Hello, Bette, thank you for stopping by today to share your thoughts about books and writing. I’ve read a couple of your books and plan to read some others. I noticed that you worked in Advertising before you began your career as a novelist, and that your mother was quite a storyteller during your growing up years.
Q: Your way of making characters come alive and stick in the reader’s memory is unique. Spare Change had some unforgettable characters. Tell us about Ethan Allan and Olivia. For example, Olivia was extremely superstitious. Did this characterization come from your southern roots?
A: Most likely. Southerners are by nature believers in folklore and superstition. I almost always give my characters some kind of quirky twist, such a superstition or habit, I think that’s why they stand out from the crowd and are more fun to read about.
Q: My heart went out to the little boy in Spare Change, who came from a very dysfunctional family. Even though this book is not listed as a Christian book, I found Christian overtones throughout. Tell us about this aspect of your writing.
A: Let me start by saying I am a staunch Christian, in fact I teach Sunday School to First Grade children. But I am also a realist. And, the truth is that people come from all walks of life and they are not always perfect, nor are they always cognizant of God’s word. In Spare Change, Ethan Allen came from a very imperfect household and he used cuss words. But the important thing about this story is not where he started, but where he was going. After Olivia took him in, she gave him a love he never knew and that changed the boy. We’ve all heard it said a million or more times—God works in mysterious ways. If there were no sinners, there would have been no need for Jesus Christ to give his life for us. We are all imperfect, some more so than others.
Q: Thank you so much for your testimony, Bette. I appreciate it greatly. As I read Spare Change, I could see how Olivia’s love changed a little boy who desperately needed a person to love him. I saw children like this during my career as an elementary teacher. Children can't choose who their parents are, and many times they start out at a huge disadvantage, as Ethan Allen did. Each of his parents had their own agenda, and it was NOT raising a child.
Q: What drove you to write Cupid’s Christmas?
A: It started out to be a very different story, then somewhere along the line I decided that Cupid would be the best and most fun storyteller. Cupid is, as you can tell by the story, an angel who reports directly to The Boss, who you come to realize is God.
Q: And it was fun. Which type of book do you write most often?
A: Heartfelt stories that enable readers to close the book with a sigh of contentment.
Q: Tell us about your new book “What Matters Most”. I understand the main character in this story is a quilter who doesn't want to leave the ladies in her quilting group.
A: What Matters Most, released on April 15 is a fun story that deals with a middle-aged husband who wants to retire and move to Florida and his wife who wants to remain right where she is. It’s a fun read about how different people view life-altering changes and how sometimes the very thing we dread is the thing that brings us the most happiness.
Q: What do you want readers to take away from this book?
A: A smile, a few giggles, a new acceptance of different types of people and perhaps a look at how they might react if standing in Louise Palmer’s shoes.
Q: As a multi-award-winning author, what advice do you have for people who are trying to get started today as a writer?
A: Read constantly. You learn something from every book you read and you can’t possibly be a writer unless you are a voracious reader.
Q: Thank you so much, Bette, we appreciate hearing from you. I hope many people will be checking out your books to see what they think about them.
If you'd like to learn more about Bette and her books, look for her at www.Amazon.com. Enter her name in the “search” box and you will find a listing of all her books.
Bette's new book, released on April 15, can be yours if you comment on this interview, or if you just sign in and say you want to win it. Don't miss this opportunity to get a free autographed copy of What Matters Most.
Winner will be announced on May 10. Be sure to get your name in the drawing. Bette offers the winner her choice of Nook, Kindle, or paper version. It will be sent directly to your device if you choose an electronic copy or mailed to your address if you want a paper copy. Leave your email address so I can know how to reach you if you are the winner and ask you which version you want.