Today, we have romantic suspense author, Becca Hart with us to answer some questions and tell us a bit more about her new book, AGAINST ALL ODDS.
Welcome, Becca, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about yourself.
Well, I grew up in Warren, Ohio, a small town up in the northeastern corner of the state, a hop, skip, and a jump from the Pennsylvania border. Almost what my mom used to call a hook-and-plum town–you hook your head around the corner, and you’re plum out of town! My husband and I were sent out here to Colorado about a decade ago by the Army, and I fell in love with the Rocky Mountains before I even stepped off the plane. One thing not widely known is that every fictional town I write about (at least so far) is based on Warren, partly because I’m most familiar with it but also because part of my heart’s still there. Something else a lot of people may not know is most of my male leads’ personalities are based on my husband and my dad. And Elizabeth Seymour is based on me and my mom put together. Hint: this is why she’s a bit absentminded. LOL!
So, you’re debut novel, AGAINST ALL ODDS released yesterday. Congratulations! Can you tell us what it’s about?
Two years after a violent break-in left Elizabeth Seymour widowed and with blood on her hands, she’s finally starting over in the little town of Avalon, Ohio, with her daughter, Haley. She has the house of her dreams, a good church, and friends she can rely on. Everything seems to be falling into place—until she receives a threatening note from Veronica Sadowsky, the sister of the man Elizabeth shot, the same woman who tried to ruin her life once before. This time, though, Veronica won’t stop until she gets revenge.
When Elizabeth’s home goes up in flames, she turns to family friend, Doctor Gilbert Callahan, a widowed father of three. He invites her and Haley to stay with his family. As Veronica draws Elizabeth into a game of increasing stakes, she and Gilbert only grow closer, learning to trust and rely on one another. But Elizabeth’s presence in Gilbert’s home endangers his family and creates tension with his oldest son. Preserving peace in the house is hard enough, but when Veronica comes after Haley, Elizabeth will risk everything—including her life—to get her child back.
What was your inspiration for writing this book?
I can’t say it was any one thing. More of a combination. Lori Wick’s Sophie’s Heart played a significant role because the plot got my creative wheels turning. One of my favorite authors inspired me, too: Debbie Macomber. She writes such amazing novels, and her characters are so deep and compelling. And though it doesn’t bare a lot of resemblance to Jane Austen’s classic, I still have to say reading Pride and Prejudice gave me much inspiration to try to push the boundaries of my own writing abilities.
What’s your favorite scene from the book?
I’d have to say that it’s the one where Gilbert really laughs for the first time. Not that I’m glad Elizabeth hurt her ankle, but this scene shows so much growth in his character and is a major turning point for him. Here’s an excerpt from the scene.
“So, how’d this happen?” he asked, leaning on his cane.
She looked away. Now, the whole thing would get more embarrassing. “I thought I saw someone, so I went outside, and it was just the neighbor’s cat. So, I walked around the yard, and it started raining, you know, and that hole—I just didn’t know that was there, and—”
“Mom, you’re rambling,” Haley said.
“Sorry.” Elizabeth snapped her mouth shut, her gaze still on Gilbert.
“You were walking around in your bare feet,” Gilbert said, his voice level.
Elizabeth blushed. “I didn’t have time to put my shoes on. Plus, I like to feel the grass between my toes.”
His mouth contorted, and he started laughing, leaning harder on his cane. His shoulders quaked. She stared at him. Great laugh: youthful, the way Ben or Tristen might sound. Her mouth stretched into a smile. His laugh was a wonderful sound. Everyone else looked as awestruck as she felt. Finally, he regained control but laughed a little more at the expressions on their faces.
“You haven’t laughed like that in forever, Daddy,” Kaitlyn said.
“What’s so funny anyway?” Tristen asked.
“I don’t know.” He looked at Elizabeth and laughed a little more. “I don’t know.”
What’s your least favorite scene and why?
That would have to be the fire scene. It was hard to see Elizabeth go through that because she lost so much. It was part of her growth as a character, though, and good things came from it. Still, watching Elizabeth and Haley lose that much was difficult, and I’m glad for how things turn out later along that vein. It was hard to write, too, because a house fire was how I lost my mom. But seeing as how Elizabeth’s based partly on my mom (in large part, actually), it was a way of bringing a part of her back, too.
It sounds wonderful! Where can we get a copy?
Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Smashwords
What one book or series do you wish YOU had written and why?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is at the top of that list. It was such an incredibly sweeping romance, and I’d like to be able to write like that.
What’s the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
You know, picking one is difficult at best, so we have a tie going here. Getting started and editing. That first draft is so hard sometimes, and it’s the stage where I’m most likely to suffer writer’s block. I suppose I’m probably not alone in that. As for editing, maybe that one’s harder. I mean really editing–killing off so many of my personal favorite things–is a gut-wrenching experience. The book ends up better for it, so a ton of good comes out of the process. And it really does teach you about being a writer. Boy, is it hard, though.
What one piece of advice would you give to new writers?
The same piece that was given to me at the tender age of 15 by a famous author: persevere. Keep going, keep working at it. If writing is your passion, don’t let anyone, including yourself, stop you from pursuing it. It’s hard, gut-wrenching, and it takes a genuine love of the writing craft to keep you going, especially when you face rejection on the path to get it published. Just keep in mind that all your favorite authors have been where you’re at, yet they persevered because if they hadn’t, you wouldn’t know who they are.
Thanks so much, Becca!