Please help me welcome today’s guest, Beth Henderson…
Good morning, Beth. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?
My hometown is Dayton, Ohio, but I currently live in the Bourbon Capital of the World, the small town of Bardstown, Kentucky, where we do indeed have a lot of bourbon distillers and acres upon acres of tall barrel houses where things are aging. Never had any children of my own, though I reared two stepsons for ten years, so family these days is my three brothers and their extended broods, plus the eldest of my stepsons out in Washington State. Not a pet person, though I prefer dogs to cats.
Where did you get the idea for the title of your book?
UNTIL . . . is my latest American West historical and it’s also a mystery. This is my 8th historical but my first with The Wild Rose Press. The title comes from a song in a movie, KATE AND LEOPOLD, which Sting sings. It gave me something the couple in the book had in the past said to each other even though they thought they’d never see each other again.
What was the most difficult thing about writing UNTIL…?
The most difficult part to write was the love scenes, which I actually hate writing to begin with, but this time my heroine was in jail for nearly the entire book and the hero is popping in an out of the sheriff’s office to ask her questions as he investigates who killed the man she is accused of killing. Still managed to sort out how to supply two bedroom scenes though!
What was your first job?
As I disappointed my mother by deciding halfway through senior year that I didn’t want to go to college (though I went back at 38 and picked up a BA in History then a MA in English Composition and Rhetoric), my first job was extremely boring. The only “skill” I left high school with (because I was on the college prep track) was typing. However, the first job was at the local newspaper in the classified ad department where I answered phones and had to count how many ads there were under each category each day. Most boring job in the world!
What do you want readers to come away with after they read your book?
Hopefully, readers who pick up UNTIL . . . will be happily fixated on Tal Hammond, my hero, and yet sad that, while he saves Letty Kittridge, the heroine, from the noose, he can’t save the true killer even though the man dying was an accident. Oh, and that they can’t wait for the next story to hit the stands…or go back and pick up one or more of my previous historicals, naturally. I read for entertainment, so I also write to entertain, and hope I’m successful in supplying that to readers.
Would you rather have a bad review or no review?
Personally, if I can’t give a book at least a 3, through preferably a 4 or 5 star review, I don’t leave a review. Reviews have a reader’s personal taste involved and if the story wasn’t to that taste, then I’d prefer no review to a bad one because they don’t usually read in that niche.
What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?
Truthfully, once upon a time I would have said “urban fantasy” but as I now have an urban fantasy series being published under a different pseudonym, I’ve already made that wish come true. Which means, I no longer have a genre I like that I don’t already write in.
If you could be a character in any of your books, who would you be?
This is a tough one because, frankly, I do terrible things to a lot of my characters. But I wouldn’t mind being the heroine in one of the romantic comedies I wrote back in the 1990s. Maybe Bren or Roni or Roxie as I’d love to run off with Fletch, Tim or Nate in their stories, which are out and out comedies.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Yup, the first in a trilogy of Weird West Steampunk stories is still waiting to be discovered by a publisher.
If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please 🙂
I’d always run off with the hero. He’s the reason I write any story in the first place. And we’d do whatever he wants to do! Men in real life just haven’t worked out well for me, but the heroes in my stories, always do.
What do your friends and family think of your writing?
They’re proud of me since I followed my dream. Particularly my 1st ex-husband (still a close friend) and my eldest niece who has a “shrine” of every book I’ve written, even those I renamed when I got the rights back and reissued them as Indies. But she doesn’t read the paper versions because she doesn’t want to crack the spine, so she buys a Kindle version as well to actually read.
Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
This is sort of a toss-up question as I’ve met both Dolly Parton and Ann-Margret. I used to work in radio (Dolly in her dressing room at a concert) and lived in Las Vegas where I met the late Ann-Margret at an after show cocktail party.
Life. Death. Fate has its own agenda.
When Talmadge Hammond drifts into the Idaho mining camp he has no intention of using his law degree. He’s there for whiskey and the gold he can win at cards. Instead, he must save the life of the woman who’d once vowed to love him until…
Noletta Kittridge begins that day covered in a man’s blood and accused of murder. She has sinned to stay alive. Redemption can come only by giving her life to save the person who accidentally killed the man. Even Tal’s reappearance in her life can’t revive Letty’s will to live.
Determined to keep her from the hangman’s noose, Tal must either convince her to tell who did kill the victim or solve the mystery himself. If he fails, he and Letty will finally reach that unvoiced destination beyond until…
Although the men dragged the half-clad woman along, their grips tight and threatening, she wasn’t fighting or resisting them physically or verbally. She looked beaten, not in body but in spirit. And yet, when she stumbled, the toe of her wear-marred but neatly laced-up boot catching in the cloying mud, pitching her forward out of the men’s custody, the crowd gasped. Some stepped farther back to avoid physical contact. The carrion seekers in the mob pressed nearer, set to rend her vulnerability.
They hurled insults at her. She suffered the name calling, if it could be called such. The style of her clothing—or lack of it—and the building itself proclaimed the truth of her profession. She was the whore they called her.
Then he heard the new word, the word that was at first only whispered before it gained a more daring voice: murderess. One of the men yanked her upright, uncaring whether he hurt her or not. It was only then, when she raised her head, her chin, in a manner any grand dame reared in the top tier of Eastern society would recognize, that he knew her.
It couldn’t be. And yet, when she swept the gathered crowd, the gaze she turned on them was the one she had learned at her mother’s knee. At her grandmother’s table and at enumerable dinners, balls, and afternoon teas in Boston.
Tal watched in stunned amazement as the once Honorable Miss Noletta Kittridge shrugged free of the man’s hand and with a back straightened by years of deportment, stepped from the meager shelter of the porch, moved beyond the hungry, insult-hurling crowd, and strode on her own toward the camp jail.
BETH HENDERSON spent a dozen years writing and rewriting the same three books during the 1980s, but all those rewrites paid off via a romance spinning career now 30+ years long. Romantic-comedy and historical romantic adventure are her forte. She also writes urban fantasy PI mystery comedy and Weird West Steampunk, 1920s Dieselpunk and Victorian Gaslamp mystery comedy under different pennames. Between all the genres she’s danced through there have been a total of 32 novels (Until… the 32rd), 9 novellas, and 15 short stories (the 15th in an anthology releasing July 1st). She is also a regular fiction writing workshop presenter at Savvy Authors and various online RWA chapters and the author of How To Write a Funny Mystery by Beth Daniels, her real name!
Social media links: http://bit.ly/2GvFyog on Facebook
Twitter @Beth__Henderson, website: www.4TaleTellers.com