Award-winning author Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a Master’s in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. Get to know her at www.bettybolte.com.
Whenever I’m asked about when I started writing, I have to reach far back into my childhood. As a kid, I wrote reports on dogs, cats, and horses, paraphrasing the World Book Encyclopedia articles and even tracing the pictures of the animals and their labeled body parts. I also dabbled in short stories, usually about dogs and horses and sometimes a kid or two who owned them. Even younger, I sat at my father’s manual typewriter and typed out the current weather report…by looking out the window as I typed!
Words have always been a huge part of my life and my fun. My dad taught me word games of all kinds to entertain me when I’d go with him on his customer calls. He was a professional photographer and when I wasn’t in school he’d take me along while he talked to his client about their pictures. He taught me about word play and having fun with language. My sisters taught me to read and do basic math before I even went to kindergarten, let alone first grade. Books have been a huge part of my life.
Over the years, I have worked as a clerk for a government agency, as a secretary in various corporations, as a freelance word processor, as a temporary employee, and then as a freelance technical editor and writer. The highlight of my tech editing/writing was working at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, editing real rocket science! Talk about a dream come true. The common thread I see is working with words, language, meeting the expectations of a variety of audiences.
All along I wrote fiction. Novels and short stories. It wasn’t until I was working on my master’s degree in English (graduated in 2008) that I had an opportunity to really focus on writing a novel. My thesis ended up being fact and fiction combined. I analyzed the supernatural elements in Edgar Alan Poe and Henry James’ stories then shared how I used them in my own paranormal romance. I was on my way to writing fiction full time, though it took me several more years to be able to walk away from tech editing to writing my books, which happened in 2012. That same year I released an updated edition of Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Adventure, a collection of short historical fiction/biography about girls from the 1800s (first released in 2001). Hometown Heroines was honored with a gold medal for Young Adult Fiction in 2015 by the Children’s Literary Classics organization.
My first paranormal romance, Traces, was released by Liquid Silver Books in April 2014, followed closely by Remnants in October. I also hybrid published the first two books in a historical romance series in October 2014: Emily’s Vow and Amy’s Choice. I learned that year to pace myself—especially after releasing three books in one month! Talk about chaotic. I hadn’t planned on doing so much in one month. Actually, I really hadn’t planned! Writing was still more of a hobby in my mind, but that year changed how I approached my new career path.
I got back the rights to my first two paranormals after two years with Liquid Silver and repackaged them to start a new series, Secrets of Roseville. I’ve published three in that series and am writing the fourth to release later in 2018. I have learned a lot by indie publishing my paranormals, including what I like about self-publishing and what I don’t. One thing I did learn is that if I’m going to continue on this career path, I need a plan and an inventory/accounting system.
Now I draft a business plan each year (December before each new year starts) and quarterly update it and the planned schedule of releases to reflect any changes in either priority or timing. I write most every week day, from 8 to 12, give or take. That’s my job, writing the stories I love to tell. Afternoons and weekends are time to run errands, exercise (I really need to get back into that!), play music or do crafts/sewing, spend time with family, travel for both research and pleasure. All the other activities that keep my imagination fueled and inspire me to write.
Speaking of history and research, one of these days I’d love to sit down with Diana Gabaldon over a glass of wine and talk about the research and sources she used to write her Outlander series. I love her stories! I met her briefly in 2013 at the book signing at the Historical Novel Society conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. She admired one of the swag stress balls I had on my table and came over to see it. I was so floored to be talking to her, I stuttered and stammered, but I did get a picture with her.
I’m still working on fine tuning my accounting system to keep track of sales and book inventory, but my loving hubby is helping me sort it out. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my writing career is to stay positive, focused, and flexible. But most important, I’ll keep writing as long as it is a fun challenge and not a chore.
Elizabeth Sullivan feared for her brothers, fighting for freedom; her father, pretending to serve the king; but mostly Jedediah Thomson, doing his duty. She cherished every moment they had together, knowing it could quickly be taken away. Making her willing to risk everything to claim a piece of him forever….
Where to Buy Elizabeth's Hope
Originally from Norway, living in Colorado, Dr. Halvorssen has focused on teaching law and writing on environmental issues, especially climate change. Her first law degree is from the University of Oslo, Norway. She has a masters of law and a doctorate in law from Columbia Law School, New York—her dissertation focused on international environmental law. Halvorssen developed the first course on Global Climate Change Law & Policy at University of Denver. Before pursuing an academic career she was an Executive Officer at the Norwegian Ministry of Environment. She is a member of the International Law and Sea Level Rise Committee of the International Law Association. Halvorssen is Director of Global Legal
Solutions, LLC an international think tank and consultancy. She is also a member of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, the Lighthouse Writers Workshop, the Colorado Writing School, and the International Thriller Writers.
