ღ About Bettie Boswell ღ
Bettie Boswell has always loved to read and create stories. That interest helped her create musicals for both church and school and eventually she decided to write and illustrate stories to share with the world. She is active in ACFW and SCBWI. Her writing interests extend from children’s to adult and from fiction to nonfiction. Her first novel, On Cue, debuted November 2020. Before that she contributed to educational works including a leveled fiction reader called Sidetracked, magazine articles, lesson plans, devotionals, and short story anthologies. A leveled reader nonfiction book about Skateboarding will came out January 1, 2022. She retired May 2021 from 33 years of teaching and is ready to write and share her books. Her next book, Free to Love, will be published in July 2022.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you were raised.
I grew up in Virginia and Alabama, the youngest of four siblings. Our family enjoyed camping on both mountains and beaches. My dad was a chemist with the government and my mother a mathematician who taught and also worked as a map maker for the US Geological Survey. Christian camps filled many summers during my teen and college years. I went to a Christian College and met my minister husband. After college we had two boys and I completed a master’s in teaching. I recently retired after many years of teaching elementary music and primary grade classrooms. These days, being a grandma keeps me busy when I’m not writing.
Can you share with us a book you have read recently, are currently reading?
I enjoy reading books by Mary Connealy and Karen Witemeyer. For quick reads, I am a fan of the Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense books.
What age did you realize you loved books and when did you start writing?
I have always loved reading. Dick and Jane books intrigued me when I learned to read. I enjoyed books like Pippy Longstocking and Harriet the Spy during elementary school. As far as Christian fiction, I spent a couple of summers with my widowed grandmother when I was a pre-teen and got hooked on Grace Livingston Hill books. My mother kept me supplied in Christian novels for many Christmases throughout the years. All generations of females in my family have been known to stay up late reading a good novel.
How long does it normally take you to write your books?
My first two books, On Cue and a prequel, took several years to write. The prequel is out on submission right now. A third novel was completely drafted during November’s one month Nanowrimo 2021 challenge. Now i will be working on editing to get that quickly written suspense book out into the world. Writing that fast was a big challenge. In the future I am going to try to keep a good pace of writing but not to the extreme demands of the Nanowrimo challenge. Writing needs balanced with family and non-writing tasks.
Do you normally use an outline for the books you write, or do you just start with a few ideas?
In the past, I didn’t do much outlining. I did a lot of daydreaming and jotting notes in a journal and then added them in, patchwork style to the story, until it was finished. The suspense novel that I wrote quickly during November had a rough outline before I started. Even with the outline, I did some changes as the characters took me down different paths.
What do you come up with first, when you begin a new project?
I usually work with the characters and their challenges first.
Is there a special place you like to write?
My last year of teaching was done remotely in our home’s computer room, due to the pandemic. That small space off our kitchen has now become my writing room. I still jot ideas in a notebook that I keep near my comfy chair in the living room.
Tell us about this book.
On Cue is a Christian contemporary romance.When a college sweetheart used Ginny Cline’s dreams for his own glory, he stole her joy of composing music and her trust in men. Years later, encouraged by prayer and a chance to help the local museum, she dares to share her talents again. Unfortunately a financial backer forces her to place her music and trust into the hands of another man.
Theater professor Scott Hallmark’s summer camp benefactor coerces him into becoming the director of Ginny’s musical. The last thing he needs is another woman who uses him to get what they want, especially an amateur who has no idea what they are doing.
As Ginny’s interest in Scott grows, her confusion arises over Honey, a member of Scott’s praise band. Mix in a couple of dogs and quirky cast members for fun and frustration as the couple work together to discover that forgiveness and trust produce perfect harmony.
What was your inspiration for starting this book or series?
On Cue was inspired by an event that took place in my own life. I co-wrote a musical for a local community called Just Around the Bend. It was about a fictional event that took place at a real local Underground Railroad historical site. The research I did for the musical, both historical and theatrical, provided much of the setting and a few personalities for the story.
What character do you like best?
Her name is Honey but you will have to read the story to find out more about this little sweetheart.
What did you learn about yourself through writing it?
When I started writing On Cue, I had no idea about crafting a sellable novel. I just wrote a story that I wanted to tell. I sent it in to several publishers and received rejections. At first I was really upset, but realized that I had to listen to other people’s comments in order to make my story better. I took classes and learned from the rejections, creating a better story each time. I learned to accept critiques, which were hard to take at first. I learned to let go of some parts of the story. I sought God’s guidance about sending it to a small publisher and the story found the home where it belonged.
What’s one thing you wish readers would take away from this book?
Forgive the past and look toward the future with trust and hope.
How do you feel writing has affected your relationship with God?
I feel like God is the Master Creator and feel humbled and honored to use my talents for his glory. Providing the readers with good clean books that would not embarrass a Christian reader is a mission to me. I pray over each manuscript and feel like God has given me inspiration.
What advice would you give a new author?
Keep working at your craft, take classes, find a critique partner and make time to apply what you have learned. Write every day or as often as your life style permits, but forgive yourself if you don’t get everything done.
What project is next on your list?
I am editing a romantic suspense book. It was the one I drafted during November. This is a new style for me to write in, but I am an avid reader of the genre. Being a reader of the type of books you want to write is a must do for any writer.
Where do we find you and your books?
On Cue and my other books are found on Amazon and at Mt. Zion Ridge Press.