Prayer for Authors: March 2020

Since it’s the first Sunday of the month, we’ll be continuing the Bethany House Fiction tradition of taking time to pray for authors who have new releases coming out this month. I’m Amy Green, the fiction publicist here, and I’m thankful for all of the readers who show their support for our authors in the way that matters most: by praying for them. To read more about the reasons behind this time of prayer, go to this post.

Prayer

Authors with Books Releasing in March:

Lisa T. Bergren
Mary Connealy
Connilyn Cossette
Jody Hedlund
Tracie Peterson

Verse of the Month: Feel free to use the text of this verse to guide your prayers for these authors, as well as other people in your life who you want to remember in prayer today.

Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead. Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established.”—Proverbs 4:25-26 (CSB)

General Suggestions for Prayer:

  • For the ability to look “straight ahead” without distractions in areas where focus is needed.
  • For many readers to find these books and recommend them to friends who don’t know God.
  • For inspiration and determination when approaching new marketing or writing projects.

We really appreciate you taking time to pray for these authors and their books, releasing into the world this month. Those prayers make a difference!

March 2020 New Releases

Here at Bethany House, March is a great month for historical romance! Get to know these five leading ladies, from several eras of history, as they uncover intrigue, find love, and make sense of the changing world around them. You can start reading an excerpt of each of them by clicking on the covers. Enjoy!

Secrets of My Heart by Tracie Peterson
Willamette Brides #1

Plot Summary: Reunited with childhood friend and lawyer Seth Carpenter, recently widowed Nancy Pritchard must search through the pieces of her loveless marriage for the truth behind her husband’s death after his schemes come to light. But as they pursue answers, their attraction to each other creates complications, and dark secrets reveal themselves.

 

The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund
The Bride Ships #2

Plot Summary: Arabella Lawrence fled on a bride ship wearing the scars of past mistakes. Now in British Columbia, two men vying for her hand disagree on how the natives should be treated during a smallpox outbreak. Intent on helping a girl abandoned by her tribe, will Arabella have the wisdom to make the right decision, or will seeking what’s right cost her everything?

 

Selah by Lisa Bergren
The Sugar Baron’s Daughters #3

Plot Summary: When a Methodist preacher with a call to serve the slaves of Nevis settles at Selah’s family plantation, their shared purpose brings them together—despite her guardians’ concern over a romance that promises little security. As the Revolutionary War builds in the States and starvation looms, the future of the plantation and its people hangs in the balance.

 

Woman of Sunlight by Mary Connealy
Brides of Hope Mountain #2

Plot Summary: After they’re forced off their land by a ruthless cattle baron, Mitch Warden follows his family to the mountain, but he doesn’t expect to fall smitten with a woman dressed like Robin Hood. Intent on reclaiming his land, he must journey to the city—and when Ilsa insists on joining, the mismatched pair find themselves on an adventure they’ll never forget.

 

Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette
Cities of Refuge #4

Plot Summary: On a hunt for his daughter’s killer, Liyam’s last hope is a bargain to rescue a strong-willed woman who refuses to leave her mission uncompleted. Can Tirzah convince him to fight alongside her in the refuge city of her birth? Or will his thirst for vengeance outweigh his duty to his people, God, and the woman he’s come to love?

 

Which of these historical costumes would you be most interested in wearing? (Assuming everyone else around you wore a similar fashion.)

Ask BHP: What Are the Best Things About Working for a Book Publisher?

Greetings, readers! Rachael Wing—copywriter and fiction Instagram coordinator—here! This week, our publicist and blog host, Amy Green, is at our seasonal sales conference at HQ in Michigan where they are discussing our Fall 2020 releases and other important publishing topics. Meanwhile, I was given control over the blog for this week and discovered an intriguing question in the Ask BHP inquiries: “What are the best things about working for a book publisher?”

