Saturday, June 6, 2009


Welcome Betsy with me...

Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her contemporary romance RETURN TO LOVE is under contract with Steeple Hill Love Inspired for a July 2009 release, and the sequel A VALENTINE’S WISH is contracted for a February 2010 release. Betsy has also been published in the Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, Kickboxing or Chocolate, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. Betsy has a B.A. in Christian Communications and regularly contributes articles to Betsy is a wife, author, new mother, and avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.

SKC: I think this is the first time I’ve had you over here at A Pen for Your Thoughts, Betsy. What gave you the urge to write in the first place?

BS: Hi there! It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me! Let’s see, I started writing when I was a little girl. The urge has always lurked deep within me. I wrote off and on growing up, poetry, short stories, even attempts at full length novels, but got serious about it when I was about 18 or 19. That’s when I started attending conferences, making connections, creating blogs, networking, and joined the ACFW soon after that.

SKC: Ah! The joy of making connections! So tell us, who has been the biggest influence in your life with your writing?

BS: I owe a lot of it to Robin Jones Gunn. Her Glenbrook novel WHISPERS was the first Christian fiction novel I ever picked up. I found it on the floor in my older sister’s room under her laundry, believe it or not, one day and couldn’t put it down. I believe I was about 11 or 12 at the time. I have been hooked on Christian fiction ever since! Now Robin and I are friends and I’ve had a blast telling her all about the influence she had on me. She’s a dear woman and a talented writer.

SKC: You live in the south, as I've discovered. Do you place your settings often from the area in which you live, or do you venture out to other areas? And if so, how do you do research on different areas for setting purposes?

BS: You gotta love Louisiana humidity! My novels are generally set in the south. My July release RETURN TO LOVE and its February 2010 sequel A VALENTINE’S WISH are both set in New Orleans, where my husband’s family hails and also where he proposed to me. =) My most recent contract with Steeple Hill and WIP novel RODEO SWEETHEART is set in west Texas. I’m sure I’ll venture further up north in my writing one day but for now, the south works for me! And my characters! =)

SKC: And they all sound so interesting! I have a large Victorian style ladies bath that inspires me when I go in and stand at my antique brass sink and light a candle, or when I gaze romantically about at my period-style wallpaper and claw foot tub. Perhaps it’s because they get my creative juices flowing for some of my writing. Where do you get inspired, Betsy, and why?

BS: That sounds lovely! Setting often inspire me in the same way. I love driving down country roads and seeing abandoned outbuildings or shacks or old churches set off in a field. It gets my mind to whirring about what might be inside, about who once explored the building, its original purpose, how old it is….

Also, if I ever feel stuck in my writing, I pack up the laptop and head to Barnes & Noble. Being around all those published books and coffee always gets me “unstuck” ! =)

SDC: Great idea! Coffee...Barnes n Noble...and Bathtubs. Hmmm. So tell us, what is the last book you read and what did you learn from reading it?

BS: I read so much, let’s see, what was the last one? Oh yes, it was Blue Heart Blessed by Susan Meissner. I really enjoy all of her novels, especially The Shape of Mercy. Susan is a fantastic author and I always receive a strong take away value after finishing her books. With BHB, the takeaway value for me was that sometimes that dreaded detour sign on our life’s road is a blessing, not a curse. We would miss out on so very much if we didn’t learn to detour along the path as instructed by God. The heroine in BHB learned the same lesson about love after being jilted 10 days before her wedding.

SDC: Sounds like we both do a lot of reading. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever catch up. But maybe I don't really want to. At least that way I always have something waiting! Where do you go from here and where can our readers find you and your books, Betsy?

BS: From here, I am busy busy busy with deadlines and contracts for more Steeple Hill Love Inspired novels. Readers can email me at, visit my author website at http://www.betsystamant/ or my blog at I’d love to see you all there! =)

SDC: I'm sure everyone will want to come visit you! I know I will, Betsy. Thanks so much for coming here and sharing with us! It meant a lot to me, especially. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US. I like to ask many authors to ask the readers a reflective question to give them an opportunity to win a book. Oftentimes answers that come in encourage other readers and fellow writers...they certainly do me. What would you like to ask the readers today? And do fill us in on the book you have to offer one of these fortunate guests this week.

