Saturday, October 1, 2011

Do You Ever Feel Like You are in over Your Head? Talk to Beth.

Elizabeth Goddard is the award-winning author of seven contemporary romance novels and two novellas, including a romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies—a 2011 Carol Award winner. Elizabeth is a member of ACFW and has served as a board member in her local RWA chapter. She is a 7th generation Texan who lives in East Texas with her husband and four children. She and her family recently spent five years in Oregon, which serves as the setting for several of her novels, including Oregon Outback, releasing with Barbour Publishing in Spring 2012.  

SKC:  Welcome here, Beth. What books or project are you working on now?

BJ I just turned in Oregon Outback, a four-in-one novella collection that releases next Spring. I have a spring deadline for Extreme Maneuvers, my next Love Inspired Suspense, and I'm also working on my third Heartsong in my Redwood Coast series, Hearts in the Mist.
(Here is the blurb of my present book.) Secrets Under The Ice

Casey Wilkes didn’t realize her simple human-interest story would put her life at risk—again. After fleeing her home and journalism job in Portland, she wanted to live under the radar for a while. But when her interviewee starts dodging her questions, her reporter instincts kick in and she finds herself in over her head…

Homeland security agent Jesse Mitchell has been undercover as an ice sculptor for months, trying to infiltrate a smuggling ring. He wants to avoid trouble, and that’s just what Casey brings. Now someone has a target set on Casey. Saving her could blow his cover, but leaving her unprotected endangers him even more—especially his heart.
SKC:  What special something inspired you to come up writing for your particular sub-genre?  Tell us about the circumstances.

BG I don’t think there was any magic moment that this happened. I’ve always loved suspenseful, action adventure novels, whether reading Bode Thoene’s historical—they always include suspense too—or romance. It’s interesting to see how things have evolved though because I didn’t set up to specifically write romantic suspense.

SKC:  I enjoy suspenses too, but I haven't yet given writing one a try. How long had you been writing before you got your first contract?    

BG Started writing in 2001, or rather learning the craft as I wrote. I didn’t get the call from JoAnn Simmons (email) until right after the ACFW conference in 2006. I think if I had submitted more that news might have come sooner, but I really didn’t feel confident about my work until that point.

SKC:  Every author has learned something during her writing career, whether it's a short one or long one. What advice do you have for other new authors coming into the field of writing?

BG It’s 90 percent persistence, and talent is good too! But seriously, the best thing you can do is get plugged in at a writer’s conference. That has made all the difference in the world for my writing career.

SKC:    Sometimes inspirational writers have a hard time being accepted in the outside of CBA.  What are your thoughts about inspirational writers writing Crossover Stories?   

BG  That’s a big can of worms.You sure you want me to open that? The opinions on that topic  vary widely. Bottom line, I believe if God calls you to write crossover then that is where you should go. I don’t think anyone would dispute that.

SKC:  It all boils down to being obedient to God's will, doesn't it. What is your weakest point of writing and how do you overcome it?

BG I have a hard time getting the story started. I think a good set up makes for a better story in the end, but today’s reader wants to be wowed in the first paragraph. That’s easy to understand, considering our culture. The funny thing is you always hear about the sagging middle—it’s quite the opposite for me. I’m slow to start and I struggle to end but my middle is great. I overcome it by constantly working on it. One big thing is to simply cut out the first five pages, or sometimes even the first chapter.

SKC:  I find myelf doing that constantly. My beginnings are the most difficult to get off the ground. Tell us what gets you started on those first five pages of a brand new story.

BG That’s always something I have to mull over and then eventually, I might even go back and rewrite. I enjoy some form of adventure for a good start—that’s how I’m overcoming my weakness lately. For instance, in Oregon Outback—in the first story, my character jumps off a cliff. She’s hang-gliding. Just thinking about how fun that would be gets me pumped for the writing.

SKC:  That's what you REALLY call a cliff hanger! What is your best advice to a writer preparing her or his synopses?

BG Just write. Synopses are tough for all of us.

SKC:  I haven't found too many authors who enjoy them. That's for certain. After you finish your present project, what plans do you have, Beth?

BG Why my next project, of course. I’m hoping to sell the next two books in series to Love Inspired Suspense. The first book, Extreme Maneuvers is about a Learjet repo man who recovers a plane and discovers the kidnapped daughter of a Colombian drug lord.

SKC: We appreciate that you are willing to donate a book. Please give our readers something to reflect about as a reader, and I will draw the name of the winner from our answers.

BG What is your favorite story setting to read about or write about, if you are an author, and why?

SKC Thank you so much for taking some time with us here at A Pen for Your Thoughts, Beth. It's a pleasure having you here.

You can visit Beth at her website over at

Don't forget to drop in and share your responses to Beth's question. Be sure to leave your email address if you want to be included in the drawing. I will be drawing that name in a few days.

Congratulations to Lisa Hasz of Lindale, TX. Your book is on its way!


  1. Thanks for the good interview. Just love reading these. Setting? I love the South. And I love historical books. Do you write those to Elizabeth?
    Thanks for letting me get a chance to win a book.
    Betty Fimple

  2. Kudos for getting published in just five years. My favorite setting is rural, or someplace rugged where God's creation can be considered a character as much as the hero and heroine.

  3. I love historicals, so any place that takes me back to the 1800s suits me. Especially the regency books of the early 1800s set in England.
    Janice Ian

  4. I love to read about FBI or police work, particularly in the area of cold cases.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  5. I seem to really enjoy reading police, detective, FBI stories. They grab my interest and hold it.


  6. Rural settings, places where everyday people can go, small towns, etc., are my favorite settings. I guess like I to read about people who live lives I can relate to.
    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  7. Betsy, for years I wrote historicals but ended up getting published first in contemporary. I'd love to write historicals one day. Loree, I know exactly what you mean. I love nature and I've tried to use God's creation as a character in books. Oregon Outback releases in the Spring and I loved writing about this beautiful region. And Oregon Outback includes FBI characters too!

  8. I'm a sucker for books set in the pacific northwest (because I grew up there) and also really love books set in the south. :)

  9. I'm with you, Lisa--I LOVE the Pacific Northwest--lived in Oregon for five years. My book THE CAMERA NEVER LIES was set at a fictionalized Crater Lake. I have another book releasing this month, Under the Redwood Tree, which is set in very Northern California, the first book in my Redwood Coast series.

  10. I love stories set in England most of all, still. I just find myself going to them most. Good interview by the way. Dee Carter