Monday, February 6, 2012

Author Interview - Bethany Telles


     Today's interview is with one of my brand new writer friend- the talented and very funny,
Bethany Telles.

      Bethany is a member of the magnificent 12 x 12 in 2012 group over on Julle Hedlund's blog. She's also a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature, and a SCBWI member.
     Bethany has a wonderful writer's blog called Perched on a Tree, where she blogs about her writing. In one of her posts titled, Are You an Encouraging Critic, she discusses her own critique group and the different styles of critiquing that goes on in it.

     Bethany also is in the MeeGenius Author Challenge 2011 finals!  Wahooo, a BIG congrats to Bethany!!! Her children's book, Waiting for James in a Sea of Pink  was one of just 14 entries out of 400 that advanced to the finalist round. There is still time to caste your vote. Voting ends Feb 21st 2012. The links to vote for her book are listed at the bottom.
 The winning author recieves a publishing contract, $1500 cash and a library full of eBooks to the school of their choice!


Now, on to the interview:

1) When did you first consider yourself a writer? It was last year, when I was introduced as one. We were doing something in front of the congregation, and the pastor at our church introduced me like this: "This is Bethany! She's a writer of children's books and stories." There was no going back at that point. He had said I was a writer in front of God and everybody. Literally.

2) What do you like to do when you’re not writing? This might be cheesey, but I love to spend time with my husband and two boys! We enjoy camping, fishing, and going on adventure walks; We pretty much love being out of the house.

3) If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Not sure I have one. I actually have FOUR. Their names are Marcy Pusey, Amy Dixon, Dorina Lazo Gilmore, and Karen Neufield. They are my critique group. All four of them write so differently, that their advice covers a vast range of possibilities. I never walk away from them feeling like I wasn't given an honest answer about whatever it is I've shown them. They inspire me, and have helped me learn more than they realize.

Everybody with me now, AWWW!

4) What are your current projects? I am involved in Julie Foster Hedlund's 12x12 in 2012, which is where we write a picture book manuscript for each month, this entire year! So, I'm in the middle of gathering my thoughts about this month's manuscipt, as well as allowing time for my January MS rest so I can give it a fresh perspective before sending it out. Oh, and there's the MeeGenius contest, but I think we'll get to that later.

5) Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I tend to over write, but that's not something I'd say is challenging. Mostly, I have a hard time with the ages of my characters. I might describe them as 6 or 7 years old, but they end up talking and acting like they're 12 or 14. That's my biggest issue, I think.

6) What’s the best piece of writing advice you received so far? Someone told me "You need to simply... Keep... Going. There's a child out there whose ears need to hear what your heart has to say. Even if it's about boogers." I will never forget that.

7) How do you deal with rejection letters? Ha! I usually pout, sigh, and throw them on the floor. Then I call my husband and act like it doesn't bother me. (If that isn't honesty, I don't know what is!)



8) What are some of the best tools YOU found available today for writers, especially those just starting out? I went to the Institute of Children's Literature, actually. Their program was fantastic. I knew how to write, but I had no clue on what to do next. I wasn't aware of the rules for submitting manuscripts, or just exactly how a book was made. They ended up teaching me a lot, and then the books they gave me were phenomenal. I like, Word magic for Writers by Cindy Rogers, and Writing it Right bySandy Asher. They're fun, and helpful.

9) So, now that we all know you currently have a children’s book in the finalist round of the MeeGenius Author Challenge, tell us a little bit about how you came up with the idea for writing Waiting for James in a Sea of Pink.? Well, I have two boys. And they have seven boy cousins. There is only ONE girl in our family. A couple years ago (my kids were pretty little), that one girl cousin had a HUGE fairy, princess, and all around PINK birthday party (even I was uncomfortable!). I watched her older brother sit in the corner of the room, roll his eyes out of sheer annoyance and disgust, and play his little video game while all the little girls bounced and squealed all over the place. I remember seing his eyes light up when one of HIS friends showed up. And, there you have it.

Now for some fun-for-all questions:

- Day or night writer? Night!

