Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so pleased to bring you young adult author Beth Steury. Beth has a passion for teaching truth to teen readers, and I love seeing that come out in her interview. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her book Before I Knew You!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a foundling. Emphasis on found. I’m a daughter.
I’m a wife, a mom, a gram.
I’m a cheerleader for saving sex for marriage. Waiting matters.
I’m a follower of Christ who’s seeking to know HIM better.
I’m a champion of adoption and adoption rights. A complex, complicated subject.
I’m passionate about seeing GOD at work in the everyday “slices of life.”
I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that life matters.
And I write about ALL of it!
Tell us about your current release. In the next month, book 2 in the Choices Matter YA realistic contemporary series will launch. Because I know you picks up hours after the actions ceases in the first Choices Matter book, before I knew you.
For high school juniors Preston and Maggie, life has become incredibly complicated. But the worst is over, according to Preston, who agrees to give Maggie time to reach that same conclusion. But is anything ever as simple as that? The short answer to that question is a no.
Be sure to read before I knew you first to get acquainted with Preston, Maggie, and the cast of characters who journey along with them as they navigate the choppy waters of saving sex for marriage and “renewed waiting.”
before I knew you
After a series of bad choices rocked his world, seventeen-year-old Preston charts a new course as far from his ladies’ man ways as he can get. He distances himself from the dating scene and avoids his party-loving friends—the things that once dominated his life. Then he meets Maggie, the new girl in town, the first day of their junior year. She’s beautiful on the inside and out, knows nothing of his past, and he can’t get her out of his mind.
When a disastrous first date leaves her skeptical about the guys at Madison High, Maggie slows down her pursuit of a guy to trust with her white-wedding-dress future. She wants a boyfriend, sure, but he’d have to be nothing like the jerk who forced her first kiss. Someone more like Preston, who’s been nothing but sweet and helpful, not to mention, easy on the eyes. But he is so out of her league.
Can Maggie afford to let her guard down around the charming Preston? Will Preston’s past jeopardize his chances with the one girl who could anchor his future?
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Absolutely, without a doubt!
What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? That’s an easy question: reality. Realistic situations and scenarios, characters and relationships. Real life is messy and complicated. While some readers prefer that Christian Fiction ignore life’s realities in favor of more pleasant, mild-mannered stories, many readers yearn for a more realistic approach that tackles the nitty-gritty of complicated lives from a Christian worldview.
I must say with applause and cheering that more authors are grappling with real-life issues and striving to reach out to a hurting world with realistic stories that shine GOD’s truth on our complicated world.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher (or agent or audience if you self publish)? Ooh, that’s a great question. That very scenario has swirled through my mind repeatedly over the _________ (can’t bear to see the number in print!) years it took me to bring this series to an audience. While it may sound cliché or even egotistical to say this, the realization came to me that this series isn’t mine. Preston and Maggie’s story is GOD’s story, one that He asked me to write down. With that realization came the understanding that it’s not a story that will resonate with everyone, and that’s okay.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Just WRITE. It doesn’t matter what you write, simply commit words and ideas to paper, or more likely your computer’s hard drive. Don’t worry about every word being exactly right. Don’t be too concerned with the beginning, middle, and end. In a finished work, those are important and worthwhile concerns, but too much worry about getting every word, sentence, and paragraph in the correct place, hinders the flow of ideas. Be thankful that in today’s technologically-advanced world, it’s incredibly easy to move passages around, add or delete as needed, and rearrange to your heart’s content.
I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? The inspiration for this series came from a radio interview I heard many years ago. Following a presentation, a well-known youth speaker met outside in the parking lot with a young man from the audience. The young guy leaned on his truck and looked up at the speaker. “What happens when true love didn’t wait?” he asked. The speaker went on to say how that young man’s question changed how he approached the subject of teenagers and sex.
For days, that scenario played through my mind accompanied by the faces of the many teenagers I knew who also had stumbled into premarital sex. From there, the story of Preston and Maggie began to percolate in my mind.
Do you talk out plot lines with others, and if so, who? I am so fortunate to have a group of online critique partners who we’ve become close, dear friends. Their input has been truly priceless. Their friendships are priceless as well.
What is the farthest location you traveled to in order to research a book?
My next writing project will be the recording of my adoption/search journey, tentatively titled, A Doorstep Baby’s Search for Answers. My husband and I traveled to Kailua Kona, Hawaii, to meet my biological father and my half-sister. Think overwhelmingly emotional and wonderful all at the same time. Nearly every moment of the trip is forever creased into my memory.
Find Beth online:
Beth is giving away an ebook or print copy (readers choice) of before I knew you to a lucky reader! See below how to enter to win: