I am lucky today to have Betsy Love, author of IDENTITY and SOULFIRE, on my blog for an interview. Betsy is fun, energetic and talented. I recently finished her novel SOULFIRE and asked her if she would be willing to answer a few questions. Thank you, Betsy, for obliging!
1. Betsy, have you ever done anything crazy or embarrassing to research for one of your novels/writing projects?
I was writing Identity, we had a young lady visiting our home who had a seizure so we called the paramedics. Once they assessed her situation (and she turned out to be fine), I started asking questions about education, procedures, etc for my current work in progress.
2. What are you reading now?
I am multi-task reading. Every week I go to an elderly couple's home and read to them. We are in the middle of HERE THERE BE DRAGONS by James Owen. I'm in the middle of two other books A NIGHT ON MOON HILL by Tanya Parker Mills and THE WEDNESDAY WARS by Gary D. Schmidt. You can see that I enjoy all different genres.
3. What are you most passionate about, other than writing?
I LOVE directing plays. I am the theater director at Clearview Cultural Center. I didn't have enough people audition for a show I wanted to do, so I wrote one. My son and daughter and a couple of the cast members helped me write the music. It was a huge success. I plan to publish it.
Wow! That is awesome! I'd love to see this play you wrote.
4. I am fascinated with the Book of Mormon setting in SOULFIRE. I loved all of the details you weaved in to make it feel authentic. Can you tell us a little bit about the research you did in preparation for writing this novel?
I did years of research, both secular and anything religious I could get my hands on. At the time that I wrote SOULFIRE most people believed the events to have taken place in central America so that's where I did the bulk of my research. I wanted to get the flavor of the jungles around Guatamala. I also modeled King Noah and Abinadi after the famous painting by A. Friberg
5. Is there a message in SOULFIRE you want readers to grasp?
No matter what...stand for truth and righteousness at all time and in all things and in all places.
That is a powerful message, and one I certainly gleaned from the story!
6. What made you decide to write about this specific time period in the Book of Mormon— the reign of King Noah? Are there other Book of Mormon stories you’ve considered basing a novel around?
I've always loved the stories of the Book of Mormon. Several elements always intrigued me the most about this particular story. First of all I am amazed at Abinadi's willingness to die for truth, for Alma's conversion, and I've many times wondered about the women behind the men in the Book of Mormon. How might the Lord prepare the wife of a prophet.
Yes, wouldn't it be something to meet some of those female heroines from the Book of Mormon? Zephenia is a strong character, and I loved reading her story.
7. I have to admit, Betsy, I couldn’t help but root for Gideon a little (he’s one of my favorite Book of Mormon characters!). Would you ever consider writing Gideon’s story or a sequel to SOuLFIRE in general?
I am actually working on a sequel to SOULFIRE. It follows the stories of Sari (Zephenia's sister) and Talani (the Lamanite princess). Gideon, of course plays a huge part in the story.
A sequel! I am so happy to hear that.
8. What is your favorite chapter or scene in SOULFIRE and why?
I cried when I wrote the scene where Zephenia witnesses Abinadi's death. I love it when Alma tells Zephenia of his conversion.
Ditto! That scene when Alma tells Zephenia of his conversion is wonderful.
9. What project are you working on now?
At the moment I'm developing the ideas for two stories that came to me during the writer's conference. Mostly just in the thinking process.
Thank you, Betsy, for being on my blog today! I so enjoyed your answers and look forward to your future books!
You can find out more about Betsy and her books on her Facebook page (click here for link) and her website.