Interview with DeEtte Beckstead

What is the title of your newest release?

Victory is my newest release. It came out in December 2012.

What compelled you to write this book?

When I was writing for NaNo in 2007, I started with a description of the day. The story moved on to the scene with the pigeon. It was just a few days after my real encounter with a pigeon who had crashed into the apartment roof, so that was added. The rest just grew from there.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

My favorite character is Brown Eyes. There is a lot of me in her. Not her circumstances, but her faith and ability to love. She is brave (I’m not sure I’m as brave as she!), and makes the best of her situation. She is tenderhearted and kind.

Give a two sentence synopsis of your novel:

Both newcomers to the town of Victory have a passion; one is a demonic dictator and the other has a passion for faith and freedom. When they have a face to face showdown on the mountain, the life of the child and the future of the town are at stake.

Why would someone like your book(s)?

I write about people who could really exist, and hopefully, with whom the reader can identify to some degree. I like to write about things the reader would care about.

Are the characters in your story based on people you know?

Most of my characters are based on people I know, have known. Some are based on people I have seen while people watching and I build a story around what I see. Some characters are completely fictional. In Victory, Pookie the Maltese, is my little Maltese who died a few months before the book was published. He was 14 years old and had been my writing buddy. His behaviors in the book are exactly the way he behaved.

If you had two years left to live from this moment, what would you change about your life starting tomorrow?

I wouldn’t wait until tomorrow. I would make reservations to immediately go back to Utah to spend time with my kids and grandkids there whom I haven’t seen in over a year, loving them, hugging them, and spending time with them so they would remember how important each one of them is to me. I would also do the same with my kids and grandkids here in New England. Family is so important. Anger and hurt feelings among family members are so destructive. I saw it happen with my own siblings. Years went by with the separation. I would encourage all my family to mend the broken relationships that happen before it’s too late. No one should have to live with the regret of not having done so. No one is guaranteed another year, another day, another moment.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a short story, using a handcarved Nativity set that was cut from another work. I am also working on my last NaNo project, which is the story about forgiveness.

What makes your writing unique?

I write from my heart. Not that other writers don’t, but we each see and react differently to the same situation. I try to write what I would like to hear if I were sitting in front of a great storyteller. I try to paint the story with words.

What do you write? Specific genres, ages groups, etc.

I write Christian fiction for young adults to adults. I also write nonfiction and fiction for children.

Are there any tips you could give that you learned along your path of picking up the pen to having a published novel?

Trust you publisher, if you have one, to guide you in how to handle your book. Trust the editor, too. They are there to help you.

Also, save sections that have to be cut. You can use them later in other writing. I have done that and I am planning a short story around one particular item that was cut.

Who is your favorite author, and how did they inspire you to write?

If I had to choose, I would choose CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. I love their imagery and message of good triumphing over evil.

If there was one author you could meet with and learn from, who would that be?

JRR Tolkien. I love how he paints with words and writes in a way that draws readers into being participants, not just readers. His writing evokes emotions, compelling the reader to continue. His Lord of the Rings trilogy is long, yes, and many find it boring, but I enjoy the depth to which he describes the scenes and characters.

Is there any part in writing you don’t like?

Not really. My favorite part is the actual writing, of course. I don’t like having to pull great scenes or partial scenes that I really love but don’t move the story forward. I save them, though, for use in other writing.

What is one of the most unusual things you have done in your life?

One of the most unusual things I have done was when I was in college. I had been in Girl Scouts since I was 7, and was active as a leader and member of Campus Girl Scouts. I had worked several summers as a camp counselor in Utah, Philadelphia, and Virginia. I was majoring in Recreation, so what was a natural for me but unusual to others is that one thing I taught was winter camping and survival. One one particular trip for leaders, the lady who later became my mother-in-law attended. I had worked with her as an assistant leader and we were good friends.

We taught the ladies how to build snow caves and spent the night in them, 3 to a cave. Beth was in my cave, along with another trainer. In the morning, when we got up, Beth made the comment, “I had a wonderful night’s sleep! It was like the bed was made just for me!” Uh, we were sleeping on snow under our ground covers…. LOL!

Later that day I was leading a snowshoe hike up the canyon from the camp. It is beautiful any time of year there. Before the hike, I had reminded the ladies not to make excessive noise. Talking was fine, just to keep it down. A sudden silence was as alarming to wildlife as a shout. The other thing I reminded them was that if we came across any danger (there were bears nearby, but they should be hibernating, and deer, and other critters), I would signal to stop immediately.

Our hike proceeded for about half a mile, through trees, past the frozen river. Just as we rounded a bend in the trail, just ahead about 30 feet past the brush that had hidden it from view stood a magnificent moose! It was alone, but I was not sure it didn’t have a baby nearby. I signaled the line to stop, which they did. It was beautiful in the snow, standing still, munching on whatever it could find to eat. Knowing moose can be very dangerous, we quickly and quietly turned around and went another way. It was an awesome experience! When I got home, I called Fish and Game to report the moose. They told me they hadn’t been sighted in that area for a long time, so we had a rare treat!

Thank you, DeEtte Beckstead, for being such a wonderful guest! Please share your bio and links where others can connect with you and find your books!

DeEtte Beckstead Author and blogger, DeEtte Beckstead started writing in 2007 when her son challenged her to get involved in the National Novel Writing Month, known by the acronym, NaNoWriMo. The manuscript sat untouched with several others until January of 2012 when a good friend encouraged her to seek publication. The Christmas Visitors is her first published short story, and her current novel, Victory is also her first.

DeEtte spent much of her childhood playing the piano, clarinet, and guitar, reading, and making up stories. She was active in Girl Scouts, which gave her a variety of experiences. While in college, she was on the University of Utah Synchronized Swim team, and taught winter camping and survival skills for Girl Scouts. She has spent many years working with people with disabilities.

Originally from the state of Utah, currently DeEtte lives in New England where she writes full time and works on the editing team of Master Koda Select Publishing. Her other interests include swimming, crocheting, reading, traveling, history, and her grandchildren. In addition, this devoted mother of six and grandmother of twelve has been a concerned participant in dog rescue services for many years.

Blog: http://deetteanderton.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DeEtteBecksteadAuthor

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/DeEtte-Beckstead/e/B00ADDW94Y/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

AuthorsdB page: http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/66-deette-beckstead

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DBAnderton

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2207218-deette-beckstead

Comments

  1. Anyone who leads a snowshoe trek is top drawer in my books… :-) Wonderful getting to know you DeEtte … Cheers, Mitch

  2. Wonderful interview on your process and enjoying the book! The moose story was amazing!!

  3. Tamy Burns says:

    What a wonderful interview ladies. Kim, I love the question “What is one of the most unusual things you have done in your life?” And DeEtte, I especially loved your answer! I would have never guessed that you taught winter survival for women! How cool is that? I’ve read posts from you and other interviews, but after this one I know for a fact that you are not only an interesting person, but a strong woman of faith. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  4. Thank you for such a wonderful interview. I loved learning more about you DeEtte!! Thanks so much!!

  5. Excellent Interview! I enjoyed reading about your interests, your girl scout experience and just getting to know you. Amazing!

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