(Originally posted at Story Sessions)
I pre-ordered a copy of Beth Morey’s new book The Light Between Us. Then, because I just couldn’t wait for it to get to me, I grabbed the ebook the day it was free on Amazon. Whether you read the paperback or ebook – this book will delight. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, follow these instructions:
1. Buy this book.
2. Find a large, uninterrupted block of time, because once you start, you’re not going to want to put it down. Have to work? Two words – personal day. Have kids? One more word – babysitter.
3. Spend the day inhaling this book (on a beach with a cabana boy who brings you umbrella drinks, if at all possible).
The Light Between Us is the perfect beach read. It’s fun and full of romantic angst, and some of the scenes will definitely steam up your sunglasses.
And now, I bring you Beth Morey:
1. As an indie author, you had a longer task list than the average author to get this book to print. What was the most challenging part of the process? What was your favorite part of the process?
The most challenging part was editing. And then realizing that I hadn’t edited nearly well enough before I released my book. That was, um, painful. But also educational. I still hate editing, though.
My favorite part was writing, and watching the story unfurl. I have never felt so full of soul purpose, so in line with how I am made. It was (and is) a very powerful experience. I also loved picking out my cover. The thrill that gave me was possibly embarrassingly strong, but I’ll own it.
2. You have mentioned that The Light Between Us was a romance, but not necessarily a Christian Romance. Why is it important to make this distinction?
I kept having this curious experience. I’d say that I was writing a romance, and then the person I was talking with would say, “Oh, I love Christian romances!” But my book is not a Christian romance; The Light Between Us shares none of those standard Christian romance genre characteristics. It is more explicit sexually and in terms of language, and the values of the characters are not at all what a reader would expect from a Christian novel. Faith is barely mentioned. So I felt I needed to make this distinction to be fair to my readers. I didn’t want them to feel misled. If I hadn’t been [LS1] such an openly Christian blogger, I don’t think I would have felt the need to delineate this.
3. What is the most surprising thing that has happened since The Light Between Us was released?
I have been able to not take on some seriously negative reviews of my book. I am a person who has a deep (and unrealistic) need to be well-liked by everyone. And writing a book and putting it out there for all the world to consume? Yikes. I had a coaching call with Elora a few weeks prior to my book’s release, and dealing with negative reviews was one of the three things I wanted to talk with her about.
That said, I think I’ve dealt surprisingly well with the negative reviews. I have been able to find some distance, to take what’s constructive and leave the rest. It has actually been a deeply growing experience. I feel like I am maturing both as a writer and a woman through this experience.
4. Tell us about your new project. What are you working on now?
I am working on a contemporary fantasy that is based loosely upon Celtic myth, starring a main character named Eveleen. It might be Young Adult, but I’m not sure yet. In any case, it’s something completely different from The Light Between Us! It’s also feeling a good bit longer than The Light Between Us. My romance novel was a short novel, about 66,000 words long. Eveleen’s story is currently 30,000 words long, and I’m feeling like the story is only just ramping up.
5. Who are your favorite writers? Why?
Neil Gaiman, Audrey Niffenegger, Anne Lamott, Mary Oliver, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rumi, Terry Tempest Williams. They write with texture, grit. It is a visceral experience to read them. I feel as if I am almost literally chewing, tasting, and swallowing their words. Also, they tend to write on multiple levels; a bird is never just a bird, a laugh is never just a laugh. I long to write with this power.
6. If you could be a character in any story that you’ve ever read, what story would you want to join? Why?
Oh wow. What a question! How can I choose? Perhaps I could be Bastian of The Neverending Story, stealing away to a musty tumble of blankets in his school’s attic to literally fall into the book he was reading. Or Lucy of The Chronicles of Narnia, with her courage and goodness and faith, not to mention all her adventures.
7. Finally, for the writers who have an idea for a book or have started the book or have even finished a manuscript…and now they’re stuck – what advice do you have for them?
Get help. I could never have finished The Light Between Us without the support of dear friends. I had a few friends who welcomed my daily emails bearing the new words I’d typed into being. I didn’t need them to read these words, only to expect them, to receive them, and to come back with a resounding “you can do this; you are doing this!” At about 30,000 words into The Light Between Us, I was ready to quit. Their support rallied me, assuaged my doubt, and gave me strength to continue writing into the unknown.
You don’t have to work in a vacuum. In fact, I think you should consider avoiding doing so. Find a kindred or two that you trust, and ask them to walk with you. Life begets life.
Beth writes, paints, and dreams in Montana. She is the author of The Light Between Us, a new adult romance, and the creative healing workbook Life After Eating Disorder, and is also the owner of Epiphany Art Studio. Her words and art have appeared in various publications, such as Somerset Studio, to linger on hot coals, Still Standing Magazine, Wild Goslings, and Disney’s Family Fun. In addition to her quirky little family and their three naughty dogs, Beth is in love with luscious color, moon-gazing, and dancing wild. She writes soul into flesh at her blog, and is saving the world at Act Small, Think Big.