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
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.