I’m thrilled to have my friend Beth Vogt on my blog today. Beth was one of the first writers I connected with online, and we instantly bonded for several reasons, one being that we’re both editors!
Beth’s debut novel, Wish You Were Here, just came out earlier this month. It’s a contemporary inspirational romance complete with comedy, love, and deep truths. (See below for a chance to win a copy!)
Beth agreed to answer some questions for me (thanks, Beth!), so here we go:
Tell me about the first story you ever wrote, no matter how old you were! How old were you, what was it about, and what was your inspiration for it?
My first story was a historical romance. I quite happily plagiarized Georgette Heyer, who was my favorite author at the time. She’s still one of my favorite authors. I asked my eighth grade teacher to read it and, bless her heart, she did—and gave me encouraging feedback too.
Plagiarism…the sincerest form of flattery, right? Anyway, I’ve read on your website that you had at one point sworn never to cross from the nonfiction realm into the fiction world. What made you cross over to the—as you put it—“Dark Side”?
I’d succeeded in my goal to be writing, submitting, and getting published regularly as a nonfiction writer. I’d even surprised myself by having a nonfiction book on late-in-life motherhood, Baby Changes Everything, published in 2007. But I was burned out. Writing a novel was my attempt to write just for the fun of it again—not for deadline.
I loved Wish You Were Here! It definitely made me want to travel more. Where’s the best place you’ve ever traveled to and why was it the best?
I’m so happy to hear you loved WYWH. I had fun writing it. Thanks to my husband’s military career, we vacationed in Italy and were able to visit Venice. There is something so, so intriguing about a floating city and traveling everywhere by boat. At the top of my “want to get there” list is Australia.
Ooo, my husband and I are hoping to make it to Venice sometime in the next few years. Moving on…I’m always interested to know: what was the first part of your story that was solid in your mind? Was it something in the plot or a certain character you couldn’t get out of your mind that led to Wish You Were Here?
I started with the scene of Allison standing in the church, all decked out in her never-should-have-said-yes-to-the-dress wedding gown, thinking, “I do. I can’t. I must.” I had so many questions to answer: Who was this woman? How did she get here? What was going to happen next?
Intriguing! So, they say (I’m not sure who “they” are, but regardless…) that we tend to put a little bit of us into our main characters. Is there any part of you in Allison or is she a complete figment of your imagination?
A close friend of mine just told me she caught all sorts of glimpses of me in Allison. (Jasmine tea, anyone?) Allison might not thank me for this, but I did give her my fear. I struggled against fear for too many years of my life. One of my greatest joys in Wish You Were Here was seeing Allison break free of her fears to become the woman God made her to be.
I loved that about the book too. OK, I have to ask. What’s with the llamas? They were awesome! (For those who are wondering, yes, there are llamas in this story!) Where did the inspiration for that one come?
My husband, Rob, suggested the llamas. It was a totally random thought and I ran with it. I should tell you that before the llamas, Rob was always suggesting aliens …
Haha, now THAT would have been interesting! So, there are a few characters from Wish You Were Here that I would love to see have their own love stories worked out…just sayin’. Is your second book a continuation of WYWH or completely unrelated?
My second novel, which is tentatively titled Catch a Falling Star, is a standalone novel, also set in Colorado. However, I am hoping to get back to some of the characters in WYWH.
Since you write romance, I wanna know: What’s the most romantic thing your man has ever done for you?
I think romance is everything from holding my hand when we go for a walk to the “I miss you” cards tucked in my luggage when I travel to shutting down his medical practice for several days and taking care of me when I battled a life-threatening illness. In other words: My husband loves me with his actions. One of my favorite romantic things that Rob does is dancing with me in our kitchen whenever our favorite songs come on the radio.
Beth, that’s so beautiful! Makes me want to cry, seriously. So we’ll end with a fun question: You’re locked in a room for a week and only allowed 3 items (no people allowed!). What are they?
My family’s going to expect me to say my laptop. But I’m going to assume I’m relaxing for this week … so, I’ll say: My Kindle (that way I have my Bible and unlimited reading material!), my Praying in Color notebook & pens (this counts as one item), and my iPod w/ all my favorite music.
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 contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted this month (Howard Books.) Beth also wrote a book on late-in-life motherhood, Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood After 35 (Revell 2007), and is an established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International.
Kissing the wrong guy days before her scheduled wedding leads Allison to become a runaway bride. But can it also lead to happily ever after? Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong.
The huge wedding. The frothy dress. And the groom.
Still, kissing the groom’s brother, Daniel, in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison’s life is nothing but mistakes at this point. Daniel’s adventures—chronicled through a collection of postcards—have always appealed to Allison’s well-hidden desire for something more. But how can betraying her fiancé’s trust lead to a true happily ever after?
Can Allison find her way out of this mess? Recognizing she doesn’t have all the answers won’t be easy because she’s used to being in control. To find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her—one outside her carefully defined comfort zone—and find the strength to let Him lead.
Beth has generously agreed to give away a copy of Wish You Were Here to a random commenter! Only U.S. residents are eligible. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments to be entered. Comments should be posted by Sunday, May 20, at 11:59 pm PST to qualify.
Your Turn: Where’s the best place you’ve ever traveled to and why was it the best?