Beth K Vogt: An interview & giveaway

Beth Vogt

Beth K. Vogt is a talented writer but more than that she is one of the most gracious and prayerful women I know.

A HUGE highlight of my trip to ACFW last year, was meeting Beth and spending time with her. What a joy!

I’m thrilled Beth is spending some virtual time with me today. Part of a blog tour for Beth’s incredible story, Somebody Like You, this interview is fascinating in many ways ~ we hope you enjoy!

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Please share, in your own words, a little about Somebody Like You

Somebody Like You asks the question “Is it ever wrong to love someone?” And I pose that question within the context of a young widow discovering that her husband had an identical twin brother.

In five adjectives each, please describe Stephen, Sam, and Haley

Stephen: grieving, searching, determined, caring, servant-hearted

Sam: focused, independent, heroic, stubborn, loyal

Haley: strong, heartbroken, capable, exhausted, conflicted

Becoming a widow, with a child, is a daunting and tragic experience. Were you conscious of needing to get Haley’s emotions/responses genuine? How do you go about that?

The need to get Haley’s emotions and responses right to being a widow and a new mom was one of the greatest responsibilities I felt as I wrote Somebody Like You. I’ve had several close friends who were widowed at young ages – one was pregnant with her second child at the time and my husband was her family physician. Another had seven children, and the youngest was one at the time my friend’s husband died. I have walked with them as they grieved the loss of their spouses – at times, years later, they still do – and I did not want to dishonour them in any way as I wrote this novel. I wanted the story to be real, raw, and honest.

SLY is a very emotional story with Stephen and Haley wrestling with significant loss, guilt, and regret. In addition they are in the midst of feelings of attraction in a very awkward situation. How did you balance all the emotions the characters and, no doubt, you were feeling?

There’s a technique I learned from My Book Therapy, author Susan May Warren’s writing community, that helped me write this novel: I identified the main emotion for each scene – what the point-of-view (POV) character was feeling. That was one way I balanced the emotions. Sometimes I remembered a time when I experienced loss or guilt or grief and then journaled about that. (This is another MBT technique). And I prayed. A lot.

What’s your experience with twins?

I have a fraternal twin sister, Brenda. I’m four minutes older than her (just like Stephen is four minutes older than Sam). Growing up, we didn’t look anything alike – we had trouble convincing people we were sisters, much less twins. Even so, we did deal with teachers comparing us. I’ll let you in on another secret: My sister and I were premature – we were born six weeks early. I weighed about 4 pounds and my sister weighed less than that and spent about a month in neonatal intensive care. She was so tiny she fit in the palm of my dad’s hand. Her nickname was Peanut – and yes, I borrowed that too for Somebody Like You.

Somebody Like YouSomebody Like You

Can a young widow find love again with her husband’s reflection?

Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he’s killed in Afghanistan. Her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening—and finds her husband waiting for her. Did the military make an unimaginable mistake when they told her Sam was killed? 

Too late to make things right with his estranged twin brother, Stephen discovers Sam never told Haley about him. As Haley and Stephen navigate their fragile relation­ship, they are inexorably drawn to each other. How can they honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together—and whose ghost could drive them apart? 

All your novels have been well received, but SLY seems to have really resonated with readers – why do you think that is?

My husband said something interesting about Somebody Like You: He said that he’s loved all my novels (he’s so supportive of me as a writer) but then he said that I “put myself out there” in Somebody Like You in a way I hadn’t before. He’s right. I’ve always tried to write real – but this time I worked hard to land the emotions on the page, even if it meant being real about some of my own emotions.

You are very gifted at writing authentic characters – does this come naturally or do you pay a lot of attention to getting that right.

Thank you for that feedback, Rel. It’s said that novels are either character or plot driven – and truthfully, I like to write a novel that delivers both a strong plot and compelling characters. We all love stories – and stories are about people. In my fiction, I often ask God what he would say to this imaginary character if they were a real person – because there is a real person struggling with the problem I’ve created as a plot point in a novel.

What did you struggle with most in writing Somebody Like You?

Stephen and Sam Ames are estranged from one another – this was a carefully planned out part of the story. For the past two years, I’ve been estranged from my extended family – something I never imagined happening. I’ve had to trust God through this time, examine my own heart, my words, my actions – and then trust that God is accomplishing what concerns me even when I don’t see anything changing.

Romance novels get a bad rap a lot of the time. How do you respond to the negative perception of romance novels, and often, readers of them?

I’ve read all sorts of romance novels – including questionable ones because no one challenged me to guard my mind and heart. But there’s one undeniable truth: people love story. And falling in love – and out of love – and fighting for your relationships and failing and finding happily ever after – all of that is real life. So yes, I read romance novels. I write romance novels. But I write ‘em real. There’s more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us. Relationships are messy.

Please tell my readers there are more books to come! Can you share anything in that regard?

