AMA ~ You Ask, Bethany Answers!
It's the AMA portion of the week again, which means everything you're wondering, I ask. Please be patient if I have not gotten to your question yet. I will. Believe it or not, but you all had way more questions than I expected, and the questions keep coming.
You can add any questions you may have for me HERE.
If I did not get to your question this week, look for it next week. If your question is very similar to someone else's question that I post(ed) and answer(ed), then I probably won't answer it because technically, I already have.
1. I'm curious about Catherine's suicide attempt. Do you ever plan to write outtake of that scene from her or someone else's pov?
No, absolutely not. I alluded to it. I gave a partial flashback to it. I showed Catherine dealing with it, and described the self-harm scar. I in no way intend to trigger someone who has attempted suicide, dealt with suicide, or currently suffers from suicidal tendencies just because there are a few readers who may be curious to read how that all came about, and what happened.
My respect for mental health, and those who suffer from things like depression, like myself, is far beyond the line where I would ever consider writing a first hand take of a suicide attempt. Ever.
This is a firm hard no.
Never going to happen.
2. What encouraged you to become a writer?
Literally nothing. No one. My husband (at the time, my fiance) didn't even know I was writing until I was two years into writing online for free. I have always been a reader, and I was dealing with severe postpartum depression after the birth of my first son. And thus, to combat that, I found writing helped. It gave me an outlet and a way to express myself where I couldn't in my real life. So yes, I wrote online for 4-5 years for free, and then one day I got a death threat because readers felt I wasn't updating fast enough for them.
So, I said fuck it. You're not paying me to do this. I pulled all those stories, deleted them from my computer, and started out fresh. I gave myself a penname that was entirely unattached to my old online name, I wrote entirely different stuff from what I used to write, and I paved my way in Indie publishing.
My hubby was very supportive of me writing professionally, though. I will mention that. He was not as keen about me just writing for free for the masses. But he said fuck all because he knew that was the way I was dealing with my stress, self-harming tendencies, and depression.
So, that's how it came about. Maybe someday I will write a real in-depth blog post about this. It's hard to say.
3. With Cross and the Chicago Outfit gun situation, did it affect Camilla in any way? I know Tommaso said for Cross to never set foot back in Chicago but with Camilla and Cross being so close how did that affect them?
So, there is an outtake in the companion novella that kind of shows Cross going back to Chicago to make a proper apology. Catherine is with him. He finds out some things from Tommas (the boss) about why he was so hurt over what Cross did. I won't give more info because it's spoilers -- and you can buy the companion when it is released sometime in the next three or so months.
As for Cross and Cam ... um, it didn't affect them at all. He was eventually allowed back in Chicago after what I mentioned above. And Cam regularly goes to New York (a couple of times a month) to spend time with her family.
4. Hiii! My name is Mimi from Rwanda [country in East Africa], and first off WOW I am a HUGE fan!!! You're an amazing writer! I loved your depiction of WOC in Effortless, and the Gun Moll series. Do you plan on writing any more stories that star or feature any people of color? Thanks!
Thank you so much. I always want to represent WoC properly. And with the dignity and respect they deserve.
The world is colorful, and so I am trying to showcase that more often in my work. Haven's (Andino's heroine) best friend is a Mexican woman, too. And my hero in Cozen is Iranian/Persian. I want to diversify my work more.
To answer your question -- yes, I am and I will. Because you mentioned Effortless, I should say August (the best friend to Cam) will be getting her own book. Her hero is a Guzzi brother. I can't say which one ... you'll have to wait to find out.
5. In Johnathan's book -- will it consist flashbacks of his struggle with his bipolar disorder? It's wonderful that you are writing about struggles of mental health. No other authors that I have read really focus on such important topics.
Hi there. I assure you there are other authors incorporating mental illness into their works. Abigail Barnett (Jenny Trout) is one, for example. They are just far and few in between. All too often, authors treat their books like a means to escapism because that's what their readers want. And it's a shame, really, but that's their choice.
I'm going to be writing whatever the hell I want -- mental health included.
As for John ...
No, there aren't flashbacks dealing with his disorder and the reason why is simple. It's not cured -- there is no cure. This isn't past tense for John. It is present tense. He is bipolar, and he will remain bipolar for the rest of his life. It is brain chemistry, and he lives with bipolar every day of his life. You don't need flashbacks to get the first hand account of what him being bipolar is like when it is showcased in nearly every single one of his scenes. Does he talk about how he learned he was bipolar, and things that have happened? Once or twice, yes.
So no, I did not use flashbacks to tell any part of his story when it was not needed. Bipolar is a part of John -- and a huge part of his story is about being bipolar.
And this week, we get a bonus question because really, if you want to know stuff like this just contact me through Facebook or my website. I can't really give you all the information you need to know when you drop an anon question in my form -- like shipping costs to your specific country or the exact costs of the books you want.
6. Is it possible for readers to buy your books directly from you? I would appreciate if you could answer this question? Thanks.
Yes, if you have a PayPal account, you can order signed and personalized copies of most of my books directly from me. If I do not have the ones you want on hand, then you will have to wait for the order to come in -- but I make the order, and ship it to you as soon as it gets to me and I sign them.
If you are Canadian and don't have a PayPal account, you can use Interact Transfer.
Just contact me -- Facebook, or my Website, for an approximate cost. Shipping will be included in your pricing, and if you live outside of the US or Canada, know that more than one book shipping begins to get expensive.
Until next week.