Bestselling author Beth Hoffman stops by for a quick chat about Looking for Me.
With the international success of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, was it hard to dive into your next novel?
Yes! Expectations are high, and writers can become nearly paralyzed when facing the challenge of crafting their second book. I had to constantly tell myself: Just write what you want to write. I was adamant in my desire to create something fresh and entirely different. What matters most as I maneuver through my writing life is that I keep growing and exploring new subjects, settings, and characters.
Did your interior design background influence your characters in Looking for Me?
Over the course of my design career I had the opportunity to observe true craftsmen work magic on antique furniture restorations. That’s why I wanted Teddi to be an expert in furniture restoration and faux finishing. But Teddi quickly took off with her own persona and quirks. One of the things I’ve learned while crafting a novel is to get out of the way and give my characters freedom to live and speak and think without much interference from me. Many times they’ve brought me major storyline revelations that I hadn’t even considered. It’s a fascinating process.
The wildlife portions of the novel are powerful. Did you do a lot of research?
Since early childhood I’ve loved (and studied) wildlife and nature, so those scenes were easy to create. On my grandparents’ farm the crop fields backed up to hundreds of acres of dense woodlands that I often explored with endless curiosity. Fox, white-tailed deer, raccoons, rabbits, woodchucks and countless birds (from raptors to tiny chickadees) were frequent visitors to our farm. Wildlife was a big part of our everyday lives.
Are you working on a new novel?
As a matter of fact, I have two novels in the works and I’m having a hard time deciding which one I should concentrate on first. It’s a dilemma that I never thought I’d face, and it’s driving me crazy! I know myself well, and I can’t write them simultaneously, so I’m hopeful that after I finish the paperback tour of Looking for Me that I’ll know which novel should have my undivided attention.
Beth Hoffman is the internationally bestselling author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and Looking for Me. Before beginning her writing career, she was president and co-owner of an interior design studio. Beth lives, along with her husband and their four-legged fur-kids, in a historic Queen Anne home in Kentucky. Her interests include the rescue of abandoned and abused animals, nature conservancy, birding, historic preservation, and antiquing.
You can visit Beth’s website at: http://www.BethHoffman.net