Monday, August 18, 2014

Be My Guest - Beth K. Vogt

Earlier this year, Beth K. Vogt released her third novel, Somebody Like You. It took on a different persona than her previous two, but then stories have a way of coming into their own. All three of her books are lovely reads that you'll want to come back to often. I'm pleased to host my friend and fellow writer, Beth K. Vogt, today. Please enjoy her article on the inspiration for writing twins into her latest story.

Write What You Know
By Beth K. Vogt

“Write about what you know and care deeply about. When one puts one’s self on paper — that is what is called good writing.”  
Joel Chandler Harris (1845-1908), American journalist & novelist

As writers, we are given lots of directions as we travel the writing road. The instruction “write what you know” is probably one of the most oft-repeated bits of advice. Here’s another one I like:

“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), novelist

Of course, nowadays writers are sitting down at their computers and bleeding . . . I mean, writing. But the point is the same: You write what you know because it’s important to you.

And that is how I came to write about identical twin brothers in my latest novel, Somebody Like You.


Getting Personal
Brenda and Beth
I’ve always wanted to write about twins because I have a twin sister. My sister and I are fraternal twins, but I’m still capable of tackling the issues faced by identical twins. My sister and I looked so different that we had a difficult time convincing people we were sisters, much less twins. Even so, we dealt with people comparing us. Asking us why we weren’t more alike. We were called “the twins” or “Beth and Brenda” – you know, kind of like a permanently matched set.

The challenges I faced as a twin – and yes, the fun I experienced too – were woven into the story of Stephen and Sam Ames in Somebody Like You. By writing a novel about twins, I gave readers a small glimpse into my life – and that became a fun way to connect with readers who had no idea that I was a twin.

There were other little personal things I wove into Somebody Like You. At one point, Stephen tells Haley, the heroine, about when he and his brother, Sam, were born. He tells her that he was older than Sam by four minutes. I’m older than my twin sister by four minutes. Also in the story, Stephen gives Haley’s baby a nickname after it’s born prematurely: Peanut. That was my sister’s nickname when she was born. We were born six weeks premature and she was so tiny that my dad called her “Peanut.”

 
A Recipe from Somebody Like You
In Somebody Like You, Stephen enjoys cooking. I don’t spend all that much time in the kitchen, to be honest. But my husband loves to cook, as does my son, Josh, and my sons-in-love, Nate and David. It’s wonderful to see the guys in the kitchen cooking or outside grilling. In Somebody Like You, Stephen prepares Pasta Carbonara for Haley and her mother. So here’s a fun recipe for the readers of Writing to Inspire, with thanks to my son-in-love, Nate Huntley, who’s quite an amazing cook. (He went to culinary school!):








Pasta Carbonara

Ingredients:

1 pound dried Bucatini pasta (hollow spaghetti – better texture & traps the sauce inside)
1 cup raw Pancetta (Italian bacon)
¾ cup diced white onion
¾ cup Fava beans (cooked)
2 eggs
2 TBL butter
2 TBL olive oil
salt
pepper

Directions:

1. In a pot of boiling water, cook pasta to al dente (firm to the bite).
2. While pasta is cooking, cube Pancetta to ¼ inch pieces. Sauté until brown on medium-high heat.
3. Add diced white onion and Fava beans to Pancetta and cook for about 3 minutes.
4. Drain pasta and add to sauté pan with beans, onion, and Pancetta.
5. Add butter, eggs, and olive oil – and then immediately turn off heat.
6. Stir mixture constantly for 3 minutes to keep eggs from scrambling.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

(Note from Andrea: You may check out my review of Beth's Somebody Like You here.)

Beth K. Vogt

Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A nonfiction writer and editor who said she'd never write fiction, Beth is now a novelist with Howard Books, with her third novel, Somebody Like You, releasing May 2014. She enjoys writing inspirational contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily-ever-after than the fairy tales tell us. Beth is also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy writing community. Connect with Beth on her website or check out her blog on quotes, In Others’ Words.







Beth, thank you so much for visiting with us today and sharing your son-in-love's yummy recipe. I'm not sure it will turn out quite so well by my hand as his, but I might just give it a try! It's always fun to hear behind-the-scenes stories behind the books I love so well. Thanks for sharing your sister with us through this article. What a blessing.

Readers, what's your favorite part of interacting with the authors of your favorite novels? What are some of the challenges you faced with your siblings (whether or not you're a twin)?

Don't forget: There's still a couple more days left on the giveaway from last week. Be sure to add your name to the drawing.

Would you like to be my guest? Here's how to submit an article.

Do you need a proofreader? Here are the services I offer.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for having me visit today, Andrea. And just to clarify: In the twin photo, I am the blondie on the left. ;o)

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    Replies
    1. Beth, I'm so glad you shared your sister with us. I tried to guess which one was you in that picture, but could never decide. So I just tagged it with both of your names.

      Blessings,
      Andrea

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