Bettie Boswell, On Cue
From time-to-time I’ve had the opportunity to interview authors on my blog. COVID-19 has certainly upset many a plan –but a friend, an author I first met through our Ohio chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers is releasing a book I have heard nothing but great comments about. I decided it was time to connect with her and offer this fun interview. And before my fellow CCU/CBC &S friends ask…yes this is the same Bettie Boswell you know!
Me: How did you come up with the title for your book, On Cue? And by the way, I love the cover.
Bettie: Oh, thanks. And thanks to my publisher, Mt. Zion Ridge Press. They designed the cover and I love it, too. The story involves a musical production and actors have to come in 'on cue.' I thought that it would be a good title because at the end, when the musical and the romance finally come together, it is right 'on cue.'
Me: Perfect. Although I met you through some writing connections, I know you have a musical background so having a story featuring a musical production and the performers in it makes sense. Best advice I ever received was “Write What You Know.” So tell us, how long have you been writing?
Bettie: I have written stories since I learned to hold a pencil and form words. As a teen I wrote several skits for church and I continue to do that. My career as a music teacher allowed that passion to grow into musicals for my students. Along the way, I wrote several articles for The Christian Standard and for music teacher magazines.
Me: And now you’ve turned your pen to writing novels.
Bettie: I have. Novel writing and studying the craft more seriously began about ten years ago. In fact, I submitted "On Cue" several times and it was rejected. I decided to attend some conferences and writing classes. I revised the story over and over. In the mean time, an opportunity came through one of my children's writer's groups to write for the educational market. That was an interesting challenge, but I never lost interest in this book. Last May, I attended the online Mt. Zion Ridge conference and decided to submit my novel to them. I was very pleased when they decided to work with me.
Me: I so appreciate you sharing that path. I often meet writers who, at their first rejection, give up their dreams. That willingness to revise and tweak and constantly improve your writing is powerful and is the pathway to success. It demonstrates a great amount of self-discipline as well as a teachable spirit. (I think I made her smile.) It’s true. So how do you stay focused and keep the discipline it takes to chase that dream?
Bettie: Right now I am still working full time as a teacher so that takes up most of my daytime. Weekends, summers, and some inspired early mornings or late nights are my chances to write. I am retiring next summer and plan to spend time writing each day.
Me: Exactly, carving out time is sometimes hard but extremely important. In my writing books, Designing a Business Plan for Your Writing and Writing with E’s , I emphasize it isn’t tons of time it is consistent blocks of time that get that manuscript completed. And I know how hard that can be, especially when you’re still teaching. Been there. Done that.
One thing I notice about your writing is your great dialogue. I loved your story “Fred’s Gift” that appeared in the anthology, From the Lake to the River. Dialogue is rather tricky for a lot of new authors. How did that come about so naturally for you?
Bettie: Thank you. Actually, I think writing scripts helped me to create meaningful dialogue. I’ve written many scripts for both church and school. Dialogue may be one of my strongest areas in the discipline.
Me: Is there one take-away from your book, On Cue , you hope readers will identify with?
Bettie: Absolutely. Forgiveness and follow through for something that you believe in, including believing in yourself. It’s the same advice I’d give to aspiring writers.
Hang in there and write what you believe in. If a big publisher never buys it, be willing to take a chance with a smaller one, or take advantage of a printer so your family has a limited edition of your work as an inheritance. I have a lovely book of poems that my Grandmother's uncle left her as an inheritance and it is a treasure. And also, get involved with supportive groups and with critique partners. Go to conferences. Take classes. Learn to take criticism with grace and understanding. You are the one who knows the heart of your story so learn to critique your own work as well. Stay true to your story, but apply the advice that makes it stronger.
Me: Great advice. So what’s next?
Bettie: I have several projects including the historical prequel to On Cue . I'm also experimenting with the concept of a Novel in Verse for a middle grade story about a girl's changing relationship with her father when he has to move ahead of the family for job relocation.
Me: Bettie, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. I wish you well with this sweet book. I think one of the editors I met called it “adorable.” I think we need a heavy dose of “adorable” in 2020.
Bettie: Thank you for the opportunity. I look forward to when we can get back together face-to-face.
Me: Absolutely. Readers, I am including a brief description of the book On Cue , as well as the link to purchase the book. What a great Christmas gift this would make for family and friends. (You probably noticed I hyperlinked the books mentioned as well as the links below.)
Ginny's musical may save the local museum, but restoring her trust in men is another matter. When theater professor Scott finds himself coerced to direct her musical, they must work through humorous misunderstandings and a couple of pet disasters, until they finally discover that forgiveness and trust produce perfect harmony.
The book is on pre-sale at Amazon. The release date is November 1st.
(You can be one of the first to read and review!)
If you want to connect with Bettie and follow her on her writing journey, here is her contact info:
Be sure to leave your comments and encouraging words for Bettie below.