I’m on back-to-back deadlines for a novel and a novella that start a new Destination Wedding series with Howard Books in 2015. I’m having fun with those!

Thanks, dear Beth!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Beth’s Pop Quiz
Watch Beth’s Mad Minute and listen to my audio interview
Review of Catch A Falling Star
Character spotlight on Kendall & Griffin
Review of Wish You Were Here
Character spotlight on Allison & Daniel
Interview with Beth
Beth’s Author Alert 
Visit Beth’s website
Buy from Amazon: Somebody Like You: A Novel or from Koorong

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73 Responses to Beth K Vogt: An interview & giveaway

  1. I think it would be fascinating to have a twin! To always have someone by your side who understands you, truly gets you, and always has your back! That’d be fantastic!

    • Twins are interesting … and their relationships too. Some twins are extremely close and some are not. My twin sister and I are fraternal and we had a difficult time convincing people we were sisters, much less twins. Still, we were compared a lot (especially by teachers) and this caused some external strain on our relationship that we had to overcome as we got older.

  2. My sister and sister in law both have twins and its amazing to me how they each can be so different and yet they have this bond that is inseperable.

  3. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a twin.

  4. I find it fascinating that twins can be so similar, yet completely different. I have twins in my family, and while they do like being twins, they hate being compared to each other.

  5. I always wonder how the connection between Twins is sometimes different than the connection between siblings. Even though they are in the womb together, they have completely separate DNA and traits, just like siblings who are born singly. Just a medical mystery, I guess or a gift from God?

    We have a Great Aunt who married her husband’s brother a few years after he passed away. (not twins) It’s a fascinating story and I am looking forward to reading Beth’s book.

    Blessings,

    Tina

    • Identical twins do share the same DNA because they come from the same fertilized egg (and that’s enough of a science lesson for today!) And even fraternal twins (two separate eggs) share a bond because of those nine months of being so close together in the womb.
      Interesting story about your great-aunt … hmmm, another “what if?” for a novel.
      ;o)

      • Wow! Do I feel like an idiot right now. :-( And I did not express myself very well either. One of my downfalls. I guess I better work on that. Good thing that I am not a writer, but a reader. :-) Thanks for the mini science lesson Beth. And I’m glad I’ve given you some inspiration for another book. I’ve actually got another element to that story that involves the same family. My grandparents-in-law had a beautiful and long marriage. For the short version, they died within 3 days of each other. On the night before Grandpa’s funeral, Grandma passed away and the funeral ended up being for both of them. Amazing still to this day. (the uncle and aunt that married each other were the siblings of grandma and grandpa!

        • Don’t feel like an idiot, Tina! I had to double-check the whole DNA question myself. :) Plus blog comments don’t give us much time for lengthy “here’s what I really meant to say” explanations, do they?
          And yes, you just added another plot element to that “what if?” story … a very sweet one. But I bet that was a tough day for the family.

      • Appreciate the science lesson, Beth – hehe!!

  6. Okay, I just wanted to comment that it is weird that these posts are showing up as July 4th.

  7. I have known a few sets of twins and I think the most fascinating thing is the close relationship most twins share. I think that would be a wonderful thing, to have someone who is really close to you and understands you.

    • Ellen,
      I agree with you. I think everyone longs for close relationships with others and some twins do find that with one another. When I was in high school there were twin sisters–probably mirror twins–who dressed alike, did their hair the same — everything. They were very, very close.

  8. I think it’s amazing how similar twins can be, even when they have been raised separately! Which of course would be rare, but it’ does happen.

  9. I always wanted twins and even had several very vivid dreams with my 5th pregnancy that it was boy/girl twins. I had names picked out and was convinced I was having twins. It was only one (our 4th girl) and we thought we were done with our family. Part of me mourned that little boy that was supposed to have been “mine”. Three years later, SURPRISE!, baby #6 was coming completely unexpected. We were sure “she” was another girl, but lo and behold, we got boy #2! I joked to my husband that I got my “twins” just three years apart. Those two have a very special sibling bond and are great friends.

  10. Kristie Porter

    I am looking forward to reading this.

  11. Meagan Williford

    I think it would be cool to have a twin. Twins seem to have a special bond with each other, and I think that’s pretty awesome.

  12. I think the connection with twins is amazing. I can see that there would be pros as well as cons… but isn’t that the case with all relationships? :-) I’ve heard LOTS of good things about this book and the storyline fascinates me. Definitely looking forward to reading it!

  13. What I find fascinating about twins:
    they can looking very much the same growing up, yet look somewhat different as an adult.

    • It’s true, Michelle — and I think sometimes that is deliberate. Interestingly, my sister and I looked more alike. I was a tow-head blonde when I was younger and she had dark brown hair. My hair got darker as I got older … so a little more similarity.

