We are so excited for Beth Kery to be our last spotlight author of 2015! She recently released Glow, which was a five-star read for Becky, and has written many other amazing books including Glimmer, The Affair, and Because You Are Mine. Read on to learn more about this best-selling author!
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No. I worked as a clinical psychologist in various settings before I became a writer in my 30’s.
Are you a full time writer?
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
Have more confidence. I could have been happier much sooner in my life, but happiness is a path that you have to find for yourself after trial and error. I’m just glad I did eventually get on that path.
Do you work on one storyline at a time or do you have multiple storylines in the pipeline?
One storyline at a time. I lose focus if I divide my creative allotment. 🙂
Let’s play favorites! Who is your favorite character you’ve written?
Well, that’s a tough one, of course. Each character becomes a part of you, so holds a special place in your heart. I’ll say for a hero, Vic Savian from Wicked Burn and for a heroine, Alice from Glimmer.
Have you experienced any of your stories personally?
Bits and pieces, maybe. For the most part, my storylines are products of my imagination.
What are your biggest distractions?
Hmmm, keeping in touch with family and good friends, a gorgeous day (especially distracting at my townhome in Lake Tahoe, because the days there can be like nature’s purest temptation), Netflix, online shopping, chocolate . . . (Wow, how do I ever get anything done?)
What is your least favorite part of the writing or publishing process?
The beginning of writing a book. Writing itself helps me to discover my characters and their motivations, so in the beginning, I experience this sort of anxious void. The only way to deal with it is dive in, and recognize I will eventually get to know these people and their world better . . . even fall in love with them a bit.
Do you find it difficult, or challenging to write from the male POV?
No. I love men. Even though I consider myself to be very feminine, I feel like I get the male voice. It’s not my voice, but I get it.
What activities do you enjoy outside of writing?
Hiking, cooking, reading, decorating (as in house decorating and working on house projects), wine, British history, water sports, travel.
Do you have a favorite author or book?
Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy remains a perennial favorite. I’ve re-read my copies so much the spines are breaking on two of them. I still wish they’d make it into a movie or series of movies.
Ever think you have a great idea for a book, only to find out someone released the same storyline already?
No. Thank goodness.
Have you ever had writer’s block and how do you work through it?
I’ve had small doses of it, but never the full disorder. I can see how the anxiety of it, once you have small experience, could easily spiral into creative shut down. I fervently hope that never happens. In the past when it occurs, I just keep writing and writing, whether it’s good or bad. Just the activity and distraction seems to make the block dissipate.
Do you ever find yourself jumping up from the dinner to table to jot down a scene that just ran through your head?
I will do that. Usually during relaxation times, like watching TV or taking a bath after a long day of writing. When I relax after working intently on a manuscript, ideas just shoot into my head.
What does your writing workspace look like?
Sunny, pleasant, lots of pillows to keep my back happy. I always have a scented candle burning, summer or winter.
Sharing your work with the public has to be scary. How do you respond to negative reviews?
I actually read reviews of my own books less and less. This isn’t because I’m unappreciative of people reading and taking interest in the books. I’m eternally grateful for that. A lot of it is a factor of time and having more and more of a body of work out there to be read. And besides, reviews are meant for other readers and for the reader/writer to put form to their ideas about a book. Readers have an idea of reviewers who are like-minded and can help them winnow down their buying/selection process for books. I know of a couple reviewers who can do that for me, and it’s great. As for bad reviews, years of experience start to teach not to take the review personally. Your work is going to hit every consciousness out there in a different way. My best reviewed, best sellers have also gotten their fair share of horrible reviews. It’s just all part of the process.
Do you have any visuals for your characters from any of your books?
Mostly, the way a character looks is strictly from my imagination. I like to imagine my readers coming up with their own images of characters and making the story part of him or herself. That’s the magic of reading. If there is someone that I compare a character to in looks, it’s usually after the fact. For instance, I saw a photo of Carey Mulligan and thought—wow, she really looks a lot like Emma Shore, from The Affair. Another example was a stock photo image that I saw. The model looked very much like Alice Reed from Glimmer and Glow. I sent the image in to my editor at Berkley during the Glimmer cover conference, and she passed it on to the art department for inspiration. I was shocked—and very pleased, because it’s never happened before—when the art department used the image of this exact young woman for the cover of Glow.
Can you tell us what you are working on next?
I just finished another serial novel called Make Me. It was an exhausting, but very rewarding process. For my last couple serials, they’ve been the size of two full size novels. Plus—for me, anyway—the serial is exponentially more challenging to write than a regular novel. Make Me had the added complexity factor of going back and forth in time, because the hero and heroine shared a traumatic, but poignant period of time together in their childhood.
What is in your purse right now?
My wallet, my sunglass case, my reading glasses, bandaids, (because I’m prone to blisters), makeup, pens, way too much loose change. I’m horrible about letting it collect until my purse starts to weigh a ton.
Do you have a favorite scene or book of your own?
Wicked Burn sort of remains a perennial favorite. It was my first book with Berkley, and I think it was a good first and overall representation of my writing style and voice.
Thanks so much to the Garden of REden for having me!