Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor
who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force
family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry
a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said
she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often
waits behind the doors marked “Never.”
contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuted May 2012 (Howard Books.) Her second
novel, Catch a Falling Star, releases May 2013. Beth is an established
magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International.
us a bit about your current project.
Wish You Were Here
asks the question “Can the wrong kiss lead to
Mr. Right?” The novel tells the story of what happens when a woman
kisses her fiancé’s brother five days before the wedding. Which is
the mistake? The kiss? Or the wedding?
We are all about journeys…unique ones at that. How convoluted was
your path to your first published book? Share some highlights or lowlights
from your path to publication.
The first book
I ever published was a non-fiction book about late-in-life motherhood, Baby Changes
Everything (Revell 2007.) For years, I said I would never writer
fiction – I was quite content staying on my side of the writing road.
And then I hit a season of burnout when I told my husband I would never
write another word – ever, ever, ever. He came home three days later
to find me at the computer … um, writing. When he asked me about my
vow to never write again (ever, ever, ever), I told him that what I
was doing didn’t count. I was just having fun, playing around with
an idea for a novel. No one would ever see it. That “just for fun”
idea became Wish You Were Here. God used burnout to redirect my life –
and allow me to see a whole new dream come true.
Do you still experience self-doubts regarding your work, or struggle
in a particular area such as writers block or angst driven head-banging
against walls? Please share some helpful overcoming hints that you’ve
to tag along on this journey, kind of like an unwelcome, invisible companion.
The best way to overcome self-doubt is to surround myself with my “security
net” of friends – both writers and non-writers. These friends (including
my husband) speak truth to me when I’m up on a ledge and want to jump
off. They point me back to who I am in God’s eyes and they help me
to shake off the self-doubt.
What mistakes have you made while seeking publication? Or to narrow
it down further what’s something you wish you’d known earlier that
might have saved you some time/frustration in the publishing business?
That idea that
you’re going to get it all done one day? It’s not going to happen.
yourself to someone else? Don’t go there. You walk your journey along
the writing road and let them walk their journey. If your paths cross,
cheer them on.
What is your favorite source for finding story ideas?
I love weaving
real life into my novels. Often story ideas are prompted by questions
that I’ve faced and found answers to – or maybe not.
I like letting fictional characters wrestle with the issues we face
in the real world. I also love mulling over the question, “What if?”
and getting together with other writers and brainstorming story ideas.
Have you ever had one of those awkward writer moments you’d like
to share with us, the ones wherein you get “the look” from
the normals? Example, you stand at a knife display at the sporting goods
store and ask the clerk which would be the best to use to disembowel
a six foot man…please do tell.
At one time I thought Wish You Were Here was going to be a romantic suspense. Long
story short: That was a rookie writer’s attempt to ramp up tension.
Several years ago, during my youngest daughter’s spring break, we
drove through Rocky Mountain National Park trying to find the best place
for a confrontation – complete with a car going over the edge of a
cliff. We were marking spots on a map of the park. I kept thinking: If the teacher asks
the class what they did during spring break, what will my daughter say?
“We tried to figure out how to kill somebody?”
Do you have a pet peeve having to do with this biz?
That time is relative in the writing world? That waiting is mandatory?
That authors must market themselves? That social media is essential
– and can pull me away from my work-in-progress … Oh, sorry. You
only asked for one pet peeve.
Share a dream or something you’d love to accomplish through your writing
I am thankful
to say I’ve accomplished more than I ever dreamed of as a writer.
But one thing I hope to do in the future is encourage other writers
– to help them achieve their dreams. I saw my dreams come true
because of others coming alongside me and helping me. I want to do the
What gives you the greatest writer buzz, makes the trip worth the
hassles (besides coffee or other substances, or course)?
with other writers. We “get” each other, you know? And connecting
with another writer, talking deadlines and elevator pitches and successes
and “try again” moments – all of this has enriched my life so,
Describe your special or favorite writing spot or send a picture if
I have three-quarters
of an office that is all mine. Or maybe it’s more like four-fifths.
It’s large enough for two desks, and so the second desk is where my
youngest daughter does homework or where my husband pays bills. But
the office is mine – painted the way I like, with my favorite photos
and sayings and mementos on the wall.
What is the first thing you do when you begin a new book?
I grab a new copy
Book Buddy, written by best-selling author Susan May Warren.
It’s an amazing work-text that helps me map out my story – everything
from my theme and Story Question, to my characters and my subplots,
to my key scenes. By the time I’m done working through “Buddy,”
I’ve plotted out enough to begin writing my fast draft.
Have you discovered any successful marketing/promo ideas that you’d
share with us?
I had the absolutely
delightful experience of being part of the “Debs” with three
other authors who debuted in May: Dani Pettrey, Katie Ganshert and Olivia
Newport. We joined together to encourage one another months before our
books launched. Then Rel of Relz Reviewz and Kelli Standish – who
is amazing with web design and all the “techy” stuff – coordinated
a live online launch party for us. Our publishers – Howard Books,
Bethany, Waterbrook and Revell – supported our combo launch party.
We also highlighted Heart of the Bride, a ministry that provides for
the needs of orphans worldwide.
words? Anything you wish we would’ve asked because you’ve got the
So … what about the llamas? Wish You Were Here is a bit quirky, in that it has a trio of
llamas incorporated in the storyline. People often ask “What’s up
with the llamas?” I have my husband, Rob, to thank for that. Whenever
I would hit a wall and not know what to write next, he would say, “Is
this when the aliens come in?” I always told him I wasn’t writing
that kind of novel. One day while we were in Estes Park (yes, the same
time we were trying to figure out how to kill someone off in the book)
we saw some llamas. And my husband asked, “Well, how about putting
llamas in your book?”
That suggestion made me laugh – and I agreed.