An Interview with Beth D. Carter

Beth D. CarterI like writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so my heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors, or corporate high rollers. I try to write characters who aren’t cookie cutters and push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box. I love writing characters who are real, complex, and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love.

I’ve been pretty fortunate in life to experience some amazing things. I’ve lived in France, traveled throughout Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. I am a mom to an amazing little boy. I live in Los Angeles, surrounded by friends and family. I hate washing dishes but I love cooking. I hate washing clothes but I love wearing them. Writing my bio is difficult because I never know what to say, so I hope you like this one. My favorite color is red but I look best in black (it’s slimming). I hate people who don’t pick up their dog’s crap in public places, people who don’t use turn signals, and I really hate people who are rude and condescending. I especially hate discrimination in all and every form. And although I love holding a book in my hand, I absolutely adore my e-reader, whom I’ve named Ruby. I love to hear from readers so I’ve made it really easy to find me on Twitter: @BethDCarter or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bethdcarterauthor. Or e-mail me: Beth@bethdcarter.com.

Q: Zombies have really exploded onto the scene in recent years. What drew you to this genre, and how did you go about creating a unique take on the postapocalyptic setting in A Wanted Man?

A: Let’s face it, zombies are not romantic despite what the film Warm Bodies would have you believe. So the trick was writing a zombie apocalypse story and finding the beauty within this harsh world. I personally love postapocalyptic stories because they are a study in human behavior and Atticus was such a man’s man that he sizzled on the page.

Q: The characters, Atticus in particular, have become jaded and cynical in the harshness of the world. Was it difficult getting the heroes to a point where they could let their guard down and be open to the possibilities of love?

A: With a story like this, you do get to that point where you have to decide when to open that door because opening that door could mean death. Atticus has loved and lost so he’s so closed off. He flat out tells Kit he doesn’t want love. Kit, on the other hand, has been almost sheltered his whole life so while he’s hesitant to trust at first, he’s almost eager to find someone to love. They have to work together through this unknown wilderness, back to back, and that eventually breaks down Atticus’s walls.

Q: The story is filled with both gut-wrenching emotion and heart-pounding action as the heroes fight for survival. How did you find that great balance between conflict and romance? What part of the story was the most fun to write?

A: The thing that drives a story set in a postapocalyptic world is fear, and to have fear you need death-defying moments. And because the Z-disease is spread through bodily fluids, touching was a no-no. So I had to invent interesting ways for the two heroes to bond, intellectually and sexually. Having said that, the best part of this story to write was when Atticus thinks Kit’s been bitten and all hope seems lost. I had tears in my eyes when I wrote that scene and I really hope it tugs the heartstrings of the readers.

Q: The survivalists at Ely had some time to prepare for the coming zombie invasion, even if their methods for maintaining their community are sometimes questionable. How would you go about preparing for a zombie apocalypse? What would be the one thing you would have to have to survive?

A: I think the trick to surviving something like this is isolation. So I would take my family, grab provisions, and go somewhere remote. Human nature can only survive with hope, so after making sure my son was safe, I would grab my favorite book because there’s nothing that inspires hope more than romance. Or I’d possibly grab Chapstick. I would hate to have to live in the wilderness with dry lips.

Q: From your most recent release, which is your favorite line?

A: “Where you go, I go.” This sentence sums up perfectly what the love story of A Wanted Man is about. Kit says it first and then, when it seems all hope is lost, Atticus has no problem saying it back.

Q: What do you do to relax or get the creative juices flowing when you are struggling to meet your writing goals or deadlines?

A: Earl Grey tea. I drink about three or four large cups of it a day. Enya is my go-to music for blanking my mind, so after I make my large cup of Earl Grey tea I slip in my earbuds and tune everything else out.

Q: Who do you look up to? What are some of their qualities that you strive to possess as well?

A: One of my favorite authors is Tymber Dalton. She’s so versatile in her career, and I gobble up everything she writes. If I were to meet her I think I’d be one of those annoying, giggling fan girls.

But writers are readers and one of the best ways to perfect your craft is to read, read, read. I have so many other authors whose work inspires me: Julia Quinn, Ashlynn Monroe, Judith Tarr, Abbi Glines, Jet Mykles. My e-reader is full of books and many of them are authors I’ve not read yet, so this list is constantly changing. Great authors push me to be great, whether it’s by writing better dialogue, creating vivid descriptions, or more exciting sex scenes.

Q: You’ve written in a variety of subgenres. Which is your favorite?

A: When Siren picked up my first novel, Black Leather Pants, I was unsure where I was headed as an author. I knew I wanted to push myself and not fall into one stereotype, at least, not until I discovered where my voice was heading. I’ve discovered I really like exploring ménage stories, either MMF or MFM, and finding the balance on making two Alpha males learn to share.

Q: If you could be any of your characters, who would it be and why?

A: Oh wow…I loved Charlotte Perth (from the McKnight, Perth & Daire series). She’s very sassy and doesn’t take crap from anyone, and I’d like to be that fearless in real life. She’s also had to learn how to deal with falling for two men, although their happily ever after takes three books to sort out. It’s quite a humorous adventure.

Q: One of your books is going to be adapted into a film. Which one? And who plays the main characters?

A: I’ve always thought Black Leather Pants would make a great Lifetime movie of the week! Ha-ha! Seriously, this is a hard question because I’m so partial to all my characters. I would love to see A Wanted Man brought to film because you haven’t really seen a gay horror romance flick. Hunter Parrish and Mark-Paul Gosselaar…wow, now wouldn’t they be drool worthy to watch?