Is there a story behind your book, The Lady and the Mountain Man?
I've always been fascinated by mountain cabins, secluded in majestic settings. And I love the simpler life, where there's no rat race. Just hard work, plenty of alone time (can you tell I'm an introvert?), and a strong family unit. I combined so many of these loves into The Lady and the Mountain Man, there are some days I just want to go live with Gideon and Leah!
What started you on your writing journey?
My bucket list.
All my life, I've been a true book lover. Give me a good novel, and you probably won't see me again until it's finished. I've also always enjoyed writing, and tend to express myself best through my written correspondence. But I never seriously thought about writing a novel, until I was putting together my bucket list a few years ago.
I decided, it's now or never, and made the commitment to write a complete novel and get it published. So, I had a general idea that I wanted it to be a
western romance. But where to start? I finally decided I needed to find a good
book to help me plan (refer to my answer below to the "spiritual
themes" question for more info on plans). I stumbled upon (a.k.a. God led
me to) the best possible book to help me get started with a great plan: Plot
and Structure by James Scott Bell. For all you writers out there, I can't
recommend it highly enough!
From there, I've soaked in every bit of writing instruction I can from some amazing groups and individuals. And I've spent countless hours sitting with my laptop pouring out words onto the screen. It's in my blood. It's my passion. Writing is a true gift from my Heavenly Father, and I pray daily that he uses the words for His purpose.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Gideon. He reminds me so much of my older brother, David—the tall, handsome, quiet cowboy. My brother was my best friend through my growing up years. When I started brainstorming Gideon's character, I kept coming back to David's personality. Maybe because I know him so well, I felt like I understood what made him tick. So, David, this one's for you… J
What is your strangest habit?
I'm a Mountain-Dew-aholic, much to my husband's dismay. In fact, I'm affectionately known as "Dewy" by some of my close friends.
What is your favorite season of the year?
Autumn. I love the crisp taste in the air, the relief from
summer humidity, and the opportunity to bundle up in a sweater with a hot cup
of coffee. I tend to be very nostalgic (probably the reason I write Historical Romance),
so I even love the smell of decay, as nature prepares to hibernate for the
winter months. I like to think I'm not biased, but my favoritism may also be
slightly linked to my birthday being in late September. Carolina
To top it all off, the fall season is our introduction to the Thanksgiving and
holidays. Who wouldn't look forward to that?
Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
I have many dear family members in California, so growing up, my grandparents took us on numerous road trips across the country (from South Carolina to Southern California) Each time, we would try to take a different route, and my favorite part was always when we reached those first few western states. Texas, Wyoming,
—I adore these wide-open spaces and
amazing views God provides. They capture my heart anew every time. I love the
way animals and ranching are critical to the people in those states, and
history is treasured! So far, all three of the series I'm working on are set in
one of these areas! Montana
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I guess this is time for full disclosure—I'm a member of Control Freaks Anonymous. Yes, I tend to be a bit of a control freak when things are important to me. I'm not OCD, mind you (meaning I don't compulsively obsess about every little detail). But I need to feel like I'm in control of the outcome, and that things are moving according to my plan.
Any of you who have read a few verses of Proverbs Chapter Three probably know that God calls us to trust in His leading, not our own plans. We are to trust that He will take us the better way.
I just finished writing my third novel, and as I look back at the spiritual theme in each of the three books, trusting God's plan for our lives is at the core of each. Wow. As you can imagine, God has been working with me in this area for a long time. J
Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
Habakkuk 3: 17-19 - Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls - Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.
This passage connects to my need to release my fears and desire for control to God. No matter what happens around me, I don't have to be the one to fix it. I simply need to make sure I'm where He wants me to be. That's hard to know for sure sometimes, but the closer I walk with Him, the easier it is to tell. And when I am in His will, the outcome may not be what I had planned, but He'll help me walk on my high hills. And I will joy in the God of my salvation. J
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next release will be coming from Prism Book Group in 2015, and is tentatively titled The Rancher Takes a Cook. Here's a glimpse of the back cover copy:
When their home in
South Carolina burns to the ground, Anna Stewart has no
choice but to move with her 15-year-old brother to the wilds of a ranch. Their
prospects begin to look better, until the ranch owner’s son, Jacob O’Brien,
shows up with his alarmingly blue eyes to put a kink in Anna’s well-controlled
plans. When danger escalates in the form
of a band of cattle thieves with deadly intent, can Anna learn to release
control to God’s capable hands… and those of the blue-eyed cowboy who’s stolen
her heart? Texas
You may purchase Misty's book at:
Misty Beller is giving away a copy of The Lady and the Mountain
giveaway is only available to Man.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)
Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart