Welcome back for our second day with author Becky Lower!
Becky, you’ve written both contemporary and historical fiction. What challenges do you see in writing for both time periods?
Much to my surprise, there’s not a lot of crossover readership between the two. I have groups of people who think of me as a historical writer and completely forget I do have a couple contemporaries out there, and vice versa.
Historical fiction requires a lot of research – which you’re certainly no stranger to. What are a couple of interesting (or unusual, or funny) things you’ve done in the name of research for a book?
Expressly Yours, Samantha was the most research-intensive one to date, since when I decided to place Valerian in the Pony Express, I only had a vague knowledge of it, and had no idea how it was laid out and how it worked. I took a cross-country trip along the route the Pony Express followed and stopped every time I saw a sign for a Pony Express historic site. I loaded up my car with books on the subject, and when I got home, I sat down and read them all before I put one word on the page. One of my stops was in a saloon that looked like it was right out of the 1800s. There was a group of cowboys playing cards in one corner and it was such an iconic image, I had to ask if I could take a picture of them. They were my inspiration for the times when the Pony Express riders got a card game going in the book.
Can you share a favorite story or two of fans that you’ve met?
At last year’s RWA conference, I had a true fan moment, when someone rushed up to me and told me she loved my work. It turned out she is a much more successful writer than I am, so I was very flattered.
What led you to begin writing? What keeps you writing novels today?
I constantly was writing when I was a child and a teenager, then drifted away from it when I became an adult. A lucky set of circumstances happened in 2006, when I lost my job and found a writing course at the local community college on how to write a romance novel. I now had the time to learn the trade, and I jumped in with both feet. I now have so many ideas for stories, some from my family history, some from my mind that keeps working after I go to bed at night that I won’t run out of story ideas for a long time.
What do you hope readers will gain from reading your books?
If American history classes were more about how life had been like rather than a memorization of dates and battles, it would have been much more fun. That’s what I hope to accomplish with my historicals. I insert actual events into my books and build the stories around them. If readers get hooked on the developing romance, there’s a good chance they’ll learn some American history, too. For my contemporary audience, I’d like to show that it’s never too late to take a chance on love. I always try to infuse my contemporaries with some nuggets of history as well. My most recent book involves two people who are renovating a house, and find a newel post that’s hollowed out. I was able to give a bit of background about what they used to be filled with.
And, for those would-be authors who are reading, what’s your top advice for someone hoping to become published?
Read a lot of books on craft, find a good critique partner, enter contests and learn how to take criticism of your work without being defensive.
Thanks again to Becky for being our spotlight author at PASTimes this week! And, visitors, don’t forget that you can enter for a chance to win a copy of her new e-book, Expressly Yours, Samantha.
Click on the Rafflecopter button below and follow the instructions, or leave a comment here at NovelPastimes with your answer to this question from Becky:
Would you have liked to be a rider on the Pony Express? Why or why not?
Good luck! And, if you'd like to learn more about Becky and her books, you can connect with her online:
- Website: www.beckylowerauthor.com
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/becky.lower
- Twitter handle: @BeckyLower1
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/authorbeckyl/