  14. Fascinating…how much synchronization they can have. And thinking alike. I LOVE it. :)

  15. I always he found the.bond between twins fascinating.

  16. one of my best friends is an identical twin, but they are not identical in their personalities. i also have cousins who are twins, again, they are opposite in their personalities. now my sister and i are four years apart, but people tell us we look alot a like. of course, we don’t think so. but i guess when you are close to someone, you pick up mannerisms that make you appear to look alike?

  17. Gail Hollingsworth

    I think it’s interesting how twins, even before they can talk where we can understand them, can communicate with each other in their own language.

  18. Thanks for the interview with Beth Vogt. Her new book looks really good and I would love to win it. I believe that twins share a special bond together. My husband’s family has twins in his family. Each twin is unique and holds their own personality but they are also very close to each other.

  19. I think it is facinating how close twins can be… I also find it facinating that many twins may look alike but their personalites and interests can be very different!

  20. I think it is fascinating how similar they are in mannerisms. It’s fun to watch.

  21. Elizabeth Dent

    Love your interview Beth . I have always wondered what it would be like to be a twin . Heard all different kind of stories , but I would want to be myself . Loved your book . Thanks
    lizd225(at)gmail(dot)com

  22. Enjoyable and informative interview. Thanks to both of you! SLY sounds intriguing, both from the perspective of two individuals grieving the same person and the twin issue. Prayers for the continued good work both of you are doing.

  23. The connection/closeness that twins seem to have has always fascinated me. When I was little, I used to pretend that I had a twin sister because I wanted someone to be able to understand my thoughts and dreams. Ü

  24. How they can be so close, almost as if they are one person in two bodies.

  25. Hi Beth, My late husband was a fraternal twin and they were the only brothers out of 9 that shared the same political views. The rest all thought they were always wrong !!!
    That is really the only trait they shared other than during my husbands illness and passing his twin said he felt part of him passed away also. They both also shared the same occupation as long distance truck drivers.
    Congratulations on your book it looks very inspiring and I hope to read it soon.
    Thank you
    mcnuttjem0@gmail.com

  26. Andrea Williams

    I think twins have a closer bond than other siblings and it would be fun to have throughout life (especially coming from this only child!).

  27. I like when twins dress alike and you can only tell them apart by is by their personality. And also the close bond they share with each other.

  28. Melissa Oldaker

    I just have always found their bond interesting. They know each other so well, some have their own language almost, and some friends of mine who are twins seem to almost be able to read each others mind.

  29. There is a deep love between most twins that I find fascinating. I have two friends who are twins, and they have always lived near each other. Recently, one has moved a couple states away, so I’m curious about how they are handling the separation. Even though they are grown and have their own families, there is a special bond that cannot be explained.

  30. Twins need each other. They complete each other. My daughter was a twin, but her sister died in utero, so she has felt something missing her entire life.

  31. As a midwife I find the whole origin and development of twins fascinating, as well as the challenges and miracle of their birth. And the bond they share – even when tiny. Premature twins develop better and recover better from illness when sharing a cot together, and often unsettled baby twins sleep better when they share a cot – even months or years later. They are really an amazing miracle.

  32. I think what fascinates me is how different twins can be even when they look exactly alike but their families can always tell them apart.

  33. I find twins fascinating, & try 2 find a way 2 tell them apart, in order to acknowledge their identities… I have met a couple of sets that unless the person was w/ his/her twin, I couldn’t tell them apart.
    I had identical twins in my wedding–my dad was so nervous (before he had 2 walk me down the aisle) that he pointed to the young men & asked if they were brothers! (Yes dad! They’re also identical twins!)

  34. Twins are always fascinating for their close relationship and the similarity in their decisions and lifestyles.

  35. I always thought it would be great to have twins and then I had my first child who was absolutely into everything. I was so grateful he was the only one!! I had cousins who were twins born prematurely in the early 1950s. Only one survived and she was blind. Enjoyed your interview and I look forward to reading your book

  36. I would love to win.. I haven’t read any books from this author, but story looks like one I would like.. I have twins grandkids/ boy and girl. Born 1 minute apart, and so different… And have twin sisters. Even tho they are very close,they have very different taste in men..lol.
    I would love to read this book..

  37. I am favored by having two sets of twins as grandsons. One set is identical and the other fraternal. I especially enjoy seeing how close the relationships between twins can be. I am happy to have had the opportunity to experience “twins”, but also to have singleton grandchildren. All are gifts from The Lord!

  38. Connie Scruggs

    I have not read any of Beth Vogt’s books, but this sounds interesting. I would love to win it so I can give her a try!

  39. I find it fascinating how in tune some twins are with each other. I mean like uber in tune..like more than a mother and child.

  40. There are three sets of twins in my dad’s family and he and his sister were the first. When his twin passed away, he knew it before anyone told him. How’s that for a connection??

  41. their different personalities

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