Thursday, October 2, 2008

Debut Author: Beth Trissel

When I finaled in the 2008 Golden Heart, I joined a loop with the other finalists and met a group of amazingly talented, supportive, FUN women. We began sharing our milestones on the journey to publication--agent requests, finaling in other contests, finishing our WIP, and, of course, sales.

Right out of the gate, fellow-Pixie Beth Trissel announced a sale to The Wild Rose Press (a really cool e-publisher that has EVERY genre you'd ever want to read in an instant-gratification format!). We congratulated her. Then she announced another sale. And another. And another. Four sales in the space of a few weeks, all to The Wild Rose Press.

You don't get to that level of accomplishment without discipline, talent, and years of hard work. Beth's first novel, Somewhere My Love, hit the digital bookshelves last Friday. I couldn't wait to get her on my blog to talk about writing, her beloved Virginia mountains, and the all important Stiletto Vs. Flip-Flops question.

When did you start writing novels, and what made you choose to pursue publication?

12+ (I don’t like the number 13) years ago, I ventured beyond the short vignettes of country life I’d penned, into the vast realm of historical romance. This came about as a result of my intense absorption with the past and research into my early American English/Scots-Irish roots. And my being a hopeless romantic. The long time pursuit of publication came about as a natural urge to share my stories with the world.

You are one of the most prolific authors I know. How do you manage writing so much (and across different genres too!)?

Once I’m into a story, both the research and the writing, I get obsessed. Some friends and family might call it ‘possessed’ but I stick with it like a tenacious sled dog until journey’s end.

One of your greatest strengths as an author (in my opinion) is your ability to write breath-taking descriptions. What do you use as inspiration for these?

From the very first RWA chapter contest I entered, where the bemused judge told me I broke every rule, I’ve been complimented on my descriptions. I think this ability flows from my knowing so well the places and people I’m describing. So far, my settings have been Virginia and the Carolinas, particularly my beloved mountains. In Somewhere My Love, the setting is an old Virginia plantation home. Not only have I visited a number of these, but I grew up making frequent treks to our old family home, called Chapel Hill (circa 1816). Also, I have a natural feel for early America, in addition to having done copious research, and in Virginia we are steeped in history, so it’s second nature to me.

The Wild Rose Press recently released your first novel. How does it feel to be a published author?

Mind-numbing. But exciting.

Can you describe your novel for us?

Somewhere My Love is a murder mystery/ghost story romance with flashbacks to early nineteenth century Virginia and Hamlet parallels. I like to think it’s unique.

Your work is available in digital download, the technology that is currently taking the publishing world by storm. What formats are available?

Initially the Wild Rose Press reserves its new releases for sale exclusively at TWRP site for the first month or two as digital downloads. These are available in Adobe (pdf) MS Reader (lit) and Web (HTML). To download Somewhere My Love on a laptop or pc, go with the pdf format. After its debut at TWRP, ‘Somewhere’ will journey on to all the major online booksellers, including Sony with whom TRWP has recently signed a deal and will also wind up as Kindles at Amazon.

Having played with a friend’s Kindle, I can tell you it’s as easy to use as a paperback, with the added benefit of being able to enlarge the text, highlight or do searches for passages, and instantly download more books without ever leaving your couch! What are some benefits you see to digital downloads?

Many. They are usually cheaper than print and can be downloaded anywhere in the world, saving on prohibitive shipping costs. They are ‘green’ and save on paper. Because traditional New York publishers are so particular as to perceived market trends, many talented authors who don’t fit their notion of marketability are going to companies like The Wild Rose Press. This allows for a refreshing diversity of romance genres that NY would balk at. If you hunger for a time period, oh say, like Colonial America, and wonder where all those romance books have gone, come on over to TWRP. Their motto is if it’s a good romance, then it fits, and they find a niche among their many lines for well-written stories of all lengths and heat levels (or the lack there of.)

Can die-hard paperback fans get a copy of your book that way too?

As of 2009, print books will be available in three months after the digital download comes out. Right now, the wait is six months. I have this wild and crazy notion that my fans should buy both. :)

I know you signed a contract for four books (wow!). What comes next?