Instead of naming off all of my favorite parts about working at Bethany House (which are innumerable), I sought out answers from multiple BHP employees to hear what they love most about their jobs. Enjoy!

ask bethany house

One of the best things about working for a book publisher is getting to help create products that I enjoy outside of work. I’m fueling my own favorite pastime, and working with people who love it as much as I do,”—Kristen, Art/Design Coordinator

“Being surrounded by book people! I love that I can ask anyone, ‘What are you reading?’ and come away with a great conversation and probably some new book recommendations to add to my TBR pile.”—Jessica, Editor

“Reading has played a huge role in my life since childhood, and I admit that it’s a dream come true to work with books and authors each day. One of my favorite things is getting to know who each author is as a person—it makes me smile to be able to encourage them in their coffee/chocolate addiction and hear what’s new with them. I also enjoy that my role includes a broad variety of tasks, such as researching confetti prices or personalized matchbox vendors.”—Brooke, Fiction Marketing Assistant

“I like getting to go back and forth with the author about plot and setting and characters. How many times have you wanted to do that with books you’ve read?!”—Jen, Line Editor

“Knowing how many people it actually takes to create a book and get it into the hands of the readers. Authors often include acknowledgements pages that do at least hint at that, but so many readers, myself included, skip over those that it wasn’t until I started working at a publishing house that I had a true appreciation for all the teamwork necessary to make a book a success.”—Kate, Copyeditor

“Getting to read manuscripts extra early!”—Raela, Senior Acquisitions Editor

“I love that I am surrounded by people who love words as much as I do! In fact, we have a board of sorts on my office window where we record ‘vocab points’ and ‘fauxcab points’ (made-up words)—every time someone uses a fun word, we add a post-it note to the board. Some of my favorites are: recalcitrant, obfuscation, and ‘schimid’ (shy/timid).”—Rachael, Copywriter and Fiction Instagram Coordinator

“My favorite thing is having access to hundreds of books at all times! Also, I love that I get to help launch authors’ stories out into the world for people to read.”—Serena, Fiction Marketing Assistant

“For me, learning what goes into creating and publishing a book has been really fun to learn. Having the opportunity to see a book start as a manuscript and go through so many different processes and people to become a physical book that I can hold and read is amazing. Every time I get to learn about another piece of the publishing puzzle is a good day.”—Mycah, Nonfiction Marketing Assistant

“I like that everything we produce is ultimately intended for the edification of people, especially our fellow brothers and sisters wherever they are. To lift up people with words infused with Jesus’ message to His creation. Our books are designed to have a positive impact on the world—to educate, inspire, and entertain—to build up and not tear down. We are the privileged ones that get to carry the message of hope which emanates from the actual creator of the universe. And, we get to do that with the gifts He’s given us.”—Paul, Creative Director

If you worked for a book publisher, what do you think your favorite part would be? 

*To ask a question of your own, fill out the form here: https://forms.gle/MyzL6QPGh3JQKzyE8 

Questions Authors Don’t Really Want to Answer (And Some They Do)

It’s hard to believe some of the strange questions authors are asked. Since I (Amy Green, Bethany House’s fiction publicist) manage our social media, authors will often come to me with the trickier reader messages that show up in their inboxes. “What should I say?” they’ll wonder, and I try to be as helpful as I can.

Leaving off the super bizarre ones (“Let me tell you about a dream I had that would make the perfect sequel to your novel…will you write it for me?”), there are some questions that many fiction authors would like to avoid. Some might surprise you, so I thought I’d unpack them here so you can learn why authors might uncomfortably change the subject when the person in front of you at a book signing asks them a question.

Don’t worry if you’ve ever asked an author anything vaguely like this—it’s mostly about tone and intention. And, of course, all of these are just generalizations based on what I’ve observed working in publishing. Every author is going to be different, but following these etiquette rules will probably help you out.

 

RED: Don’t ask. Just don’t.

Why is your book so expensive? OR When will your book be free in ebook?

My go-to response on this is: Well, it’s always free in your local library! (If it’s not there, most libraries allow patrons to request books, and authors love it when you do that.) Authors do get this question fairly often. They totally understand that not everyone can afford to auto-buy an extensive personal library’s worth of books every year, but at the same time, since they make a living at writing, they (and their publishers) need to price books to be worth the months and even years of time they spent creating them. By asking for deals, it might sound like you’re not valuing the work they put their heart and soul into.

How much money do you make?

Some authors (especially ones who teach about writing and publishing) may be fine discussing sales with fellow authors, but most would find this just as weird as anyone asking about the paycheck/salary of a “normal” career. Unless the author is a personal friend or has offered to share information about the finances of publishing, it’s better to avoid this one.

Why did you include [XYZ] in your book? WHAT SORT OF TERRIBLE PERSON ARE YOU?

This is totally different than a review or blog post where you point out an aspect of a book that bothered you or that you felt uncomfortable with. That’s the appropriate place for content warnings or questioning an author’s choices. But going directly to an author (or tagging an author on social media) and venting your complaints about their book is almost never a good thing to do. Put yourself in their place. It would be hard to know how to respond, and you’d probably feel hurt and defensive.

