Today I am proud to present to you a true visionary: Lovelyn Bettison author of “The Box” and “Flying Lessons” has been so kind to talk to us about her writing life.
How would you describe yourself in one paragraph?
I am an optimist who is full of hope and loves to inspire others to do their best. Too often people settle for lives that are less than they can be. They send most of their time doing jobs they don’t like and feeling miserable. I hate to see that kind of unnecessary suffering. Helping people realize their true potential and reclaim their dreams is my true calling in life.
A fun fact about you?
I love to try new and exotic foods. During my second year in college I studied for a semester in China, and while there I ate at a bug restaurant. I ate ants, silkworm larvae, grasshoppers, and scorpions. The scorpions were the tastiest. We also had rotting tofu there that smelled like sewage, but was considered a delicacy. I’ll never eat that again. I’m not afraid to try a new food. In fact, I’ll try almost anything once.
What made you write in the first place?
As a child I always loved stories. I’d get a book, curl up in a corner, and read. My favorite books were The Littles by John Peterson. I could get caught up in those books for hours. It was like being transported to another place. I wanted to do that for other people. I wanted to create stories and characters.
Ever since I could read I’ve been writing. Before I could channel my creativity into writing stories I was a bit of a liar. I always wanted to make up a story. My parents thought it was much more constructive for me to write them down and call them books than tell them to my friends and family and try to pretend they were the truth.
Which author has influenced you and why?
Haruki Murakami has been a tremendous influence on me. I like his quirky characters and sparse writing. He transports you into a world that is almost like the one you live in, but just as you start to feel comfortable something unexpected happens that lets you know that this world is not like your world at all. A cat will start talking or a shadow will seem to have a life of its own or an elevator will transport a character to a different dimension. It’s all great fun.
I tend to do a similar thing with my books. They take place in a world that is not quite the one we are in. I like to say that my stories are not quite reality.
There is something about modern Japanese writers that really draws me in. I also love the work of Banana Yoshimoto. There is a lonely, quiet aspect to her stories that resonates with me.
What is your favourite book?
I’ve read Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto many times. Even more than the main story I love the short story a the end of the novel called, Moonlight Shadow.
My favorite Haruki Murakami book was The Windup Bird Chronicles. That one really stayed with me as did Kafka on the Shore.
Your writing ritual (if you have one)?
I don’t have much of a ritual. I make a cup of herbal tea and sit down at my computer. Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I don’t. It all depends on the mood of the scene I’m writing that day. I only need some uninterrupted time to write, nothing more.
Your secret “sin” when you write?
If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret.
I’ll tell you something I used to do that I’m no longer guilty of. I used to write with the television on. My first book was written while watching TV. At the time I had difficulty dealing with silence and for some reason the television was a lot more comforting than just listening to music. I don’t do that anymore.
Do you suffer from writers block and if so, what do you do against it?
I haven’t had a problem with writer’s block yet. Knock on wood. Hopefully I never will.
Your advice for apprentice writers?
Maya Angelou said that you should write the book you want to read. I completely agree with that. I write what I love to read. When you do that the readers recognize the joy in your writing. You should be having a good time. Yes, writing is hard work, but you should love your story and love your characters. If you don’t the readers won’t either.”
Dear Lovelyn, thank you so much for sharing!
You would like to know more about Lovelyn and her books? Please have a look here:
About “Flying Lessons” (resource Lovelyn’s author page)
“Henry and his daughter, Chandra, are stuck. Haunted by the past, they sleepwalk through life until unexpected relationships shake up their perceptions of reality. Henry’s new friendship with a neighbor blurs the boundaries between the living and the dead, and Chandra starts to see possibilities she’s never noticed before.”