Interview with Wish You Were Here author, Beth Vogt

Patricia Bradley Inspirational Fiction, Writing 54 Comments

Today I’m honored to have friend and fellow writer Beth Vogt on my blog. I first met Beth on-line then at a Deep Thinkers Retreat in Melbourne, Florida. I’ll never forget walking back from dinner and talking with her about writing fiction. A published, non-fiction writer, she wasn’t sure about coming over to the dark side of writing. But let me let Beth tell you about her journey in her own words…

I know you were a non-fiction writer. How hard was it to come over to the dark side?

I always said I would never write fiction. I was quite happy as a non-fiction writer and editor. But then I hit a season of burnout, which became a bend in the writing road for me. A promise to never, ever, write again became a crazy foray into writing fiction. When I made a commitment to pursue writing fiction as seriously as I’d worked on nonfiction – that’s when I realized writing a novel is hard, hard work.
Were there any particular challenges in writing your first novel?
Besides the fact that I didn’t know what I was doing? Wait – that’s not totally true. I had, for some unknown reason, sat in on fiction workshops at writers conferences through the years. Natural curiosity, I guess. My biggest challenge, i.e. my greatest weakness, was storyworld. Because I’m a journalist, I write tight. So my original approach to storyworld was the “four walls, a ceiling and a floor” approach. Why not let the reader figure it out?

How long did it take you to write Wish You Were Here?

Three years. The first year was just me having fun. I only told one person – Roxanne Sherwood, another writing friend. About a year later, I told another friend, Donita K. Paul – yes, that Donita K. Paul, the bestselling author, who invited me to join a critique group. Things started ramping up then. And then I went to my first My Book Therapy retreat and began to learn the craft of writing fiction and really tore my book apart. That’s also when Rachelle Gardner, my agent, found out I was writing fiction. She originally took me on as a nonfiction writer, so this was news to her.

What sparked the idea for Wish You Were Here?

As I mentioned, I was struggling with burnout and I told my husband I was never going to write again – ever, ever, ever. But then, I dug out an old Christian Writers Guild lesson. I was just having fun. This lesson involved writing a scene from three different points of view (POVs.) I wrote a wedding scene from the POV of the bride, the best man and the photographer. The bride is having second thoughts … And I started asking questions: How did she get here? Is she going to walk all the way down that aisle, dragging those doubts with her, and say, “I do?”

I love the Llamas in the story. Where did that come from?

The llamas were a totally random thought that came up during a conversation with my husband. We were driving through Estes Park, CO and, great guy that he is, Rob was listening to me talk about Wish You Were Here, when he suggested I add llamas to the story. I liked the idea, played with it, did some research … and it became a fun part of the novel.
Wish You Were Here has a very strong faith-based theme. What role has your faith played in your writing?
I believe God gifted me with this writing ability. When I am writing – even on the most challenging days – I feel like I am being who God created me to be. I also believe every writer weaves the truths they believe into the stories they write. The truth of who God is, how he has worked in my life and changed me – these always make their way into the stories I write.

Wish You Were Here is a book that you absolutely cannot put down. Here’s the back copy of the book:

Kissing the wrong guy days before her scheduled wedding leads Allison to become a runaway bride. But can it also lead to happily ever after? Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong. The huge wedding. The frothy dress. And the groom.

Still, kissing the groom’s brother, Daniel, in an unguarded moment is decidedlynot the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison’s life is nothing but mistakes at this point. Daniel’s adventures—chronicled through a collection of postcards—have always appealed to Allison’s well-hidden desire for something more. But how can betraying her fiancé’s trust lead to a true happily ever after?
Can Allison find her way out of this mess? Recognizing she doesn’t have all the answers won’t be easy because she’s used to being in control. To find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her—one outside her carefully defined comfort zone—and find the strength to let Him lead.

I promise…this is a book you won’t be able to put down! Leave a comment with your email address and be entered to win a copy of Wish You Were Here.