YELLOW: Proceed with caution.

I need moooooore. What happens to all of your characters after the end of the story?

Chances are, you’ll get an answer like “What do you think happens to them?” Unless they’re imitating J. K. Rowling and putting out Twitter updates on past characters that become part of the canon, many authors like to leave any details not in their book up to the reader’s imagination.

You haven’t had a new book out in a while. Why not?

Most authors don’t mind at all if you ask if they have a book coming out in the next year. If they do, they can give you a date so you can mark your calendar. But if they say no, probably leave it at that without pressing for more explanation. They might be between publishers or need to focus on their families or just aren’t sure what’s next in their career, and that sort of stuff is personal and sometimes a bit touchy.

Can I have a free copy of your book?

Again, authors do have to make money, so there are only so many books they can give away. It’s fine to ask if an author has a launch team you can apply for, a group of readers who help promote their book, if you know you’d be able to enthusiastically and effectively promote. That said…be careful about how many launch teams you join. You don’t want to commit to so much that you can’t actually put in the work, or be posting about so many novels that hardly anyone is listening to your recommendations anymore. And most authors have a strict limit on the number of review copies they can give out, so it’s nothing personal if they say no.

I also struggle with [issue or theme contained in the book] just like your main character. Since you did a lot of research into this, do you have advice for me?

First, authors often love hearing that you related to one of their characters or were particularly affected by a theme or issue they chose to explore. That said, whether it’s related to medicine, mental health, social issues, or another complex topic, many authors don’t feel qualified (or aren’t legally able) to give advice to individuals. Their characters might have experiences that they haven’t, or they might not want to recommend a course of action without knowing you and your situation…and really, they probably shouldn’t.

GREEN: Feel free to ask!

I loved this book! How can I tell others about it?

Actually, most authors would just be thrilled to know you enjoyed the fictional world they created. That’s always a good thing to pass along. But I also know it makes their day a little brighter when you review their book on retail sites, share about it on social media, or recommend it to a friend.

You’re one of my favorite authors. Are you interested in answering a few questions for my blog/bookstagram?

Again, authors are busy and might say no, but it can’t hurt to ask if you’d like to include an interview on your platform to promote their books. Keeping questions easy to answer (rather than a 25-page interrogation, ha!) is super helpful here, but whether an author has time in their schedule or not, they’ll be thrilled that you thought of them.

Since I’m a new writer, can you pass on any good advice?

Most authors love to help out a fellow author who’s just getting started, but their time is probably limited. They won’t likely be able to give you feedback on your manuscript or answer a huge list of questions, but many can pass along words of wisdom, especially if you ask for something specific, like any good writing blogs to follow or what conferences they’d recommend to a newbie.

Would you like some chocolate?

If you’re seeing an author in person, the answer to this is pretty much always yes.

Authors, are these questions accurate? (Feel free to disagree with where I placed them!) Any that you’d like to add to any category?

Seven Bookish Valentines Gifts

Okay, so it may be too late for you to drop hints about what you really want for Valentine’s Day, but these romantic gifts could be great anytime. Or just get them for a reading buddy…or yourself. All the best gifts are made better when you add in books!

(Not a disclaimer: Bethany House isn’t associated with any of these companies. These are just fun things someone on staff liked and recommended!)

One: Adorable Floral Page Flags

Girl of All Work has several other cute designs too, from cuddly animals to retro looks. Perfect if you’re keeping your spot in a book, marking great quotes, or (for authors) marking edits in a galley copy!

Two: Bookish Bath Products

I’m including my favorite, Lord of the Rings inspired, but check out the whole MacBath line, including Three Musketeers face masks, Anne of Green Gables rose bath bombs, and more!

Three: Jane Austen Mug

You really can’t go wrong with any Austen swag, but this mug has the added benefit of being practical and perfect for some afternoon tea…while enjoying some literary zingers and profound thoughts.

Four: Enneagram Valentines

The Enneagram personality test is all the rage these days for understanding others (and creating characters), and these pretty prints and Valentines are perfect for loved ones who are just your type.

Six: Literary Chocolate

It’s a Valentine’s classic…but with books! The packaging and the flavors are themed for some of your favorite novels at Open Book Chocolates. Yum!

Seven: Cozy Book Candles

Frostbeard Studios has a number of book-related scents, but this one sounds perfect for a February night with a blanket and a book.

 

What literary gifts have you loved, readers? Tell us about them!

