Hi Betty! How long have you been writing?
Betty : I started writing in the early eighties when my three young sons were keeping me so busy, I needed an artistic outlet. I tried various forms of stitchery projects, which included quilting. Someone sat on a needle, so I had to quit. After some soul-searching, writing seemed to fit the bill. Definitely something I could do from my “happy place.”
I became a serious writer in the early two-thousands. (I started to say, in the early “aughts”, which should actually be called the “oughts”, or “after the turn of the century,” but wow–those terms really age one, don’t they?)
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
Betty: I started out writing westerns, all of which reside permanently in a drawer somewhere. I began writing what would later become Amelia’s Legacy, and made the decision to set it in one of my favorite eras—the 1920’s. Afterwards, I wrote a couple of fantasy-adventure novels and decided that was what I wanted to write. Mostly because you could make up everything. Not so much research. But I couldn’t sell them. Amelia was picked up by Write Integrity Press, so my path was sort of decided for me. Here I am, happily writing historical fiction.
What are some of the references you used while researching your book?
Betty: My first go-to site on the internet is History.com. I do a timeline of major national/world events. While working on Carlotta’s Legacy, I discovered YouTube videos on an amazing array of subjects, including actual tours of Umbria, Italy. I hit pay-dirt with the YouTube videos of 1930’s cruise ships. These were both newsreel footage, and family vacation films. Who knew they did that back then? I was able to see the staterooms, and what they wore on the cruise. I chose a ship that had been outfitted to help shuttle soldiers back-and-forth during and after World War I. Third-class quarters might have a double berth and a sofa for a third soldier. My characters were traveling on a budget, you see.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Betty: Umbria is enchanting, much like its neighbor, Tuscany. You can look at some of my favorite pictures by clicking here for my Carlotta’s Legacy Pinterest board. Italy is now on my bucket list, by the way. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in Carlotta’s Legacy, especially Rebecca and Riccardo, who came alive to me. I was sorry to say goodbye (for now).
What do your plans for future projects include?
Betty: I’m working on Sutter’s Landing, Book 2 of the Kinsman Redeemer series. Then it’s on to Book 3 of the Legacy series, where you may see Rebecca again. Book 3’s main character is Amy Juliana Emerson, Nancy and Robert Emerson’s daughter (Amelia’s Legacy). Nancy was a good girl (at heart) who tried hard to be bad. I wonder if her daughter will follow in her mom’s footsteps? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Betty.
Readers, I hope you’ll take a look at Carlotta’s Legacy and…
If you’d like a chance to win the KINDLE version of the book, Betty is giving away a free copy to one blessed reader. Just leave a comment for a chance to win.
Rebecca Lewis is a reluctant bride-to-be. Marrying Riccardo Alverá, a young Italian count, may seem like a dream come true—an instant answer to her family’s dire straits. But it also means she must leave American soil, possibly forever.
Riccardo is relentless in his pursuit of Rebecca. After her father’s death, she and her mother set sail for Italy. Though Rebecca is still plagued by doubt, Riccardo’s warmth and humor soon melt the icy frost encasing her heart. But as Rebecca settles into his Italian villa, her questions and fears return.
His mother, Carlotta Alverá, is dedicated to strict Roman Catholic beliefs. Will she ever accept Rebecca, who has no real faith? After Rebecca’s mother decides to pursue life on her own terms, peace comes to the villa. But not for long.
Trouble finds Rebecca, even in the tranquil heart of Italy. As political unrest shakes the core of Italian society, a dark shadow falls over Riccardo’s beautiful estate. In her deepest despair, Rebecca confronts her past, finds forgiveness, and finally … the love and acceptance she’s always longed for.
Betty Thomason Owens writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the Internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers and serves on the planning committee for the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.
Her writing credits include Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015), a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series (2014), both through Write Integrity Press. Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2 of the Legacy Series is due in the Spring of 2016. She writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and its sequels, The Love Boat Bachelor and Unlikely Merger, (2015). She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.