Today we have the pleasure of getting to know Beth Vogt, author of Wish You Were Here.
Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Her inspirational contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted May 2012 (Howard Books.) Her second novel, Catch a Falling Star, releases May 2013. Beth is an established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International. Visit with Beth at her websitebethvogt.com.
1) Tell us about your most recent novel.
That’s a tricky question. My debut novel, Wish You Were Here, came out May 1, and I’m in edits for my second novel, Catch a Falling Star, which releases May 2013. Wish You Were Here is a contemporary romance that asks (and answers) the question: Can the wrong kiss lead to Mr. Right? It tells the story of Allison Denmark, who kisses her fiancé’s brother five days before her wedding. She has to decide which is the mistake. The wedding? Or the kiss?
2) During grade school, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’m certain like most kids my ambition changed from day to day and at some point I probably wanted to be a ballerina or a teacher or a singer. But the one dream that stayed with me through elementary school all the way through high school and into college was the dream of being a writer. And that’s what so thrilling to me: I’m living my dream!
3) Out of all the stories/books that you’ve written who is your favorite character and why?
I know all authors get asked this question at some point. When I’m asked what book is my favorite, I say it’s the first book I ever read because that book opened the door to all the other books to come. That would be true here too: My favorite character is Allison Denmark, the heroine of Wish You Were Here, because she was the first fictional character to lure me from nonfiction over to the Dark Side of the writing road. She showed up at the back of a church, struggling to walk down the aisle and say, “I do.” I had to figure out who she was, how she got there, and if she went through with the wedding!
4) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
I would like to do a six-month split. I know, I know, I’m fudging my answer here. I love the idea of a beach house in Destin, Florida, where I can hear the sound of the ocean and step outside for long walks along the shore. For the other six months of the year, I’d love to be hidden away in a rustic mountain cabin in Colorado, where I could write and enjoy hikes with my husband.
5) What is the best piece of writing advice that you’ve ever been given?
I believe writing is rewriting. The first pass at a scene is never the best rendition of the scene. I have mentors who set the bar high for me – and to reach it, I have to tear the scene apart, again and again and again, until I’ve purged it of all the first-attempts, the weak verbs and nouns, and fleshed it out with emotion and metaphor.
6) What are your favorite foods? Foods you hate?
- When I’m stressed, give me a handful of jelly beans and I’m happy – or at least, happier.
- When I want the ultimate dessert, serve me some decadent crème brulee.
- Favorite dinner? Something my husband grills with a tossed salad.
- Foods I hate: If you can attach the adjective “slimy” to it, I’m not eating it.
7) Do you outline your books before writing them? Why or why not?
I love The Book Buddy, which is a fantastic writing tool by author Susan May Warren. I use it to plot out my novels: my characters, my spiritual theme, my subplot and/or layer, my villain, my overall scenes (aka “the spine”). When I’m done, I take all that information and write a “fast draft” of my novel – usually in about a month to six weeks.
8) How do you incorporate your faith into your novels?
I read an article that discussed the four ways a writer incorporates spiritual truth in a novel. I looked at all four points – and realized I didn’t do it any of those ways. And I panicked, thinking I must be doing it wrong. Then I realized that I weave the spiritual thread into my novels quite deliberately – but with my goal in mind: to keep the conversation going with my reader. And I don’t know if a reader is questioning faith, new to their faith, or quite mature in their faith. So, I try to weave in faith in such as way as to not interrupt the story – but so that it’s organic to what is happening in the characters’ lives.