 

February 2020 New Releases

Forget valentines, what I want this February are more books! If you’re like me, then I’ve got some great recommendations for you. Women’s fiction, fantasy, historical mystery, historical romance…there’s something for everyone in this great lineup of new titles. Check out the plot summaries, or click on the covers to start reading an excerpt. You might just get pulled in…

More Than We Remember by Christina Suzanne Nelson

Plot Summary: After a life-altering car accident, one night changes everything for three women. As their lives intersect, they can no longer dwell in the memory of who they’ve been. Can they rise from the wreck of the worst moments of their lives to become who they were meant to be?

 

Cry of the Raven by Morgan Busse
The Ravenwood Saga #3

Plot Summary: As the war with the Dominia Empire begins, Lady Selene and Damien must use their gifts to secure the borders and save those devastated by war. But conflict, betrayal, and hatred begin to spread between the Great Houses—and the only one who can unite them is Selene. Will she survive? Or is she destined to fall like the dreamwalkers before her?

 

Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green
The Windy City Saga #1

Plot Summary: As Chicago’s Great Fire destroys their bookshop, Meg and Sylvie Townsend make a harrowing escape from the flames with the help of reporter Nate Pierce. But the trouble doesn’t end there—their father is committed to an asylum after being accused of murder, and they must prove his innocence before the asylum truly drives him mad.

 

The Brightest of Dreams by Susan Anne Mason
Canadian Crossings #3

Plot Summary: Determined to keep his family together, Quinten travels to Canada to find his siblings and track down his employer’s niece, who ran off with a Canadian soldier. When Quinten rescues her from a bad situation, Julia is compelled to repay him by helping him find his sister—but soon after, she receives devastating news that changes everything.

 

What do you think is a sure way for someone to say “I love you” to a reader in their life, besides buying them books?

Prayer for Authors: February 2020

Since it’s the first Sunday of the month, we’ll be continuing the Bethany House Fiction tradition of taking time to pray for authors who have new releases coming out this month. I’m Amy Green, the fiction publicist here, and I’m thankful for all of the readers who show their support for our authors in the way that matters most: by praying for them. To read more about the reasons behind this time of prayer, go to this post.

Prayer

Authors with Books Releasing in February:

Morgan L. Busse
Jocelyn Green
Susan Anne Mason
Christina Suzann Nelson

Verse of the Month: Feel free to use the text of this verse to guide your prayers for these authors, as well as other people in your life who you want to remember in prayer today.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”—Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

General Suggestions for Prayer:

  • For peace and kindness in relationships, both family and friends and others around them.
  • For the discipline needed to keep writing and meet other deadlines during a busy time.
  • For readers who pick up one of these books to resonate with the spiritual themes.

Thanks so much for taking a few moments of your day to pray for these authors. It means a lot to us here at Bethany House!

Eight Things Guaranteed to Make Readers Nostalgic

There are lots of great conversations you can have with readers, but some of my favorites are about what makes us nostalgic. Whether it’s a childhood picture book memory or the bookstore that got away (aka isn’t in your hometown), I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.

One: Book-It

If you weren’t one of the millions of kids who got a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut for completing a reading goal, starting in 1984, I’m sorry for your joy-bereft childhood. You should sit down right now, make a monthly goal, and reward yourself with a greasy, cheesy, don’t-have-to-share-with-my-sister little slice of glory if you make it. Because this was the best reward program ever. Plus, the badges, am I right? So good.

Two: The First Read of Your Favorite Book/Series

Sure, you’ve re-read it, recommended it to friends, maybe seen the movie version a dozen times, and so on, but nothing beats the excitement of the first time you read a favorite book. Before you knew what would happen to the characters, back when every cliffhanger left you agonized (especially if there were years between releases in a series), to all the late nights reading “one more chapter.” Ah yes. If only we could time travel and re-experience that wonder. Sigh.

Three: Reading Contests

Whether it was run by your library over the summer to keep you off the streets or some elementary school achievement bribe, there’s something about checklists and competition that warms a reader’s heart. Like, okay, I can still read a stack of books now, but I won’t be able to put snobby Susie Accelerated Reader Queen in her place, edging her out in the last few days by binging a bunch of Nancy Drew mysteries. It’s just not the same level of satisfaction. Besides that, remember the prizes? Those multi-colored clicky pens, slap bracelets, yo-yos, erasers shaped like small animals, and all manner of plastic toys that broke the first recess you took them out. Real treasures, for sure.

