HEARTS UNLOCKED is a novella-length romance set Thanksgiving week. I thought it would be fun for romance to spark during the holiday while the pies are baking, and folks are gathering for family festivities. Since the main character, Stephanie Allan, is far from home working hard to establish her independence, the backdrop of all the families gathering together really emphasizes her alone-ness. And it was really fun to use the senses of the season, with the pumpkins, and corn mazes, as well as winter’s approaching cold as her story moves along. As in my other titles, the setting becomes a character in the story.
2. How did you come up with the idea for Cherryvale?
I wanted to create a small town where “neighbors care, gardeners share, God allows do overs, and the pastries have no calories.” LOL So I cherrypicked, ahem, I selected the very best features we all want in our own communities, and then peopled it with real, but friendly, characters. They’re not perfect, just folks doing their best in a world that throws some curveballs. I sprinkle in “Kodak moments,” lots of animals, and a touch of faith. I believe a cozy read should provide a beautiful setting, funny moments, and encouragement for your day. Many fans tell me they purposely read slowly so they won’t finish too soon, and that they’d love to move to the ‘Vale. I call them my honorary ‘Valers.
3. Will there be more books in the series?
Yes, there are already several, and are all written so you can pick them up and start with any one. You don’t have to worry about missing something. Already on the shelf are FRESH START SUMMER, GRACE & MAGGIE ACROSS THE POND, and AUTUMN CHANGES. CHRISTMAS BELLS is also fresh off the hard drive and available. ALOHA GRACE (you can guess where that one takes place!) and SPRING BLOSSOMS will release sometime in 2013.
4. What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I still work part time, and we’re empty nesters, so I have the luxury of having several hours a day to write in my home office I call my cocoon. That said, it still takes several cups of hot coffee and a little buzzing around the social media sites before I work up the self-discipline to sit down to write. But when I get started, I remember how much fun it is to make stuff up, and as long as my characters are behaving, it’s the best gig in the world.
5. What are you working on now?
I need to get Grace Harkins, and her husband Mark, to Hawaii. ALOHA GRACE will be the first full-blown mystery in the series, and my husband and I just took a fact-finding trip to Oahu, so you can tell there are also sacrifices we writers make. >cough< And I already have SPRING BLOSSOMS plotted, so finishing that’s on the to-do list. FRESH START SUMMER is being converted to audio for release in the spring, so I am preparing to market that. (Marketing is also a big part of being an author these days, no matter the genre or publishing process.) When the Cherryvale series is complete, I have several titles already brewing. I have a rough start on a romantic suspense that is set during the production of a community theater production of THE WIZARD OF OZ called MURDER, MOST SINCERELY.
6. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Have your head examined! Seriously, it’s an exciting, frustrating, wonderful, grueling, creatively-challenging pursuit. If you can’t stop yourself no matter the obstacles, then read everything you can in your genre and also read excellent titles not in your genre. Take classes, go to conferences, join a critique group of brutally honest, scary people wielding red pens. Announce to the world that you are a writer, and then sit down and write. Then re-write, maybe dozens of times. When “finished,” make sure you have an excellent editor. I have had books traditionally and self published, but the process is never complete without excellent editing. And be careful not to lose your joy, because if you do, your words will not resonate from the depths of your unique, writerly soul.
7. What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? Where do you get the details for your stories?
Because of my husband’s military and aerospace career, we’ve lived in two countries and six states, and more cities than I can count. I have shown horses competitively in America and England, and I worked in a British riding stable, so there are always horses in my stories. Along with our kids, Lindsay and Evan, I’ve been involved in the entertainment industry, both in Hollywood and local community theater. I was a set dresser and props mistress for years, so all those details are fun to incorporate. Oh, and we’ve just taken up photography on a semi-obsessive basis. I already have some credits in the local paper and in an internationally distributed brochure. Also, my husband’s a pilot, and we travel a lot. I guess my point is that being an older seasoned writer, the sum of my busy life helps me draw on lots of experiences to enrich the action and events in my stories. It’s the way I apply the old advice to “write what you know,” and take it a step further to add detail and information from around the world that I’ve gleaned just by making it this far.
Beverly Nault can be found in the following places:
Check out her books on Amazon here: