AMA - You Ask, Bethany Answers!

Hey, loves!

It is AMA time again – which means you ask me all your burning questions, and I try to answer them as best I can. All fun stuff, and sometimes heavy.

Do you have a question for me?

That’s great.

You can drop it into my AMA form HERE and I will get to it.

Now, onto the questions this week …

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1. People have asked you about writing and your process, but I wondered how you wrote your blurbs. Do you have a process for that too?

YES! I do actually have a process for blurbs, and it’s funny to me in a way that all the writer related questions I get in this form that I haven’t gotten this one until now. Blurbs are often the thing that writers struggle with the most.

And I think that’s why I like it?

Yeah, I put that in a question. But let me explain it …

I like things that challenge my already-set skills. I am pretty settled in my ability to write a book. I have gotten better over the years, and with each new book. That’s normal and expected … but my ability to have a whole story form in my head has never changed. That’s always been easy for me – telling a story simply comes easy to me.

Blurbs never did.

I hated them.

And so, I have learned to love things that cause me discomfort in a way because then I’m not giving it any real power. I don’t get anxious over it or whatever – I just sit down, and write the hell out of whatever needs to be written, even if it’s a stupid blurb.

I think authors find blurbs so difficult because we have literally spent the last (in my case, a month, but in other’s people’s cases …) several months of our lives writing these books, and then someone turns around, looks at us, and says, “Oh, yeah, and make sure to condense your book and it’s content down to at max, 150-200 words to go on the back cover copy. But make sure not to give anything away. And it’s one of the first things to sell a book, so make it interesting enough to move copies!”

Like if that isn’t pressure, what is?

We don’t want to condense our books – we want to tell you all the things. And it’s also not easy to take 100k of words and turn it into 150 words. Let’s just be fair. So.

Anyway … that was a lot of my bitching, but I know someone is going to relate to what I just said, and be nodding along with it, so that’s what matters to me, haha. You’re not alone out there, we all fucking hate these stupid blurbs.

But yes, I do have a process to write blurbs, and it kind of looks like this, and keep in mind, this is mostly for romance books, because that’s what I’m writing at the moment:

Opening line: something hooky/catchy

Intro: 1 paragraph, 3-5 lines long introducing one of the two main characters.

Single line, tying into the paragraph above.

Second paragraph: 3-5 lines long introducing the second main character.

Single line, tying into the paragraph above.

FINAL LINES: this can be a paragraph that details the crux of the problem or hints at the issues keeping the H/h apart … it can be a cliffhanger that leaves the potential reader with a “What is going to happen/OMG” feeling.

Things you can do here with this format of mine:

- Tie in the title somewhere, I usually do it with the first hook line or the final line. Not required, but if you can and you wanna, have some wordplay fun.

- Use names sparingly. Yes, introduce the first and last name (some authors will say don’t even tell the last name in the blurb) of your main two characters, but we don’t need to know their parents names, the name of the friends … the protagonist, etc. You can just describe them, if they are a major part of moving the plot as “A friend calls with news …” or “Someone is waiting in the wings to cause trouble …”

- Be concise, always. Like your blurb is short – you wanna write prose and poetry and whatever else, that’s cool. That’s what your book is for. Your blurb is to sell it – it’s a different set of writing skills, so learn how to curb your need to write like you do in a book.

- Change this format UP. I do it all the time … I may use hook lines above each character’s paragraph to tie into them. I may do a list type thing like I did in Always blurb for each character. I may put the definition of something like COZEN at the top of a blurb to give some context because COZEN is an interesting word that a lot of people don’t use and it really tied into the book as a whole.

- Final note: you can also tell the reader what type of book/what to expect in a small line or paragraph after the entire blurb is told: This is a standalone romance with a HEA ending. Or: This is book one in a three book romantic suspense trilogy following the same couple. Triggering content. Be warned. That’s all up to you.

Feel free to bookmark this post if you wanna come back to it the next time you’re writing a blurb, or if you just wanna have a reference when it does come time for you to actually write your back cover copy. And if you want, you can just copy the section where I discuss the format, and save it in your own document to have it somewhere. I don’t mind.

