Sunday, September 23, 2018

Falling for Books: Betsy's book

Interview with Betsy St. Amant about her story, "Save the Last Word":

Alexis:
Why did you name this story “Save the Last Word?”

Betsy:
The title came to me before the plot did, actually! I thought it was fun and interesting and fit perfectly with an “always have to have the last word” type of personality in the hero…AND heroine!

Alexis: Describe the heroine of your story, Zoe Armand. What makes her a free spirit and why has she never been conventional?

Betsy: Zoe marches to the beat of her own drum, partially because she was just created that way and partially because she doesn’t want to be like her overbearing, always-in-the-box parents. She’s more free style, and she’s happy that way. However, she’s not a slacker or lazy. She’s very compassionate, giving, generous and a go-getter in her own ways—she’s just not typical.

Alexis: Why does Zoe like to blaze her own trail in life and why do her parents who are all about reputation, disapprove of the way she lives?

Betsy: Zoe and her parents definitely clash. She isn’t rebellious about it, but rather, wishes they would just accept her as she is. She struggles with feeling like she’s never good enough for their standards and gets caught up briefly in trying to prove her worth to them. Zoe’s parents, mostly her mom, are embarrassed at her unconventional-ness, as they are pillars of the community and are all about image. They have some lessons to learn, too.

Alexis: Memory sounds like quite the small and whimsical town in Kansas! Did you make this place up? If so, paint a picture of it with words.

Betsy: I did invent it myself! I pictured it with a bit of a Gilmore Girls Stars Hollow vibe, of course, since I can’t help it because that’s my favorite show! But also it was just important to me to establish community and small-town camaraderie…one of those “everyone knows your name” type small-towns where Ms. Marshall was dearly beloved, all the kids knew other growing up, etc. I love that you use the word “whimsical” because that’s what I was going for.

Alexis:
Describe the hero of your story, Ben Marshall. What is his real passion in life? Talk about his dreams and goals for his future.

Betsy: Ben is the opposite in Zoe in many ways, but is actually more like her deep down than he realizes! They say opposites attract, and that’s a fact for Ben and Zoe. Ben is more straight-laced, by the book, and hard-working in the typical sense. However, he has a secret he’s keeping from his father—and by default, everyone else—that’s important to him and drives everything he does. Ben is a good man, hence why he doesn’t want to buck against his dad and family expectations, but is struggling to balance that with living out his real passions and dreams. To find out what his dream is, you gotta read the story!

Alexis:
Why is Ben’s father pressuring him to commit to being the vice president of their family business?

Betsy: Ben’s father wants him to take over, partly because of passing on the family legacy, but also because of image and control. Much like Zoe’s parents, reputation is everything to Ben’s dad. He’s a workaholic and expects Ben to be the carbon copy of himself.

Alexis: How do Ben and Zoe meet in this story? What are their first impressions?

Betsy: They meet at Ms. Marshalls’ apartment when Zoe comes to borrow sprinkles. It’s a really fun, comedy-of-errors type beginning that I just love! You’ll have to read the story to find out more.

Alexis: In what ways does Zoe both fascinate and bewilder Ben? Why?

Betsy: Ben is bewildered by Zoe because of how different she is than him—but at the same time, he’s fascinated by her because she calls to something deeper in him that he’s yet to realize about himself. She brings out the best of him and makes him address his worst, and vice versa.

Alexis: What is it about Ben that starts a fire in Zoe’s heart?

Betsy: Zoe has always liked Ben—even when they were little kids on the playground. She’s been attracted to him since day one!

Alexis: If you were a mutual friend of Ben and Zoe, what would you advise when it comes to the decisions they both have to make?

Betsy: I’d advise them both to stay true to themselves, and follow the wisdom and direction of the Lord that’s so obvious to us as readers from the outside-looking-in, but harder to see clearly when it’s YOUR life. I think we all need that reminder! Sometimes we think decisions are very hard to make, when the right path is very clear all along. We tend to make things more complicated than they are, am I right?

Alexis: As the author, what was your favorite part of writing this story? Why?

Betsy:
I loved writing the more comedic scenes, be it at the nursing home with the elderly patrons or the interactions and misunderstandings between Ben and Zoe. It was a fun novella to write, for sure!

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Betsy! Do you have closing comments?

Betsy:
Thanks for interviewing me, and for reading Save the Last Word, part of the Once Upon a Laugh box set! It was such an honor to be in a compilation with seven other talented authors.

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Author Bio:

Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of fifteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. 

She resides in north Louisiana with her newlywed hubby, two story-telling young daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of Pickle Pringles. 

Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. 

When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. 

She blogs frequently at www.ibelieve.com, a devotional site for women. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com.

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Blurb for Betsy's book "Save the Last Word":

Free-spirited Zoe Armand has never been conventional. From her multitude of odd-jobs to her bad luck in romance, Zoe blazes her own trail—despite the disapproval of her own reputation-obsessed parents.


Straight-laced Ben Marshall is back in Memory, Kansas to pack up his Nonny’s apartment after she’s moved into a nursing home. It’s the perfect opportunity to work on his real passion—his secret blog—and avoid his father’s pressure to commit to VP in the family business.

When Zoe is hired to paint a mural in the nursing home, she’s excited for the excuse to hang out with her former neighbor, Ms. Marshall. When she runs into Ben, she discovers her childhood crush never went away. She’s determined to prove herself to her parents and earn Ben’s affection—but a comedy of errors, a secret identity, and a desire to have the last word threatens to keep them apart.

Ben must choose between the chance to win his freedom from his father, and protect the heart of the woman who equally fascinates and bewilders him. Will Zoe and Ben find a way around the obstacles blocking true love? Or will Ben’s brief stay in Memory be the last word for them both?

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Buy Once Upon A Laugh: Eight Novellas filled with Laughter and Happily-Ever-After (box set containing Betsy's story "Save the Last Word") on Amazon.



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Connect with Betsy:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BetsySt.Amant
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/betsyannhaddox/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/betsystamant/

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Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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