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Interview with Misty M. Beller

Misty M. Beller is building an authorpreneurship with skill and experience born out of a love for both creativity, and data analysis. If you thought the two sides of your brain couldn't cooperate, you'll want to discover what Misty does after she types, The End.

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With A Rocky Mountain Romance being Book 2 in your Wyoming Mountain Tales series, are you using different Wyoming mountain ranges as your settings, a common mountain setting, or is there something else that binds each of the books in this series together?
This series is the story of the Reid family—a group of siblings united through either birth or marriage. Each book has a slightly different setting, but all in the same general area of what would later become the state of Wyoming. There will be four books in the series when complete, and two of them are set along the banks of the Sweetwater River just below the mountain ranges, while the other two books are set in different places within the southern part of the Rocky Mountain Range.

Why are Gretta, the heroine of A Rocky Mountain Romance, and her professor father, in a remote mountain cabin?

Gretta’s father fought in the Civil War and experienced some pretty brutal events, which lead to an extreme case of PTSD. Of course, it wasn’t labeled as such in those days. Gretta and her mother served as nurses in the war hospitals, but her mother contracted a disease and died a few months before the war’s end. With so much pent-up anguish from the effects of mankind’s brutality, Antonio Michelly wanted nothing more than for himself and his daughter than to escape from everything tainted by men and live at one with nature. Gretta, still grieving her mother’s death and the changes in her father, needed a similar place to recover, and wasn’t about to deny her troubled father this request. So, they packed the supplies they could travel with and traveled into the mountain country. As they say, the rest is history (or at least, historical fiction)…

Did you use an actual or fictional location for the cabin setting in A Rocky Mountain Romance?

Fictional, although the setting is very typical of that area of the Rockies. The way I imagine the scene of their little cabin is a combination of several of my favorite pictures from that general location.

Mentally, I've been pronouncing the hero's name, Zeche, as Zeke, as if short for Ezekiel. Is that correct? Or is Zeche's name part of an 'old country' heritage?
Good question! It’s pronounced like Zeke, although it’s short for Zechariah. Zeche already had a strong supporting role in book 1 of the series before I discovered he preferred to refer to himself as Zeche.

Congratulations on the great reviews. If I may bring up one that concerns me…the Fiction Finder listing for A Rocky Mountain Romance doesn't state a sensuality level, however, one Amazon review states there's "not that much sex". Should I be concerned about giving this book to my innocent teenager?
Hmm…I try hard not to read reviews on my books, so I hadn’t seen that one. Wow. Well, I can share that there is NO sex in my books, either on or off screen. The genre is historical romance, so each book includes at least one kiss, and I try hard to make sure the situations and descriptions are all God-honoring—nothing I would be ashamed to read before Him (as I have already). One of the most common notes I receive from readers is how much they enjoy my clean, wholesome stories from the West, and I’m thankful the stories provide that haven for readers.

But honestly, I want to go further than that. I don’t just want there to be an absence of the bad. I want to share how, no matter what struggles we meet in life or how hard things become, our Heavenly Father is there each step of the way. He wants us to grow in His image so He can bless us in ways better than we can imagine. I try to make sure my books aren’t “preachy” but simply a reflection of God’s love to His people.

Which part of the goal, motivation and conflict (GMC) of a story do you struggle with as your write?
I think it varies for each book. With A Rocky Mountain Romance, the conflict was my biggest struggle in many areas. At times, it was a bit of give and take. I knew most of my character motivations early on, then uncovered their goals and began working through the conflict. I would uncover a new conflict and discover I needed to rework one of the goals, then vice versa. I love the way each story has its own personality!

When a story first comes to mind, is it the plot or characters which excite you?
Definitely the characters! In fact, characters are always the start of my story brainstorming, usually including their backstory, or maybe just strong parts of their personalities. The plot sometimes comes along with that, or with my research into the history around that time or setting.

At this stage, what percentage of your time do you spend in marketing as opposed to writing?
I would say half and half, although my day isn’t always split that way exactly. I try my hardest to meet my word count each day, then work the marketing pieces into the rest of my time.

Looking forward 10 years, what is your goal concerning the percentage of time spent in working your authorpreneurship as opposed to writing?
Wow, 10 years is a long time! Writing is my first love, but I also enjoy working with other authors to encourage them. I think I’d love to spend half my time writing and the other half coaching/teaching. We’ll see what God has planned!

What are you writing now?
I’m working on the fourth and final book in the Wyoming Mountain Tales, and this will be a Christmas story! I don’t have many more details to share yet, as I’m still working through the plotting phase, but I’m already loving the characters and story. I hope readers do, too!

Any parting words?
I have to say a special thanks to all the volunteers of ACFW, especially our interview team! This organization is built of so many special, caring, creative individuals, I’m so thankful God brought us together!


Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and their youngest of 4 kids. She writes historical romance set in Canada and the United States.

Romantic Refinements, Novella 2 in the Austen in Austin Volume 1 collection by WhiteFire Publishing released in January 2016. This 4-novella collection of stories set in historic Austin, Texas is based on the novels of Jane Austen.

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