This spring, I’m hosting a guest blog series called “Five Photographs.” I asked a bunch of writers to submit five pictures and complete a brief interview. Today’s guest is Beth Caudill. In her interview, she talks about the importance of backlist and I share two interesting self-pub links. If you like King Charles Spaniels, dogwood trees, and/or chainmaille jewelry, you’ll love her pictures. Welcome, Beth!
Something that represents where you live
The first house I lived in in West Virginia had several white dogwood trees. I always thought they were beautiful and a home isn’t a home without one in the yard. Fortunately for me, I moved to a state that named the dogwood blossom as its state flower. In springtime, you’ll find dogwoods blooming everywhere. It took awhile, but I finally have my own tree in the yard, although it’s a pink variation instead of the bright white.
Something that represents something unique about you
Growing up, I loved everything space. All I wanted was to be an astronaut. While that didn’t work out, my love of space hasn’t gone away. I decorate my walls with space art of all colors. My favorite is this print titled Ladies of the Lake by Kim Poor. It’s based off the Pleiades star cluster.
Your Pet or Plant or Thing You Care For
This is Megan and she’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She acts as my shadow until my husband comes home from work, then the little traitor follows him around. But don’t let those brown eyes fool you; she gets plenty of cuddles and treats.
Something that really frustrates you
I love Stargazer Lilies but I can’t have cut blooms in the house. The dark yellow pollen on the stamen gets everywhere and it stains. At least I can have them in the garden.
Something that brings you joy (besides writing)
A few years ago, I learned how to make chainmaille jewelry. This flower chain bracelet is one I wear all the time. I particularly love the feel of silver rings but also work with copper and stainless steel. If you want to see my work, check out my website at Starlight Falls Designs.
What’s the elevator pitch for your latest published novel?
Cursed at his birth by a dark elf, Rowe Calder avoids personal entanglements, especially his betrothal to Caliressa Bellehaven. Circumstances force them together and love won’t be denied. But the dark elf claims his vengeance and only the strongest enchantress can reclaim Rowe’s soul. – Enchantress’ Destiny, Paranormals of Arilase – Novella 2
What are you working on next?
I’ve been waffling on this. ‘The Plan’ says I should be working on the Prequel to my Tales of Ellemarlene series but I haven’t been able to decide on the main character for that story. I’m also having trouble determining the motivation for the female character in the 3rd Paranormals of Arilase novella. So I’m revising a contemporary novella that didn’t go anywhere because it lacked conflict. I’m turning it into a contemporary fantasy series.
What are you currently reading?
Right now I’m judging a few books for the PRISM contest sponsored by the FF&P chapter of RWA. I can’t name those stories but I did read Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey and Dropping Gloves by Catherine Gayle this week.
What are you currently watching (TV shows)?
I caught up on my Arrow episodes and watched the finale of Face Off.
Favorite fantasy creature, villain, or weapon not from your own work?
I love Elektra’s bladed sai. I like to watch the scene in Daredevil where Jennifer Garner practices with sandbags before she goes after the man she thinks killed her dad.
Biggest challenge facing writers today?
Producing content quickly to keep your fans interested and finding new fans. I first sold some short stories a few years ago and had decent sales. Then I had a few slow years, completed stories didn’t quite work and then I started homeschooling my kids. My writing derailed and while I’ve released two novellas in the past year, I feel like my career has gone backwards.
[Jill: how can you say it’s gone backwards? You released two novellas! 🙂 Writing/publishing is a very tough business. I recently read two articles that seemed to realistically capture the challenges writers face while still being encouraging:
Rachelle Ayala’s What I Learned After Four Years of Self-Publishing (Thanks to Jami Gray for the link)
Forbes’ Amazon Pays $450,000 A Year To This Self-Published Writer (Thanks to Shamus W. for the link. The headline is clickbait, but the article itself seems fairly even-handed in its approach. I especially liked the one commenter who pointed out that self-pub doesn’t have to be an all or none experience.)]
How can we meet that challenge?
While I’m still struggling, the best thing is to develop a daily schedule and keep writing. A writer’s best asset is their backlist.
[Jill: “develop a daily schedule and keep writing” Agreed! 😀
I think both backlist and frontlist are equally important. Our best marketing tool is our next book!]
More about Beth
Beth grew up in West Virginia but now resides in North Carolina with her husband and two children. She has a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and previously worked as a quality assurance computer software tester. Reading has been her favorite activity for as long as she can remember and her home has more books than shelves to store them. While being a fulltime parent, she is pursuing a writing career. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter and her local chapter Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.
Thank you, Beth, for sharing your pictures and thoughts with us!