But first, a little bit about Beth!
About the Author
Beth Durkee (born April 9, 1969) is an American author and inspirational personality. Her message is that life is often hard, but God is with us through it all. She specializes in short reads for the Christian market that bring awareness to God’s quiet callings and His whispered presence in our daily lives.
Beth answered a TON of my questions, which is super awesome! Enjoy getting to know her a little better. (And yes, I probably will be putting random comments in the middle, because I can't help myself. I'll use italics or something so you can tell)
What was your first book?
The first book I wrote was The Disposable Noble Wife (2009). The first full-length book I read was Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis. (Oh my word, I love Narnia!)
When did you start writing?
I think I was in about seventh or eight grade that I began writing my first book. I gave up after a few years, when I was only about 20 handwritten pages into it. (Thank goodness because, in retrospect, it was pretty awful.)
If you weren't a writer, what would you be?
I would be a very bored, disabled homemaker.
Any books upcoming?
June 23, 2017 hails the release of my 2-volume set, “A Memoir. A Testimony.” in electronic form. Both of these volumes are stories from my own life where I have seen and felt the direct influence of heaven in my own life. The set will be exclusively available from Amazon and will be enrolled in the Kindle Online Lending Library program upon release. (I'm gonna have more info about this later on)
Who was your favorite author growing up and why?
This is very much too difficult to decide as I had access to so many wonderful books (literally thousands of them!) in my parent’s basement library. In my top four are Alan Dean Foster, Christopher Stasheff, Isaac Asimov and Piers Anthony.
What has been the most encouraging comment you've gotten on a book?
The most encouraging comment I ever received was sent to me in an email from an 86 year old retired reverend to whom I had given a copy of Memory of Miracles, volume one in the two volume set that is being released this June. He said, “I enjoyed the victory and testimony of the reality of Jesus presence
in your life. I am sure it will have a ministry for many years -- maybe
as long as John Newton's OUT OF THE DEPTHS, written over 200 years ago??”
What are some things that you would say to fans if you met them?
My heart swells when I think of my fans. By investing their time in reading my books they let me know that that my words matter to them. Every reader makes it all worthwhile to me.
About how long does your typical book take to write?
My first book took the longest. It was an emotionally difficult one for me and took about 5 months of devoted, every minute of every day, writing and editing. It was also my longest work and my only “novel,” at just under 50,000 words. My other books range between 10,000 and 25,000 words and usually take only about one or two months to complete.
Outline or Make it up as you go?
My works are mostly literary non-fiction so I just tell it like it happened and insert appropriate scripture to bring out certain points, although I suppose I do have two that were not like that. One of those I outlined. The other I made up as I went along. Like children of the same parents often need different parenting approaches, different types of books by the same author often need different writing approaches. (That was probably the best answer to this question ever!)
What is your cure for writer's block? Or do you even get that?
I don’t get much writer’s block. Usually I get more of a “how do I tell this part now” block. In those instances, I just stop writing and pray about it. When I wake up the next morning, I know the answer.
Why did you pick the genre you write in?
It is kind of strange to me that I write any Christian books because I prefer to read Fantasy and some Sci-Fi. I will read about relationships or finances and other non-fiction subjects, but not Christian (except the Bible, of course). So I don’t really know that I picked the genre I write in. I think it must have picked me by giving me a framework for understanding my own life experiences.
What social media do you like to share your works through most? How can readers best connect with you?
Readers can find me on Facebook, Beth Durkee Fans (Right here folks), and Twitter, @Beth_Durkee. (Why yes, I am providing a direct link) I had a blog on Blogger called A Writer’s Blot for a few years that still contains a bunch of personal stories and musings, but I don’t really write in it anymore. (In case you're interested, I've linked this too)
What was the most difficult thing about publishing your first book?
I would have to say the most difficult thing about my first publishing was lack of confidence in my writing abilities combined with the negative reviews that every book, especially those on controversial topics, naturally receives. After pouring my heart and soul into its pages for several months: Rereading, rewording, editing till I was blue, then submitting and winning a competitive award for the book, I was truly ill-equipped to handle so much negativity from readers who picked it up on its first (and only viral) “Amazon free download” day, read it and absolutely hated the story. That was a truly devastating blow to my ego.
How do you choose the names for your characters? Do you research the etymology of the names you use?
I kind of just go with names I like or think are appropriate, like “Faith” in my first book. Sometimes I look up “popular male [or female] names” and choose from the more popular, like “Greyson” in the second volume of, “A Memoir. A Testimony.”
Which of your character would you want to be your best friend?
I have a YA fantasy series under a pen name that I have kind of paused working on. There is a character named Barwick in the series that I would definitely want for a best friend. He has integrity, loyalty, a gentle soul and an injured past that he overcame. I think we would get along quite well.
What advice can you give to fledgling writers?
For independent authors, my advice is edit, edit, edit! A large majority of indie writing is poorly edited, which makes it quite difficult to find book bloggers willing to give good reviews. Poor editing also frustrates readers, which means fewer repeat purchases. Personally, I think I spend at least as much time editing as I do writing a story.
Beth's book is releasing through Amazon on June 23rd. Here's a direct link to Beth's Amazon page so that you can find not only her upcoming book, A Memoir, A Testimony, but also her other books. (There are quite a few!) Make sure to check it out, and follow her too.
Beth, I'm so glad that you chose to do this! Thank you! It was great getting to email back and forth! (And yes, I am obsessed with exclamation points)
If you have any other questions, or comments, feel free to leave them below or tag Beth on Twitter and Facebook! We'd both love to hear them!