Handbags, Books...Whatever

Handbags, Books...Whatever (http://www.vickibatman.blogspot.com) is the website of Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction. Handbag lover. Avid Jazzerciser. Mah jong player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Choc-aholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beth Shriver, author interview, October 16-17

Hi, Beth. Thanks for doing the interview. (Beth is really, really nice.)

From your bio, I see you studied social work and psychology. How did this get you to the career of author? How long have you been writing?

Tell us about your new book, Love at First Flight. What is the appeal of writing young adult?


Beth Shriver said...

Hi Vicki, thanks for letting me share this time with you and your bloggers. I got a story idea from my experiences while doing social work. I was an emergency investigator of child abuse and found myslef in some interesting situations so I wrote about them. Thus the book, A Case of the Heart, that will be released next year. But oops! We're supposed to be talking about my young adult story that will be out next month:)

Beth Shriver said...

The idea for Love at First Flight came about after I took two trips to Mexico. One to a resort and the other a mission trip. The contrast of the two made me pause. I took in the way my teenage daughter dealt with the two different situations and the story just unfolded. And for us adults it's looking back on those days of first loves. This story stirs up all those feelings for us again. It's a great read, with laughter, coming of age, and the romantic setting of Mexico.

Kay Thomas said...

Hi Beth,
So does LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT come from your experiences as an emergency investigator as well? The title is very intriguing. What is the story about?

Beth Shriver said...

I didn't start writing until 2003, and I was never one of those kids who hid under the covers at night to read after bedtime, or started writing my first novel at age five! No, I began writing articles for inspiratinal magazines because I thought I had something to say and wanted to share with others. An author friend of mine read my articles and encouraged me to write a book. That book was, Love at First Flight, yep, my very first manuscript. Then came the memories of my social work years and, A Case of the Heart, was created, and I've written six more. For me, writing is all about life experiences on steroids. Each situation, conversation or feeling is heightened to give everyday situations a fun, new kick:)

Beth Shriver said...

Hi, Kay. Thanks for blogging in. Love at First Flight, is about a teenage girl's family trip to Mexico. She's determined to make this her trip, and not be bothered with the rest of her family. But her trip turns into love at first sight with a young man who shows her the third world part of his county and she grows to care about the disadvantaged people there. There's also a bit of suspense when Neely meets another guy who is desperate for her attention. At first it seems innocent, but his stunts become more serious. The worst incident changes her fear into courage and she is forced to take action. It's a whirlwind coming of age story about a spoiled girl who learns to see the world through different colored glasses and economic levels. It's a fun, yet thought provoking read, Kay. I hope you have a teenage girl in your life to share it with:)

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Kay. Thanks for posting. I like the title of Beth's book, too.

Beth, what is the appeal of writing young adult novels? Are your other books young adult?

What kind of writing turns you off? What stops you fromwriting?

How have you shocked your readers?

Beth Shriver said...

Holy Batman, Vicki! That's a lot of questions:) I'm glad you like the title. At the last minute I wanted to change it to, Only In Mexico, but it was ready to send to production so the original title stuck. I think because I have a teenage daughter I became interested in writing something that would appeal to her age group. There's not a lot of clean reading in the YA market and I wanted to offer that to those who were looking for it. My other books are all different genres; historical, women's fiction, edgy, suspense, romance and I've written a non-fiction as well.

I'm turned off with over the top violence and sex scenes, I'm a fade to gray sort or person and I have a good imagination:)

It's hard to keep me from writing when I have uninterrupted time and a new story in my head. I can't wait to sit down and get my thoughts on paper. But when the first draft is done and it's time to revise and edit, I can think of all kinds of excuses not to sit down in my writing chair:)

As far as shocking the reader, I won't know until my edgy story comes out, Fear of Falling, but there's a scene in there that had my critique partner up in arms. she protested it until the end of the story then loved it:)

Vicki Batman said...

So, Beth, It sounds as if the planets aligned and the story smacked you in the head.

You told us you've written in other genres. How did that work for you? Is one easier or harder than another?

How else do you get your ideas?

Leanna said...

Hey, girls! Beth, love the title Fear of Falling. When does that book come out? What would you say is the age range for a YA like Love at First Flight?

Vicki Batman said...

Leanna! Hi! Thanks for stopping by. You need to do an interview with me sometime.

I agree, Fear of Falling is a great title. Where do you get your titles, Beth?

Janice Olson said...

Hey, Beth, wanted to stop by and say hi friend. Thanks for telling DFW Ready Writers' group about you appearing on this e-blog.

Way too cool for a mom to write a YA book with a teenage daugher. I'm sure your dauther will be telling all her friends to buy the book when it comes out.

My questions for you. . .When you started writing your book, how long did it take you to write it? Also, on the book for YA, did you have your daughter read the book before you submitted it? If so, what were her comments about the book? Did she suggest any changes?

Well, friend continue to have fun today and tomorrow. See you next time.