BS: Sounds great! First, about RETURN TO LOVE. The story is set in the New Orleans Aquarium of the Americas. Gracie is the penguin keeper there and she is desperate to raise money to house a batch of homeless birds from upstate. Too bad her only chance at a successful fundraiser involves her childhood ex-best-friend, Carter - the man she’s loved—and hated—for almost a decade.

One of the neat things about this story is that during my research I made a lot of contacts at the Aquarium, and the actual penguin keeper on staff allowed me to use the names of the real birds currently residing there! So fun! =)

For my closing question, I’d like to ask readers this: If you could only read books in one particular genre for the rest of your life, what genre would you pick and more importantly, why?

SKC: Great QUESTION, Betsy! Okay, readers, here is your question. Send in your answers and you might just win one of Betsy's books!

Blessings to all, and thank you again, Betsy, for coming to A Pen for Your Thoughts. We really enjoyed having you!
Congratulations to Carly Kendall who now is the pleased owner of Betsy's book!
Thanks to everyone!


  1. "If you could only read books in one particular genre for the rest of your life, what genre would you pick and more importantly, why?"
    I would choose Christian historical novels as I love to learn history in novel format. I hated history as a young person. I find learning it in the form of a story line of real people's lives is the best. And I only used to read mysteries!

  2. This was a really good interview, I really enjoyed it. I would have to say the genre I would pick would be contemporary women's Christian, especially those set in the South. I find it easier to relate to characters that are written in the present and I love living in the South, so I never get tired of reading books of that genre. Great question.

  3. Easy question (at least for me). I would read Christian chick lit. I love inspirational romance and read across all sub-genres, but the ones written in sassy first person POV are my favs.

    Wonderful interview! Congratulations on your new release Becky. I'd love to win a copy of your book.

    Blessings from one White Rose to another,


    Teri Wilson ~ Romancing the pet lover's soul

  4. Oh, I like easy questions, Betsy.

    Inspirational Christian contest there!

    Looking forward to reading all your LI's, Betsy!

  5. Oops, guess I forget the why part.

    I'm a hopeless romantic and God rules!

  6. i would read Christian Historical fiction, but it would be hard to only read one genre! I like so many! Why? i love history and think that historical fiction helps us live in the time like no history book can every do! We can see the time periods through different eyes!
    By the way, that series by Robin Gunn, got me hooked on her books way back too! I was so tickled to meet her in person last year, she is a big heroine in my life!

  7. BETSY!!! Omigosh, girl, I just found out a little while ago that your first book comes out in July ... guess I can take you off my prayer "hit list" to get published now, right? And, YES, you really still are on my list, no joke!

    Thanks, Shirley, for a fun interview and the chance to win Betsy's first book -- I'm pumped!!


  8. Ooops ... got so excited about Betsy's book, I forgot to answer the question. If I could read any particular genre for the rest of my life, I'm with Eileen -- there would be no other answer but ... INSPIRATIONAL ROMANCE!!!! Is there anything else???



  9. Okay I want to read this one. :-) I always wanted a job like that - a penguin keeper! lol

    If I could only read books in a particular genre, I would read sci-fi/fantasy. Because things are always completely different and fascinating!

    But thankfully I don't have to choose because I love historical fiction and many other genres as well!

    ladyufshalott at

  10. Interesting interview and what a cool job that would be as a penquin keeper.

    If I could only read one genre it would have to be Christian fiction but hard to break down to just one genre since love mysteries, cozies, chic lit, and some historicals. I go through periods where I read one kind of book for awhile, than switch to another.


  11. Wow what a great turn out! Thanks for entering guys, and I hope you enjoy the story!

  12. Betsy the cover is beautiful. The storyline sounds wonderful. I would pick Christian romance because I love happy endings when it comes to love. I would love to read this book.


  13. Lovely interview. My favorite would be a Christian romance set in medieval times -- just BECAUSE!

  14. Oops, just noticed that I forgot my email address on here so here it is.Interesting interview and what a cool job that would be as a penquin keeper.

    If I could only read one genre it would have to be Christian fiction but hard to break down to just one genre since love mysteries, cozies, chic lit, and some historicals. I go through periods where I read one kind of book for awhile, than switch to another.


  15. Wow, pick just one genre??? I love variety in my Christian fiction and for that reason I would pick spec/fantasy because there would always be variety no matter who the author was.

    ryanx6 at msn dot com