Thursday, February 8, 2024

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Beth Wiseman!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Beth Wiseman!

Let's give award-winning and best-selling author Beth Wiseman a warm welcome as she chats about her writing journey and the inspiration for her story: 

What was your inspiration for the story?

The Messenger percolated in my mind for years following a profound event when I was speaking to a group of elderly people at an assisted living facility. After my presentation, an older gentleman by the name of Walter approached me with a rather spectacular story. He said that he had recently died, visited heaven, and was sent back by God to deliver messages to random people. Walter told me that he had a message for me.

Honestly, I smiled and kind of played along, skeptical that this kind man would really have any words of wisdom for me sent directly from God. But then, he provided me with an answer to a situation that had been heavy on my heart for a while, something personal that I hadn’t told anyone. I had to excuse myself and go to the restroom, where I began to cry. How could he know this?

Suddenly, Walter’s story had merit, and I knew it had to be told. And, while The Messenger is a fictional tale, I incorporated Walter’s experience into the book. I wish he had lived long enough to read the story, but I recently learned that he has passed.

Tell us about your road to publication.

I’ve been writing in some capacity for decades, but it wasn’t until later in life when I finally had my ‘big break’. I had been told by those in the industry that I was a good writer, but I couldn’t seem to get an agent or sell to a traditional publisher. I finally admitted to myself that having a good story wasn’t enough, and I identified my problems. I had not mastered the craft of writing, which is like playing the piano or anything else that requires dedication and practice. So, I read every book I could get my hands on about the ‘correct’ way to write a book.

In 2007, my laborious efforts paid off, lol. I snagged an agent, and HarperCollins (Thomas Nelson back then) offered me a three-book contract for an Amish series based on three chapters they had read of my first book, Plain Perfect. I had always wanted to write just one book that would change one life, so to have the opportunity to write three books for a major publisher was a dream come true. Currently, I have penned sixty-plus books with three million in sales. I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams, and I remind myself daily not to take that for granted.

How does/did your job prepare you for being a novelist?

For almost five years, I was a reporter for a newspaper in Schulenburg, Texas. I covered feature stories
and general news coverage. When it comes to newspapers, there are no deadline extensions, lol. The paper is going out whether you are happy or not with what you have presented to the editor. This type of mandatory deadline was instilled in me long before I published my first book, which was helpful since due dates are critical in the publishing industry. My newspaper experience also taught me a lot about editing. Although newspapers and book editing are very different, they meet at a crossroads along the way. But, despite the difference in requirements, I found my time at the newspaper helped prepare me for a life of writing books.

What is the one thing you wish you could do?

I wish I could maintain balance in my life. I’m able to do that sometimes but not as often as I would like. It’s been a constant struggle for me over the years . . . knowing when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’. With each passing year, I cherish my family and friends even more than I thought possible. Yet, I love to write. I’m happiest when I can balance those two things in a way that fulfills the author in me and allows time to spend time with those I love.

How do you celebrate when you finish a manuscript?

I cry, lol. It’s true. I’m always relieved that I made it to the end of the story. Life, in general, can be challenging. It ebbs and flows with everything from illnesses to unexpected events. After I’m done crying, I give myself a gentle pat on the back, thank God for giving me the story to tell, then pray that readers will enjoy the book and hopefully move toward a closer relationship to God.

What is your advice to fledgling writers?

I firmly believe that anyone can publish a book, but most aspiring/fledgling writers won’t achieve that goal because they will give up somewhere within the process. It takes very thick skin to write a book. I could wallpaper my office with the rejection letters I received before signing with HarperCollins. My best advice would be . . . a good story is NOT enough. Don’t make the same mistake that I made for years. Study and work hard to master the craft of writing before you submit to agents and editors.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

  • In no specific order, here are what I believe to be common traps for aspiring writers:
  • The misconception that you have nothing else to learn. You’ve mastered the craft and published a book. Wonderful! Congrats! But, there is always more to learn—from other authors, leaders in the industry, and within the ever-changing landscape of publishing.
  • Beware of vanity and unscrupulous publishers who will promise you the world only to take your money and basically RUN. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
  • Pray. Believe in yourself and your writing abilities. It is way too easy to let other people, situations, bad advice, and life, in general, strip you of your confidence. If you’re a writer, BE A WRITER. Resist discouragement. Tune out the negative noise.
What is your next project?

I’m currently working on an Amish short story based on a real event that I witnessed when I was a reporter. I believed it to be a miracle at the time, and I still do. I am also working on another Amish book that I hope to have out in a few months. The Messenger was a shift from the Amish genre I normally write in, and I’m super pleased that that the book has been well-received, that readers trust me to still deliver even if it isn’t an Amish story.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog! You can find out more about me and my books at:

My website – While you’re there, I hope you will sign up for my monthly newsletter where I post sneak peeks about my books, cover reveals, and opportunities to win free books.

Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook –
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Bookbub –

About The Messenger

Walter was eighty-two when he died--the first time. His visit to Heaven was glorious as he reunited with his wife, daughter, and other family and friends, relationships that a full life had nourished. But God tells Walter that he can't stay in Heaven, that Walter has more to do on Earth before he returns Home for good. Leaving those he loves, as well as the love of God, seems unbearable.

The Lord tells Walter that he will return to his earthly existence right away with renewed health and pain-free. God explains to Walter that He will relay messages to him, words that he might not understand but that are intended for the betterment of the recipient.

Walter awakens in his hospital bed feeling like a man of twenty but wondering if he'd dreamed the entire ordeal. When he begins to hear God's messages for others, he follows through, although his own doubts and fears lead him to worry whether he is handling the callings correctly. As a series of events unfold, Walter is happy when things come together for the strangers he seems to have helped, but he starts to become bitter. The two most important people in his life are hurting, and God isn't helping either one of them.

As Walter's faith is tested, will his own bitterness block the voice of God that carries with it a special message for Walter's loved ones?

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1 comment:

  1. Great interview. I always wonder where authors get their many stories.