Sunday, December 14, 2014

Author interview: Misty M. Beller

Today, I am delighted to introduce you to a writer who describes herself as a "Southern Country Belle," loves the slower pace, appreciates the beauty of living in the South so much that many of her fictional stories happen on ranches and involve horses. Misty M. Beller is this sweet writer's name and she has agreed to be hosted here on my blog today. 

Here's my author interview with Misty (Questions from Alexis in bold, answers from Misty not in bold)...

Alexis: Why do you write historical romance novels for the Christian book industry?

Misty: I tend to be a bit of a sentimentalist, so Historical Romance is perfect for me! My favorite period is between 1860 - 1880, when the cowboy days were really ramping up. I love the simpler life, where there's no rat race. Just hard work, plenty of alone time (can you tell I'm an introvert?), and a strong family unit. God is the central element in my life, so I want my books to naturally reflect him.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer? Share the story.

All my life, I've been a true book lover. Give me a good novel, and you probably won't see me again until it's finished. I've also always enjoyed writing, and tend to express myself best through my written correspondence. In high school, I had a poem published in a commercial poetry compilation book. But I never seriously thought about writing a novel, until about four years ago when I put together my bucket list. "Write a novel that's published" made it near the top!

I decided, it's now or never, and made the commitment to do it. So, I had a general idea that I wanted it to be a Christian western romance. But where to start? I finally decided I needed to find a good book to help me plan. I stumbled upon (a.k.a. God led me to) the best possible book to help me get started with a great plan: Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. For all you writers out there, I can't recommend it highly enough!

From there, I've soaked in every bit of writing instruction I can from some amazing groups and individuals. And I've spent countless hours sitting with my laptop pouring out words onto the screen. The Lady and the Mountain Man is my first release, but the second novel I wrote. My first novel is under contract with Prism Book Group to release in 2015. Writing is in my blood. It's my passion. A true gift from my Heavenly Father, and I pray daily that he uses the words for His purpose.

Describe your writing space. 

I've written in a few coffee shops, on the beach, and around a campfire in the mountains, but most of my writing spots aren't nearly as romantic. I write on a laptop, so I'm usually sitting Indian-style with my laptop on either my bed or the living room couch. One of the most important things for me is NO DISTRACTIONS. It's almost impossible for me to write with my husband or daughters around. Just too hard to get lost in the words.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? Please explain how you make ends meet.

Alas, I'm not one of the lucky full-timers yet… (dramatic sigh) Kidding aside, I do enjoy my day job, but between that and my family, writing time is precious!

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of being an author?

Keeping up with it all. Between word counts and deadlines and critique partners and marketing efforts, there are so many balls to juggle!

What is the most rewarding part of being an author?

Honestly, hearing from readers. Whether it's a review on Amazon, or a note through my website, it makes my week to hear from a reader they've enjoyed my story.

How many books have you written? Are they all for the Christian market? Why or why not?

I'm just finishing up my fourth book right now, the sequel to The Rancher Takes a Cook that will release from Prism Book Group in June 2015. I love reading and writing Christian romantic fiction, because it provides a place where we don’t have to always be concerned about inappropriate language or too-graphic love scenes. It’s a “safe zone” where our imaginations and emotions can run wild and free, living out exciting times and experiencing God-orchestrated happily-ever-afters – without having to clean-up at the end of the day.

As a writer, who or what has been your most valuable resource? Please explain.

Wow, I've learned from so many amazing people, books, etc. If I had to name a single resource, it would have to be the organization American Christian Fiction Writers. The wealthy of learning opportunities, connections, and support is amazing!

As a woman of faith, how does your relationship with God affect your writing?

Oh, yes. Through the years, it's been abundantly clear to me that the words I type onto the blank page are God's words. I try to pray before I begin each writing session, and I earnestly seek God's direction for each story.

Why do you love books?

Wow, that question looks so simple but runs so deep! I love stories. I love immersing myself in another world, seeing life through the eyes of another person. It can be a powerful experience.

Who is your favorite author and which one of their books do you love the most? Explain why.

Hmmm… So many great authors, it's hard to choose! One of my favorites is Karen Witemeyer, especially her book Short-Straw Bride. It's such a fun historical romance, and Karen's use of word pictures is exceptional.

You grew up in South Carolina. Would you describe yourself as a Southern Belle? Why or why not?

Yes, I guess I have a bit of the old-fashioned type of Southern Belle in me. I may be more of a Southern Country Belle. I love the beautiful charm of the South, the slower pace, and the kindness in the people. Not to mention sweet iced tea.

Explain your love for the simpler farm life. How does your love for farm life translate to your characters, or does it?

My stories also take place around horses and ranching, which comes from my love for those animals. I was completely horse crazy growing up, and actually trained and showed horses professionally for a couple years after high school.

Would you say your family has always been supportive about your writing career dreams? Explain.

Yes, my husband is usually very patient with my many hours spent writing. My parents and grandparents are my biggest supporters, always asking for updates and cheering me on.

What is your favorite feature of this holiday season?

Our traditions. We live close to both sides of our family, so we are able to enjoy so many rich traditions with both my family and my husband's. It's such a special time of doing things together that bring back wonderful memories.

What do you want for Christmas?


Every writer has a muse. Who or what is yours?

Hmmm… I haven't thought about that question before. My inspiration is often spurred by alone time. Sometimes reading another good book.

Complete this sentence: At the end of the day, I am _____________________because _____________________.
At the end of the day, I am thankful because God has me in His will, wherever that might take me.

Author bio:

Misty Beller writes Christian historical romance, and is the author of The Lady and the Mountain Man. She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and two daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Read more about Misty at her website, and check out her book, The Lady and the Mountain Man.

Connect with Misty:







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