I taught global climate change law and policy at University of Denver. Unfortunately, not enough people have understood the challenges of climate change. And the news media had it backwards for a long time. That’s why I decided it was better to take a different approach. There are very few people who read the scientific reports, more are likely to read novels. That's why I've written a thriller with a focus on climate change.
It’s been a huge challenge to move from teaching international climate law to becoming a fiction author. There are not so many emotions when you write law journal articles. I have been to many conferences and workshops to learn the writing craft. It's a completely different world.
I’d like to meet Ian Brown and Le Carre (David Cornwell) to get some of their insights and for inspiration.
The Dirty Network
My thriller, The Dirty Network is in the final stage of publication at the Wild Rose Press – hopefully to be published by late summer. Waiting for a release date.
Author page: anitahalvorssen.com
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/authors
I’m now working on the sequel to the Dirty Network. You can read about it here: http://svalbardposten.no/english/anita-realized-that-it-was-not-enough-to-teach-climate-change-law-in-the-united-states/19.9708
Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid author who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.
Bouquet of Brides – Donna Schlachter
A Prickly Affair came about as the result of a long-standing friendship, a step-mother who I dearly loved, and a desert oasis I longed to write about. Mary Davis, a good friend, contacted me because I’d worked with her on a previous romance collection, wanting to know if I was interested in another, and I said yes. My step-mom and my dad loved Cave Creek, Arizona, and got married in a little chapel in town there, and I wanted to set a book there because I love the town, too. Being a writer with a pen name, I thought it might be neat to have my main character write under a pseudonym, too.
As with most of my books, my main character, Lily Duncan, is slightly autobiographical. She is strong and independent—or so she thinks—but she also recognizes something is missing in her life. I think readers will connect with the deep longing in her heart.
As for my hero, Peter Golding is named after a chemistry professor I had in college. To be honest, I was a little afraid of him—he seemed so unapproachable. But as the semester went on, I found out he had an incredible sense of humor along with a good dose of an inflated opinion of his own self-worth. My Peter comes west to “rescue” Miss Daisy Duncan from this western backwater of Arizona Territory and whisk her off to the City. Boy, does he have a thing or two to learn!
Writing a romance is challenging for me for two reasons: as a suspense writer, I tend to have three or four subplots going on at the same time, but novellas just don’t have the word count to support that. At the same time, I want to intrigue my readers to keep them guessing, so at least a small subplot is imperative.
The other thing is I must be certain that the hero doesn’t simply come in and save the heroine. Writing a strong female character helps with that, but I don’t want my male character to look weak, either. He has to have certain abilities that will help him save the day at least once.
Getting to the romance can also be a challenge. There must be a reason why these two get together. It’s why we read romance, right? One reviewer said she couldn’t understand why my characters ended up falling in love. We must keep in mind that people in the 1880’s wed for different reasons. Their courtship—if there even was one—looked different than today. For Lily and Peter, they wrote about love and published love stories, but had never been in love. Yet they were drawn to this other person who was completely unlike them and whose life goals were completely different. I think this is a picture of what God does in our own lives. If we were whole, we wouldn’t need Him, and we wouldn’t need a spouse. Yet the combination of our differences makes us whole as a couple, and when we use our passions, experiences, and talents for Him, we are complete in Him.
Next on my plate is the release of The MISSadventure Brides Collection in December, also from Barbour Publishing. Then I teach an ACFW online course in May. Already it’s an exciting and busy year ahead!
A Bouquet of Brides Romance Collection
Lily Duncan—“Cactus Lil” to friend and foe alike—is as prickly as her name implies, and she likes it that way. Arizona in 1885 is a land as harsh as the moon, but Lil, born and raised near Cave Creek, feels at one with the sand, rocks, and giant saguaros. She loves living in the desert, and is happiest on her own on her small cattle ranch near Cave Creek, Arizona. Although she’s never been in love before, she pens romantic short stories for a magazine under her pen name of Daisy Duncan.
Peter Golding has never been west of the Mississippi, but a tender young woman named Daisy who writes of love and relationships intrigues him. Through reading her powerful descriptions of what love should be, Daisy’s stories have captured a part of his heart.
When Peter’s uncle sends him to find Miss Daisy Duncan and bring her back to New York City, Peter decides to take matters a step further and bring her back as his bride—surely then his uncle will be impressed with her. But when he arrives, he quickly realizes that Miss Lily Duncan is no shrinking violet waiting to be rescued. In fact, she has to rescue him several times.
Cactus Lil finds her heart torn between this stranger from the east and her desire for independence. If she surrenders to her feelings, will she be forced to do his bidding? When she finds a telegram from her editor telling Peter to bring her back or lose his job, she believes his attentions to be self-serving. Will Peter choose her or his job? And will she decide to surrender her heart or send him packing—again?
Where to Buy A Bouquet of Brides Romance Collection
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.