Q&A with Beth Groundwater discussion

Has it always been a dream of yours to write books?

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Beth | 216 comments Mod
I've always enjoyed reading and writing. My first forays into fiction writing were my Freddie stories when I was in fifth and sixth grade. My protagonist, Freddie, had all sorts of wild adventures, including visiting an underground mole city after burrowing down in a giant screw-mobile. Freddie was a boy, because back in the sixties, I thought girls weren't supposed to have adventures. I know better now!

During my high school senior year, I took an independent study in English and wrote fiction and poetry, which was critiqued by a college professor. They came back covered in red ink, but I learned a lot, including how to handle criticism!

Then I delved into studying for college, my career as software engineer, and raising my children. I've been writing fiction since about a year before retiring in 1999 and so far have finished four novels, a novella, and numerous short stories. I was active in two critique groups for over five years, but now meet with one. To learn the craft, I studied writing books, took workshops, went to conferences, and entered contests, some of which I won or placed in. I attended my first writers' conference, the Pikes Peak Writers Conference, in 1997 and still attend regularly. This year's was my 11th.

My first goal when I began writing fiction seriously as an adult was to get a short story published, then I set a goal of finishing a novel-length manuscript, then I set a goal to get a book published (which required me to abandon that manuscript and write another one, which became A Real Basket Case), then came the goal of publishing a second book (To Hell in a Handbasket), so I wouldn't be a "one-book wonder."

I've managed to meet and exceed all those goals through hard work and persistence. My next goals are to start publishing a second mystery series and to get the Claire Hanover series into paperback, audio, and electronic formats so more readers can be exposed to it. Those goals depend on the economy & marketplace more than on my own individual efforts, but I'll keep doing what I can to pursue them.

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