Today, my guest is author Beverly Sims. She's here to discuss the fourth book in her Witness Tree Series, White Wind.
1) Tell me a little about your book. It is the story of a young French girl who comes to Mason City on the early 1800 plains of North America. Her father who does not know of her existence is delighted to find that he has a daughter, while she harbors anger for him having abandoned her mother. She has loose morals by the standards of that day, but finally finds that love is better than just sex. But her problem is that she grows to love two men. A family of zealots moves into the valley finding easy prey for their strange idea of salvation by murder, rape, and mayhem. When they focus on our heroine, it takes more than her lovers to keep her safe.
2) It is book four of my Witness Tree series, following the Legend of Summer Swan, The Major’s Wife, and The Outlaw’s Woman. Our old Witness Tree has seen and narrates his story.
3) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? I have always like words. English was my favorite subject in school. But raising a family and working took precedence. It was not until I retired that a friend suggested that I tried my hand at romances, like Rosemary Rodgers. Well, I took her up on her suggestion. My first book was New Hope, followed by The Last Resort. New Hope was a romance and Last Resort was a romance, mystery, spy kind of thing.
4) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? I guess I must say I am a part time writer, as I don’t do any writing some days at home and none when we travel or work camp in the summer.
5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing? Enjoyment, pure and simple. I want them to go away surprised at the endings of my mysteries and happy with my romances.
6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why? Romance, mostly erotica, but I like to toss in some mystery and an interesting sub story or two.
7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it? Keeping focused. I have found I am only able to actually accomplish any serious work while sitting at my desk, facing a corner in my computer room. Light music turned so low it is hardly audible is often a help to let me forget the dryer has buzzed. At first friends did not seem to consider what I was doing a actually a job, but over time they now do and when I say I am going to write any given day, they leave me space.
8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it. Not in this story, particularly but the Witness Tree series was a result of a lonely, dying snag I saw in Wyoming. Some of my others came from places we have seen or that I want to see. Black Bayou came after we moved to Florida and I saw of some of the primeval canals and forests here. Caroline’s House was a large dilapidated old house on a cliff near where we lived on the Oregon Coast, years ago. The Last Resort was set on what was once a sandy rode way out of town…where young men took their young ladies for steaming up the windows
9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different? Like me? Well actually very little except for being headstrong, and I like to think…intelligent and bossy. Unlike me? Because they are active, young and beautiful girls who become beautiful women.
10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story? A lot actually. I had to find out what kind of things Indians used for food, medicine, etc. And what ghosts might think about their existence or lack of it. Each book had several things that were out of my realm and needed clarification. And fortunately, my dear husband could help me with man-things like engineering, building, etc.
11 Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not? At first I felt embarrassed about my graphic dialogue, especially for my grandchildren to read. My kids themselves don’t read them because the images of their parents doing ‘those thing’ is hard for them
12) What about your book makes it special? I would say it is because I love my characters, even the bad-guys. Actually, I do little in the way of outlining or such. I created a character, have and idea of her appearance, etc. and from there on, the characters tell me their stories and I just do the typing. I am often amazed at the end of the day when I reread what I have written that the story has taken twists and turns that were never in my conscious mind.
13. Where can people learn more about you and your work?