Spend some time with BethAnn Buehler, a fab writer and blogger!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you as a person?
I'm a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom to a kiddo with Asperger's Syndrome, which is a very mild form of Autism. It's the hardest job I've ever had but it's my favorite. I started writing as a career to carve out personal time for myself as a way to escape some of the stress in my daily life. I know it sounds corny but I love "love." I love the underdog, the person who deals with their own brokenness and finds the courage to make their life happen against the odds. That's why I write romance. I really want the happily-ever-after.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I grew up in a very poor area of Indianapolis. All we had was a run down grocery store, a gas station and a public library. For as long as I can remember, books have been a bright spot in my life. I wrote my first serious story when I was in fourth grade. I completed a novella and entered it in the junior high school talent competition three years later. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.
What is your favorite of all the things you’ve written?
Cooper Hensen is my favorite hero (Faith 15) and I have to admit I fell in love with him the more I wrote about him. I will say the 5th book in the Men of Faith series features a married couple and Eric, my hero in that story, is really starting to get under my skin. The million-dollar question everyone wants to know is if any of my books are about me. I have Whitney’s standoffish quality and share her love of tennis (Hope 22). I have Cali’s loyalty to the people I love (Faith 15). I have Abigail’s longing to be accepted and her heart for wanting the fairy tale (Charity 12). An old character I wrote in my first novel series, The Rebel Canyon Series, which is currently being reworked to fit a more inspirational standard, Rachel, is the one woman that's always spoke to me the most. When I first created her, she was someone all together different and to say she's changed as her story has unfolded would be a huge understatement. Wait until you meet her when that series is re-released. We'll have to talk. As far as a book, the last story in the Men of Faith series is killing me. I have no doubt it’s going to be my favorite when it’s completed.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently in edits with book three in the Men of Faith series, Charity 12. Books four and five are well underway and pull my attention away on a given day.
I find writing in the middle of series the hardest so I’m there right now, wrapping Charity 12 and heading into books four and five. In my mind, I see the end so taking the time to get it on paper is just brutal. My first novel, Broken Destiny (currently unpublished) was the easiest to write but as I’ve gone back to rework it, I know why. I thought I knew exactly what I was doing with that one and let me just say, nope. Not even close. What I didn’t know about the writing craft nearly six years ago amazes me.
What is your best memory from your childhood?
This is a tough one because so many things come to mind. However, if I’m being totally honest, anything related to time I spent with my Grandma--any day we had together—would top the list.
Tell us about a book you’d recommend. Why do you love it?
Most recently Corinne Michaels (The Consolation Duet), Brittainy Cherry (The Air He Breathes) and Heidi McLaughlin (Archer Brothers) have really tugged at my heart. If a writer makes me cry, I’m hooked!
How do you come up with ideas for your books?
The Men of Faith series was born on a mountain in Utah. I was hanging out and reading in the lodge at Deer Valley (Utah) while my husband and son were out skiing. I took several books to read for the week since I don't ski and honestly, each one I finished left me flat. By the end of the third day (and the fourth dissatisfying book), I ran to the gift shop, bought a notebook, refilled my hot chocolate for the hundredth time and Brody started talking. With the Men of Faith series the characters walked through the door and started talking. Brody, Cooper, Burke, Gage and Eric brought me their stories.
Describe a perfect writing day.
Zero distractions and a completed to do list.
Describe a terrible writing day.
I can only write if I have nothing else on the schedule: no errands, no housework, no meal prep. If there’s something else hanging over my head, I find I can’t focus on my characters as well as I prefer to. And I need quiet. In fact, I think I’m the only writer I know that can’t write to music.
Do you ever make public appearances? Where can we meet you in person?
I love speaking to reading groups and making the occasional book store and library appearance. Most recently I’ve spoken to a group of young (to the craft, not in age!) writers and a genealogy group interested in weaving their work into a story. I love helping new writers get their stories on paper.
What would you like us to know about you that I didn’t ask?
I love to research the finer details of my books. That's to say if I state the name of a gun, let's say, I know enough about that weapon to know how far it shoots, the noise or lack thereof it makes when fired, its cost... When I wrote more contemporary, erotic romance, I felt research was key and I found I had to be in a certain frame of mind to write heavier sex scenes. The same goes for a fight scene. If someone makes me mad, I guarantee my characters are going to fight when I write that day. Now that I write inspirational romance, I work hard to make the story emotional and the relationships intimate without graphic sex. For the Men of Faith series, I've consulted various doctors for the medically technical parts, an attorney for all of the legal parts and I have a military consultant for the weapons and communications aspect. My brother-in-law is a former NFL player so I have a football specialist on my team as well. I'm my own car buff so the wonderful cars my characters drive are all me. I'm not so big on outlining although as the series grows, I've needed an outline just to make sure I give proper closure to the various storylines I've introduced. I try to write everyday and usually set a goal of about 3,000 words. My muse and I are both Type A personalities so we're very goal oriented. However, given I’m raising a human, I don't always make it.
To find out more about BethAnn and her current works, please visit her at her blog: bethannbuehler.blogspot.com, on Facebook: Author Bethann Buehler, or contact her via Email at firstname.lastname@example.org or talking about a myriad of topics with her writing sisters at www.facebook.com/ScriptChics/
You can find BethAnn’s work at the following:
Courtney is a most fabulous writer and teacher of gifted middle school students. She is the author of two novels - see the "Cate Books" page of this site for information! Watch for updates about future books that need to be part of your personal library. In the meanwhile, enjoy her pithy life observations.