I couldn’t resist grabbing this recent photo of you and your husband at a waterfall in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. Wow! That mission trip looked like so much fun. And such a blessing. Now you’re back, and getting down to the business of marketing your latest release. Thanks for taking the time to answer our 3 Questions interview.
What books have fortified you as a writer? How?
Betty: I know you’re probably looking for writing craft books here, but the books that shaped my writing most are novels that I’ve analyzed and studied to learn the craft. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and Emma (my two top favorites of hers) are three of those. I’ve read and re-read these stories, asking questions and digging until I get the answers. Maybe they just wrote them without thinking too deeply about structure and craft, conflict and nuance, but I’ve found so much value there.
Just in case you’re wondering, here are a few of the questions I ask myself:
How does the writer make me want to turn the page? What makes the scene work? When are the stakes raised?
What a good idea! I’ll have to apply that to some of my favorite novels. I’m curious to see how you answer this next question–
What secret talents do you have?
Betty: Invisibility. No really. I can enter a room and not be seen. I can be in a room and no one knows I’m there. I’ve had this talent all my life, especially at dances when I was a teenager. The only thing is, where is it when I need it? When something really embarrassing happens—why can’t I disappear?
Also, when my sons were little, I had eyes in the back of my head, but I’ve long since lost that ability.
Ha ha! Now that’s funny, especially the one about your sons. That would’ve been a handy tool when my children were young. Now, my favorite question–
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Betty: My famous spicy chili—no beans, just meat and spice. I offer spaghetti for a base, if you like, and a number of toppings. If you can’t eat spicy foods, I’d also offer chicken salad, one of my personal favorites, served on fresh croissants. Homemade apple pie and vanilla ice cream for dessert. And southern hospitality demands sweet tea with the meal, and coffee with the dessert.
Oh, wow! Sounds wonderful. When can we come?
Betty would love to bless one reader with her latest release, Carlotta’s Legacy–your choice of Kindle or print. All you need to do is leave a comment below to let us know if you’d like a chance to win her book. Here’s more information about the book:
Rebecca Lewis’s life is in a downhill plunge. Will marrying an Italian count bring her the love she’s dreamed of?
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 historical fiction, contemporary fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She 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. She serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, teaches basic novel writing, and speaks on the liberating power of forgiveness.
Her writing credits include 2015 Grace Award-winning Annabelle’s Ruth, Book 1, Kinsman Redeemer Series (2015), a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy, Book 1, Legacy Series (2014), and the recently released Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2 of the Legacy Series (Write Integrity Press). 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.