I have had the blessing of meeting many wonderful authors through American Christian Fiction Writers, and Betty Owens is one of them. I met her at my very first writer’s group meeting and have been in awe of her ever since. Today, I am grateful to get to introduce this wonderful author to you today.
Can you tell us a little about the various series/books you have written?
I started out writing western romance. I put those efforts aside when inspired to write a story that became the first Jael of Rogan novel, The Lady of the Haven. I never set out to write fantasy, but made the decision as I got to know my character. Writing fantasy was pure fun. I meant to write three to five novels in the series, but stopped after A Gathering of Eagles (Book 2). I’d written a novel about a young woman coming of age in the 1920’s (Amelia’s Legacy). It was picked up by Tracy Ruckman of Write Integrity Press, but she wanted a 3-book series. The Legacy series was born. Carlotta’s Legacy is book two of that series.
I also created a story based on the Biblical book of Ruth, Annabelle’s Ruth, Kinsman Redeemer series. (I’m fond of apostrophes.) Write Integrity Press released that one in between the first two Legacy books. Book 2 is Sutter’s Landing, which released June 20.
If someone were reading your books for the first time, which book would you recommend they start with?
Annabelle’s Ruth, for reasons mentioned in the next question. But, if they are fans of inspirational fantasy, I’d say The Lady of the Haven. I love that story too. I will say, I’m not a romance writer, but there is romance in all my books. Sutter’s Landing, sequel to Annabelle’s Ruth, is the most romantic. I enjoyed writing it so much, I may keep it up.
Which is your favorite book you’ve written so far? Why?
I love Annabelle’s Ruth. It’s the book of my heart. It’s inspired by my favorite Biblical story, and also loosely-based on my mother’s early life. Set in a small West Tennessee town where I lived as a child, the story contains faces and voices from my childhood.
If you could be any of your characters, which one would it be? Why?
Oh, if we’re going to venture into fantasy, I’d love to be Jael of Rogan, the Lady of the Haven. She takes God at His word. “Nothing is impossible.” Her faith lands her in some scrapes, but she doesn’t back down. And it would be really cool if I could disappear now and then.
What was your journey to publication like?
I self-published the Jael of Rogan novels, since at the time, I was told Christian fantasy didn’t sell. I’m not the bravest person on earth, by far. I didn’t submit to a lot of publishers. I never thought I was good enough to compete. But I worked hard at it, Along the way, I met Fay Lamb through ACFW Scribes (a large online critique group sponsored by ACFW). She encouraged me to submit my story to Write Integrity Press. At that point, my husband told me I’d be published before the year was out. I wasn’t so sure, especially when December 31 rolled around. But right around noon on New Year’s Eve, my phone rang. Guess who it was? Tracy Ruckman, of Write Integrity Press. She wanted Amelia’s Legacy. My husband said, “I told you so,” because I had just signed a contract and we had several hours left of the year.
What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Don’t give up—pursue your dream of publishing.
What is the best way a reader can help authors succeed?
Readers are our lifeblood! If you love a book, talk about it on social media, and among family and friends. Figure out how to write reviews (they don’t have to be perfect or long, just positive). “I loved this book!” This is a fantastic review, especially when accompanied by five stars.
What are you reading right now?
I am so far behind on my reading, but I’m nearly finished with Revisionary, by Kristen Hogrefe. It’s a fascinating dystopian. She’s a new author to me, and very talented. Next up in my Kindle is, Imperfect Bonds by Elizabeth Noyes. She’s an excellent writer of suspense-filled edge-of-your-seat adventures. And the guy on the cover definitely has my attention. Can’t wait.
What do you like to do when you aren’t reading or writing?
Is there anything else? Ha-ha. I love to piddle around in my flowerbeds, spend time with family, and walk miles and miles.
Do you have any upcoming projects, releases, or sales?
Sutter’s Landing is still pretty new, having just released in June. The Kindle version of Carlotta’s Legacy was on sale for 99 cents, but I’m not sure it will be by the time this posts. I’m working on the third book in the Legacy series. It has no title at present. I’m certain it will contain an apostrophe, though.
About Sutter’s Landing:
“Still reeling from tragic losses, Connie and Annabelle Cross face life with their signature humor and grace, until fresh hope arrives on their doorstep.
In early spring of 1955, Annabelle Cross and her daughter-in-law, Connie have nearly made it through the first winter on their own. Then the skies open up as West Tennessee and much of the south endures one of the worst floods in history. As many of their neighbors endure losses due to the flooding, Annabelle and Connie sit tight on dry ground.
As spring gives way to summer, Annabelle begins to dread Connie’s upcoming marriage and removal to Sutter’s Landing. Though she’s happy to note the growing affection between Alton Wade and her daughter-in-law, their marriage means Annabelle will be on her own for the first time in her life.
Connie’s doubts increase when Alton’s bigoted brother Jensen uses every opportunity to drive a wedge between them. Is she doing the right thing? Did she move too quickly? Unexpected summer visitors and anticipation of a new neighbor provide diversion and open possibilities for both Annabelle and Connie.”
– blurb from Amazon.com
Betty Thomason Owens is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction and fantasy-adventure. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group, and serves as vice-president/secretary of the Louisville area group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. She also serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.
Her writing credits include a 20’s era romance, Amelia’s Legacy (2014), Carlotta’s Legacy (2016) Books 1 & 2, Legacy Series from Write Integrity Press (WIP), and the Grace-Award-winning Annabelle’s Ruth (2015), and Sutter’s Landing (2017), Books 1 & 2, Kinsman Redeemer Series, also from WIP. She has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.