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Interview with Beth Wiseman

I had the privilege a few years ago of reading and reviewing one of Beth’s books—The House that Love Built—a contemporary romance with a theme of forgiveness and second chances. I found her writing a pleasure to read—thought-provoking but not too heavy. When she’s not writing, Beth loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family.
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Welcome to our ACFW interview today, Beth. Thank you for this opportunity to get to know the author behind the book. You have written many books and received many awards. I’m wondering how you first got started writing?
Thanks so much for having me! I remember writing my first “story” to my grandparents when I was very young. It was one of those “On a dark stormy night . . .” type tales. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an author.

Interesting that you wrote to your grandparents. Do you still envision certain readers who you write your stories to?
When I first began my career, I had the same editor for many years. I learned what she liked, and I wrote for/to her, I suppose. Over time, I discovered what my readers enjoy the most, so I write stories that I hope will entertain and inspire them. I’ve been fortunate that most of my readers have followed me as I stepped out of the Amish arena a little bit. Even though I have more Amish books on the horizon, it’s fun to mix things up.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
When I was agented and contracted, I had hoped to write one book that might change one life. I’m on my 56th book (including novellas). When God opened the door back in 2007, He flung it open, and I’m sure I’ll die before I ever get all the books in my mind published. From the beginning, I had hoped to provide stories that entertained and inspired without being preachy. Throughout that process, I realized that perhaps I was ministering to others, but mostly I was ministering to myself, growing in my faith with each book I wrote. That has definitely been the most significant part of my writing journey.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
Oh my, that’s a tough one. There have been highs, and there have been lows. The greatest moment was when my agent called to tell me that HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson at the time) offered me a three-book deal. Second to that would have to be when that first box of books arrived. And winning the Carol Award twice were great moments, for sure.

I have read one of your books, The House that Love Built, which had themes of love in challenging situations, forgiveness, changes of heart, courage, prayer, hope and faith. I’m wondering, how do your personal faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
I am a firm believer that God puts every story I write in my head. Even though my books are marketed as romances, my agent told me I’ve been writing women’s fiction from the beginning. I love writing about already established relationships and unconventional families—as I did in The House that Love Built that you mentioned. As authors, I think we bring our experiences with us on our writing journey. Most of the time, after I finish writing a book, I realize that I have infused some spiritual aspect of my life, or something I’ve experienced personally, within the pages. It’s not something that happens consciously, and I seem to work through my own issues within the stories. My writing career took off kind of late in life, and I think that I had to experience certain life events before I was ready to work for God.

Your new book, The Messenger, centers around an older man who, after a short experience with death, conveys messages from God to individuals. This seems to be a divergence from your usual Amish books and beach romances. I’m wondering what prompted you to write about this topic?
This story percolated in my mind for years, and it’s based on actual events. I was speaking at an assisted living facility to a wonderful group of elderly folks. Afterward, a man named Walter came up to me and told me he had a message for me from God. I was touched, but skeptical. What kind of message could this kind gentleman tell me that would be from God? Walter explained to me that he had died, gone to heaven, and that God told him that he would return to earth and deliver messages to random people. On that day, he said he had a message for me. I smiled and listened to what he said, not expecting anything of real importance. But Walter told me something that was very relevant to me at that moment, a heartache that I hadn’t told anyone about, not even my husband . . . something that was bothering me. Walter spoke directly to that issue. I was so overwhelmed that I excused myself, went to the restroom, and cried. A friend suggested I write about the experience. So, while The Messenger is fictional, it was inspired by something that touched me deeply.

Wow. What an awesome experience. What message do you hope readers take away from this book?
Be aware of the people around you. Be open to divine interventions. And never doubt the power of God. He has ways to reach us when we need Him the most.

Could you tell us something about your writing process? Where do you get your ideas for stories, and what steps do you follow from start to finish?
I usually have a general idea about a story and the message I want to convey, but that’s about it. I outlined a book one time, and my editor said the book seemed “off” and she asked what I had done differently. I was so proud and boldly said, “I outlined everything this time!” She said, “Don’t ever do that again.” So, I didn’t. I work best by getting to know my characters and their motivations as I go along. Often, my characters surprise and inspire me, and if I’m surprised and inspired, hopefully my readers will experience those emotions too.

That’s helpful to know, for those of us who struggle with getting our stories written. Just listen to the characters and enjoy the process, eh? What is your daily writing routine? Any quirky habits or must-have snacks?
I don’t have a regular writing routine, nor do I require any must-have snacks. But I have to feel comfortable where I’m writing. At home, I write in the same spot on my couch. If I’m at a hotel or a friend’s house, I must try out every spot available until I find the perfect nook. I love writing with a view of the water—an ocean, lake, etc. I have a special place at a friend’s house that has a deck overlooking a lake, and I love writing there when I can.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, of course I love to read. I’m probably happiest reading outside with a view of the water, lol. But my husband and I enjoy trying new restaurants, and we live in the country, so there is a lot to see—the occasional bobcat, lots of birds, deer, etc. We spend a lot of time outside.

What resources do you find most helpful?
Alexa! I don’t have to move or lose my flow. I just ask Alexa how to spell _____.

Is there anything else you would like to say to readers of the author interview?
I have been blessed more than I could have ever imagined. I want to thank my readers for traveling on this amazing journey with me. And thank you again, Pearl, for having me.

My pleasure. I love getting to know authors this way and learning from your experiences. Thank you for sharing on a personal level with us.
Pearl Fredericksen lives on the beautiful west coast of Canada, where she enjoys photographing the scenery and writing about her favourite places. She also loves to read and post reviews to spread the word about good books. Her little dog, Bear, sits under her desk to keep her feet warm while she writes. He's very cute, and you can see him in quite a few photos at

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