Tell us about you! Can you share some interesting tidbits we may not know?
I’m originally from upstate New York but have lived in the United Kingdom for a total of twenty years so I absolutely love all things British. One Christmas, our daughter was able to hand the Queen a bouquet of flowers at Sandringham (the Queen’s winter castle) when the Queen was walking home from a church service. Plus, I love tea and scones. Now living in North Carolina, I have learned to enjoy iced tea and biscuits with gravy instead.
What inspired you to start writing?
When I was in junior/senior high school, I thought being in school was purely for fun and my grades showed it. I nearly failed English but I loved reading–especially Victoria Holt. I began writing when my husband and I joined an organization where we needed to stay in touch on a monthly basis with individuals who supported our work. It was during this time that I fell in love with writing.
Other than writing, what are some of your passions in life?
Walking is a passion of mine. I love to take time in nature where inspiration naturally flows from the experience. Going to the beach to stroll in the sand and look for seashells as well as spending time with friends over a good cup of coffee. As an extrovert, being with other people is the best.
What was your debut novel, and how has your writing process changed since your debut?
My first book, “Bethel Manor”, was launched April 2016 however it was not the first book I wrote. The first was “Dying To Eat at the Pub” which was published in November 2016.Since that time, each sentence I write I desire to learn something new and I hope with each new book my writing improves a hundredfold. Like any art, it takes practice and I’m not sure I will ever arrive at having penned the perfect novel. But I’ll never know unless I try.
What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process and why?
My favorite part of writing is the first clean page. The ideas are endless and creating a new story is so much fun when you discover how the characters want to take the story. It’s playing make-believe in grown-up clothes.
What is your most challenging part of the writing/publishing process and what do you do to make it easier?
I’m sure nearly every writer would agree that the most challenging part of writing is the marketing/promoting of their book(s). This is when you step away from the computer and step in front of a crowd with your baby in your hands and tell the world they will love your offspring. How many parents are willing to let their off-spring be mauled by strangers?
What does a typical day look like for you? How do you find balance?
My personal struggle is with my extroverted self creating that introverted time to focus on my craft. I would much rather be out and about and having a party with friends.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I would tell myself to wait and do one more read-through any book I thought worthy of the public eye. It’s important to be our own worst critic so that only the best of us is presented to our readers.
What do you love about writing romance?
My historical romance novels are about two families during the Victorian times and how their lives are interwoven. How spectacular to be able to create characters that readers believe are real and want to know the next part of their lives (and the generations who follow). It’s a magical skill that I don’t take for granted.
What kinds of things do you find romantic in real life? Can you share a story?
Like other women, I find flowers given without a reason, dinner out without a cause and holding hands to be some of the most romantic things I experience. But it is the small, mundane things my husband does for me on an ongoing basis, without me asking him, that fills my heart with love.
Do you read your book reviews? If so, how do they affect your writing (if at all)?
Of course. With trepidation. Some cause pain. As I said earlier it is like handing your child over to a stranger and wanting them to love it as much as you do. When scathing comments are made, the immediate response is to retaliate but the best thing I can do is learn from an honest comment and move forward.
What is the craziest, funniest, or most surprising thing that has happened to you since publishing your first book?
I’m always amazed when someone asks when my next book will be released. It takes months (sometimes years) to write a novel and when a reader is able to whizz through it within a few days or weeks, I’m thrilled but overwhelmed trying to keep up with the devouring eyes of the reader. I only wish my imagination and fingers could keep up with them.
Tell us about your most recent (or upcoming) release!
I am currently working on a Christmas cozy mystery novella. It is set during a week where writers are gathered in a converted WWII property In England that is now a conference center. It’s a week for crime writers to hone their skills but they are unprepared to put those to the test when a body is found on the premise and several are considered suspects.
Is there any other news you would like to share?
Our daughter’s upcoming wedding in the spring will be taking a lot of my attention away from my usual writing schedule. But what a wonderful reason to be pulled away from my computer and be able to make her wedding day a romance-filled day come true to life.
Five Facts Just for Fun!
1. What’s your favorite ’90s jam?
not sure 🙂
2. What was the last gift you gave someone?
3. What were you like as a kid?
4. What was the last thing you binge-watched & what did you think of it?
The Crown on Netflix. Such an amazing story of an amazing woman–the Queen
5. What is the one thing (other than your loved ones) that you cannot live without?
connection with others
Thank you so much for the interview Beatrice!
Bethel Manor, an inspirational romance, takes place during the Victorian era with engaging characters such as the wealthy Fredrick Shaw and his feisty daughter, Clare.
Enjoy the rugged countryside as James Winthrop Blackwell travels across England. Revel in the setting, Bethel Manor, a place of magnificence and style where servants know secrets and the owner is a man of propriety and integrity.
James Winthrop comes of age and searches for answers after being abandoned as an infant at Alpheton House Orphanage. He must come to terms with the reasons for his abandonment and resolve how God can still use someone whose parents chose to cast them aside.
Join James, Fredrick, and Clare at Bethel Manor and discover for yourself how others can bring optimism and encouragement when life seems difficult and without hope.
Fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy Bethel Manor!
BETHEL MANOR REBORN
Bethel Manor Reborn—the sequel to Bethel Manor.
Struck with blindness after the birth of her son, Clare Shaw Blackwell struggles to cope with her loss of independence. Withdrawn into a world of darkness, she shuts out the person who wants to help her most—her husband, James. When he seeks solace at the home of a friend, an innocent liaison blossoms into something unexpected, and threatens to tear his family apart.
The chronicle of the Shaw and Blackwell families continues in Bethel Manor Reborn as they struggle to heal broken relationships, offer forgiveness to an enemy who tries to destroy them, and restore their deteriorating home to its former glory.