Author Spotlight: Beth D. Carter
On our Author Spotlight segment this month, we chatted with Beth D. Carter. Beth is a US based author who writes romance novels about ordinary girls in extraordinary situations. She has been published for thirteen years and released 100+ books in that time. We had a really interesting conversation about the twists and turns in her publishing journey, and she shared some invaluable writing advice and editing tips.
Author Spotlight: Beth D. Carter
Tell us about how you first started writing, and when you decided to pursue it more seriously and started thinking about getting your book published.
Beth was an avid reader from an early age, and when she was small she started writing blurbs. She’d read a book, think of a story and write a blurb. She eventually moved onto longer form writing. In Beth’s 20’s, she moved to Paris and began writing a romance novel based on the journeys she took and sights she saw. On return to home, she began to think about getting published. What followed was a lot of rejections from the traditional publishing industry. Then, e-publishing began its evolution in the writing world, and Beth was picked up by an e-publisher. Before that, Beth recalls how hard it was to get published, as indie authoring was not yet an option.
What inspires/drives your stories?
Beth always sets her stories in places she has lived, she prefers not to write about places that she doesn’t know about. Occasionally, she will fill in blanks by making up towns or places, but she enjoys writing about places she has spent time in. Her books tend to be set in Los Angeles, Louisiana, Missouri, and several book where the hero(ine) is travelling which includes several set in Europe. However, Beth takes inspiration from many things, including people she meets!
Who are some of your favourite authors/writers/creators that inspire you?
Judith Tarr, Shay Savage, Lisa Kleypas, Sam Crescent, RG Angel and Penelope Bloom are a few authors who inspire Beth’s writing.
Given the number of book you’ve published, how do you juggle writing with life/work/your other creative projects?
Beth’s goal is to write five books per year. But, rather than impose a word count on herself or a set number of pages to write, Beth has an easily achievable daily goal of writing just one sentence a day. Usually, one sentence turns into more, but if it doesn’t, you have still been productive and accomplished something! She either writes in the morning before leaving for work, or at night-time after coming home.
When you first started how did you better yourself as an author? Classes? Podcasts? Youtube? Novel writing books? Are there any particular recommendations you have?
Beth learned writing through experience and practice. In particular she found it useful to go through the editing process with a professional editor. Through the rounds of revision, her eyes were opened to the common mistakes she made, such as the use of passive language. She now makes a concerted effort to ensure the narrative is more active voice than passive voice.
What is your writing process? Plotter/Pantser?
Beth definitely sides more with the pantsers than the plotters. Like many pantsers, in her head she has a sense of the general outline of the book. But in between, she lets the characters drive the story. Beth writes about relatable characters, and likes her endings to have a ‘happy ever after’ as the world we live in has enough troubles and she believes in giving readers a positive experience.
Tell us about your publishing journey.
As the years have passed, Beth has stuck with traditional ebook publishers. She enjoys how her current publisher works in partnership with her rather than dictating decisions, which was not the case with her previous publisher. The books she originally published, the Love Story Trilogy, she took back the rights and chose to self-publish through Smashwords.
Tell us about your Love Story Trilogy.
In the first book in the Love Story Trilogy, the hero self-harms, and is a cutter. On the other side of the spectrum, the heroine has a crippling fear of blood after surviving a tragic car accident which killed her family. Putting these two people together presents some serious challenges they must overcome.
The second book follows first heroine who becomes a mail-order bride. But in this book, the focus is on the new character, the recipient, who must discover that love cannot be forced and finds his soulmate who is not the new woman in his life!
The third book in the series is all about the love interest who was introduced in the second book.
Other projects on the horizon?
Right now, Beth is working on writing a motorcycle series. The first, Shadow Touched, which will be released later this summer. The second, Shadow Kissed, she is currently writing.
What are some key things you’ve learned from your journey that you think other writers could benefit from?
Beth’s top tip is to read! Readers are writers, and writers are readers. Secondly, she also warned about head-hopping—it’s best to stick with one point of view in each chapter. Don’t accidentally stray from one character’s thoughts to another. Thirdly, don’t tell the story, show the story.
As a last word, Beth mentioned how hard it can be to market your books. She spent so much money that she wishes she had hired a PA firm right from the beginning. You have to spend money to make money, and sometimes it’s easier to hand the reins over to the professionals rather than waste money doing a second-rate job.
Where can people find your books?
All of Beth’s books are available on Amazon and Smashwords. But if you would like to support Beth further, purchasing direct from the publisher (Evernight) is the best option. Authors make more money when books are purchased directly from the publisher than from a third party.
How can people get in touch with you?
Beth is on Instagram and is constantly posting. She is also on other social media websites but does not have a large presence across other platforms.
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