Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Interview With Misty Beller

Welcome to my blog, Misty. We’re glad to have you.

Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I tend to be a bit of a sentimentalist, so Historical Romance is perfect for me! I love the simpler life, where there's no rat race. Just hard work, plenty of alone time (can you tell I'm an introvert?), and a strong family unit. My stories usually center around horses and ranching, which comes from my love for the animals. I was completely horse crazy growing up, and actually trained and showed horses professionally for a couple years after high school.

How fascinating about training horses. That gives you a lot of things to fall back on for your stories. What are you reading right now?
Today, I just finished reading a fantastic book by an author I'd not heard of before: A Bride For Keeps by Melissa Jagears. It was one of the best Christian Historical Romance novels I've read in a long time! The beautiful cover grabbed me, and the storyline definitely kept me hooked. I tend to not get a lot of things done when I'm in the middle of a good book. J

That was a good book! What is your current work in progress?
I'm so excited about my WIP! I'm calling it A Pony Express Romance:

Growing up as an orphan, Josiah English wants nothing more than to have his own ranch and raise Arabian horses. Riding for the Pony Express is the ticket to his dream. And when he meets the stationmaster’s beautiful daughter, it seems the final puzzle piece is in place to form the happy life he craves.

Mara Reid is thrilled to finally meet the man of her dreams, and the fact that they both want to raise horses in the Sweetwater River valley seems like confirmation straight from God.

But when the Express shuts down and disaster strikes Mara’s family home, will Josiah learn what’s really important? Can Mara ever trust again?

That sounds like a good book. How do you choose your settings for each book?
Hmm… I usually have an idea of the type of setting I want (snowy mountains, Texas plains, etc). From there, I pick a state, then start my research and usually stumble upon something that makes me say "Ooooh, perfect!" For example, when I was beginning my Texas novel that will release next year, I knew I wanted it to be a Texas ranch, somewhere in the middle part of the state (where it's not so much like a desert). I started doing some Google searches for "History of (insert name of Texas city). I stumbled across a letter that was written from someone in Seguin, Texas, in the year my story would begin. The description of Seguin in the letter sounded perfect! After researching the city a little more, I realized I'd found a goldmine (not literally). You'll have to wait until the book releases in 2015 to find out the details, though. J

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Riding horses, to be sure. We're down to three horses right now, and with busy schedules we don't get to ride as often as we'd like. My daughters are ages seven and two, and both love the animals as much as I do!

Is there one particular message or “moral of the story” you hope readers walk away with?
I want my readers to get a glimpse of how freeing life can be when you truly trust God's plan for your life.

I tend to be a bit of a control freak, by nature. I'm not OCD, mind you (meaning I don't compulsively obsess about every little detail). But I need to feel like I'm in control of the outcome, and that things are moving according to my plan.
Anyone who has read a few verses of Proverbs Chapter Three probably knows God calls us to trust in His leading, not our own plans. We are to trust that He will take us the better way.
I'm just finishing writing my third novel, and as I look back at the spiritual theme in each of the three books, trusting God's plan for our lives is at the core of each. Wow. As you can imagine, God has been working with me in this area for a long time. J

Where do you like to write?
I've definitely written in a few coffee shops, on the beach, and around a campfire in the mountains. But most of my writing spots aren't nearly as romantic. I write on a laptop, so I'm usually sitting Indian-style with my laptop on either my bed or the living room couch. One of the most important things for me is NO DISTRACTIONS. It's almost impossible for me to write with my husband or daughters around, so I'm usually trying to find the quietest spot. Just too hard to get lost in the words. J

When you’re working on a project, how do you keep the immensity of it from getting you down?
I'm very much a goal-setter. My mom calls me driven. After I've put together my chapter outline, I have a feel for how many total words the novel will be. From there, I set monthly goals (usually around 25,000 words per month), as well as daily and weekly goals to help me make sure I'll reach my monthly goal.
It's hard sometimes during that first month, when I'm not even a third done with the story. But I continue to look at the big picture and tell myself I'm making progress. J

How do you choose between ideas you’d like to write about?
This is one of the parts I've come to love about writing. The most important thing to understand is, the stories are all God's. He plants the storylines in my mind, and gradually feeds more ideas until the framework becomes clear. Usually when I'm at least halfway through one story, God plants the seeds for the next one in my mind.  It helps to keep me excited about writing, knowing there's always something new on the horizon!

Both of your lead characters have “baggage” that keeps them from wanting to pursue a new relationship. Do you think sometimes we let our past get in the way of what God has planned for our futures?
Oh yes. No doubt about it, our "free will" makes us pretty miserable sometimes. But I sincerely believe God uses events and people in our lives to nudge us back onto His path when we stray. And sometimes when we've completely derailed, it takes sinking to the bottom before we turn things back over to him.

I think that's one of the reasons I like to write about the theme of trusting God's plan for our lives. I want my stories to show how, even when we get off track, we can still come back to Him. And life with the Lord is light years better than struggling on our own.

 Where can readers find you online?

Misty Beller was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and two daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family—both immediate and extended—is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream.

You can find Misty on her website, blog, Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Back Cover Blurb:
Leah Townsend, a recently orphaned heiress, flees Richmond after discovering her fiancé’s plot to kill her after their wedding. She needs a safe place to hide, and finds herself accepting a newspaper marriage proposal from a God-fearing young rancher in the Montana Territory. But when Leah arrives at the mountain ranch, she learns her intended husband was killed by a grizzly, leaving behind a bitter older brother and a spunky younger sister.

When Gideon Bryant finds a city girl standing in his log cabin, his first thought is to send her back where she came from. He’s lost too many people to the wild elements of these mountains––his parents, his wife, and now his brother. His love for this untamed land lives on, but he’s determined not to open his heart to another person.
 But when an accident forces Leah to stay at the ranch for seven more months, can Gideon protect his heart from a love he doesn’t want? Has Leah really escaped the men who seek her life?
Buy links:

1 comment:

Misty Beller said...

Thanks so much for the fun interview, Laura! I enjoyed it!