Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rionna Morgan with Elizabeth Meyette

My friend and fellow Crimson Romance author, Elizabeth (Betty) Meyette, visits with me today.  We had a great time talking about writing and teaching and kids!  Betty is so witty and fun.  ...oh and there's a haunted winery in here too!  Come on in and let's chat!

Visit Elizabeth's Blog
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Betty:  Hi Rionna! Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I grew up in upstate New York, the youngest of nine in a wild and crazy Irish-Catholic family. Now I live peacefully in Michigan with my beloved husband Rich. I’ve always lived in the Great Lakes region and find walking the shore of a lake a time of inspiration. We have three grown children with spouses/significant others: our daughter Kate and her husband Todd, son Matt and his girlfriend Rachel, and daughter Kristin, her husband Tedd and our grandchildren Tommy and Molly. I retired from teaching early to pursue my writing career and I haven’t looked back. I say I “failed” retirement because I work hard every day. But it doesn’t feel like work because I love it so!

How did you choose the genre you write in?
Betty:  I actually began the first draft of Love’s Destiny on a bet 30 years ago. My friend wanted me to read the romance genre, but I resisted. When I finally gave in, I was hooked. Not wanting to seem too easy to cave, I laughingly said to her, “These are fun to read, but I could write one.” She said, “Then write it!” So I did. I love to write historical romance because I love learning about other places, and I am fascinated by the past. Imagine what it was like to eke out a living on the frontier or not have all the conveniences we have today. I always wonder what it was like for people back then and think of how strong they must have been. I had recently visited the Jamestown and Williamsburg Virginia area when I started writing Love’s Destiny, and I knew that was the setting I wanted. Plus the romance of the beginning of our nation…I couldn’t resist it! And I’m a sucker for a happy ending. When I finish a novel, I want to feel satisfied, sort of like justice was served, the good guys won, and the lady got her man.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
When I was writing Love’s Destiny, I just wrote and the characters took me along for the ride. In fact there was one scene that I did not want to write at all, but the characters insisted. Until I wrote it, I could not progress with the book, and the scene worked; my characters were right! What I am finding as I write Love’s Spirit, the sequel, is that the writing flows as it did before, but I get ideas about scenes that will occur later in the book and I have to write them even though the plot hasn’t reached that point yet. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love talks about divine attendant spirits, or the muse in the wall, that whispers inspiration in our ears. I totally agree with that. There are days when I write like a maniac, and when I read it aloud it’s like I’m hearing it for the first time. It’s gotta be my muse. Rich laughs when I say my d.a.m. inspiration is at work (dam=divine attendant muse). And I have found that when my muse is talking to me, I must respect and honor that and WRITE! 

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Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Betty:  Love’s Spirit is a continuation of the story of Emily and Jonathon found in Love’s Destiny. When I wrote Love’s Destiny, I wrote it as a stand-alone, not part of a series. But my readers all said I needed a sequel—they wanted to know what happened next. So Love’s Spirit was born. While it continues with the story of Emily and Jonathon, it also brings in romance for Emily’s brother Andrew. And a character my readers love to hate, Deidre Manning, plays a big part in this book.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?
Betty:  I have to laugh. My older daughter and son both told me they were not going to read a romance novel written by their mother—TMI! I told them Agatha Christie wrote murder mysteries, but she never killed anyone. They laughed and at least my daughter agreed to read it. I suppose anything an author writes has its seeds in her own experience, but I write from my imagination. The historical aspects are accurate, I research heavily as I write and the Internet makes it so much easier than when I was drafting Love’s Destiny 30 years ago. I read a whole book on ships so my description of the Destiny, Jonathon’s ship, was accurate.


What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 
Betty:  One of my favorite scenes is early in the story and it is between Emily and Jonathon on the ship. She is full of contradicting emotions and is rapidly falling in love with him despite trying to hate him. During a moonlight walk on the ship’s deck, Jonathon approaches her and instantly recognizes her mix of desire, anger, and grief. He understands his responsibility toward her, but is fighting his own growing passion. He teases her into an argument and knows that her rage is the wiser path.

What project are you working on now?
Betty:  Besides Love’s Spirit, I am working on a suspense set in the Finger Lakes area in New York. On a recent visit to see family, Rich and I drove through the area on a winery tour. I wanted him to see how beautiful my home state is. The idea for this story formed in my head as we were driving to NY from Michigan, and the house plays a pivotal role in the story. On a highway en route to a winery, there was my house. No kidding! We stopped and took pictures and thus my novel took shape. Hearing that one of the wineries we visited was a haunted castle was the frosting on the cake.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Betty:  Write, write, write. No matter if it seems to be going nowhere, there is a pearl in there somewhere. And believe in yourself. Some people scoff at budding writers, but if you have been bitten by the bug, it doesn’t matter. You are a writer.

Now for the clever-silly question, if you were a t-shirt, what would you say?
Betty:  I love this question. My t-shirt would say, “Love conquers all <3”

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Betty:  The greatest compliment to me is when a reader tells me how he/she connected with my book. I love to hear what characters they liked, related to, hated, or wanted more of. Ooops I just ended a sentence with a preposition. Another word of advice, and this from a former English teacher for goodness sake, sometimes it’s ok to break the rules. 

Please be invited to follow Betty on Facebook and Twitter!!  I know she loves the company!

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Rionna. I’ve really enjoyed visiting with you.

Thank you Betty!  I have had a great time too!!

12 comments:

  1. The book sounds fabulous, thanks for sharing more about it! I've never been able to write scenes out of sequence, the thought makes my overly analytical side twitch with nerves!

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    1. This process is really different for me...I'm usually very linear. I'm very excited about the directions Love's Spirit is going in, too. Thanks for your feedback, Kristina!

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  2. Great interview ladies! Loves destiny sounds great as does your new suspense. It's nice to hear that after so many years of writing, you still love it. I'm sure it shows in your work!

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    1. I feel like I'm living a dream come true. My characters lived with me all this time, and it's so exciting to know they are coming to life for readers!

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  3. I'm reading "Love's Destiny" now and enjoying it so much. As a former Philadelphian, the period you write about is dear to my heart. And Williamsburg--wonderful place. Happy to hear you're doing a sequel with Andrew in love. How do you feel about taking up the challenge of finding Deidre the right man?

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    1. I think the challenge will be writing a love story from a male's perspective...so far it's working very well. Deidre, Deidre, Deidre...what can I say??? Thanks for reading Love's Destiny, Peggy. I hope you enjoy it.

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  4. I can write out of sequence, but it's because I realize I'm missing a scene. LOL

    Nice interview.

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    1. Oh, yeah, I've done that, too :-) Thanks, Lynn!

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  5. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

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  6. What a wonderful time we've had! I am so happy that all of you stopped by and that Betty and I had such fun day!!

    Happy Summer!
    Rionna

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Thank you for leaving me a note. I love to chat!!