Monday, January 17, 2011

Meet YOU: Bethany Robison AKA I'm seeing DOUBLE!

Hey all! So I had a thought. I could interview a lot of different people, there are agents, authors, agent-signed-writers, editors, etc. Those interviews are cool to read and informative, but what about us? Those writers who are just starting blogs, who may or may not have much writing experience? So, occasionally (when I can find a willing victim, ha ha) I'll interview someone who's new to blogging and we'll get to meet them in a new thing called Meet YOU. Sound good? Good. (Also, if you know of someone, or even you, who would like to say hello, email me:

Meet Bethany! (not me silly readers, Bethany Robison. Told ya you'd see double.:)
Bethany Robison is in one word: AWESOME. She writes YA fiction, is a member of the InkSlingers Critique Group, and resides in the meandering boarders of Chicago.  
If there is one thing you want to get accomplished as an author, what is it? (But not get published because really, who doesn't?)
This is a big question for a small word count. I'll skip the grand, philosophical answer and try to summarize in dry statistics. 
1. At this point, my accomplishments are few - one completed MS, a YA fantasy (intended to be the first in a series of four). I'd like to finish the other three.
2. I've started a second project that is more of a superhero/comic book romance type of thing. I'd like to finish that.
So I guess, one thing I want to accomplish as an author - I want to continue finishing projects, regardless of whether or not anyone ever sees them.

Author you admire most?This is tricky because I admire different things about different authors. I could give you the easy answers of Rowling, Dickens... I did three college credits worth of study on Mark Twain... Suzanne Collins was the one who made me re-write my entire manuscript last year, in hopes of capturing that pacing and intensity.

One thing you'd die without?
Air. Yeah, I'm gonna go with air (see next question).

What are you most terrified of (not writerly related)?
Not breathing. Seriously, I have a completely irrational fear of drowning, regardless of the ten years of swimming lessons forced on me in my youth. Public speaking - got it. The dark - bring it on. Failure... well, that makes me very uncomfortable. Especially the idea of failing while in water.

Tell me a secret:
I don't really have any secrets... I do ridiculous things all the time and I'm all too happy to share. I could tell about that one time I was involved in a car chase on a New Orleans expressway... or the time I accidentally ended up in the red light district of Paris after dark... but you probably had to be there.

What's something you wrote about in your book that you never dreamed would ever hit paper? (My writing buddy swore she would never write about a pickle or a talking dog....I solved those issues)
I'm kind of surprised that I wrote myself into some of my characters (who I jokingly refer to as 'the kids'). One is scared of water, two can't sleep, one inherited my 'leap before you look' tendencies, and one, unfortunately, got my lack of patience. Upon reading the book, my husband noticed the trend and ask, "Why didn't you give them any of your good qualities?" Smartie pants.

What's the best thing about being in a critique group?
There are LOTS of cool things. I used to be really shy about letting other people read my stuff, but now I love it. I love talking to others about my characters, and I like seeing the other Slingers' ideas, too. I like getting a fresh chapter, knowing I'm one of the first people on the planet to read it - and then wondering where it will go. I think that's exciting, I like watching our group grow.

You're a writer. You're a blogger. The two do not always go hand-in-hand. Why do you blog?
I've only been blogging for a few months. I fought it for a long time because, frankly, I'm not convinced anyone cares about anything I have to say. I decided to give it a try because I attended a webinar from an agent who said that she won't even consider an aspiring author unless he/she has a web presence. So I grumbled and got a Blogspot.
I thought it would be a big waste of time, just another obligation. But I've really benefited from it. I enjoy being part of the community, part of the YA conversation, and I like having a space to organize my thoughts (all so easily searchable for my own convenience). And yes, I probably spend more time on it than I should, and yes, I use a different voice on my blog than I do in my novel writing, but it has a different "mission" - if that makes sense. The blog helps me keep track of my thoughts on books I read, what I take away from them, what I learn from different events I attend and people I meet - but I hope, for visitors, the blog is more on the entertaining side. I'm not in to preaching or ranting, or necessarily even teaching. Just... conversing. Gently. And giving away books.

Top three words that describe your blog?
A safe place.

If people want to check more of your awesomeness out (agents are included in those people), where should they go?
The INKSLINGERS! I post on Sundays, usually around noon-ish CST. I also post a couple of times a week on my personal site, I'm gonna give away a book a month for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge, so stop by and say hi!

Thanks again for stopping by Bethany! And people of the internet you should totally go take a look at her blog, it's awesome! Besides....GIVEAWAY!!!  (And don't forget to email me if you'd like an interview or leave a comment below)


Shauna Renee' said...

I really enjoyed this post. I have been struggling with my writing lately due to lots of issues at home and at work...somehow it kills my muse to be stressed. I'm trying desparately to get more organized with everything--housework, scrapbooking, writing. I just can't sit down and write with 10 piles of laundry staring me in the face!

Carolyn V. said...

Great interview! I'm afraid of the drowning thing too. Even though I used to live by the ocean as a kid. Funny.

Great interview guys!

Bethany Robison said...

Thanks for the post, Mattingly! I'll have to turn it around and interview YOU next!

Hang in there, Shauna! Your project will always be there, waiting to be picked up. And for the record, why does it seem like there's twice as much laundry in the winter, even though half the socks go missing?