Bethany Turner talks about The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck
THE SECRET LIFE OF SARAH HOLLENBECK IS OUT! YAY~! and to celebrate I have the lovely Bethany Turner here to answer some questions that, well, that I NEEDED to know, and I thought you might like to know too.
Q: Tell me about why / how you chose the genre you write in and what about it appeals to you?
Bethany: I honestly don’t know that I chose to write romantic comedy. I kind of feel like it chose me. I’ve always loved rom-com movies, and even when I set out to write a more “serious” book, the humor is a bit unstoppable. Truthfully, I feel like rom-com is the language of my heart, and God has impressed it upon my heart to be myself, but be myself for Him. During this season of my life — for however long it lasts until the Lord sends me in a different or additional direction — I believe I can address some serious issues through my writing. Issues such as sexual temptation among adults who strive to honor Christ; striving to find acceptance among fellow Christ-followers (who have been commanded to love others), when they look at you and only see the sins of your past; letting go of the good in your life and having faith that God has something even better for you…in His way and His time. And by wrapping these and other issues in a rom-com package, I can hopefully make it approachable and relatable for readers. Laughter is a universal language, and I don’t know of many other things which can knock down the barriers between us quite as well.
Q: If you were to pick one character out of your books that could materialize and become a real live person, a friend, who would it be and why?
Bethany: Well, I suppose the obvious choice from The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck is Piper Lanier. Piper is Sarah’s best friend, and just the ideal support system for her. She is patient and understanding, hilarious in her own right, Sarah’s spiritual mentor in many ways, and able to keep up with Sarah’s crazy thought process better than anyone else. But she’s also not perfect, and never pretends to be — which makes me love her even more. It would be great if Piper could become a real live person, but at the same time, she is totally inspired by several of my friends who are already such Pipers in my life.
Q: What do you do to get into “the zone” when you are writing? Do you listen to music, or go for a walk?
Bethany: I create a music playlist for each story I’m working on. Some of the music is on the playlist from the beginning, helping to create the mood I want for the book, and some songs are added later, as the tone of the book develops. But then I listen to that same playlist every single time I write that story. After a little while, I hear those songs and I am completely transported to that story. I’m instantly in the mood, instantly feeling the correct emotions.
Q: Please give me one fun fact about yourself that readers may not know.
Bethany: In middle school I had an adorable little turtle named Turbo. He was about the size of a quarter when we got him — and the poor thing didn’t stand a chance. His shell turned upward, and he had a bad leg. Honestly we didn’t think he would make it very long. Well, time passed and Turbo grew. And grew. And grew. And he stopped eating the lettuce we gave him and was only satisfied by cat food and tuna fish. Well, Turbo was a snapping turtle, it turns out. When he was about the size of a fist (and trying to bite us every time we came near) I couldn’t keep him any longer, so we gave him to friends who had a farm. Turbo continued to grow, and may or may not have been responsible for a missing duck or two. Innocent until proven guilty, I suppose…
Q: Where and how can readers connect with you?
Bethany: I’m pretty active (truthfully, too active) on Facebook. I love Instagram and some of the other platforms, but for me, Facebook is where I can really connect with people. Readers can find me at facebook.com/seebethanywrite. You can find other ways to connect with me at www.seebethanywrite.com. And I love to get email from readers, so anyone can feel free to send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will always write back! (Though I make no guarantee it will be right away. You know…I’m busy on Facebook! Ha ha!)
Q: The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck was an amazing, funny and wonderful read, thank you. Is it a stand alone? Or will there be any sequels?
I’m so glad you liked it, Melony. Thank you! It is a stand alone, but I’ve always known what happens next. Several readers have already zeroed in on it, actually, and insist that Piper needs a story of her own. So, we shall see! Nothing is planned as of right now, but truthfully, I don’t think I’m done with these characters. Or, more accurately, I don’t think they’re done with me!
Thank you so much Bethany!
Bethany Turner is the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former VP/operations manager of a commercial bank and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned thirty-five), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she’s chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight. For more, visit www.seebethanywrite.com.