Beth Rodgers is an author, editor, and college English instructor. She started writing as a little girl and never gave up on her dream of one day being a full-fledged author. Besides her love of writing, she is an avid TV and movie watcher, and she loves to hunker down with a great young adult novel any chance she gets. She lives with her husband and son in Michigan.
What inspires you to write?
I love reading, I love a good line that uses creative vocabulary, and I love the thrill I feel when I pen something new. Many people say this so it has become a bit cliche, but the feeling I have when I get words down for something I’m writing is intoxicating. It makes it clear to me that I am doing what I’m meant to be doing, and that is what makes writing so great. Writing inspires even more writing.
Tell us about your writing process.
I don’t really outline, but I do make lists of ideas for different directions the plot can go in, how different scenes can play out, how characters are connected or disconnected, etc. If I had to specify where I fall in the outliner vs. seat of my pants writing spectrum, I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle. I get ideas and they begin to flow out of me. It’s hard to turn off the metaphorical faucet when that happens, and that’s always the best feeling. Writer’s block comes into play as well, and that is when more of the listing occurs. I find that it helps me think up new ideas and how to incorporate them more effectively into my writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Sometimes I find that writing from the perspective of one of my characters helps me get to better know them. It also helps me to see connections and relationships between characters and storylines. I try to picture my characters as though they are on a TV show or in a movie, and that helps me see their actions more clearly, as though they are real people doing real things.
Who are your favorite authors?
I absolutely love novels-in-verse by Sonya Sones. ‘What My Mother Doesn’t Know’ is one of my favorites of hers. Of course, J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series is great, and ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ (the seventh one) is my absolute favorite of the seven she wrote in that series. I have recently come to truly enjoy some new young adult authors I’ve come across, including Meredith Zeitlin, who wrote ‘Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters’ as well as ‘Sophomore Year is Greek to Me’.
Some of my other favorite authors come from a great group I’m a part of called the YA Author Rendezvous. Patrick Hodges, author of ‘Joshua’s Island’ and ‘Ethan’s Secret’ is a good friend and an even better author. His books really hit home with their messages about bullying, friendship, and love. There are too many others to name in that group, but all the authors of the YA Author Rendezvous (www.yaarendezvous.com) are tremendously talented!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I self-published ‘Freshman Fourteen,’ my first novel, as I wanted to get my book out to the masses sooner than later, and waiting for a publisher to pick it up may have taken much longer than I was willing to wait. I do send out queries to agents and publishers from time to time, but working with the YA Author Rendezvous, I have come to learn more about self-publishing and self-promotion, and it is truly interesting to learn more about how to market your own work effectively.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I love a good hard copy of a book. That isn’t to say that Kindle or other electronic reading options are no good. I have a Kindle, and I use it pretty regularly. It’s just that the feeling of a book in my hands can’t be compared to anything else, in my opinion. I think books should continue to be published as hardcovers and paperbacks, because going to a library and searching the shelves is an experience that can’t be substituted with anything else. A combination of print and electronic books should continue to be the norm.
What genres do you write?
Young Adult, Contemporary Young Adult, Contemporary Young Adult Romance
What formats are your books in?