I’m not sure if my Revolutionary War Romance novel Enemy of the King comes next or if my light paranormal romance novel, Daughter of the Wind, with a strong Native American element, will follow. They are both in final galleys. Through the Fire, my Golden Heart final, set in the colonial frontier at the height of the French and Indian War, is just heading into galleys. Let me just say that signing for four novels fairly close together and all the resulting editing, and, and, and, is a lot of work. Whew.

Okay, now for some random fun stuff:

Coke or Pepsi? Ginger ale is my soda of choice.

Secret (or not so secret) vice (mine is hot tamales!): Dark chocolate in any way, shape, or form.

If you could live in any time period, which would you choose? Colonial America. Big surprise there. I’m also taken with the Edwardian era.

The one piece of technology you couldn’t live without: My laptop and I are attached at the hip.

Stilettos or flip-flops? Fuzzy pink slippers and I love cozy socks. For out of doors, I’m a fan of various types of clogs.

Music or art? Music lover, particularly of stirring soundtracks from historical films or Celtic/New Age stuff that takes me from here to ‘there.’

Would you ever get a tattoo? What would it be? Never, I crave no unnecessary pain.

What historical event would you go back in time to witness? The angels filling the heavens and singing at the birth of Christ. I love angels.

Surprise me with something unexpected about you: I love random wit and am a huge fan of The Office.

Please leave questions or comments for Beth. She'll be checking in throughout the day. =) To learn more about Beth's writing, visit her site. To purchase Somewhere My Love (which is on a 10% off SALE right now!!), go here.


  1. Great interview, Beth and CJ. I enjoyed the random questions at the end. Fun!

    Beth, I agree with CJ. You are the Diva of Descriptions. When I read your work, the scenes paint themselves with each brilliant stroke of your literary brush. I've read two where I was whisked back in time to Colonial America and could see, hear, smell and feel your setting come to life.

    I've heard you mention that one of your goals was to sell so that your parents, who have been extremely supportive of your writing for every one of those 12+ years, could share in your joy. How did they react when you told them about your first contract? And second, third and fourth?

  2. Great interview, ladies! Beth, I learned stuff about you. And I totally agree about the evocative descriptions you use--beautiful and full of the time and place.
    Congrats on all the contracts, Beth, and I hope each release surpasses the last!
    Keep up the good work, CJ.

  3. Thanks so much Keli for your very uplifting comments. My parents are thrilled and so proud. :)

  4. Thanks much Susan. Originally I had my heart set on one of the big NY pubs, but am just as glad now that it didn't work out. I am very happy to be at the Wild Rose Press and part of this exciting publishing community. TWRP is a good fit for me.

  5. Yay Beth! Congratulations on the sales! (I knew about the one I didn't realize it was four! :D )


  6. Hey Beth, you're just blogging all over the place these days! I see SML is number three today at TWRP. Great job!


  7. I've never downloaded a book yet, but I checked out the wild rose press and there's a lot of really cool books there so I may have to think about going digital. At least for some of my reading. ;)

  8. Hi Beth,

    I just downloaded your new book yesterday and was immediately swept away by the first few scenes!

    Can't wait to read on!

    Nice interview, CJ! Happy writing everyone. Me, I need to get back to writing. Maybe today.


  9. Hi, Beth! I agree about your descriptions. I downloaded my copy a few days ago, and read several scenes before I had to stop and get back to my own work. Very evocative! I hope to dive back in soon.....

  10. What a great inteview, Beth!
    You're a real inspiration!

  11. C.J. and Beth, what a fun and informative interview!

    How cool that TWRP has signed a deal with Sony--I didn't know that. I saw the Kindle for the first time at a store in San Francisco during Nationals. I've had Kindle envy ever since! :)

    Congrats, Beth, on your debut release. Enjoy!

  12. Beth, thank you for agreeing to let me interview you. :) I hope you gain some new fans from the experience!

  13. Nice interview, Beth.

    Elaine Cantrell

  14. Beth,
    Great book. I have it on adobe and read it whenever I can. I hope many people read it and enjoy it, too. I sent emails to two people in N.J. telling them about your book.
    Ann Ambrosio


People who comment are made of awesomesauce with a side of WIN!

Harry Potter Trailer & More!

The final trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has been released, and I'm not going to lie. I get choked up every ti...