According to Beth K. Vogt, she discovered God’s best waiting for her behind doors marked “Never.” She’s a longtime nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction (her first novel released in May). She’s the wife of a former Air Force physician (who once said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military), and she’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids.
An encourager at heart, Beth has more than twenty years experience teaching women at retreats, churches, and other events. She is the former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for Mothers of Preschoolers International (MOPS) and currently the consulting editor for MomSense magazine and a bimonthly columnist for MomsNEXT.
The mother of three adult children, Beth lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, and their ten-year-old “caboose kiddo.”
I understand that you once said you would never write fiction. What happened to change your plan?
I got taken down by a season of burnout and vowed to never write anything—never, ever, ever. And then, three days later, my husband came home and found me sitting at my computer again.
Our conversation went like this:
Husband: What are you doing?
Husband: But you said you were never going to write again—never, ever, ever.
Me: This doesn’t count. I’m writing a novel, just for fun. No one will ever see it.
That “just for fun” novel debuted May 1 as Wish You Were Here.
Burnout became a God-orchestrated bend in the road, leading me somewhere I never planned to go: to the “Dark Side” of the writing road.
Have there been other “detours” in your life that turned out positive?
Oh. My. Word. Yes! On my second date with my husband-to-be, I told him I would never marry anyone in the military–and that I would never want to be a doctor’s wife. He smiled and informed me that he was in the Air Force and planned to go to medical school. A year later, I walked through that door marked “Never” and down the aisle and said “I do.” If he asked me to marry him again, I would say yes without a moment’s hesitation!
Wish You Were Here tackles the question: Can the wrong kiss lead to Mr. Right? Readers watch the heroine, Allison, struggle with the consequences of kissing her fiancé’s brother five days before the wedding. She has to decide which is the mistake: the wedding or the kiss?
For me, the “wrong kiss” symbolizes the mistakes and/or wrong choices we all make in our lives. The question is, do we truly believe that God can bring good out of all things—even our mistakes?
How did the llamas become part of the story?
My husband Rob suggested the llamas. Whenever I would stall out on writing a scene and wonder what to write next, Rob would ask, “Is this where you put in the aliens?” I always told him that I don’t write novels with aliens. When we were in Estes Park, CO doing some research for the book, we drove past a house that had a llama in the back yard. My husband asked, “How about llamas?” And I agreed—and ended up loving Pacha, Kuzko and Banzai.
In the process of writing Wish You Were Here, what did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself)?
So many lessons. I learned that there are no little elves who come in at night and clean your house for you when you’re focused on deadlines. But an understanding family makes all the difference in the world. And taking on the challenge of learning something new is a good thing, no matter how many times you think, “I can’t do this.” Most important lesson? Stay on my knees. Pray. Repeat as needed—which is moment by moment.
Your first book was non-fiction. Was Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35 (Revell, September 2007) based on personal experience?
Write what you know, right? Three days before I turned forty-one, I found out I was pregnant. At the time, I had three teenagers. Getting pregnant was nowhere on my To Do list—not even as an optional activity. After the fog–and morning sickness—cleared, I discovered I was part of a trend: one of the millions of moms over thirty-five having babies. I wrote the book because I couldn’t find a faith-based book about late-in-life motherhood. It was so much fun to share other moms’ stories—and dads’ stories too.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Favorite celebration food: crème brûlée, hands down. And the best place to get it is at Whole Foods Market. When the words aren’t flowing, you can find me dipping into my stash of jelly beans, kept in the bottom drawer of my desk (left side).
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I took piano lessons as an adult, but spent more time talking with my teacher, who was also a good friend. And I had this funky problem with my pinky fingers . . . they would not relax. So, nope. No musical talent besides singing in high school and church choirs. But all of my children have played instruments.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
Wow. I love this question. I would be a song played by a full orchestra. I love going to Broadway shows and to the symphony and listening to orchestras—all the different instruments uniting together. A-ma-zing. I’d want there to be a violin solo in there somewhere because I think violins have a language all their own.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
At some point, I’ve lived all those roles. But if I had to choose one, I’m going with the strong, female lead. I love that quote from the movie The Holiday when Iris says, “You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life . . . !”
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
Our family has always had pets—everything from my son’s Bearded Dragons named Levi and Malachi, to an assortment of cats, dogs, fish, and even a Hermit crab. Don’t know quite how that happened. Suddenly the words, “Yes, you may have a Hermit crab” came out of my mouth. Right now we just have our mini-dachshund, Twister, who was a show dog in her former life and even was featured in a couple of calendars. She lives a much simpler lifestyle now.
Thanks, Beth! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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For more information about Beth, visit her website at http://bethvogt.com/.
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