Welcome to my interview with award-winning author, Beth Freely, novelist of BEYOND THE STEPS OF STONE: BOOK 1 OF THE PROPHECIES OF FATE.
Origins, Inspiration, & Playlists
AUTHOR BIO: Born and raised in upstate New York, with a brief and very influential stint living in Great Britain, Beth A. Freely now calls Texas her home.
With more than 14 years of writing experience as a copywriter, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Media Communication with a minor in Marketing and a master’s degree in English and Creative Writing.
In 2003, she published some of her fanfiction online and won awards for her stories. Two years later, she was the first-place winner of the 2005 Arche Books Publishing Novel Writing Contest, Women’s Fiction with her novel Behind the Eyes of Dorian Gray.
The Legend of Captain St. Pierre, her second novel, was written with her best friend, Mariam, and is the first book in a planned trilogy. The Loch is her third novel.
Beyond The Steps of Stone is her fourth novel and won the 2022 SPRING BOOKFEST AWARDS – 1st Place Romance/Science-Fiction and 2nd Place Science-Fiction/Aliens & Alien Invasion.
She loves horseback riding, swimming, reading, cuddling her cats, and helping other authors hone their craft.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. It started after I saw this little move called Star Wars when I was six and it hasn’t stopped *coughs years* later. Somewhere in my pile of papers there are some sheets typed on my grandmother’s typewriter of the very first fanfiction I ever tried to write.
Through my 20s and 30s, I wrote om a variety of bulletin boards – from Babylon 5 to Farscape to Star Wars. It was the Farscape fanfiction that pushed me over the edge in the early 2000s. I started sharing it on the bulletin boards I wrote on and then people convinced me to enter the stories in competitions. I won a couple of awards with it. A friend of mine approached me with some initial thoughts and “what if” scenarios that turned into Beyond The Steps Of Stone. I finished the initial draft of that story in 2003. It would take 18 years to publish that book the way I wanted it to be.
But before then, in 2005, another friend sent me a link to a writing contest and before I could decide if I wanted to enter it, my best friend paid the entry fee and committed me to it. The book I entered was Behind The Eyes Of Dorian Gray. I won first place in the contest and a traditional publishing contract.
I haven’t looked back since. I went self-published when my publisher closed their doors at the end Writing found the experience extremely rewarding.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Behind The Eyes Of Dorian Gray came about after watching the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I have always been a fan of Dorian Gray, having read Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray first in high school and then numerous times over the years. The idea that one could make a wish and remain young forever was always an intriguing one. When you roll into the mix the ability to not face the consequences of your actions, it is a very compelling story. But there are so many more themes to break down in that book, let alone the character study…it is a book that was way before its time.
Anyway, I suddenly had Dorian in my head tapping his cane on the floor of my brain demanding I write a suitable story for him, a story of love and redemption with some mystical and paranormal elements to it. So, I did. After all, when the muses start demanding attention, who am I to ignore them?
While Dorian is the first book I ever published, it was not the first manuscript I finished. That manuscript belongs to Beyond The Steps Of Stone, which was inspired by a friend who hit me up with a “what if” scenario that sparked an idea.
What genre do you consider your book(s)?
My books, like my tag line says, are “Romance, but so much more.” What I mean by that is each book has more than just romantic elements to them. Beyond The Steps Of Stone is science-fiction and action romance, while The Legend Of Captain St. Pierre is action-adventure romance. The Loch is a contemporary romance while Behind The Eyes Of Dorian Gray is paranormal romance.
My books focus on the characters and their interactions more than what happens when two people fall in love. My current WIP deals with issues surrounding PTSD and how equine therapy can help. The second novel in The Prophecies of Fate series will touch on how a group of individuals aren’t always what they seem.
I’m even getting set to start on a novel with a friend that is erotic romance, but again, it focuses on the characters and this one includes some fantasy/paranormal elements. The only difference between that book and what I’ve published previously is steamier love scenes.
Do you have playlists for any of your books or characters?
I do! My playlists tend to be book oriented. For example, the playlist for my WIP Gisborne features a lot of movie soundtracks, television soundtracks, Blackmore’s Knight and Loreena McKinnett. It’s a take on the Robin Hood legends so the music I write to has to fit the story.
The St. Pierre Legacy series playlist has a lot of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack in it.
Do you have a story in your head?
Prompt Me Novel can help.
- Brainstorming and Outlining
- Plotting and the “Tent Pole” Method
- Character Worksheets
- Conflict and Setting
- Space for Easy Journaling
- Reference and More!
While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
All the time. Branwyn, Maggie, Rachael, and especially Morgan, all have a little bit of me in them. And when I write, I see the bulk of the story through their eyes. I feel a connection to these characters that make it easy for me to write their story. Without that connection, I struggle.
A good example is the sequel to Behind The Eyes Of Dorian Gray that I am working on. I am stuck on that story because the main female character is one that I originally wrote for my niece, Kathryn. Kitty is her character and, in a sense, is my niece. Writing her story has been hard because, while I have a connection to Kitty, it’s not the same connection that I had with Rachael, Dorian’s lover. I’m not seeing the story through Kitty’s eyes. I’m seeing it as a bystander. I’ve actually considered writing the story using a different character name, one that I can connect to, in order to finish is and then swapping it out with Kitty before publishing it.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
This is actually an easy question to answer. When I was working on Beyond The Steps Of Stone, my core set of characters had a few “face changes.” When I’m writing, my stories run like movies in my head so I usually have an actor or actress picked out for the characters. It wasn’t until I realized that Michael Fassbender was the face and voice of my Jericho that the book pulled itself together.
I see Karen Gillian as Morgan, Tom Hardy as Alex and Jensen Ackles as Isaiah. They are my core characters and, boy, that would be one heck of a movie!!!!
THIS OR THAT—The Speed Round
Which do you prefer – Reading or writing? Writing
Writing during the night or writing during the day? Night
Writing from home or someplace else? Home
Reading a ebook or print? Print
Buy books online or buy in a bookstore? Bookstore
Weather: Hot or Cold? Hot
Music or Silence? Music
Classic Fairy tales or Fairy tale retellings? Classic Fairy Tales
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla…with pralines and caramel
The Beach or The Mountains? Beach
The World being taken over my zombies or sexy blood sucking vampires? Vampires
Time travel to the future or past? Either as long as I can do it with The Doctor
Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
Being able to fly or being able to go invisible? Fly
Bookmark or Dog eared? Bookmark1st character POV or 3rd character POV? 3rd
City or Country? Country
Pen or Pencil? Pen…preferably a fountain pen
Polk-a-dots or Stripes? Stripes
Pancakes or Waffles? Waffles
Books or Movies? Both…book first, then movie
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Elbows the size of pumpkins or knees the size of watermelons? Neither…I’ve seen some whopper pumpkins and watermelons! LOL
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Where to Find Beth
Author Website: https://bethannefreely.com/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Beth-A-Freely/e/B016APVJFI
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