Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Meet Beth Carter, Picture Book and Romance writer

Posted by Susan B James on 1:30:00 AM with 21 comments

Introducing Beth Carter, who wears two writer hats: Picture book writer and Romance writer.
Thanks for having me! I’m a Midwestern girl who enjoys simple pleasures and dangerous challenges (you’ll have to read my “25 Wild & Crazy Things” on my website, www.bethcarter.com to see what I mean!
I just hopped over. You took SPELUNKING IN COLLEGE?! (You should definitely read Jayne Castle's Harmony books. Lots of alien undergound caves, among other things.)
I’m married (after 16 years of being a single mom). I’ve worked in marketing for over 25 years and was previously a bank vice president. Before that, I handled public relations for two hospitals and also worked at a private college.

I write novels and children’s picture books (three have been published and I’m polishing book four). My debut novel, THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, released in mid-August by Soul Mate Publishing. This is a dream come true. I’m still pinching myself.

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when you found you’d made your first sale.

I love firsts, too! I pitched my novel (after three in-person pitches at conferences) during a Savvy Authors five-line pitch session. I wondered how in the world I could boil my novel down to just five lines. It was a good lesson. Seven or eight agents and editors requested it. I was excited by their interest in THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS. Some requested partials and others requested fulls. Debby Gilbert, senior editor of Soul Mate Publishing, first requested a partial and a few weeks later requested the full. Then, two more weeks passed when I received an email (which I still have) saying, “We enjoyed your novel so much that we want to publish it!” I was beyond thrilled. I literally danced in my office and squealed. I’m still smiling. 

If it isn’t too nosy . . . (well of course it is!) How about the first time you kissed your true love.?

Hmm. We all think we have several true loves throughout our lives but my hubby kissed me for the first time in my driveway or maybe it was at the front door. Actually, it was both and it was good! I fell for him pretty quickly—more quickly than he did, I think.

Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?

I’m afraid I’ll miss someone, so let me say, I read several genres—women’s fiction, contemporary romance, humor, and thrillers. I think that’s why I infuse all of those into my work. I’m a genre straddler!

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?

For my novel, it was being offered a contract, followed quickly by seeing the cover art. Then, it was reading my first review on Amazon. I’m still in awe of my reviews.
For my children’s books, it’s seeing the illustrator bring my words to life and then going to elementary schools to talk to the kids about writing and encouraging them to dream big.
I love doing that too. Watching children respond to my pictures books and encouraging them to write their own is wonderful.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
 Reading, hanging out at Barnes & Noble or Starbucks, and shopping at T.J. Maxx. I love that store. I also like to boat, decorate, watch movies and have wine with friends.

What’s your snack of choice while writing?
 Coffee and more coffee. I don’t snack much, but when I do, it’s either almonds or Cheez-its.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?
 Build your publishing credits and your online platform. I hear that many agents and editors will Google you before reading a word of your manuscript. And if you don’t have an online presence (and the ability to market your work), they’ll pass. So…a Facebook author page, Twitter account, and either a blog or website are the minimum for any author.

To build publishing credits, I suggest starting small. Try short stories and submit them to anthologies. I’m in four or five anthologies. It’s a great way to build writing credits. Also, write poetry, flash fiction and six-word memoirs. There are many ways to increase your publishing credits and possibly catch the eye of an agent/editor or to build your resume.

Also, study your craft. Buy books on writing, subscribe to Writer’s Digest or The Writer and join professional writers’ groups. You’ll learn a great deal from fellow authors and speakers. I belong to three such groups.  Me too. I am a member of RWA, LARA and SCBWI. Plus, of course, my critique groups. 
Beth's Childrens Books
What genre or genres do you write?
 I write women’s fiction, romantic suspense and contemporary romance. I infuse my writing with plenty of mystery and humor. As I mentioned, I also write children’s picture books and can’t think of anything more important than children’s literature.
 Links to Beth's Children's Books:

