Welcome, fellow author, Beth Ziarmick! I'm happy to have Beth visiting today and sharing a little about her writing life. Enjoy reading her answers below and be sure to check out her book!
A long-time fan of romantic suspense, Beth Ann Ziarnik hosts a Web site for readers and writers of romantic
suspense. Her debut novel, Her Deadly Inheritance, won her the "Writer of the Year" award at the 2016 Write-to-Publish Conference.
Beth is co-founder of Word & Pen Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Northeastern Wisconsin.
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
How I wish! No certain number of words or pages a day. I just write most days until I finish the manuscript. At some point, I run my chapters through my two critique groups. One is online through American Christian Fiction Writers. The other is a local group through Word & Pen Christian Writers.
How long does it take me to write a novel?
I’m still trying to figure that out. I had years to learn how to write a publishable novel, tweaking my first one while I was being published in nonfiction..
Based on the sequel to Her Deadly Inheritance which I finished this year, my guess is that it takes me about a year to write a novel.
What is the spiritual message in your latest book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?
Her Deadly Inheritance is my first and latest published novel. Its spiritual message is one of trusting God despite a loved one’s untimely death. This is why I chose the following verse to express that: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.~ Psalm 28:7, New International Version.
But my story’s hero, Clay Merrick, expresses it in another way in one of the story’s last paragraphs: “No matter what happens or how bad things might look, we can trust God to make it come out all right. At the right time and in the right way.” Throughout the story, he had enormous challenges before he came to that conclusion, especially when it looked as if he would lose everything that mattered most to him.
You recently had your first novel published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy it?
Her Deadly Inheritance is a romantic suspense. My heroine, Jill Ashley Shepherd, ran away from home a few years before the story opens, letting her family believe she was dead. Because she pays a dear price for that choice, in her suffering she turns to Christ. Several months later, she returns to her estranged family to make things right—and steps into a deadly trap. Of course, she also meets an amazing man with problems of his own …
Readers insist they love the novel’s characters and story. It’s available through Amazon (https://amzn.com/e/B0196VHC7C), Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and Barnes & Noble.
Where do you get character names? Do you find your characters similar to you in any way?
I hate to admit it, but my characters tend to name themselves! I own lots of baby name books, but all they do is confirm that each of my characters has the right name. I know this sounds silly, but it’s just the way it goes in my writing life.
My characters do tend to share some similar interests and ways of looking at or handling challenges—but only in bits and pieces. They are definitely themselves
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through?
Do I ever feel like giving up? Oh, my goodness, yes! I’ve hit that wall several times—and then talked myself out of giving in to it. There’s that old saying, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” So true! While I struggled to write Her Deadly Inheritance and tweak it to a publishable level, I heard friends and instructors who were published novelists say again and again, “Don’t quit! Your breakthrough could be just around the corner.” I hung in there, and they were right.
Actually, I’m currently sharing that journey in a series of posts at https://bethziarnik.wordpress.com. Ah, yes, “The Fear,” “The Frustration,” etc. But, you know, it’s worth it all. When a reader tells me what my novel has meant to him or her, I’m amazed. I’m also immensely grateful to God because I know I couldn’t do this without him and the support of my faithful prayer team.
Would you explain how you “chose” (or was chosen by) a publisher? Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
As for being chosen by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, I have to thank my years at the Write-to-Publish Conference—and my agent, Jim Hart of Hartline Literary Agency. I learned my novel writing skills at Write-to-Publish. I also met Eddie Jones who owns Lighthouse and my managing editor, Rowena Kuo, at Write-to-Publish. This was before Jim Hart came on the scene.
Jim loved my novel and believed in me. Once I signed a contract with him, it took 16 months to find a publisher. Then on December 8, 2014, Ro sent Jim a contract offer for Her Deadly Inheritance. I signed it on December 11. A little more than a year later, I held my debut novel in my hands.
Sit back and relax now? Yikes, no! These days, I’m twice as busy—promoting one novel and getting the next ready for publication. Just this Friday, I finished writing the sequel to Her Deadly Inheritance. 2017 will be filled with continuing promotions for the first novel, edits and other preparations for the second novel, and the writing of the third novel.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
In addition to my blog listed above, readers can find me at:
And this week is the big “Black Friday” promotion put on by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and Women’s Bible Café. It offers great prizes for readers. Check it out at http://www.womensbiblecafe.com/2016/11/giveaway-2016/
First a runaway. Now running for her life. Won't Jill Shepherd's family be surprised when she returns to Grand Island, Michigan to end their lies and scheme to have her declared legally dead? But when Jill exposes the mastermind behind her intended death, her family's deception may kill any chance she has of remaining alive.
Clay Merrick may seem to be little more than a handy-man restoring homes, but when the former Special Forces operative tracks a brutal killer to Jill's historic house under renovation, he has most of the evidence he needs to bring the killer to justice ... until Jill gets in the way.
When the killer sets sights on Jill as the next victim, it's not just Clay's mission on the line, but his heart