Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Authorsday - Beth Solheim

A hearty blog welcome to author Beth Solheim today. She'll talk about her writing style and how she came to write At Witt's End.

How did you pick the genre you write in?
I am an avid mystery reader. My ideas flowed toward writing cozy mysteries.

What drew you to the subject of At Witt’s End?
Channel surfing. I flipped from channel to channel and heard someone casually mentioned crossing over to the other side. I chuckled and hoped that person wouldn’t take a wrong turn on their journey. That silly thought grew into an idea, moved on to character development, and end up as my Sadie Witt mystery series.

What type of research did you do for your humorous paranormal series?
For the paranormal part, none. It stemmed from my imagination and tidbits I’ve read or watched on television. Because the setting for the series is at a resort situated next to a mortuary, I spent time with a funeral director (grateful it was from a live perspective) so the mortuary scenes would ring realistic. I am in awe of folks in that profession.

How long have you been writing?
About ten years, six seriously. Classes, critique groups and sticking to a schedule helped me understand the intricacies of writing, marketing and the publishing process. It’s an on-going learning process.

Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants?
I plot and outline, chapter by chapter. I can’t go anywhere without a road mad and the same holds true for writing. The hardest part is developing the outline sequence because all those jumbled ideas fight for a starring role. After I have a chapter outline, writing the story is quite enjoyable.

What’s your writing schedule?
I work full time at a hospital in Human Resources, so I write evenings and weekends.

What is your favorite word?
Shenanigan. Sounds like a whole lot of high jinks, humor and entertainment.

What did you learn from writing this book?
Two things. First, if you truly believe in something, keep working on it until it comes to fruition. Second, nearing retirement is the beginning of a whole new adventure. I’m thrilled to see so many senior writers being published. Maybe there’s something to be said about ‘gray’ gray matter.

If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?
Are you interested in reading the second book in the Sadie Witt series? Their answer will determine the future of Sadie and her wacky cohorts.

Tell me something about yourself that very few people know?
I have a wild female grey fox that comes to feed on our patio. If we entertain around our patio table, Foxy Lou plops down on the grass about ten feet away and rotates her gaze toward the person talking as if she understands every word. She’s frequented our yard for three years. She’s part of our little piece of paradise.

Like the main character in her Sadie Witt mystery series, Beth Solheim was born with a healthy dose of imagination and a hankering to solve a puzzle. She learned her reverence for reading from her mother, who was never without a book in her hand.

By day, Beth works in Human Resources. By night she morphs into a writer who frequents lake resorts and mortuaries and hosts a ghost or two in her humorous paranormal mysteries.

Raised and still living in Northern Minnesota, she resides in lake country with her husband and a menagerie of wildlife critters. She and her husband are blessed with two grown children and two grandsons

Mayhem is on the rise at the Witt’s End Resort, especially Cabin 14, where no guest ever leaves alive. To make matters worse, Sadie Witt must untangle a murderous web while struggling to prevent an unscrupulous sheriff’s deputy from shutting down her lakeside resort.

When guests arrive at Cabin 14, they’re stunned to learn Sadie is their conduit to the hereafter. Clad in outlandish outfits, (clothing typically reserved for those without sagging body parts) and sporting hairdos that make bystanders want to look away but can’t, Sadie realizes one of the guests has been murdered and works against the clock to prevent further mayhem.



Nancy Means Wright said...

Hi, Beth: I've enjoyed your interview, the genesis of your mystery, and hope you'll go forward with its sequel. Echelon press is a good one--congratulations! I especially love your wild visitor, Foxy Lou. Do put her in your next book. Even the name Foxy connotes mystery.
And Happy New Year to you. Write on!

Beth Solheim said...

Nancy, Thanks for your kind comments. Outwitted, the second in the Sadie Witt mystery series is written and ready to go. Foxy Lou will show up in one of the books as a buddy to Belly LaGossa, Sadie Witt's dog of questionable heritage.

Thank you, Chris, for featuring me.


Morgan Mandel said...

You are a brave one doing research at a mortuary. Talk about making a book ring authentic! That's above and beyond.

Morgan Mandel

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!