Our Guest is: Betty (Elizabeth) Meyette!
Linda's love for Betty Meyette and her work started with the Crimson Romance debut authors. As Betty described her newest release, The Cavanaugh House, Linda realized that Betty was describing the era of her own alma mater Eisenhower College's Charter Class-
Betty, what do you consider your "normal" writing genres? Paranormal Mystery/Suspense and Historical Romance
And the title of your newest book is... Buried Secrets
What previous works are you proudest of? The Cavanaugh House, Love’s Destiny and Love’s Spirit
Because I know this geographic area fairly well, having graduated from Eisenhower College... please talk specifically about The Cavanaugh House, how you came up with the locale, etc. It is located in an area dear to all Ikesters, the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
We were on our way to Rochester, New York for a family reunion when my muse, Boris, started whispering the opening lines of The Cavanaugh House to me: This house held secrets… Rich was napping, and I was driving through Hamilton, Ontario, a large, busy, urban city near Toronto. I heard the words, and I knew this was the beginning of a book—but I was driving! And Rich was asleep! How would I remember this? But I did. With the words came a clear image of what the Cavanaugh House would look like and the premise of the story. When I related all of this to Rich, he suggested I set the story in the Finger Lakes region. We were planning to visit that area during our stay because, being a Michigan native, he had never been there. As we drove from Canandaigua Lake to Seneca Lake, I saw the "Cavanaugh House," deserted and forlorn, by the side of the road. I yelled for Rich to stop. He took photos of the place, one of which became the cover for the book.
What made you start writing? I’ve always loved writing, but I didn’t always work at it. My first poem was published when I was a sophomore in high school. But as I became an adult with adult responsibilities, I let my writing slide. Because I’m a perfectionist, if I can’t do a job "perfectly" I don’t do it at all. Consequently, during my career in education, I left my writing on a shelf in my closet. I retired early so I could write full-
Describe your typical work day. Are you a lark or a night owl? Coffee or music while you work? How do you set your writing goals? Are you a plotter, or a pantser?
I like to start work right after breakfast. I feel most energized in the morning. My energy wanes in the afternoon, so I work for a while, then I nap around 4 pm. I believe you should do what you’re good at, and I’m good at napping. I get my second wind around 7 p.m. Of course, all of this is subject to change depending on where I am with my WIP. If I am nearing the end of a book, I am driven like a whirling dervish who stops for nothing. I always work in silence. I am such an auditory learner that any music would have me singing along instead of writing. I drink green tea (a glass of wine after my nap) and always have a large supply of Dove dark chocolates on hand.
I set writing goals something like this: I’m going to write a book this year. I am definitely a pantser. I feel like my job is to take dictation from Boris. My usual process is to read aloud what I had written the day before and continue on from there. Sometimes, when I’m reading my story aloud, it’s like I’m hearing it for the first time. I often use Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat beat sheet to make sure I know where I’m heading. But, I am a true pantser—for example, I didn’t know "who done it" in The Cavanaugh House until I wrote that scene. I was as surprised as my readers!
You have received recognition for your work. What recognition has made you proudest?
I am very proud of being an Amazon Best-
What life experiences have helped you most with your writing?
I’ve drawn a lot on childhood memories. When Boris whispered the opening lines of The Cavanaugh House to me, along with the image of the house itself, came a memory of a tragedy in my neighborhood plus the legend of the White Lady, a local ghost. All of these meshed into my story of Jesse Graham, the heroine. Setting the stories in the Finger Lakes region also stemmed from memories at my Uncle Joe’s cottage on Keuka Lake.
Tell me about your family, your pets, where you live and work.
As I said, I grew up in Rochester, NY, but have lived most of my adult life in Michigan. I now live in west Michigan with my husband, Rich. We moved here to be closer to our children. Our daughter and son-
Though I grew up with a menagerie of dogs and cats, I developed an allergy to animals, so we have no pets. Honestly, we love to travel, so having pets wouldn’t work right now. We are always on the go.
I was once nominated for a teaching award by a former student. I attended the ceremony at her university to receive the award. Nothing makes a teacher feel better than a student who says you’ve changed her life. As the saying goes, "Teachers don’t teach for the income; they teach for the outcome."
Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog, Linda. I always enjoy spending time with fellow authors.
It was that Finger Lakes connection that drew me in, Betty. Thank you for doing this. Keep on writing!