Friday, June 8, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, BETH DOLGNER

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR OF "THE GHOST HUNTER" SERIES, BETH DOLGNER



Hello Beth, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. It is a pleasure to have the chance to get to know more about you and your writing. First tell us about your newest novel and why you decided to write it. 

I’m actually wrapping up two novels right now. One of them is Ghost of a Hope, which is the fourth and final book in the Betty Boo, Ghost Hunter series. It’s in the editing stages and should be out in July. The other is Manifest, which will be debuting any day now! Manifest is a young adult steampunk novel, and it’s the first in the Alice Meriwether trilogy. I fell in love with steampunk a few years ago, and I thought it would be fun to write a story set in Victorian-era Atlanta since I live there. Steampunk is so much fun because you can really let your imagination go wild.

Tell us about some of your hobbies, things you like to do in your spare time. 

I absolutely love costuming. I used to say that sewing was my hobby, until I realized that almost all of my sewing projects are actually costumes. I have a steampunk widow’s costume that I’m really proud of, and right now I’m working on a Star Wars costume. My husband and I also love to travel. He owns a record label—Redglare Records—so I spend a lot of my free time at our artists’ shows.

What is the one most rewarding thing in your life right now?

I am so happy to be a freelance writer. I ignored the naysayers, followed my passion, and get paid to do what I love most: write. There’s a line in The Lord of the Rings that says, “Not all those who wander are lost.” That is an apt description of my career. People would tell me, “You should get a real job.” Well, guess what? I have a real job. It pays the bills, and I can do my job in my pajamas if I want to!

When reading for pleasure do you tend to stick to the same genre you write or do you like to read other genres as well?

I do love paranormal romance and steampunk novels, but I like other genres, too. I’m a big Jane Austen fan and have read Pride and Prejudice more times than I can count. Some of my favorite books are completely unrelated to my genre: Jane Eyre, the Harry Potter books, the Lord of the Rings, and Ray Bradbury’s fantasy novels are in constant rotation.

When was it that you realized writing was what you wanted to do with your life?

I realized it just before my second year of college. I had always loved writing, but for some reason I decided to be an engineering major. I hated it. I thought back over past experiences and realized what I really loved was the volunteer work I did every March: working in the media center at a big sports car race in my hometown. I decided to switch my major and pursue a career in motorsports public relations and journalism. Writing work in that field followed, and then I expanded to the motorcycle industry. My book writing began when a friend saw that Schiffer Publishing was looking for authors to write ghost books. I pitched Georgia Spirits and Specters to them, and suddenly I was an author. Fast cars, motorcycles, and ghosts: what a career!

When can we expect your next book out and can you give us a sneak peek?

Manifest will be out in early June. The synopsis: Alice Meriwether is everything a well-bred young Victorian woman should be: genteel, proper, and a vision of petite beauty. She would be the ideal 18-year-old if it weren’t for her love of New Science. Steam-powered inventions, electricity generators, and airships fill Alice’s thoughts, much to the dismay of her family. When Alice’s love of science proves to be greater than her love for her intended husband, her displeased mother sends Alice to Atlanta to be a governess. As Alice settles into life with the Highcroft family, Mr. Highcroft’s brother Roland captures her imagination. He’s mysterious, distant, and definitely a New Scientist. When Alice helps him perfect his Ghost Machine, she finds herself in the role of Roland’s assistant. As she delves further into the world of New Science, Alice finds herself dealing with love, rivalry, impertinent ghosts, and runaway horseless carriages.

I don’t want to give any spoilers from Ghost of a Hope, but if you’re reading the series, here’s the first line of that book to tease you a bit: “Pain flared through my hand as my knuckles connected with Maxwell’s jaw.” 

Back in your high school career, who was the one teacher you would say made a profound difference in your life, if any?

There were a few teachers who were influential, but the one at the top of the list is Mrs. Pippin. She was my seventh-grade English teacher. She had such a passion for what she taught us, and that’s the year I began to realize that I had a talent for writing. She was also one of the most positive people I’ve met, which made her especially memorable.

What dreams do you have for future generations that you'd like to share with others?

Do what makes you happy. I always say that if you follow your passion, things will work out. Find out what makes you tick, and pursue it. You’ll find a way to pay the bills, and you’ll realize that being happy is far more important than a giant paycheck. (And if you can do what makes you happy AND get a giant paycheck, then bravo!)

One off the board question I like to ask, is what are your views as far as 2012, and do you believe in the Mayan Calendar? 

I really don’t think the Mayans had that kind of foresight. 2012 has been a great year so far, and I have more stories and characters to share with the world before it all ends!

Finally, do you have any advice you'd like to give to other aspring authors, also please leave us your links where we can find out more about you.

Write a lot, read a lot, and never stop learning. Read up on publishing tips and connect with other authors, who are a wealth of information and advice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! 

I’m online at: http://www.bethdolgner.com, and my blog is at http://www.bethdolgner.com/blog. My twitter is http://www.twitter.com/bethdolgner and my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beth...er/181619233895 

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