My spotlight today is shinning on the fabulous author Seth-Beth Cole...
Cole lives in Southeastern Michigan with her husband and two children along
with her rescue dog, Rufus, and cat, Clara.
She enjoys sunshine and reading and combines the two as often as
And now i'm donning my trench coat, put on my hat, turning my spotlight in her eyes and asking my questions...
Do you write as yourself or under a pseudonym? Why?
Sort of. My first name is Sara-Elizabeth, but that wouldn't fit on the front cover, so I only used Sara-Beth. That's what my family always called me anyway.
What made you want to be a published author?
I would have to blame the authors I read in my childhood. I loved reading so much and still do. I think it was that love that made me want to be a part of someone else's childhood.
What genre do you write in and why?
I write young adult. I think mostly because that was when I began writing, as a young adult. Sometimes it's fun to think like a kid again, too.
If you could talk to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?
I would tell myself not to let what other people think affect my goals in life. I had people telling me back then what I should do as an adult and I tried to listen to them, but it didn't work out. Now I do my own thing and I'm so much happier.
Have any other authors influenced your writing through theirs?
Definitely. YA authors like Christopher Pike and L. J. Smith were my favorites in school. Their stories still stay with me after all these years.
If you are a self-published author what made you take this route and what was your experience (good or bad)?
I am self-published. After a weak attempt at traditional publishing a previous novel, I did some research and talked with authors both traditionally and self-published. The process is much simpler with self-publishing and I love it so far!
How would you rate your writing?
I'm a horrible self-critic. On a scale of 1-10, I would probably put myself somewhere around a 6 or a 7. The best part is that one can always improve and I feel like I'm doing this with my new projects.
How do you react to poor reviews of your book?
I've gotten a three-star review before and, for a few minutes, I felt deflated. Then, I remembered it was only a single person's opinion and that, as I said in the above question, I'm always improving.
What influences your choice of book covers?
The story and how I see it in my mind. The cover of Falken's Woods is a forest with an image from the story, a necklace charm the main character wears.
How do you balance your writing with your real world responsibilities?
Horribly! My husband has to remind me sometimes that there's laundry and errands to run. It gets worse during the school year because I'm also a student. I try to maintain a couple hours in the early morning for writing, but when the bug hits me, I sometimes wind up writing all day.
Do your characters drive the plots of your stories or do you plan out your plot?
The characters definitely speak to me and tell me the story. I've tried plotting and planning, but I wind up losing interest in the story before I even begin to write. I've found that it's more effective if I just stay silent and listen to what the characters have to say to me.
Do you ever write what you dream? Give an example.
Yes! I had a dream one night that a waitress in a restaurant had tiny sparkly, shimmery snails in her hair. I've actually added that scene from my dream into my next novel.
Do you market yourself or pay a professional?
Both! John Hofmann at Hofmann-LaForest & Co. helps me when I need him. He's made brilliant posters and bookmarks for my book signings and booked me for events to promote myself and my novel. I've run contests through my website and done other things through social media myself.
What are your tips for editing?
There is a careful balance in editing. If you under-edit, then you'll have a book with so many problems that no one can really get into reading it. If you over-edit, you'll get so sick of it that you want to trash the story. Find the middle ground and stick with it. Hiring an editor can be costly, but helpful.
What inspired you to write your current WIP or current published work?
Falken's Woods was inspired by a commercial for a television show. It was an image of a cabin overrun with wildflowers. My WIP came to me while weeding the garden, although gardening is completely unrelated to it.
Do you prefer to write stand-alone novels or a series? Why?
I'll have to let you know on that one. Falken's Woods is a stand-alone novel. My WIPs are books one and two in a series. I'm not certain which I like more yet.
If you could change one thing in the publishing process what would it be?
The waiting. It seems to me that, whether self-published or traditionally published, authors to a whole lot of waiting. I'm not a patient gal and I found myself pacing a lot while working on publishing Falken's Woods.
What advice would you give to a new author?
Even when things get hard and you realize there's so much more to writing than just writing, don't quit. Remind yourself that this is your dream and your passion and you are one of the lucky few who get to live their dream every day.
Share a favourite quote from your book.
I'm actually getting a quote from my novel tattooed this winter. This is the one I selected:
A person’s heart is the only force strong enough to make them step outside their comfort zone.We share a few things in common and I have to admit i'm always dreaming of my characters. They never shut up in my head and planning my stories are also a problem. If my character's don't want that story line they steer me away...sometimes I feel a little schizophrenic....
Let's have a looksy at her book....
losing her mother, Regina Holler moves to a small town with her estranged Aunt
Liddy. In between making soap and learning about her peculiar family history,
Regina stumbles across two brothers with problems of their own. Jason and
Landon swear that the woods she wanders through aren’t haunted, but it seems
the ghosts of Regina’s past are set on colliding with the ghosts of Falken’s
Go out and buy it here:
And you can stalk her here: