Welcome, Readers! And Welcome, Bethany!
I’m so excited to be welcoming author Bethany Turner to our weekly chat session. Bethany writes contemporary romance/romantic comedy. Just looking at her picture makes me want to smile.
*Join the conversation below, and you may win a copy of her book!
**Congratulations to Naomi Musch, winner of the drawing for Bethany’s fab novel!**
Bethany Turner’s Life Before Writing
I feel like I spent the first 30-something years of my life trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. As a child, I dreamt of being a member of the Disney Studio Chorus (yes, that’s a thing), or perhaps a Presidential Historian.
And then there was the period when I desired nothing more than to be the person who gets to name the tropical storms and hurricanes. (Click to Tweet) I didn’t understand that the task was completed by meteorologists and the like. I thought it was just a separate job.
And then I went to the University of Kentucky and declared my major in psychology. Before long I had shifted to Theatre, with a minor in History.
Bethany Turner, the Banker
While I was still in banking, I had turned to writing as a stress reliever. (I was managing the operations side of a corporate merger, so there was a major need for relief!) Though I self-published what I wrote then, it was really just for me. I think I needed to accomplish something, and see it through to the end. Those books were general market women’s fiction, and not really pointed in the direction my writing is headed now, but they unleashed a love of writing that I hadn’t known existed inside of me.
How Bethany Turner’s Writing Life Began
And then in 2014, after thirteen years, God made it abundantly clear it was time to get out of banking. God basically told me, “Okay, that was fun. A nice little warm up. Now let’s get down to business.”
So I wrote The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck. I wrote the first draft in about six weeks. It was the easiest thing I’d ever written. I knew the story from the beginning, and I knew who Sarah was…instantly. And I knew God had a plan for the story.
Almost as quickly I found myself on staff at my church. Now, in addition to following this crazy, amazing author dream, I also get to serve on the church staff full-time.
I think I finally know what I want to be when I grow up!
Bethany Turner’s Debut
When I finished The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenback, I wrestled with what to do. I have so much respect for indie authors who can make it on their own, but I knew I couldn’t. I knew I wasn’t capable of giving Sarah Hollenbeck’s story the opportunity to be heard that it deserved, so I submitted to Writer’s Edge, a Christian manuscript submission service. They accepted the story for their list, and thirteen days later I was contacted by Revell.
It was still a while before I signed my contract with Revell.
Longer still until I got an agent.
Longer still until I really began to believe I actually possessed any skills or talent which could perhaps create a book that anyone would want to read. (Still working on that one, honestly.)
But what I did know was that God had a plan, and my job was to hold on best I could and try not to get in the way!
I had a long period between contract and release (2 ½ years!), and in that time I completed a romantic comedy and got at least three quarters of the way in to two other romances. I was pretty sure I knew what God was up to, and I was pretty sure that those books were coming next.
What’s Next for Bethany?
But then He did something pretty unexpected and remarkable, in a way that only He can, and it’s looking like the next book is actually going to be an idea that my editor and I brainstormed over dinner one night at the ACFW Conference in September. It, like The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, is going to address some issues we don’t typically read about in Christian romance, and it will once again be wrapped up in a rom-com package.
How to Connect With Bethany
I also love corresponding with readers via good old-fashioned email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or snail mail (P.O. Box 209, Cortez, CO 81321). There’s something to be said for occasional hashtag-free communication! (Though, truthfully, I’m just as likely to slip a hashtag into my verbal communication as I am social media!)
You can find various purchase links for The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck at seebethanywrite.com/the-secret-life-of-sarah-hollenbeck, or you can pick it up from your favorite bookseller!
Lord, every once in awhile, one of your children comes along who exudes Your joy. Thank you for assuring the world of readers has access to Bethany Turner and her books. Bless each word Bethany writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake