Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! It’s time for another UtopYA Con 2014 unofficial author interview. Yeah, yeah, I hear you cheering. Keep it up! If you haven’t picked up your tickets for the event yet, click the name to grab yours today. It’s being held at the Millennium Maxwell House in Nashville, Tennessee. Get off your kiesters and join us that weekend for a ton of fun!
Let’s get this party started! Grab your coffee, a comfy chair, and meet Ms. Bethany Lopez.
Jo: Howdy, Bethany! Great to have you here.
Bethany: Hi Jo! Thanks for having me.
Jo: I sorta cyber-stalked you and found out a ton of interesting information. So let’s get to the questions, shall we? I saw that you’re active duty Air Force. I tip my hat to you for that one. I’m from a military family and I know how difficult it can be. What’s the hardest part about swinging that with your writing?
Bethany: Well, I’m currently deployed, so the difficulties I’m having right now are time, and technology! I don’t always have the time, or a comfortable place, to write, and when I do, the technology doesn’t always work. So, I’m learning patience, and trying to write whenever I can.
Jo: I can’t imagine how you fit in the time. I also read you have four kids. Congratulations! That’s a special mission in and of itself. How do you manage four kids, a military recruiting career, and being a writer?
Bethany: We actually have five kids all together, but my step-daughter is an adult now, and my step-son lives with his mom, so we are down to three kids at home now. It’s all about balance. I take each of my kids on individual dates, as well as plan family outings, so that they each get “Mommy time.” When I’m home, I usually write on weekend mornings, or when my husband is watching sports, so that I’m not taking away from their time.
Jo: Wow. You have your hands super full! You got married in Scotland? Tell me a little story about that using your best writer-ly voice.
Bethany: It’s funny that you should ask, because as I write this (Nov 23rd), it’s my 12th Wedding Anniversary.
We landed in Scotland, a foreign country, with an appointment at the Registrar, and no further plans. Our wedding was scheduled for early afternoon, so we started off our adventure by stopping at the first hair dresser that we saw and asked if they could squeeze in four hair appointments. While my mother, maid-of-honor, three-year old daughter, and I got our hair done and enjoyed refreshments, the ladies of the salon talked and laughed with us. I asked if there was a florist nearby, and they pointed me to a little shop down the road. When I returned with a bouquet of long stemmed flowers wrapped in ribbon, I asked if they knew of any local restaurants where we could enjoy a celebratory meal after the wedding. I laughed at the looks of confusion on their faces. They couldn’t believe that we had come to Glasgow to get married, without any real plan other than where we were getting married, and which B & B we were staying at. They made a reservation at a lovely restaurant, where we were given complimentary champagne to celebrate our nuptials. It was a kind of crazy, somewhat impulsive, wedding, but I will never forget the beauty of the city, the kindness of the people, and the joy of sharing a pint with my husband in a local pub on our wedding night.
Jo: That was beautiful! Happy Anniversary! I grew up near your home state, in Louisiana (close to the border) and I have to say, I love Texas! What was your favorite part about living there?
Bethany: I was born in Michigan, and lived in Texas for five years, from third – seventh grade. Those were amazing years. We lived in San Antonio for the first two years, and then moved twenty miles away to a little town called Lacoste. I loved living there as a child. I would leave the house after breakfast, and come home when the lights came on at night. It was a wonderful, carefree time, and I was really able to enjoy being a kid.
Jo: Ah, Texas nights! Nothing quite like those. As you probably know, Tia Silverthorne Bach and I are good friends. *waves to Tia* She’s planning to write a review for one of your books (she said so here). Are you nervous about what she’ll say?
Bethany: Now I am… lol. Tia is a very sweet woman and I’m happy to have known her for so long. TTYL, and the Stories about Melissa series, are very young YA. It brings back those feelings of being a teenager and starting high school. Those feelings of confusion, awkwardness, and trying to find your place in the world. Hopefully reading it will bring back those feelings for Tia, and a smile to her face.
Jo: I hope her review brings a smile to your face, too! Tell us about your breakout novel, Make it Last. What inspired you to write it? On another note, have you seen a lot of success with your Stories about Melissa series?