Comments 54

  1. Jennifer Fromke

    I’m so encouraged that it took you 3 years to write! My current WIP is going slow. 🙂 I don’t need to win a copy – I’m buying it right now. Can’t wait. Great interview!

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  3. Melissa Tagg

    Such a good story! I love it and have been recommending WYWH right and left. I also did a little happy dance when I saw it in a bookstore the other day – got out my phone and took a photo. 🙂 Great interview!

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      P. T. Bradley

      Oh! Melissa, I’m so envious that you’ve seen a copy on the bookshelves. I have to travel 50 miles to find a bookstore! You’re so right, it’s such a good story.

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  5. Delores Topliff

    This is a neat interview and Beth’s growth-as-a-writer journey is so encouraging. I love the fun and lasting wisdom in Wish You Were Here and know a spirit-directed writer is who God shaped Beth to be. And readers and those who know her get to be blessed in the process.

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    P. T. Bradley

    Thank you, Stacy. After I read Wish You Were Here, I had to share it! It was so good and I wanted everyone to know about it.

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  9. Andrea Cox

    Thanks for interviewing Beth. I’m looking forward to reading this book.

    Andrea
    andrearenee2004 at yahoo dot com

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  10. Renee

    Beth, thanks for sharing your writing journey with us. As an aspiring writer who’s facing a bit of personal burnout, I deeply appreciate the encouragement. And I love the premise of your book. Can’t wait to read it!

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  11. Jeanne

    Pat, what a fun interview. 🙂 Beth, I didn’t know about what inspired your story. 🙂 How fun is that? I’ve tried writing a scene from a different POV character, and I was surprised at how that character became more real to me. 🙂 Love your story, and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Wish You Were Here!
    Please don’t enter me in the drawing. 🙂 I’ve already got the book.

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  13. Melissa Isaksen

    Yay Beth! Can’t wait to read your story! Nice interview Pat 🙂 Hope you both have a blessed day! <3

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  14. Bryan

    Sounds like she found the door that leads out of the “Four Walls”! Prediction, Beth will enjoy (along with us) her newlly found path for adventure.

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      P. T. Bradley

      Hi Coleen, I’m so glad you stopped by. Wow, one afternoon. And I thought I was a fast reader. It kept me up until 1! But I couldn’t put it down until I read the last page.

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  16. Peggy Morrison

    I wantta read this!! SOOOOOOOOooooo…..if I don’t win a free one……….where am I going to find this book??

    Thanks
    Peggy

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      P. T. Bradley

      Hi Peggy! You can buy WYWH at Amazon. Books A Million will order it for you. But, maybe you’ll win it! Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Donita K Paul

    I knew Beth through church, although I knew her husband Rob better. Their daughter was in my 3 yr old Sunday School class and Rob would sometimes be the parent helper. When Beth caught me for a little chat about writing fiction, she didn’t realize how glad I was to see her. I was waiting for an appt. that is just one of those skin-creeper things you have to do. So she kept my mind on other things while I waited my turn. What a blessing for me that she was there, and as it turned out God used it to bless her as well. He can be sneaky that way. “mysterious ways and all.”
    Beth has been an absolute joy as a member of our Christ born family. Her family is one of those supportive knots that you love to have at the end of your rope. They help you hang on. And as for Beth’s writing journey, she has given as well as well as gained from our writing critique group. It is a wonderful nurturing experience and we just melded into a sisterhood. Thank you, God.

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    P. T. Bradley

    Oh, Donita, you are so on target about Beth being a blessing. She has blessed my life in ways she will never know. I love what you say about her family being one of those supportive knots at the end of your rope. That’s what I want to be! Thank you so much for stopping by.

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    P. T. Bradley

    Hi Holly. I’ll put your name in the pot. The drawing will be Saturday and one lucky person will win my copy of Wish You Were Here. (Did I mention I’m putting my name in there, too? lol)

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      P. T. Bradley

      The llamas are so funny, Johnnie. Wish You Were Here is a great book. So enjoyed going on Allison’s journey as she overcame her fears. Thanks for stopping by!

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