Happy Sunday to you all!
This week our guest is an author who creates enchanting and heartwarming stories that fill our heart with love.
I’m happy to introduce…
USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby‘s books have been southern fiction, historical fiction, and women’s fiction bestsellers. Her newest novel “The Summer of New Beginnings” will be released in March 2018 by Lake Union Publishing.
Describe yourself with three adjectives.
Bette: Kind. Determined. Storyteller.
Choose three adjectives for your last novel, The Summer Of New Beginnings.
Bette: Loving (sisters). Homeless (dog). Helpless (baby).
What was the best thing about writing your last novel?
Bette: Getting to know the characters, but I consider that the best thing about almost every novel I write. For this particular novel, I had to learn about cochlear implants in young children and I watched a number of YouTube videos of young children hearing sound for the first time – that was an absolutely awesome experience, I spent an entire afternoon watching those videos and came away with a tear in my eye and a heart full of inspiration.
The Summer of New Beginnings is the first book in the Magnolia Grove Novels Series. Could you tell us more about this new project?
Bette: The title of the second Magnolia Grove novel is A Year of Extraordinary Moments. It is a very heartwarming continuation of the story of the two sisters.
What inspired you to write this last book?
Bette: I am a true dog lover, and my Bichon, Sugar, is with me almost every hour of every day, so I wanted to write a story about a young woman and how rescuing a dog enriched her life. However, once I got into the story and got to know these sisters, the story became so much more. Very seldom is life so simple that it can be boiled down to a single crisis point and I think The Summer of New Beginnings illustrates this. What began as the story of a woman and her dog became the story of family relationships, and finding strength through one another.
What did you edit out of this book?
Bette: In order to bring one of the life changing events closer to the beginning of the story, I had to cut a scene where family gets together on a visit. I will most likely release this as a prized tidbit to my followers after they have had time to read the novel.
What feelings do you hope your readers experience by reading your novels?
Bette: I hope they will close the book with a sigh, feeling that despite life’s hardships, a love of family and faith in the future will see you through.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Bette: I almost always start with the character and then once the twists and turns begin to take place I research relevant events, places, settings, etc.
If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?
Bette: Probably the ninety-year-old Ophelia from Memory House. I think it would be great fun to have those magical powers, even if only for a day.
What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
Bette: Hearing that one of my novels has changed someone’s life. Blueberry Hill, is a memoir of sorts and it is about my sister Donna, who passed away from a smoking related illness. The story focuses on how that tragedy affected those who loved her. One of my fans wrote to me saying she is now smoke-free for over 18 months and she stopped because of that story.
I’ve just reviewed Memory House (the first book in the Memory House Series), and I truly loved it. In this novel memories are the most precious treasures Ophelia belongs.
Would you like to share one of your important treasure with us today?
Bette: My greatest treasure is the relationship I share with my husband and dog—a treasure such as this brings you lifelong happiness, which is something fo magical power or material possession could ever equal.
Could you give some advice for aspiring writers?
Bette: Be yourself. Don’t try to emulate this or that writer because they sold a million books this year. Trends change and what’s popular this year, may not be next year. But stories that are pulled from your heart never go out of style.
Would you like to share a happy photo and tell us more about that moment?
Bette: It was taken the day I received my first print copies of The Summer of New Beginnings and my sidekick Sugar was (of course) sitting in my lap.
Thank you so much, Bette, for being such a lovely guest today, and for sharing a signed copy of The Summer of New Beginnings with our readers!