Blessings, Janice

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Janice. How nice you are a friend of Beth's and visited the blog.

I, too, am curious what your daughter thought. Beth?

Beth Shriver said...

Vicki, I've enjoyed writing in all genres. I don't want to be restricted to one until I'm told by my agent or an editor that I have to. I would hate to have to pick just one becasue I love the variation. The historical was the one that took the most time and research but I was studying the first century era in my Bible study so the timing worked out beautifully. Reclaiming Tess, is the one that probably means the most to me becasue the setting is my grandfather's ranch and the characters are created from the hired hands that worked for him, although I made them a little quirkier just for fun:) I have written books to the market as my agent suggested, but those felt forced and are my least favorites. The best story ideas come from experiences and what you have a passion for. One of my books is about a homeless shelter, another is a devotional I wrote for parents of teens. It's all where your heart is.

Vicki Batman said...

Beth, you are a wise woman. And I admire how you have tackled different genres. This year, I expanded to short stories and am loving it!

Beth Shriver said...

Hi Le, thanks for joining us. How are those edits going? The title for, Fear of Falling, fits the story perfectly as it's about a man who dies and doesn't have an awareness of his place in heaven so...the title says the rest. I just sent FOF out to my agent so there's no release date yet. I've come up with the name for all of my titles, and fortunately marketing has let me keep them. I was flattered to hear my manuscript editor say that my titles do describe my stories well. I want my readers to know exactly what they're going to get when they open my book.

The age range for, Love at First, Flight is 13 to 18. The character is 17 but the story has been compared to a Hannah Montana style so she's a bit on the immature side, especially in the beginning of the story. Maybe in a couple of years Caroline will want to read it:)

Beth Shriver said...

Hey Janice, so glad you're with us representing our writers group! Yes, Madi is a very out going girl and will be telling the entire school when my book comes out. She was a great help ramping up the suspense. It was a small thread in the story but she liked the creepy guy so I made him a bigger character and pulled him along throughout the entire story instead of the cameo he started out to be. She of course saw some of herself in the story since she's who I based the main character on. But she was objective enough to tell me when my character was acting too adult like or too young. She also helped me with teen lingo which gave my editor an eduction as well. Did you know if a guy is good looking he's HOTT, not HOT? My editor went through my entire manuscript and changed every HOTT to HOT then had to change it back again:)

Thanks again Janice. See you next month at the meeting.

Vicki, my first published story was a short story in an anthology, best of luck to you with your new venture.

Vicki Batman said...

How nice you got input from your daughter! I like HOTT. I thought it funny a few years back when the boys said cool. I said cool at the same age.

Thanks, Beth, for the encouragement about the short stories. Tons of fun abound.

chris k said...

Hi beth-

how wonderful that you can write something for your daughter's age group- I have a daughter who's a senior in high school and I keep telling her - you write the outline and I'll fill in the details!! lol.

I'm afraid I just don't know how to write 'young'- lol- My daughter says I'm as bad as my mother - so apparently I don't write 'middle aged' either! lol.

I hope love at first flight is a fabulous success for you!

Beth Shriver said...

Hi Chris. My daughter is a senior this year too! What a busy year for them--and us! I bet you could come up with some great stories too having been through those adolescent years, especially if it was life changing such as the mission trip was for my daughter and I. I say give it a shot...you might surprise her. Thanks for joining in the chat, Chris.

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, everyone, part 2 with Beth.

I like the way ideas just smack me in the head. Do yours come to you this way?

How does humor fit into your books?

Who is your favorite author and why?

lisalickel said...

Hi, Beth,
Interesting discussion going on. Genres and branding are a touchy subject, yes? I'm going through that identity crisis myself. Are you sticking with the first genre that sold for you, planning to brand yourself as a YA author?

Vicki Batman said...

Hi, Lisa. How nice to hear from you. Are you an author, too?

Beth Shriver said...

Hey Lisa, good to have you with us! Yes, we've both struggled with the genre thing and neither of us has committed to one yet. I wouldn't mind wiritng another YA but am presently writing a womens fiction right now. I think we both like the spontaneity of writing what comes to mind instead of forcing ourselves to write what we're published in. Keep in touch, Lisa:)

Beth Shriver said...

Vicki, Stories more evolve in my hear, rather than smacking:) I get a piece and it snowballs from there.

As far as humor, I always like to add some funny dialogue or scenerios here and there even it's not a comical book but most of my stories do have that comical thread through them. I love to write quirky characters.

My fav author is probably Francine Rivers. I loved her series Mark of the Lion. It inspired me to write my historical.

Vicki Batman said...

Oops, I forgot! Hi, Chris.

Just a couple of questions left for Beth.

Fill in thie blank: Your ideal fictional hero would think you gorgeous if you.....

How much do you like cake?

Beth Shriver said...

Our final questions...the first one--I haven't a clue but the second one is about dessert so that I can answer. If's it's anything chocolate I would LOVE the cake:)

Thanks so much for having me Vicki, you're great!

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