- Laptop or Desktop? Laptop for sure.


- Favorite drink while writing? It's this green tea, pomegranate & cherry herbal tea. Yes, I'm a hippie like that.
 
- Describe yourself in only 3 words: Short. Selfless. Strong


- What’s your favorite color? JUST KIDDING <--- Hardy har har. But, it's deep red! haha

   Bethany, thank you for letting me interview you for my blog and for sharing a sneak peek into your writing world.  Best of luck with the contest!

NOW Everybody go vote!!
    Just click on the book below to read & vote!

 
 Gavin is the only boy at his sister's birthday party. He is miserable, and is losing patience waiting for his best friend to show up!



Don't forget to visit Bethany's blog Perched in a Tree: http://perchedinatree.blogspot.com/


You can also find Bethany at her Facebook page called Bethany Telles. Her direct link is: http://www.facebook.com/#!/BethanyJTelles

60 comments:

  1. Great, very fun interview Jenny and Bethany! It's so mice to learn more about our fellow 12X12rs :) Bethany, I also did the ICL course - two of them actually - and I thought they were great! I am also short, so we have a lot in common :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting Susanna!

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    2. Yay for ICL and short people!! Thanks, Susanna!!

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  2. Jennifer, thanks for sharing Bethany's story. As a mom to two boys who recently attended a princess birthday part, I could totally relate to "Waiting for James." How funny to hear that it was sparked by a real experience.

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  3. That hanks for the fun interview. Congrats on the MeeGenius contest. Oh...and I am short, too!

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    1. Hey Penny, you're welcome, it's great you stopped by!

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    2. Thank you, Penny! Short people are awesome!!

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    3. I just came back and reread this! "That...hanks"????? Hmmmmm
      That was the best interview ever???
      Thanks for the fun interview???
      Hank likes the interview, too???

      I will try to proof before posting :-)

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    4. No need to proof read on my blog, I'm just glad I have followers Peggy! lol.

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  4. Very good interview! I hadn't heard of the Institute of Children's Literature. Sounds like a great program. Good luck Bethany in the MeeGenius Challenge. You are doing everything you can to get votes! Great job!

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    1. Thanks Eric, glad you thought so!!

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    2. Thanks, Eric! ICL is a great place to go!!!

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  5. It was delightful to get to know more about you and your writing process, Bethany! Thanks, Jenny and Bethany for a super interview.

    (And I'm bowled over by the number of short people that have piped up in this! I always assume that everyone else I meet on the internet is tall. 5'1" here.)

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    1. I think the same thing Beth, though I'm average height. Thanks for your visit :)

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    2. Beth- I'm actually SHORTER than you! Yep. I consider myself a giant hobbit. Haha Thanks for coming by!!

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  6. Hey Jenny! First off --- of course you made my blog roll! I love your blog and I need to make sure I visit when you have a new post!

    Second - fabulous interview! She sounds amazing and I love her blog too. Her post on being an encouraging critic is great! Thanks so much for having her over today!

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    1. Oh, how sweet of you, so glad for your visits!!

      Yes, her blog's interesting and fun to follow, thanks for the kind words Leigh :)

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    2. Leigh! Thank you so much!!

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  7. What a fun interview, Jennifer and Bethany! :) Congratulations to both of you on your accomplishment in the MeeGenius competition. I am pulling for all of the 12x12ers! :)

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    1. Thank you Natalie. I really appreciate your support and it was great you could stop by today :)

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    2. Thank you!! Jennifer's story is my favorite in the ENTIRE contest (if I'm going to be honest)!

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    3. Really??!! Awe shucks, now I'm blushing:)

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  8. I so much enjoy learning about other writers. Good to meet you, Bethany, and thanks for the interview, Jennifer. :)

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    1. You're welcome David. Nice of you to visit!!

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    2. Good to meet you, David! Thanks so much!

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  9. Nice to meet you, Bethany. Your writing advice is music to my ears!

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    1. Um, either you're crazy, or you are by far the nicest person ever!! Thank you so much, you just made me feel warm and gooey on the inside!

