Hi Misty, lots of writers loved to read as youngsters. How about you? If so, what types of books did you read?
Yes! If I wasn’t outside riding horses, I was inside reading. I almost memorized every book about horses our little small-town library owned—both fiction and non-fiction. Beyond that, I loved kids mysteries like the Mandy series by Lois Gladys Leopard.
How do you get to know your characters?
Characters are where I start my stories. Typically, as I'm writing the previous book, characters for the next book will start to form in my mind. I always keep a Brainstorming document available and jot down anything that comes to me. Then when I'm ready to develop those characters, I begin to write out their stories, including motivations, fears, and spiritual arcs. From there, I have a great idea of what will happen to them in the story!
It seems like so many of my books are tied in some way to the theme of following God’s leading. He has a plan for each of us that rarely seems to follow a logical path, but when we seek His way and submit to His guidance (and submission is an important piece!), His plan turns out to be so much more wonderful than we ever imagined!
Oh, yes. God is the source of the joy I find in both reading and writing, and I try hard to make sure my books share whatever jewel of wisdom He wants that story to impart. I want these to be His words!
Sometimes, yes. Many of my heroines possess a few of my own characteristics, whether they be mannerisms, my stubborn streak, or my deepest fears. Many times, some part of the story or plot will spawn from an incident in my life. I’ll use the “What if?” question to imagine how the situation or relationship could have turned out differently. From there, the stories tend to grow their own personalities.
Right now, I’m writing the third book in the Wyoming Mountain Tales series, and I’m loving it! This is Ezra’s story—Zeche’s younger brother—as he finally seizes the opportunity to step out from under the shadow of his older brother and sister. He’s running the Rocky Ridge Stage Stop on his own during the winter of 1868, and determined to prove himself capable. But when a woman shows up on his doorstep in the remote Wyoming wilderness, he’s shocked to find out she is Tori Boyd, the correspondence partner he’s been writing to for a few months now. She and her cousin seem to be running from something, and he realizes it's up to him to find a safe situation for them in this untamed country. Unfortunately, his heart decides it might have found a better way to keep them safe. Except, the feisty Tori Boyd doesn’t seem to feel the same attraction growing in him. I hope readers will love this story as much as I do!
I bet they will. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
There are so many things that spring to mind! Some I've learned from wise writers. Some from my heavenly Father. And some from doing it the hard way. If I had to narrow down my experience into advice, these are the three things I would share:
As Zeche is torn between his craving to protect Gretta and the awful realization that he’s the one putting her in more danger, he’s forced to make a difficult choice. But when a run-in with an elk changes his plans and Gretta is faced with a danger Zeche is powerless to control, Zeche has to find a way to protect her at any cost. Even at the cost of his heart.
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Misty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance and is the author of the bestselling Mountain Dreams Series and the Texas Rancher Trilogy. 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 daughters 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.