Four: Beloved Original Copies

I’m not talking fancy first editions here, just the battered-and-scarred books that have seen a lot of love in their day and hold a place of honor on the bookshelf. Even if newer, cooler covers have come out, there’s something sentimental about the originals, even if the originals are falling apart at the spine. Like, okay, I know the words inside are the same and it shouldn’t make a difference, but seriously, what nonsense are the new cheap-animation-knockoff Boxcar Children covers? Heresy.

Five: PBS Book Programming

Whether you still have a hard time remembering that the main characters of all classic novels aren’t Jack Russell terriers or now have the Reading Rainbow theme song stuck in your head, PBS had some delightful book-themed shows. (Reading Rainbow retweeted one of the flowcharts I made for Bethany House about getting people books for Christmas, and it was one of the happier moments of my life.) If none of that resonates with you, just accept the fact that in Wishbone, a dog stars in reimagined classics with so many canine puns (Ivanhound, Frankenbone, Bone of Arc) and that LeVar Burton is the actual best. That’s all you need to know.

Six: Scholastic Book Fairs

Picture tables of books with shiny, colorful covers, all within arm’s reach, with the visual appeal of a candy store window full of those giant lollipops that no one can actual eat. There was the avenue of horse and puppy books with big round eyes begging you to adopt them. There were displays of absurdly gender-specific reads, including super gross potty humor titles and books about princesses with embossing or glitter. There were rows and rows of chapter books that made you feel like the Awesome Big Kid you totally were, because look, there’s only one black-and-white picture per chapter now! My school cleverly paired the book fair with Grandparent’s Day, because what grandma is not going to buy their precious angel a stack of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure survival books? (She was not, for the record, thrilled about the Captain Underpants trend.) Man. Those were the days.

Seven: Vacation Bookstore Visits

It seems like everyone has been on a trip where they find The Bookstore of Their Dreams. Whether it’s elegant and rambling with every book you could ever imagine or cozy and cramped with hilarious signs in the stacks, something about it makes you want to move in. Like, permanently. (And if you never visit bookstores on vacation, build it into your schedule, it’s the best.) Unfortunately, this near-mythical bookstore is too far away for regular visits, so you can only think wistfully of how much of your budget you’d spend on books if it was across the street instead of across the country, or even the world.

Eight: Iconic Children’s Book Characters

Bonus points if said character had a weird name, because let’s face it, you don’t get characters like Amelia Bedelia, Yertle the Turtle, Pippi Longstocking, and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle in grown-up literature, which is a real shame. But seriously, forget the Internet fandoms over TV shows and such, I want to get into a hearty debate over whether the ending to Charlotte’s Web is more or less tragic than Where the Red Fern Grows. Or is Willy Wonka even a reasonable protagonist, or a thinly-veiled sociopath? And why is Goodnight, Moon a kids’ book when it is so deeply eerie? These are the real questions, guys.

Which of these makes you feel the most nostalgic? Tell us about it in the comments!

Beverly Lewis Shares About Her Writing Life

Many of our readers love hearing about what writers go through to get books to them…and we have the joy of having Beverly Lewis on the blog today to tell you all about it! With over 17 million books in print, she has a lot of wisdom to share about the writing and publishing process, so listen in!

Q: When did you start writing? What were your first efforts?

A: At the tender age of nine, I began secretly writing short stories and poetry. My mother knew where I kept my work hidden and managed to save everything I wrote, even the stories I dreamed up during my grade school years. One story is semi-autobiographical, about a young girl whose parents can no longer afford piano lessons for her. The manuscript was 77 pages long and titled “She Shall Have Music,” and was my first “book,” penned under the shade of a lone willow tree.

Q: Have you had any formal writing education?

A: My first semester of college, I was torn between a music degree and a journalism degree. I ended up following both passions that ruled me from my childhood and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Ed with emphasis on piano and voice, and close to a minor in English. I landed a teaching job immediately, where I taught music (K-6) and creative writing for fifth graders and realized, once again, that my two passions had converged in an amazing way!

Q: At what point(s) in your career did you feel like you’ve gone from amateur to pro?

A: When my first book surprisingly morphed into a 14-book series for pre-teen girls (“Holly’s Heart” series), I knew that my hobby-writing days were behind me. Those books written in the first-person point-of-view, like an open letter from my heart to the reader, are still popular with young girls today, in print after 26 years! Stunning. 😊

Q: Have you had help along the way? Any mentors?