      I'm going to vote you're the nicest person ever, by the way! :)

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  10. Nice interview and I LOVE how you intereviewed a fellow writer in the finals for the contest. Best of luck to each of you.

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    1. Thanks, Stacy! Jennifer is by far the most supportive person I've "met" thus far.

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  11. Alrighty, so now it's MY turn to comment/gush all over the place!

    Jennifer, this means the world to me! Thank you so very much for thinking of me, and for making this a fun experience! I cannot wait to return the favor to you, someday soon. You are so encouraging, funny, and thoughtful. I appreciate you!!! Here's to gaining 1,000 votes in the next hour, for EACH of us!!

    Oh wait... We don't cheat. Ummm... ;)

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    1. Hi Bethany,

      You are very welcome, thanks for doing it!!

      Also, I'm so thrilled that we are in this contest & the 12 x 12 together!!! Your kind words mean a lot and I just wanted to thank you for your help and supporting the past couple of weeks.

      1,OOO votes might be pushing it for us...maybe we should change our B & W's or is that too late? lol

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  12. Great interview, Bethany and Jennifer! I am honored that my name would be in the same vicinity as "writing mentor." What I am learning from you, Bethany, is to be more open in my online writing life, and willing to put myself out there and make new friends (even if they are "virtual" friendships). You are a great example!

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    1. Hi Amy, I agree with you 100%. So glad I bumped into Bethany out here in cyberspace. Thanks for stopping by today!

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    2. Amy, you ARE a writing mentor! You're amazing, and I am so lucky to be in a crit group with you!!

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  13. Another great interview Jennifer. I love meeting the writers in the 12x12x12 Challenge. I agree Bethany is a funny gal! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You're welcome Cheryl, thanks for your visit :)

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  14. Great interview! Best of luck!!! Thanks so much for sharing all this.

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  15. I love the title of that book. It was great getting to know Bethany. Fantastic interview, ladies.

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    1. Yeah me too, I think it fits just perfect! Thanks for dropping by Medeia :)

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    2. Thank you, Medeia... Would you believe that I was majorly criticized about the length of the title?

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  16. Yay you guys! Great interview! Bethany, I always wished I was short and had smaller feet. Lucky dog. your critique groupers are lucky to have you!

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    1. Thanks so much for your visit Elizabeth!!

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    2. Hahaha!! Elizabeth, you never cease to make me laugh. So, would you go crazy if I told you my shoe size is only a 5?! Haha

      Thanks for your support. You're the sweetest!

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  17. Fabulous interview. I love her three words! And the writing advice is fabulous. I totally agree.

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    1. Hey Peggy, I'm glad you stopped by. Thanks for your kind words!!

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  18. Great interview, girls and it was awesome to "meet" Bethanny.

    Jennifer-I just realized we were once both named Jenny Lee. Crazy!

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    1. Thank you Jenny, I'm so glad you stopped by.
      I haven't been called Jenny since I was little. It was the only version available when set up the account. ;)

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  19. Hi Jennifer! Congratulations on your success since I last visited! Although you were "liebstered" only a week ago, I'm back to hit you with another (yep). I know you know how it goes, and the write up is on my blog at http://loveskidlit.blogspot.com. Hope to spend more time on your blog, and cheer your success! LKL

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    1. Hi Casie, Thank you very much for my award and your kind words! Congrats to you as well

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  20. How did I miss this? Do you have an email sign-up that I'm not seeing, Jennifer?

    Anyway, glad I found it, and thanks for the interview! I am really enjoying getting to know more about all the 12xers. And Bethany, thanks for sharing that writing advice, boogers and all - fantastic!

    (Ah! I see the subscribe link right below this comment box. Done!)

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    1. Wait, that link is just for comments on this post. Jennifer, you MUST put an email signup somewhere so I can subscribe!! :)

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    2. Hi Renee, Thanks for stopping by glad you liked the interview. I just added the email link up top. Thanks for pointing that out :)

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  21. Cool. It was nice to getting to know you a little bit better Bethany. Number 6 made me howl!

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