Wow, this was long and could literally be it’s own post. Anyway … onto the next question.

2. Hey Bethany, I love your books. I wanted to know will we be getting some books on the Irish Mob?

Hi there.

I get this question asked so often, it’s crazy. Kind of tells me that either my readers like the way I wrote the Irish mob the one time I did it, or they just want me to write some Irish. Haha. Either way, I don’t mind. I like when you all let me know what you want to see, or are looking forward to. Sometimes, that helps me and my muse decide what I should be writing next.

As for your question …

Yes, there will be more Irish mob someday. For sure, you will see lots of Irish action in Michel and Gabbie’s standalone romance next year titled Dirty Pool. She comes from a family located in Detroit that is an Irish crime family, and she’s very proud to bleed green, white, and orange, so to speak.

As for others … um, I have a current series somewhere that’s a super secret project until more of it is done that focuses around two Irish families. Someday, I will be able to share more information on that for you all. And I do have Irish families in the new world, so after 2020 you will probably see me writing more of them, too.

So yep, Irish are coming. Just a matter of when, you know?

3. HI! I just wanted to say that I absolutely love love love the stories you have created because when I read one of your books I get completely immersed in the story and the characters and it helps me forget what's going on in my life. I'm extremely excited about Renzo and Lucia's book, have been since Legacy was first announced. But to my question, what inspires you to write? Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Thank you so much for your kind words, and yes, it seems like a lot of people are excited for Renzo and Lucia, which always makes me smile. They’re gonna break your hearts into a million little pieces before they finally stuff it back into your chest. It might not look as pretty when they’re done with it, but I promise it’ll still work. And isn’t that what counts, right?

Nothing really inspires me to write – like I get inspired for a certain story based on every day events. Like a conversation with someone might make me laugh and want to put it in a book. A cute couple walking into a store makes me raise my brow and want to turn them into something. But it’s not the thing that inspires me to actually put my ass in the chair and make the words go.

For that, I need motivation. I need to be out here motivated to make books – to tell these stories. And the things that motivate me are simple. I grew up poor, abused, and I went without a lot of the time. I have four kids – they will absolutely never suffer like I did, and they’re my motivation. They motivate me to write every day whether I am sick or not feeling it or I just plain don’t want to. They motivate me to hone my craft, to make sure my stories are the best I can write, because this is not a hit it and quit it career for me – I’m never going back to a nine to five job. This is what I do best, and it’s what I’m going to continue to do.

As for if I always wanted to be a writer.

No. It was never even a passing thought in my mind, to be honest. I never thought about writing, I worked from the time I was 17 and fresh out of high school. After I had my first son at 20, I was thrust into a heavy bout of depression, and for whatever reason, I woke up one day wanting to write. I wanted to tell a story, so I did just that. I started writing online for free, and then a couple years later, my direction changed to actually write books I wanted to publish.

Five years later, here we are.

4. Hi! I love love love the Guzzis! I lost count home many times I read the duet! When do we get to read more about the Canadian family? Any spoilers for us? ♥️

Hi there.

So you will see a bit more from the Canadian family in the third book of the Renzo + Lucia trilogy, actually. Renzo gets involved with a certain organization that two of the Guzzi twins also have a hand in – Corrado and Christopher.

But in general, you will get their books in 2019. The entire series will publish in 2019 and the books will release six weeks apart. Actually, next year is set to be like that for me – all releases are six weeks apart unless a release day lands on a holiday, then I will adjust accordingly.

As for a spoiler … nope, haha.

Sorry.

5. I would love an AMA with Koldan when he gets a daughter.

I’m not sure what this is because it’s not even a question. If you want an AMA with Koldan about his daughter, then you can just drop a question related to Koldan about his daughter for me to answer in the AMA form. I don’t typically answer as me, their author, I write it like they would answer it because that’s how my characters come to me and behave in my head.

So yeah, if you have a question about them that you want to ask me, or you have several questions about Koldan and his daughter, I highly suggest you just drop them into the form, and I will get to them one at a time, or I will dedicate a whole AMA post to them if I have enough questions that just deal with them directly.

Hope this explains it.

Okay, loves. That is all for this week. Until the next!

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