Meanwhile, I am thrilled to welcome Beth Hoffman to Diary of an Eccentric today, and I want to thank her for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions. I just love getting to know the authors behind the books I enjoy.
What's the best thing to have happened to you as a writer, aside from being published?
There have actually been two things. The day my publisher called to inform me that Saving CeeCee Honeycutt hit the New York Times bestseller list is a day I will always remember. And equally wonderful is the feeling I get when people come to my author events. When I stand at the podium and look out at all their faces, I feel enormously grateful; it's such a privilege to be in my position. My book tour has taken me all over the country, from Massachusetts to Florida and from Georgia to California, and everyone has been enormously kind and supportive.
Do you have a writing routine or a particular space devoted to writing?
Yes. I live in a circa 1902 Queen Anne that I fully restored. It's in a quaint historic district that's loaded with old world charm and shrouded by magnificent 100-year-old trees. I have what I call a writing library on the second floor of my home. Though the room isn't very large, it has three soaring windows in an ashlar-cut stone bay that opens to a view of the front gardens. Morning light floods into the room, and it has a large fireplace that I keep burning throughout the winter. My kitties love the room and spend the majority of their time lounging on a windowsill or curled up at my feet.
I'm a very disciplined writer and I usually spend at least six hours a day either writing, researching, or thinking. Sometimes when the muse is with me, I'll write well into the night.
What authors or books have influenced you the most?
Though I can't say that any one author has influenced me per se, I have always loved the writings of Truman Capote, Reynolds Price, Laurie Lee, and Bailey White. The first time I read Capote I was spellbound. His writing encompasses the senses and emotions so fully without falling into sentimentality. Roxanna Slade by Reynolds Price is one of those rare books that I've read twice due to its richly developed characters and remarkable sense of place. In Cider With Rosie, Laurie Lee brilliantly captures a child's view of rural English life during and after WWI. His prose is stunning. Everything Bailey White has written delights me no end. And, I read a collection of short stories by Pamela King Cable called Southern Fried Women that I absolutely adored. She's a wonderful writer.
Are there a few books you've read that you find yourself recommending over and over to other readers?
Yes, the books I've recommended the most are Illusions by Richard Bach, The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, and A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. And when it comes to short stories, I always recommend the writer I mentioned previously—Pamela King Cable.
What do you do when you're not writing?
In the spring and summer months I spend quite a bit of time working in my flower gardens, reading, and browsing through bookstores and antique shops with my best friend. I'm also involved in animal rescue. For all my life I've always been a quiet, introspective person. I call myself a home girl, and I happiest when I'm surrounded by what I love most—my husband, my kitties, books, and gardens.
Are you working on another novel? Any hints?
Oh, how I wish I were working on a novel. I've just completed a major author tour and I don't yet have my energy in alignment with my creativity. During the last several months I've had over a thousand emails, and the majority of the people ask that I write a sequel to CeeCee's story. I really miss writing full time, and though I have a few ideas and several new characters have arrived in my imagination, nothing has quite gelled. So, I'm writing character sketches and small scenes while I wait for the meat of the story to reveal itself. But one thing I know for certain is that I will definitely write another novel.
Thanks, Beth! I wish you much success and can't wait to read more of your work!
Because the publisher is shipping the books, this giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada only. The giveaway will close on Sunday, June 6 at 11:59 pm EST. The winners will be chosen randomly.
Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate.
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