Visit her website at: http://www.bethannbuehler.com
Broken Together is the first in a three part series of novels featuring a small town called Rebel Canyon where readers invest in the lives of three close friends. Bryn Baxter is hugely successful professionally but when it comes to relationships, let me just be candid--she's a mess. When her otherwise orderly life falls apart, Bryn gets help from a hired gun, Beck Reynolds. Bryn wants the fairy tale but she doesn't want to have to think about how to make it all work. So Beck takes control...
Broken Destiny, the second novel in the Rebel Canyon Series, is slated for release in February of 2011 (Wild Horse Press) and Broken Identity, the third novel, is slated for the October of 2011. I'm also proud to be included in a paranormal romance anthology that will be released in time for Christmas this year (Wild Horse Press). And, not to spoil anything but my next series involves three best friends who battle their demons (and various addictions) on the path to finding true love.
Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I've been writing all of my life and many of my oldest friends would say they aren't at all surprised I finally wrote the "big one." Just the other day I pulled out a short story that I wrote in sixth grade and had a good laugh.
What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
The Rebel Canyon Series was born on a mountain in Utah. I was hanging out and reading in the lodge at Deer Valley (Utah) while my husband and son were out skiing. I took several books to read for the week since I don't ski and honestly, each one I finished left me flat. By the end of the third day (and the fourth dissatisfying book), I ran to the gift shop, bought a notebook, refilled my hot chocolate and decided I could do better. Hence the Utah setting for the series.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
My characters are completely a product of my imagination but their stories ring true to issues in the real lives of many people I know, including myself. For example, I have Bryn's standoffish quality and loyalty to the people I love, and I share her hair color. I have Casey's longing to be accepted and her heart for wanting the fairy tale. But honestly, Rachel is the one that's starting to get to me. She's as tough as nails and has a work ethic that reminds me so much of one of my closest friends. When I first created her, she was someone all together different and to say she's changed as the series has grown would be a huge understatement. Wait until you meet her in book three, then we'll have to talk. And no, I don't share the "lifestyle" any of my heroines have!
What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?
I actually research a fair amount for anything that I write. For The Rebel Canyon Series, I've gone to underground leather clubs and interviewed couples practicing various degrees of the lifestyle. I've consulted a doctor for the medically technical parts, an attorney for all of the legal parts and I have a military consultant for the weapons and communications aspect. I'm my own automobile expert so the wonderful cars my characters drive are all me.
How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story?
I don't have a magic formula other than to say that I just start writing. Sometimes what I think is going to be the beginning of the story ends up in the middle or nearer the end. Sometimes I write pages that eventually get used somewhere else or cut altogether. Here's a good example: when I was trying to put an ending on Broken Together, I ended up writing the epilogue to the entire series without even realizing it until I was finished and re-read it a day later.
Is the process the same for every book you write?
For me it is although I have to admit that book three in the series has required me to create an outline of sorts, something which I don't like to do. Outlines feel limiting to me personally but with so much going on with three story lines between three books, there are a lot of loose ends to wrap up as I try to end the series.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?
Write. Whether it's good or bad or even on topic, you've got to get the words on paper so you have to keep writing. Write something every day. I'm a huge fan of the NaNoWriMo challenge that takes place every November and I highly recommend that if a writer feels they need a jump start, that's a good place to start (www.NaNoWriMo.org). I also think that publishing is one of the hardest processes to navigate and a fair amount of writers get lost before they ever really get started. I was so overwhelmed by query letters, synopsis, submission guidelines... It's crazy! However, it's worth it so I would encourage anyone serious about being published to keep moving forward and stick it out. As for promotion, you've got to put yourself out there and open yourself for critique. It's hard and it feels very counter intuitive to shout "judge me" to the world but reviews and critiques are the heart of honing this craft.