Q& A with USA TODAY Bestselling author Misty M. Beller
Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family--both immediate and extended--is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream.
Q: Hi Misty. and thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure! I’m a wife, mom (of four kiddos ranging from 1 year to 12 years!), and full-time writer. I also own a small publishing house, which publishes only Christian Historical Romance, which is what I also write. From the very first Janette Oke book I read as an early teenager, I’ve loved that genre more than any other!
Q: Your books are Christian Historical Romance. Where do you get your ideas from?
Because I write full-time, I find I need to be intentional about regularly refilling my creative well. I don’t usually watch much TV because I’m either writing, constantly picking up around the house, or spending time with kiddos. But I do try to watch a good movie every so often, and I take walks outside daily if I can. Those things help get my mind moving with ideas. If I’m ever stuck in a scene and need a fresh idea to get moving, I’ll sometimes brainstorm with my kids or other family members.
Q: How many books have you written, and which one is your favorite? (and why)
I’m currently writing my 25th novel, and choosing a favorite is like trying to choose a favorite child. J There are a few that stand out, like The Lady and the Mountain Man (the second book I ever wrote), because I think I really found my niche as a writer with that book. I love to write about the Rocky Mountains, remote settings, log cabins, and mountain men! J
Q: How do you come up with the titles for your books? Do you create them before or after your book is finished?
Hmm…I don’t usually have the title before I start, but often it will come to me in the writing, something that relates to the theme or characters. There have been a few times when I still didn’t have a strong title by the time I finished writing, so I’ve needed to brainstorm with writer friends. J
Q: How do you do your research?
One of the things I love about writing so many novels set in the American Rocky Mountains is that I really get to know the setting well. Most of the rest of my research is done online, although sometimes I’ll get books from the library (like the Journals of Lewis and Clark for my Call of the Rockies series where the characters retrace the steps of that great expedition). I also subscribe to American Frontiersman magazine, which provides a wealth of research and story ideas!
Q: Love’s Mountain Quest, the second book in Hearts of Montana Series is coming out next week (30th June) what can you tell us about the story that is not in the blurb?
The heroine and hero are both minor characters in the first book in the series, Hope’s Highest Mountain (Although this book stands alone fine if you haven’t read book one). Love’s Mountain Quest is the story of a mother’s journey to save her 5-year-old son who’s been kidnapped by a gang of thieves. Can you imagine how that must feel as a mother? The terror of not knowing what your child might be facing. The horror of the situation being so far out of your control.
She enlists the help of Isaac Bowen, a mountain man who’s helped her once before. Together they set of to recover her son and the friend who was stolen with him. I love Joanna’s tenacity to take action in the face of fear. Ever heard the phrase, “Cowgirl up?” This woman knew what that meant!
Q: To people who have never a read Christian romance, what would you say differentiate a Christian Romance to “standard” romance?
The depth! And the hope! Christian romances tend to focus more on the growth of the main characters and their love at a much deeper level than just the chemistry and surface-level feelings that general market romances usually show (although they do show chemistry and surface-level feelings, those just aren’t the main focus). And they always, ALWAYS end with hope.
Q: You’ve written many series. Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels?
That’s a question I haven’t really thought about before. I don’t know that it’s more challenging, but it is different. In book one, I’m still getting to know the characters and setting. In the other books in each series, the setting and characters feel like old friends. J
Q: When someone discovers your books for the first time, what series should they start with?
Great question! I have three main series starters, so I’d recommend starting with either A Pony Express Romance (Wyoming Mountain Tales book 1, and this is the free book I’m giving away when people join my newsletter), The Lady and the Mountain Man (book 1 in the epic 12-book Mountain Series, and free for KU subscribers), or Hope’s Highest Mountain, (book 1 in my new series from Bethany House).
Q: Can you describe your writing space?
Well, my desk is in a nook on one side of our bedroom. That’s where I do all my editing, correspondence, and everything else related to writing. With my last two books, I’ve started doing my actual writing through dictation into my phone while I walk in our neighbourhood. Dictation requires an extra layer of editing afterward, but I’ve found the creative part of my mind works much better while I’m outside and moving. J
Q: What is your favourite part of writing/ publishing?
Can I pick two? I love writing the last few chapters of a book when the story is really moving and the words are flowing in my mind. I also love the cover design process! Covers are almost as much fun as the story!
Q: And to stay in the same area, what is the hardest part about writing?
Editing. This is the part where I go through painstakingly and reword sentences to make them come to life with stronger verbs and the perfect phrasing. I always drink a lot of coffee during this process!
Q: Have you got a writing routine? Can you tell us about it?
Since I do this full-time, I have a pretty solid routine. But I also have to be flexible when things shift with the family. I spend mornings doing edits, emails, or other parts of the business. Then around 1 or 2:00pm, I start on my “writing walk” until I get at least 2,000 words written.
Q: Any advice for someone who is just starting out writing or thinking about writing?
This is always a tough question, because there are so many things that are helpful!
First, place your writing journey in God’s hands. Seek Him above everything, and He’ll lead You along the path He’s chosen to reach His very best for you!
Second, read a LOT. Read in your genre. Read writing craft books. Absorb everything you can.
Third, join a writing organization that focuses on the type of books you write. Joining ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) was one of the most helpful things I’ve done to grow as a writer. I’ll always be grateful to the organization, and I do my best to give back as often as I can. I’m also a member of Novelists, Inc. (for career novelists).
Q: Finally, a dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would it be?
This is a tough one! I don’t tend to be drawn to the typical celebrities, because they’re never as nice in real life as you expect them to be. Honestly, if I could pick three people, they might be from the Bible—Jesus, King David, and Daniel. Is that cheating? J
Q: Are you on social media? Where can people interact with you?
Yes! I’m afraid I don’t post very often, but I love to connect with readers when I can:
For a limited time, you can get one of her bestselling novels FREE here: https://mistymbeller.com/freebook