On Words Read & Written today is Beth Fred. Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for setting up the interview and to Beth for answering all my questions and giving some solid advice!
When insecure eighteen-year-old Kailee Hill gets caught tagging Iraq war refugee, Abrahem Yohanna’s garage, she’s not expecting him to act as her designated driver, hold her hair back when she pukes, or offer to be a shoulder to cry on. But she’s failing chemistry and her life is falling apart, so she uses the number Abe leaves her and finds herself with a new tutor.
The two quickly find themselves falling hard for each other. Kailee attacks a local grunt when he calls Abe a “sand nigger” and fights with her veteran brother to be with him. When she learns Abe hasn’t told his family about her, she’s heartbroken and the couple risks losing everything they’ve worked to build. To make matters worse, Kailee’s previous acts make her the prime suspect in a serious crime. With Kailee behind bars and doubting his feelings for her, Abe must find a way to rescue the girl he loves and win back her affection . And to do that, he’ll have to catch a crook…
1. How did you come up with the ideas for Decree of Hope?
Decree of Hope is a companion to A Missing Peace. I was very excited about that book and so were readers. I wanted to spend more time with my characters but things are tied up really well at the end, so the only way to do it was through Abe and Kailee’s relationship, and Peace talks about how they met, so I wrote like crazy and had a draft in 27 days.
2. Describe your writing process? Are you a planner or do you write by the seam of your pants?
I plan. I teach a class on the three act plot structure and blurb writing (the synopsis on the back of a book), and I like to write my blurb before I start writing. It leaves me enough room to play around while creating and gives me a clear road map to the ending.
3. What makes you happy?
The ELF! (My 3 year old). My husband, sweet romances, and Hallmark movies.
4. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Rejection stings. Don’t quit. Writing is hard. Don’t quit. Don’t self-publish until you’re receiving requests for revision, and don’t sign an “ebook only” deal. You can do that better on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask other writers for help. Most of them are more than willing. Some will say no. They’re probably asked for favors a lot, but most writers are extremely supportive.
5. What are your writing goals?
I’d really like to be a NYT bestseller but I’m still working on making $1000/month, so I can just substitute instead of working full time.
6. When are aren’t writing, what do you get up to?
Read, play with the ELF. I teach English during the day, and I like to dance.
7. What are your favourite books?
Twilight, Perfect Chemistry, Meant to Be Mine.
8. What is the most important thing you’ve learnt in your writing journey?
You have to believe in yourself and be confident. It’s a hard rope. We are constantly surrounded by rejection. We finally get published and we are hit with negative reviews and/or bad sales days. Perseverance is the only way to make it in this industry, but you have to stay confident enough to keep writing through it all and to know when to listen to someone, and when not to.