Bethany: Music inspired me to write the Friends & Lovers Trilogy, which began with Make it Last. Country music. I wanted to write something more mature than YA, and I love the feel of NA. I love that you are finally independent from your parents, and that you are trying to find your place in the world. The friendships are more important, and the relationships more serious. I started with Bri and Colin, because I wanted to write a second chance love story. Once I introduced Kent and Rich, I knew I wanted them each to have their own stories as well. My YA books have not been as successful as my NA books. They are all written in the same style, and I think when a reader picks up any of my books, they know what my voice is, but since most of my readers are adult women, they like reading adult situations better. I will continue to write the Stories about Melissa series, because I promised eight books, and I want to see where Melissa ends up, but the other books I write will probably be either NA or Adult.
Jo: NA seems to be the hot market right now. I see you’re an award-winning author. What did you win the award for and what award was it? How did you feel when you got it?
Bethany: I won the Bronze medal for 2013 Annual Reader’s Choice Award in Contemporary Romance. Funny enough again, I was supposed to attend the awards ceremony this evening (Nov 23rd) in Miami, but cannot, since I am deployed. I won it for Trust in Me, which is the third book in my Friends & Lovers Trilogy. I felt shocked, sure it was a mistake, and totally humbled. I cried. It was a wonderful moment, because I was sure in a category as huge as Contemporary Romance, that I had no shot. I’m very grateful to have been selected. I love Trust in Me, and I’m so happy others do as well.
Jo: Congratulations! That sounds like a huge win. I can’t imagine how it felt and how much it must’ve sucked to not be able to receive the award in person. Time for the weird questions! What’s your favorite brand of tissue?
Bethany: Kleenex, the soft kind.
Jo: Me, too! Favorite dance song?
Bethany: Anything by Pitbull
Jo: Great answer! On to the alien question of the interview! Which alien movie scared you the most and why?
Bethany: Alien is a really scary movie. But I really enjoyed Super 8.
Jo: I agree. I think I may have cringed behind my mother the first time I saw that movie. I’ve never seen Super 8. Maybe I should check it out! Time to talk about something almost as scary: One star reviews. What do you take away from those? How do you feel about reviews in general?
Bethany: I used to drive myself crazy reading reviews. I would cry and feel bad about myself, and wonder why I was putting myself through this, but now, I stay away from them. Books are subjective, what resonates with some, doesn’t with others. Just like I don’t like every book I read, others won’t like every book I write, and I try to remind myself of that. I can’t deny that it hurts when I read them, and that I sometimes take them personally, but I’m working on it.
Jo: That’s a good attitude to have. If only more authors thought that way! Now, tell us about your featured book of the week, please.
Bethany: Indelible is a book that is near and dear to my heart (although I think I say that about all of my books), it is the story of a single mother, who is working and going to school full time. Sam is doing what she can to make things work, and give her daughter a good life, then she meets Judd. Judd is going to school on a baseball scholarship, and is enjoying being a young single ballplayer. It’s the story of two people at two totally different stages of their lives, who want to be together, but realize that sometimes what you want, isn’t what is best for everyone involved.
Jo: Sounds like an awesome book. I'll check it out. That’s all the time we have for today! Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers?
Bethany: Thanks for having me, and thanks to the readers for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do. As an avid reader myself, I love how vast and diverse the market it, and I appreciate anyone who picks on of my books out of the masses.
Jo: Readers are the reason writers exist, huh? That was a lovely thank you. Thanks for stopping by the blog and letting me interview you, Bethany. I can’t wait to meet you at UtopYA!
Now, a little about the featured book of the week.
Author: Bethany Lopez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length (print): 255 pages
Links to Purchase: Amazon - Kindle $2.99 B&N - Nook $2.99
Synopsis: After a year of partying, Sam decides to buckle down and focus on college. Things are going great until a one-night stand leaves her pregnant and alone. Raising a child while going to school isn’t easy, but Sam is determined to be strong for her daughter. She doesn’t have time for guys or relationships, and takes great care to protect her child and her heart.
Judd doesn’t fit the mold of a college ballplayer. His long hair and tattoos may fit the life he’s created for himself, but baseball is the one thing he takes seriously. When he meets Sam, he’s immediately drawn to her curves and refusal to put up with his crap. When Judd learns the truth, can he handle the responsibility that comes with loving a single mother?
Sam yearns for the fire that Judd fuels in her, but her child’s needs have to come first. Can two people at different stages in their life find a way to make a life together?
And, since your finger is in the clicking mode, why not give Ms. Lopez a follow on social media?
Facebook: Author Page
Thanks for stopping by this week to meet Bethany! She’ll be on the sidebar of the blog with her featured book for the next two weeks! Be sure and pop by next Monday for a guest post by this awesome author.
Do you have questions for Ms. Lopez? If so, drop them in the comments!
Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!