Today’s special treat is a visit from the author of The Fourth Victim. Slice up some leftover turkey, sit back and meet Beverly Bateman.
Murder, mystery and romance fills award-winning, Canadian author, Beverley Bateman’s life. She loves to plot, kill and hopefully baffle the reader. Her nursing and public health nursing background helps with some details and administering a community care facility program had her investigating and directing investigations into irregularities and sometimes a death. She even has court experience.
She began writing in her preteens and loved to write locked room mysteries. Reading Nancy Drew helped her figure out plots. Facing breast cancer, she decided she needed to do what she’d always wanted and began to write. She completed her first romantic suspense novel and hasn’t stopped writing since. She recently moved and now lives among ranches and wheat fields in southern Alberta, with her husband and Shiba Inu dog.
What is your reaction to a negative review?
At first, I’m always disappointed. It hurts that someone didn’t like my story. But then I reread it several times because I want to know what they didn’t like about it and how I can improve by their criticism and make the next book even better for my readers. I learn more to improve my writing from the negative reviews.
How long does it generally take you to write a book, from the spark of an idea to the finished product?
It depends on life and the story. We’ve sold our house, bought a new one and moved and another time I had surgery. These tend to interrupt the process, but I’d say about seven months. The idea comes, I mull it over, draft some general plot points, write for about three months, edit, send it off for editing, re-edit it and hopefully have a finished product.
What works for you? Give us a rundown of your ‘writing process’ from beginning to finished product.
I wish I could, but it does evolve. Basically, when I start a new book, I start with a plot, then I work on the characters that should work with the plot. I make some general plot points and a bit of an outline. Then I start to write (that’s the best part). I write for several hours until my muse leaves me. Then I start from that point the next day. If I’m not sure what comes next, I ask myself at bedtime what I need to know and hope it comes to me in those early morning hours. When I finish the book, I go back and rewrite the beginning, because now I know my characters.
Do you have a blog and if so, what types of posts would a visitor find on it?
Yes, I have a blog and try to post twice a week. I have visitor posts from other authors with information about them, their characters and their latest book. I also blog a little eclectically about special occasions, writing tips and information about changes in writing. I also have a group blog with multiple different topics once a month.
Is there a particular area of your writing (getting ideas, revision, editing, et cetera) where you seem to struggle the most and how do you overcome it?
Characterization, developing my characters. I know them in my head but have difficulty getting them on paper, so my readers can relate to them and love or hate them. I take classes, read books, get critiques and feedback and try to get to know them well and talk to them.
Do you belong to any online cafés or writers’ groups? If so, has it helped?
I belong to one writing group, at the moment. Several others have disbanded. I belong to the Kiss of Death which is both supportive and educational with online classes, BIAW, a conference, and a contest. We have a loop to ask questions about our writing or about resource or anything you can think about it. Someone usually as an answer. It’s very helpful.
What advice would you give to new/unpublished authors?
I think it’s the same as authors usually say, write every day, read lots and take writing classes
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I try to work out several times a week, visit friends, read, do glass fusion, and play the Native American flute
Can you tell us something interesting about you that you’re sure we don’t already know?
I was held up at gunpoint in New Orleans.
What is the hardest or most frustrating aspect of writing: ideas, getting started, writer’s block, re-writing?
I think I’d say the rewriting/editing. Ideas have never been a problem. I have two books I’m presently working on and a couple of ideas I’ve jotted down for future reference. And I find writer’s block is usually because I don’t know my characters or I’m trying to make them do something out of character.