Like the main character in her Sadie Witt mystery series, Beth Solheim was born with a healthy dose of imagination and a hankering to solve a puzzle. She learned her reverence for reading from her mother, who was never without a book in her hand.
By day, Beth works in Human Resources. By night she morphs into a writer who frequents lake resorts and mortuaries and hosts a ghost or two in her humorous paranormal mysteries.
Raised and still living in Northern Minnesota, she resides in lake country with her husband and a menagerie of wildlife critters. She and her husband are blessed with two grown children and two grandsons.
Now, on with the show…
KS: Can you tell us a little bit about what is was like to get the word that a publisher wanted to publish your book?
BS: Shock. Absolute shock and joy. Several months had lapsed after Karen Syed, publisher of Echelon Press, requested my manuscript, so I thought she must not be interested. Then, as I do every morning, I opened my email and there it was. Karen said her editorial board expressed interest and would I like to look at a contract. Would I? Are you serious? Of course! Acting like an adult was out of the question as I raced from room to room. I realize the real work has just begun, but I’m still riding that cloud of debut-author bliss.
KS: How long have you been writing and what was the first thing you remember writing?
BS: I’ve been writing for about ten years, six seriously. My first attempt at writing was a mystery. I knew nothing about plotting, characterization, or pacing, but I plodded through and thought it was great. A best seller. It wasn’t. It was horrible. I’m mortified by that first attempt, but also thrilled with what I’ve learned over the past six years.
KS: What is a typical day like for you with regard to a day job and now a pending career as an author?
BS: My full-time day job is in Human Resources in a hospital. My evenings are spent doing typical household chores, writing and editing, and occasionally drawing floor plans and processing paperwork for my husband’s construction business. Signing a contract with Echelon Press added another dimension—marketing. Over the past year I read books and surfed websites to learn what I could about marketing. I’ll format a plan to stay current with trends in marketing and writing.
KS: How do you think your life will change once your book is published and available for sale to readers?
BS: The pace will quicken, especially when both the eBook and print book are available to readers. Blog tours, book signings, speaking engagements and book fairs will be priority along with other marketing venues. I’ll keep my day job and most of all stay focused on writing and edits.
KS: What kinds of things do you do to keep your focus when trying to write when life gets in the way? Do you use candles or music or meditation?
BS: I park my butt and write. I have a nasty chat with a certain lazy writer if I don’t meet my goal. And, no chocolate! I also use Goals for Guppies, a Sister’s in Crime support group. I set a goal each week and have to report in on weekends. Shame on me if I don’t achieve that writing or marketing goal. If I’m exhausted when I come home from work, I enjoy a meal with my husband and then walk a mile or two with Il Divo, Celine Dion, or Josh Groban serenading me. Music is stimulating and makes me feel whole again. It triggers ideas.
KS: Who in your life has been the most influential in your journey toward being an author?
BS: A friend of my sister’s, Stephanie Sorenson, who is a publicist for Penguin Putnam, took the time to read my manuscript and made suggestions out of the goodness of her heart. No one in the profession had ever validated my writing or made constructive comments. That honest critique coupled with encouragement and counsel was the best thing that happened.
KS: Tell us a little bit about book one of your upcoming series.
BS: At Witt’s End is a humorous, paranormal mystery. Witt’s End is a bustling resort in Northern Minnesota with clients vying for one of the few remaining rentals, except Cabin 14, where guests never leave alive.
Most sixty-four year old senior citizens aren’t expected to solve a murder while trying to prevent an unscrupulous sheriff’s deputy from shutting down their lakeside resort, but that’s exactly what Sadie Witt must do.
When five guests arrive at Cabin 14, they’re stunned to learn that the flamboyant Sadie is their conduit to the hereafter. Clad in the latest fashion trends, fads that are typically reserved for those without sagging body parts and sporting hairdos that make bystanders want to look away but can’t, Sadie realizes one of the guests had been murdered and must work against the clock to untangle the web and prevent further mayhem.
You can visit Beth at her web site.