Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Eating Life with Beth Burnett

I'm kicking-off August by featuring author Beth Burnett.
Last year I met Beth at the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) Conference in D.C. I then became a student at the GCLS Writing Academy where she's the director. Today, she humbly agreed to be interviewed for this blog. I hope that you find her to be as witty and entertaining as I do.

Tell us a little about yourself?
I've written twenty thousand bios in my life and this question still makes me go all wild-eyed and yell, "I like turtles!" Seriously, I think I'm pretty out there on social media so most people probably already know the standard stuff. If there's something most people don't know it's that I'm actually rather serious and introverted, despite my boisterousness in crowds. 
Beth's Blog
Beth on Amazon
Beth on Goodreads

How did you get to be so witty, funny, and good looking?
I was born this way. It's my blessing and my curse. I'm actually quite humble, but it's hard to stay humble when you're this awesome.  

Tell us about your upcoming book and where can we buy it? 
Eating Life is my current book. It's available for purchase August 15th. Order from a local woman owned bookstore! (My two favorites are People Called Women in Toledo, Ohio and Laurel Bookstore in Oakland, California. Both will order it if they don't have it. And they ship. And of course, you can buy it in the regular big online retailer places. And from Sapphire Books website.)

Fill in the blank:
This book will make you want to stop working shitty jobs and start living with wild abandon.

(I need to read this book!)

What is your favorite scene?
I love a scene between Casey (my main character) and Ben Stagg when she finds him hitchhiking and gets his backstory. The two of them have a natural, platonic chemistry that made all of the scenes with the two of them incredibly easy to write. 

What was your inspiration for this book?
I spent so many years on the road, travelling from one place to another, never really living anywhere. It was liberating and wild and I knew some day, after I settled down, I would write a character who was homeless by choice.

Million dollar question, what are you working on next? 
I hope it becomes a million dollar project. I have one completed manuscript that is with a beta reader as we speak about two soulmates who fall in love but can't be together. I'm working on a hetero romance about two women who are betrayed by their boyfriends and decide to write bad porn books about them to get even. I'm about halfway through a self-help book based on the online women's empowerment classes I teach. And I just started outlining a book in which the antagonist from Eating Life becomes the protagonist. And my alter-ego, Olivia Craft, tries to put out an erotica short story on Amazon every other month or so. (Olivia's work keeps me supplied with hummus and Birkenstocks, so I have to schedule time for her.)

If you were sitting at a stop light next to a new writer, what writing, publishing wisdom would you bestow upon him/her before the light turned green?
I'd scream, "Just sit down and write" and then drive off, leaving them speechless and terrified.

Any website or resources that have been helpful to you as a writer?
I'm kind of a luddite - I still like paper books. I have Stephen King's On Writing, and the Natalie Goldberg books. Chuck Wendig's Kick-ass Writer is excellent, too. The biggest boost to my writing skills comes from running the writing academy. Even when I'm not teaching, I sit in on the classes, and they are incredible. I feel my writing has improved so much since starting with the academy.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Long ago, I was talking to the incredibly talented Linda Kay Silva and she said, "Stop saying you want to be a writer. You obviously don't want to be a writer or you'd be writing." It was hard but she was so right. I sat down that day and started writing. My first novel, Man Enough, came directly from that conversation. 

What has been the best compliment?
I love when people acknowledge my work (and I'm a Scorpio), so all compliments are welcome! One of my favorites was when Catherine Wilson, author of the When Women were Warriors series, listened to my reading, and then ran to the vendor table shouting, "I need to get that book!" 

Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Lesbian fiction is still relevant - perhaps even more so in today's political climate. Keep reading and I'll keep writing. 

What is the biggest surprise that you experienced after becoming a writer?
That it isn't just writing. I knew nothing about marketing (still don't know much) and the amount of marketing an author has to do is overwhelming. I somehow thought that as long as I wrote good books, people would just miraculously know about them and buy them. 

Anything else you'd like to share?
I'm not wearing pants.

Any questions you'd like to pose to me?
What are you wearing?
    Shirt & Tie AND Pants

    And when is your next book coming out?
    Love Coupons --Sept 1st (fingers-crossed)

On August 15th RUN don't walk to get Beth Burnett's next book Eating Life.


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