This is Betsy St. Amant:
She's not only gorgeous, she's sweet and thoughtful too. Betsy and I have "known of" each other for a few years now, but we've only become friends in the last year. Love that girl.
This is Betsy's latest release:
And she wants to give away a copy to one of you, so you should be doing this:
Addision Blakely: Confessions of a PK is about sixteen-year-old Addison Blakely, who has tirelessly played the role of PK—preacher’s kid—her entire life. But after Wes Keegan revs his motorcycle into town and into her heart, Addison begins to wonder how much of her faith is her own and how much has been handed to her. She isn’t so sure she wants to be the good girl anymore. Join Addison Blakely as she attempts to separate love from lust, facts from faith, and keep her head above water in her murky, fishbowl existence.
Betsy is in the throes of book promotions right now, but still managed the time for an interview here on Go Teen Writers. Thanks, Betsy!
What inspired you to write Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK?
The way this story came about still makes me chuckle at how God sometimes chooses to work. I started writing Addison's story as a secret novel, a vent book of sorts where I could write whatever I wanted, with no regards to rules, or content, or boundaries. Just writing for fun and outside of every box, for ME. When a publisher asked if I had anything YA, I brainstormed with a friend who suddenly said "YOUR SECRET BOOK!" And sure enough, it was perfect. We fleshed the story out further (I had only written a few chapters so far) and Addison was fully born. God can use even our frustrations for His glory!
Amen! What's your writing environment like? Do you have an office? Are there inspiring quotes or pictures up on the walls? Do you have music playing?
I do have an office at my home, but I rarely use my actual desk (which is this awesome giant thing my dad built forever ago!) I do have fun art on the walls and two giant bookshelves that still can't hold all my books, and I love it! However, usually when I'm writing, my daughter is on the desk computer playing games and I'm sitting on the floor with my laptop, lol. I do what I can...
*Groan.* Had a few writing sessions like that myself. Typing with one hand, feeding the baby with the other...
Can you give us a peek at your writing process? (Do you write a horrible first draft? Do you edit as you go? Do you make character charts?)
I only write one draft. (*Stephanie's eyes pop open with surprise.* How is this possible?!) I edit/perfect as I go, and go back and edit chaps as my critique partners return their suggestions to me. But it's literally only one draft. I'm so much of a perfectionist, I can't stand to leave stuff hanging. Every time I end a scene or chapter, it needs to be as close to turn-in-ready as I can make it. That's why I have never done NANO! ha.
Wow. I love how writers are all different. What's a piece of advice that really took your writing to the next level?
I learned something on the craft of Deep POV (point of view) at the ACFW conference this past September from Kristen Heitzmann, who is one of my all time favorite authors. Her advice on when to use pronouns in Deep POV really rocked my world. It's so much harder to do it her way but so worth it. Some authors overuse their character's name (in third person) and it jerks us out of first POV. Kristen only uses her third person character's name when in their POV once or twice a chapter. She has to get creative to not overuse "She" or "He" in that stead, and that's where the challenge lies. Amazing.
YES, that was an excellent class. I just listened to it last week based on your recommendation. I'm going to email the wise Kristen Heitzmann and see if she'll please-pretty-please let me post her rules on here.
If you could only pick one book to read for the rest of your life, what would it be? (And no fair choosing the Bible - let's assume you get to bring that one too.)
Oh this is tough! NO FAIR!! :) Okay, tantrum over. Hmmm. Maybe Pride and Prejudice? I love the snarky Dad in that novel. It's such a classic.
I can never decide if I love him more or Emma's father, the hypochondriac. Pride and Prejudice might be my One Book too.
What's the best book you've read recently, the one you told everyone you know, "You have to read this book"?
Two, actually. I just finished Susie Warren's "Baby It's Cold Outside" which was great, and also, in a totally different vein, Jim Rubart's "Rooms". Both amazing reads in different ways, Jim's being more spiritually in-depth and soul rocking, Susie's more feel-good romance and cozy holiday read. I highly recommend both!
Thank you so much for coming by, Betsy!
If you would like to get entered to win Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK
(and you know you would!) please leave a comment below either asking Betsy a question or answering this one: How did you come up with your most recent story idea? Did it just appear out of thin air? Was it a dream, a la Stephenie Meyer? Playing the "What if" game? (All are welcome to chat with Betsy, but this contest is only open to US residents due to the pesky realities of international shipping prices.)