I'd like to welcome DeEtte Beckstead. I'd love for you to get to know her and her great writing.
What is the ideal recipe for a good novel?
A good novel needs equal parts: strong characters, a good plot, and good dialogue that moves the story forward. Carefully mixed with love and poured out into the hands of the readers in such a manner as to not overwhelm them, but to entice them to beg for more.
A good plot should be realistic even if it is a total fantasy. It should fit the overall story and characters. Good dialogue can be used to “fill in the blanks” of the plot or background story. A good novel shouldn't have a lot of extras that don't contribute to the story. And it should be written from the heart.
You’ve been contacted by the Association of Libraries from the Alien Planet of Zaolia. They want to know the five most important novels in all of Earth’s history. Which five novels do you give them?
This is also a difficult question! There are so many to choose from! The five novels I would choose are (not in any particular order): 1) Moby Dick by Herman Melville, 2) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, 3) Chronicles of Narnia books by CS Lewis, 4) Homer's Iliad and Odyssey (yes, I know they are two different books!), and 5) Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien.
Other works that aren't considered novels that I would give them would include all of Shakespeare's works, Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Beowulf. If I could squeak one more novel in, I would also give them The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
What was the turning point in your life when you decided to start writing?
For a couple years, my sons had told me about NaNoWriMo and tried to get me to joing them for the November event. Finally, in 2007, I decided I would give it a try. Thus was the birth of Victory, and of my serious writing. My short story, The Christmas Visitors, came from my 2008 NaNo project!
What is or are the genres of your book or books?
Both are Christian fiction, paranormal. There are no ghosts, werewolves, or zombies, but there are demons and angels.
What made you decide to write in your particular genre?
It just sort of happened that way. Once I started writing, the story wrote itself. I am a Christian with strong faith, and it came from that.
When you write do you take notes, organize your characters and plot, or you write freely as you go?
I rarely make notes or organize before writing. If I do, it is a very brief note. I am happiest with my writing that I do freely, letting the story emerge as I write. I have been surprised many times with what happens!
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from observing life. I am a dedicated people watcher. Since I tend to be a quiet, private person, it's easy to watch people at the mall, in the park, on the bus. I write stories of faith and freedom, whether it is political freedom, or spiritual freedom. I write stories that I imagine has brought someone to the place where he or she is now.
One of my WIPs, however, is the story of my first puppy mill rescue, a 12 year old Maltese whom we named BelleKyra Joy. She obviously is the inspiration for that story.
Do you write about your personal life experiences in your stories?
Some of my personal experiences are in my stories, but usually I write about what I imagine could/would have happened in the situation if...
What is your favorite scene in your story?
I think my favorite scene is the one in the first chapter of Victory when the white pigeon dies and Brown Eyes buries it. That scene came from a real-life experience I had when I started writing Victory. I saw a pigeon at my apartment complex fly into the building and fall to the ground right in front of me. It died a moment later. I buried the bird in a shoebox. I like that scene because I could write what I really felt in that moment. And yes, I did cry over that little bird.
Thank you so much for sharing with us, DeEtte! Please share your bio and links where others can connect with you and your books!
Author and blogger, DeEtte Beckstead started writing in 2007 when her son challenged her to get involved in the National Novel Writing Month, known by the acronym, NaNoWriMo. The manuscript sat untouched with several others until January of 2012 when a good friend encouraged her to seek publication. The Christmas Visitors is her first published short story, and her current novel, Victory is also her first.
DeEtte spent much of her childhood playing the piano, clarinet, and guitar, reading, and making up stories. She was active in Girl Scouts, which gave her a variety of experiences. While in college, she was on the University of Utah Synchronized Swim team, and taught winter camping and survival skills for Girl Scouts. She has spent many years working with people with disabilities.
Originally from the state of Utah, currently DeEtte lives in New England where she writes full time and works on the editing team of Master Koda Select Publishing. Her other interests include swimming, crocheting, reading, traveling, history, and her grandchildren. In addition, this devoted mother of six and grandmother of twelve has been a concerned participant in dog rescue services for many years.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/DeEtte-Beckstead/e/B00ADDW94Y/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
AuthorsdB page: http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/66-deette-beckstead