A: My biggest fan when I was a child writer was my cousin Joyce, who begged for the next chapter in my little books when she and her mom visited us on weekends. Years later, after I was married, Dave, my husband and first editor, cheered me on to higher heights, urging me to write for magazines, and, later, books for kids, teens and adults. Two college professors also insisted that I consider writing as a possible career—fiction and nonfiction.

Q: What’s the best writing advice you’ve gotten?

A: Write your heart/passion.

Q: What’s the worst?

A: Always avoid writing first-person point-of-view for prologues and epilogues. (Thankfully, I rejected that terrible advice. That, in fact, is one of the hallmarks of my bestselling novels!)

Q: How do you find the time to write?

A: Writing is a significant part of my daily life, and always has been, so I write frequently and for long hours, since my husband and I are empty-nesters. While I our three children were little, I wrote when they napped and after they were tucked into bed at night. Actually, I was “writing” in my head a lot when I wasn’t at the computer during those years. (Remember, I’ve been happily writing since I was nine years old.) A writer is a writer is a writer. . . .

Q: Do you always write at your computer? Where are you most prolific?

A: Sometimes, for the sheer fun of it, I write longhand, to keep things close to my heart and with an intimate facet. Primarily, though, I work at my computer in my home office, where my fingers typically fly across the keys—like they do at the piano keyboard, since I was a little girl. There must be some curious correlation.

Q: Were their any sacrifices you had to make to be a writer?

A: After The Shunning (my breakout novel for adults) was released in 1997, I gave up my then full-time job (running a large music studio for advanced students of piano, voice, violin, and music theory/composition). The sacrifice came because I adored my long-time students and missed interacting with them each week, although they’ve kept in touch with me through the years.

Q: Take us through the process of writing a book. How long does that process usually take?

A: My ideas for novels come, typically, a year or two prior to when I will begin writing that first draft. I’ve been writing two novels per year for more than twenty years, so there is this overlap of pieces—ideas-outlines, first drafts, revisions and final pages. Never a lull in the line-up of my projects, so far, which I absolutely love.

Q: Have you received any feedback on how your books and series have impacted its readers?

A: One of my greatest joys is hearing from readers who say my stories have touched them significantly—even changed the direction of their lives. So many have written to me: teens in West Africa, men and women of all ages in America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Central America…people whom God is meeting on a personal level, where my readers are spiritually, emotionally, physically. Most of all, I hope readers might come to know the love of Christ in a more intimate way through having discovered what unconditional love looks like in my books—to experience just a taste of the height and width and breadth of God’s love for each of us.

Q: Will you do more books in this genre?

A: If I could write any type of book without barriers, I would write precisely what I believe God is nudging me to…in short, the genre I’m currently writing. I’m quite passionate about what I do—creating characters who “live and breathe” in my readers’ hearts and minds, and in mine, as well. I write from a tender heart, and as long as God continues to give me great storylines that are meaningful and touch a nerve in readers, I will keep writing Amish fiction. My last two-book family saga, The Tinderbox and The Timepiece, is generating a lot of online buzz, and I’m thrilled to respond to readers’ seemingly unquenchable desire for more of my work. I feel absolutely blessed!

Q: What advice would you give other writers, especially in your genre?

A: Forever and always—read! And I suggest reading the very best of literature…the old classics to start. Also, read the kind of story you’d like to write. As for the actual writing, don’t worry about perfection at first. Take your time, get the story down, then rewrite and fine-tune later. And, yes, spelling and grammar do count! There are many wonderful reference tools for new writers. Ask the reference librarian at your local public library for help in locating books to point you in the direction of publishers who may be interested in your work.

Thanks so much for joining us, Beverly! If you’d like to follow Beverly, she posts nearly every day on her Facebook page. Join her there for lots of bookish fun! And look for her next novel, The Stone Wall, releasing in September 2020.

Ask Bethany House 2020!

It’s a new year! And that means…new questions for our monthly(ish) series of posts, Ask Bethany House! I love this part of my job, because it’s super fun to see what questions readers have for us. Even when I can’t answer them myself, there’s often someone on the team who can, and I often end up learning things from the process.

You can take a look at past posts if you want to see what type of question we’ve answered before. Some repeats are okay, but I’ll also look for some totally new questions.

Once you’ve done that, head over to the survey here and ask away!

To thank you for taking the time to come up with a topic, on January 21, I’ll pick three winners from our participants who can select their choice of one of our December, January, or February new releases.

Thanks, all, and happy questioning!