Today, I’m very lucky to be interviewing Bethany Lopez, author of 19 titles, including the Stories about Melissa series, Friends and Lovers Trilogy, and Time for Love series.
Thank you so much for agreeing to spill your guts and inner most thoughts about writing with me. So, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a wife and mother to five children. We are a blended family, and have kids ranging from seven to nineteen. I’m retired from the Air Force, but my husband is still serving, so we are living in North Carolina for the now.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved to write and tell stories. When I was younger I wrote a lot of horror stories, poems, and a play.
Which authors inspire you?
As a teen, I loved Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Nora Roberts. Now I’m inspired by Tarryn Fisher, Colleen Hoover, Kristen Proby, and Kristen Ashley, to name a few…
I’d love for you to fill us in on what book(s) you have written! (Include novels, novellas, short stories, ect…)
Katie and the North Star
The Stories about Melissa series:
Time for Love series
6. 3 Seconds ~ Coming Soon
1. Tempt You (A Naughty and Nice Collection)
2. The XOXO New Adult Collection
3. Losing It (A Collection of V-Cards)
4. Beautiful Life
5. Angels and Sinners (The Motor City Edition)
What genre are your books?
A write a little bit of everything, but mostly Contemporary. I do have two Paranormal, one about a Fairy Godmother, and one about a Mermaid, but for the most part I stick to Contemporary Romance.
What drew you to writing this genre?
I really enjoy the Paranormal/Fantasy, but Contemporary stories speak to me on a different level. I love observing others, and writing fun quirks into character based off of what I’ve seen. Contemporary allows me to write extreme circumstances, good and bad, and I like that the reader knows that these things can really happen to them, and in some instances, already has…
What is your latest book about?
I’ve just started a new one that deals with a mother helps strangers who’ve been in an accident right in front of her on the highway, while her son watches. The worst happens and she wakes up from a coma five years later, although to her, the accident just happened yesterday. It’s from three POV’s, hers, her husband’s, and her sons’. It’s in the early stages yet, but hopefully it turns in to something.
What inspired you to write it?
Driving home with my son from his baseball practice in the rain, and my mind started to wander. I asked my son to take notes on my phone as I told him the idea. Then he turned to me and asked, “What’s wrong with you?”
What actor/actress do you see playing your lead character if it were turned into a movie? (From your latest book)
The latest book I finished is a Women’s Fiction, More than Exist. It’s currently with my agent. I’d pick Katie Homes to play the female lead, Belle, and Jake Gyllenhaal to play the male, Luke.
What was your favorite thing to research while writing your latest book?
I love all sorts of research. If I’m writing a real city, I’ll research places to eat and things to do. With More than Exist, I did some research on alcoholism and rehab facilities. Nissa was fun because I got to research fairies and magic.
How much, if any, of your latest book is realistic? What were the challenges in bringing this story to life?
I think most of what I write is realistic, it didn’t necessarily happen to me or someone I know, but it could.
Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?
I always have “lessons”, or deeper meaning in what I write. I’m always trying to convey some sort of message.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
In 10 Years, I wrote a date rape scene. I cried while writing it, and in the shower after, and had a headache for two days. It was an emotionally draining scene.
In More than Exist, the first half of the book has Belle dealing with the death of her husband, and turning to alcohol to ease her pain. It got to the point where I was ready for her to hit rock bottom, so I could start building her back up and get to happier times. I was sad for weeks while writing that first half.
Who designed your covers?
Make it Last was designed by Stephanie Mooney of Mooney Designs.
Almost all of my other covers since then were designed by Allie Brennan, of B Designs. She recently had a baby (Congrats, Allie!), so I’ve branched out a little.
My Children’s Book cover is by Regina Wamba of Mae I Design.
My cookbook, and a super secret sexy novella’s (Coming in June), covers were designed by Cassy Roop of Pink Ink Designs.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Absolutely. The cover is the first thing you see, and may determine whether the reader decides to read the blurb and buy the book, or not.
Do you outline or are you a pantser?
I don’t outline, but I do jot down notes and ideas as they come to me. I have notebooks with ideas for a few different books.
Have you ever experienced “writer’s block”, and if yes, how did you get through it?
No… Knock on Wood
How did you come up with the title of your latest book?
It doesn’t have one yet.
How about your characters—how did/do you name them?
I mentally roll through different names and pick one. If I’m stuck, I’ll look at baby names online. I keep a list of names I’ve used, and try not to use them again.
What are your current projects?
More than Exist is the Women’s Fiction that’s with my Agent.
Super Sexy Secret Novella will be announced in May and released in June.
New Idea that I’m fleshing out now.
Next up will be book 6 in the Time for Love series, 3 Seconds. Which is Brendan’s story… And book 6 in the Stories about Melissa series, Adios, which will follow Melissa and her friends to Mexico for Spring Break.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I usually write while my kids are in school. Morning is when I’m the most productive.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
I work in one way or another, whether it’s writing, social media, marketing, etc… 7 days a week.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Did you format your own book?
Not anymore. I used to, but now I use someone to do it.
If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
I’ve worked with two. They’re both great.
Do you have any advice for other authors?
This is something you do because it’s your passion and you love it. It will be difficult. Writing is just the beginning, and although you love your work, not everyone else will, but you can let other people’s opinions stop you from doing what you love.
Step out of your comfort zone and approach other writers, as well as bloggers and readers. This is a great community, but if you’re watching from the sidelines, you’ll always feel like an outsider.
Pay it forward. Whether you’re a brand new writer or a pro, never step on others to get where you want to go. Lift as you rise.
Do you have a special message or anything specific you want to say to your readers?
I love you. It’s true. I appreciate anyone who takes the time out of their day to pick up one of my books and read it. There are so many choices out there, and it’s humbling to have someone say that something I wrote spoke to them in some way.
What is your favorite book and why?
This is a nearly impossible question… Little Women is the one that has been with me the longest.
What is your favorite quote?
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by Dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
- Steve Jobs
What is your favorite film and why?
This is also impossible, because I’m a movie buff.
Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
This is a tough one, as it’s changed so much in the four years since I started out, and I really have no idea.
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Storyfinds - http://storyfinds.com/author/4420/bethany-lopez
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Book Daily - http://www.bookdaily.com/author/2201939/profile
Bethany’s Bombshells: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1443318612574585/
Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She's a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.
Bethany Lopez is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
Katie and Bethany Lopez
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KatieandBethanyLopez
Katie and Bethany Lopez are a mother and daughter writing team. Katie is currently navigating through the first grade. She loves reading, writing, and Shopkins. Bethany writes stories for all ages. She enjoys writing full time, and spending time with her family. Katie and the North Star is their first collaboration.
Katie and the North Star is a book filled with adventure, joy, and imagination. Join Katie as she learns why she can't keep the North Star all to herself.
Cover Design by Regina Wamba of Mae I Design
Illustrations by Hetty Mitchell