Betsy St. Amant is a multi-published author in several media: Christian novels (Barbour, Steeple Hill, Wild Rose Press,), magazine articles (Christian Communicator, Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer), and newspaper.
She is a fireman’s wife, a mommy to a busy toddler, and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories. Betsy and her family live in Louisiana.
You have a number of non-fiction credits, including working with your hometown newspaper. When, and why, did you decide to pursue fiction?
Fiction was ALWAYS first. I started writing stories when I was seven years old. I knew I wanted to be a fiction author when I grew up, and after I turned twelve and started reading Robin Jones Gunn’s “Glenbrooke” series, I knew I wanted to write Christian fiction romance. I got serious about publication at age eighteen and started attending writer’s conferences and attempting to figure out the industry. I joined the ACFW, got an agent after a few years (Tamela Hancock Murray with the Steve Laube Agency), and the rest is history!
I, to date, have one novel with a small press (2007, Midnight Angel via The Wild Rose Press, White Rose line); two short story ebooks by the same; six published Love Inspired novels through Harlequin, another one contracted for next Spring; and a YA through Barbour Publishers titled Addison Blakely, Confessions of a PK; as well as several contributions to other magazines and published compilations. I ventured into journalism for my local newspaper when my husband (a fireman) was laid off a few years ago and I was desperate to freelance and garner some income! : ) Turned out great and I love it. Such a difference from fiction, but it balances me well I believe.
How does your faith play into your writing?
Whole-heartedly! Some of my novels might have a stronger faith thread than others but at the heart of all my books is faith and Christ. I don’t preach or beat my faith over the head of my readers, and I might not use churchy terms or a lot of Scripture, but I write as I live—realistic characters who mess up and need forgiveness. : )
This story is dear to my heart. It’s about a sixteen-year-old preacher’s kid who has never had trouble being the good girl, until the bad boy next door captures her heart. For the first time in her life Addison has to figure out why she believes the things she believes—because they were passed down to her through her preacher dad, or because she accepts them for herself? Why does she make the choices she makes?
The story is her journey to answer these questions. Add some best friend drama, her dad’s interest in dating for the first time since her mom died, the unwanted attention from the school jock as well as the sweet but where’s-the-chemistry boy in English class, a school talent show, and a new foreign exchange student, and you have trouble! But don’t worry, I made sure Addison had lots of mochas to help her through! ::wink::
Besides entertainment, what do you hope readers will take away from it?
I really hope Addison’s story helps teens who grew up in the church and think they’re “good” take a second, more thorough glance at their faith and prompt them to answer the same hard questions. We can’t have faith through our family. It has to be personal and real to us individually, regardless of who our parents are or what they do.
Writers deal with emotions—and, therefore, experience powerful emotions when writing. Please tell us about one of the funniest, most difficult, and/or otherwise most memorable moments you have experienced as a writer.
Writing the end of Addison’s story was rough. I had what I wanted to say in my head but it was hard to get it translated onto paper realistically and in a non-preachy way that would be approachable to teens. I wanted to be honest and real, and really capture those feelings and that moment of breakthrough. It was hard! I felt a heavy load of responsibility for the reader and I still do, to be honest. That has been different than any other book I’ve ever attempted. Thankfully, the majority of reviews so far have declared I got it right—but for the grace of God!
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?
Oh, I can use any excuse for comfort food! Anything chocolate, or the candy Nerds, and of course Diet Coke. My seasonal favorite treat is candy corn, by far. Or cheesecake. Or Mexican food. Or a Quarter Pounder with cheese. Okay, do you see why I just joined the gym? ::wink::
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I actually laughed really, really hard here. I wish I did! But no. I mean, my three-year-old says she likes the way I sing but that’s hardly an indication of real talent. If I could suddenly be good at any instrument without effort, I’d pick the fiddle. It enchants me.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
Something bluegrass—twangy (I have a southern accent) and fun and sincere
Are you a major or a minor chord?
I actually wouldn’t know the difference. Yikes! I’ll let you decide ; )
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?
This one I can answer! It’s back to book examples. lol At one time I’d have been the little girl attempting to walk in high heels but I feel over the years of my career I’ve developed and become more confident and strong in what I write and why I write it. So I’m going to say the strong female lead. Life and faith have shaped me into that character. Still far from super heroine status ; )
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I had a brown and white paint horse named Bo when I was in junior high, and he was awesome. Actually, he was terrible—the owners that sold him to us lied about his age and level of training (he was two, not four, and greenbroke at best, definitely not trained for children!), and we had several adventures on him including hospital visits and bruised chin bones and sprained fingers—but he was my first horse and was therefore perfect : ) He was a giant puppy. Such a stubborn sweetie (sort of like my husband! hehe).
Thanks, Betsy! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour!
Thanks for having me! Blessings!
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To purchase Addition Blakeley: Confessions of a PK and other books by Betsy, logon to: