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.
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 http://www.bethgoddard.com/
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!