Interview with Apex Reviews:
Beth, thanks for joining us for this interview. Thanks also for the opportunity to read Courage In Patience. We're looking very much forward to learning more about it.
Where did you get the idea for such an incredibly compelling story?
The issues in the book are, unfortunately, much more common than people want to believe. I gave voice to characters who were all having to face very scary issues. I allowed the story to tell itself.
Are any parts of the book autobiographical? If so, which ones (or can you say)?
I think it's a lot of people's story. More than anything else, Courage in Patience is about freedom through truth.
Why does David have such a hard time controlling his temper?
David's temper comes from a feeling of helplessness. Rather than acknowledging the helpless feeling, David gets angry. He learned tools for dealing with his rage, but, as you can imagine, the spectre of his daughter having been victimized so brutally plugs right into his feelings of helplessness-- particularly since he feels so guilty for not being a part of her life as she was growing up.
Why does Cheryl refuse to leave Charlie - much less admit that he actually did all the despicable things that Ashley says he did?
That's a very good question. I think that women who behave as Cheryl does are, at their core, selfish people, so invested in living a lie that they will do anything to maintain that lie. As Ashley learns, it would take unimaginable guts for her mother to face the truth. Her mom's not made of the same stuff as Ashley is.
Throughout all that she has to endure, Ashley displays incredible strength and resiliency. Is that common for someone her age?
I think so. I think that people are, at their core, much stronger than they allow themselves to acknowledge. That said, honesty (authenticity) is sometimes excruciating. As Dr. Matt says, "Life's messy."
How were you able to craft such original, full-dimensional characters as Bev, ZZ, Dr. Matt, and even Billy Ray?
I have a very well-developed imagination.
Our reviewer absolutely gushed over how much she enjoyed the book - so much so that she raved about it to our entire staff! Why has it not been picked up by a publisher yet?
It's on submission to several houses-- it has been since early summer. I feel confident that it will be published; it's just a waiting game at this point.
Have you shared the book with anyone else? If so, what have their reactions been?
Yes, I have shared it with some other writers, who have written glowing reviews for it. Other than that, I have one very good friend who has read it, in addition to my agent. We all believe that Courage in Patience will find a "home."
Aside from continuing to pursue publication, what's next for you?
I've started the sequel to Courage in Patience-- it's called Hope in Patience. I felt that Ashley's story needed to be continued, and I also wanted to address the fall-out from the censorship brouhaha caused by Bev teaching Chris Crutcher's Ironman.
Any final thoughts you'd like to share with our readers?
Through my writing, I hope to communicate to teenagers (and others) that, even when it feels like they are most alone, they are not. Never, never, never give up. There is hope.
Thanks again, Beth, and best of continued success to you in all your endeavors!