Tell us about your latest release. 
THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS is women’s fiction with plenty of suspense, mystery, and humor. It’s about three professional women (friends since high school) who have chaotic personal lives. Together, they overcome many obstacles and stumble through the giant pot holes of life.
 Here’s my blurb: 
As the go-to wedding planner, Suzy can’t find her own wedded bliss and has one shocker of a wedding day. It doesn’t help that she’s still pining for her high school sweetheart, the one who got away. Handling neurotic brides is the best part of Suzy’s day until her son brings home a bombshell from Europe. 
Alexandra, a beautiful marketer with a “touch” of OCD, falls for a bad-boy cop who's married and possibly stalking her. But he sure is sexy. Alex tries to stay at arm’s length after she puts her job—and life—on the line for the officer who isn’t always a gentleman. 
Hope hates her name, looks, and frizzy hair. As a high school counselor, she dishes out sage advice to students, yet can’t see she’s enabling her deadbeat, stuck-in-the-seventies hippie parents. After tragedy strikes, she reexamines their relationship and discovers a secret that almost went to the grave. 
Friends since high school, the thirty-something women meet every Thursday at Coconuts for their own form of friendapy.
 Amazon Buy Link: tinyurl.com/l9m26ht
I love your blurb and your first chapters. Follow the link, peoplez and look inside.
What’s your current WIP? 
The sequel to THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS is tentatively titled COWBOYS & COCONUTS.
Writers are already asking for it and my novel just released two weeks ago, but that’s a good thing and spurs me on! I’ll keep Suzy, Alex and Hope, and of course, the sexy cop, Tony Montgomery. I’ll also introduce a New York socialite, Cheri, and Kate, a horse-loving country girl, as well as plenty of new guys to stir up the mix! I’ll have to create more nasty characters like Mrs. Biltmore or Misty. I have a little too much fun with those types.
And finally, where can we find you online?
You can connect with me here: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbethcarter (Women’s fiction and contemporary romance)

Thank you for visiting, Beth. Beth is giving away a free copy of Thursdays at Coconuts to a random commenter. I'd like to win this one myself. I read the first chapters on the Amazon preview link and it looks like a great read. So please leave a comment.


  1. Thanks for having me! It's great to meet a fellow novelist and children's writer.

    I appreciate your kind words about my debut novel. I had a lot of fun with these characters. I'll look forward to the comments and to awarding one lucky person a copy of THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS.

    P.S. I loved spelunking. I should write about it! Hmm.

  2. Sounds like my kind of writer. I enjoyed this interview. It ask interesting questions that I don't usually see in an interview.

  3. Susan did ask great questions. I like to be surprised by an interviewer. Thanks for stopping by, Tierney James!

  4. Loved this! I debut in November, so thanks also for your advice to newbie authors:) Most helpful! All the best and congrats again on your new release!

    1. That's exiting, abrielle1. Congrats. I'm glad my advice was helpful. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Excellent interview! I enjoyed reading Thursdays at Coconuts and look forward to the sequel.

  6. Thanks for commenting, Joanne. Most of all thank you for reading and reviewing THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS! I must get back to writing the sequel.

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  8. I love it that your husband read your book. How'd you manage that. Love your second title too. Sounds intriguing.

    1. He wouldn't read any of it (well, except for the car chase scene) while I was in editing mode. He said he wanted to wait for the finished product! Once he started, he couldn't stop! He shushed me every time I asked what scene he was on. He laughed a lot. He raised his eyebrows and said, "How did you come up with that?!" It was great feedback. Thanks for coming by, Shirley!

  9. Your book sounds wonderful, Beth! So glad you're seeing success with it. Can't wait to read it!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! I can't wait for you to read it either. :) So far, it has been a fun ride.

  10. Great interview!

    Beth, congrats on your book! It sounds soooo good!

    1. Thank you, Kerri! I'm glad you liked what you read. I had a great time creating these characters! So much so that I'm writing a sequel. I'm not ready to let them go.

  11. I enjoyed reading about your and your writing journey. Congratulations and best wishes for your continued success!

  12. Replies
    1. Thanks, Rachel! I just remembered I never got answers back to you for your blog. :(

  13. Congratulations on your novel! I have all three of your children's books ready for my preschool class this year:) Fun books and great pictures!

    1. That's so awesome, Anne! Thank you for buying my picture books! I hope the kids love them!! Let me know your address and I'll send coloring pages for the kids!

  14. Thanks to everyone who commented! The winner is Kerri Carpenter! Congrats. Please send your email to bethcarter@hughes.net so I can forward a copy of THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS to you!


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