Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A nonfiction writer and editor who said she’d never write fiction, Beth is now a novelist with Howard Books. She enjoys writing inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Connect with Beth on her website or check out her blog on quotes, In Others’ Words.
Savanna: Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Beth! It’s wonderful to have you here and CONGRATULATIONS on your newest release, Somebody Like You ! Can you tell us what first sparked the idea for this novel?
Beth: I was already working on another manuscript when I began mulling over the idea for Somebody Like You. Every novel I write has some elements of real life woven into it and for Somebody Like You I mixed together two elements: the fact that I have a fraternal twin sister and the experience of being a military wife for almost 24 years.
Beth: Haley Ames, the heroine, was easier for me to understand. Haley is a young widow and I’ve walked alongside several close friends who were widowed at young ages, so I tapped into those memories, those emotions.
Stephen Ames, the hero, was the most difficult character to write for the same reason: I understood what he was going through – being estranged from his brother. I’m in a season of estrangement with my extended family – something I never expected – and sometimes writing about Stephen’s heartache mirrored my own.
Savanna: Can you share with us one of your favorite quotes from the book?
Beth: This quote comes at the very end of the book and Stephen says it to Haley:
“I’m being courageous. Your movie hero John Wayne said, ‘Courage is being scared to death . . . and saddling up anyway.’”
I love this quote because it’s humorous – and it’s true. And it also didn’t come to me until I’d rewritten the ending at least three times. Once I figured it out, it was the perfect ending for the story. Both Haley and Stephen needed to be courageous to embrace the unpredictable who-would-have-ever-imagined-it future God had for them.
Savanna: In writing this story, were you drawn to any particular passage of Scripture as your characters faced their painful pasts and the unknown future? What would be a verse you’d share with readers standing before a crossroads in their own lives?
Beth: I pray over all my book dedications and after several months, I settled on this verse for Somebody Like You:
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 NIV
Often when we face a crossroads, we carry a heavy heart with us – leaving something or someone behind as we face an uncertain future. I love the promise of God’s comfort in this verse.
Savanna: As the author, what did you learn most from Haley and Stephen’s relationship and what do you hope your readers will take away most from their story?
Beth: I learned that love shows up when you least expect it – sometimes when you think you’re not ready for it – and that God delights in surprising us with an unexpected “yes” when we thought something – or someone – had to be a “no.”
Savanna: You write, speak, blog, and mentor – among so many other things. Are there any other doors once marked “Never” that you see opening up soon? 😉 A new project, opportunity, or hobby perhaps that you’re excited to begin?
Beth: As you know, I once said I’d never write fiction, so this falls into that category: I’m writing my first contemporary romance series – all my other novels have been stand-alones. I’m enjoying the process!
Savanna: Just for fun… since you write inspirational romance and we all love a good love story… Can you name one of your favorite romantic movies and one of your favorite romantic books?
Beth: Oh, the “pick one” question for movies and books are so difficult for me! I did just watch “While You Were Sleeping” with my 13-year-old daughter – that movie never gets old! A favorite romantic book? This may surprise you since I write contemporary romance: I fell in love with Georgette Heyer’s regency romances when I was in high school. To this day, I can pick up any one of her novels and immediately immerse myself into Regency England – and a delightful romance. A favorite is Faro’s Daughter.
Savanna: Thank you so much for joining us today, Beth! I loved this book and I’m so excited to see who will win the giveaway below for their own free copy. 😉
Beth has graciously offered one copy of SOMEBODY LIKE YOU to one lucky winner!
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Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends July 15, 2014.
Winner will be notified by email.