistic enough to think I’m writing Pulitzer Prize winning, world-shaking novels, but I am egotistical enough to at least believe my readers will be entertained enough to finish reading my book after they pick one up, and be happy that they did.
RAVEN TALKS BACK by Beth Anderson
Krill Press, ISBN 978-0-9821443-9-8
Beautiful Valdez, Alaska. Home of twenty-three-inch snow in the wintertime, but in the summertime, gorgeous mountain scenery where the early morning fog rolls down the mountainside, bringing soft whispers of the past with it. And this year…murder.
Valdez Chief of Police Jack O’Banion’s take:
Voices. Visions. A sadistic killer running around loose, a hysterical woman, two teenagers on the verge of home-grown terrorism, everybody including the Alaska State Troopers and out-of-town media driving him berserk twenty-four hours a day. And now Raven wants him to arrest someone, anyone, because she thinks her husband is about to be charged with murder and she just can’t face it.
Raven Morressey’s take:
She knows nothing she’s saying to Jack makes any sense to him because it doesn’t to her, either. After all, it’s not every day a newly murdered, tattooed, headless and handless body is dug up in your back yard and then you start hearing voices of your dead ancestors and seeing things that never happened–at least yet. She just wants to keep her home together–at first. She’s not trying to butt in and solve the murders in Valdez. But she just can’t help it.
Also available at your favorite independent bookstores nationwide.
Beth’s links are:
Thank you, Beth!
If you leave a comment, your name will go into the drawing for a free copy of Reticence of Ravens (three copies in total, randomly selected by Buster!)