Beth's new release, Things I Never Told You, is a fascinating book filled with unforgettable characters. As the story unfolds we learn the depth of the tragedy that happened the night Pepper Thatcher died. I won't give away the ending for you, but this book will have you examining your own family relationships and how one person's faith can make all the difference in the world.
So let's give Beth a warm Seekerville welcome!
The Real People Populating My Fiction
by Beth Vogt
I often joke about hanging out with imaginary characters. I’m a novelist—it comes with the job description. I write books filled with made-up people.
But sometimes real people end up in my novels—and I’m not referring to my main characters crossing paths with a well-known public figure, either. No, I take someone I know and add them to my cast of characters.
Sometimes I may be fast drafting and come across a nameless secondary character. I pause and mentally scroll through my friends . . . and within minutes, my character is named. Sometimes I ask my friend ahead of time, “Is it okay if I use your name in my novel?” (I’ve never had anyone say no. Of course, I never use their names for villains.) And sometimes—especially if the friend is a writer, too—I let them discover their name tucked away in my book when they read it for the first time. It’s always fun to get that “I found it!” text or instant message. The most recent one went like this:
P. 144 Read. Reread. Wait. Awww!!! Tears in eyes. J
But in Things I Never Told You, which just released from Tyndale House on May 8, I did something a little different. My main character, Payton Thatcher, played volleyball with her identical twin sister, Pepper, in high school. And when I bring now-adult Payton back to the volleyball court, I needed a coach and a team.
It just so happens my seventeen-year-old daughter, Christa, plays year-round volleyball. (Wonder no more why Payton played volleyball.)
|Katelyn getting ready to serve|
A couple of the girls whom readers meet on the team? They were named after some of my daughter’s closest friends on the volleyball court: Chandler and Katelyn.
|Chandler and Christa on the Volleyball Court|
And the coach in Things I Never Told You? I named her Sydney—after the young woman who coached my daughter for three years in club volleyball. Yes, I needed a name for my imaginary volleyball coach, but I also intentionally modeled the fictional coach Sydney after the real-life coach, Sydney Nelson.
|Daughter Christa and Coach Sydney|
My coach in Things I Never Told You had tremendous influence in Payton Thatcher’s life—so much so that it shaped who Payton became as an adult and reaches across the heartache that has shut Payton away from her dreams. Fictional Sydney is the kind of coach who doesn’t just teach girls volleyball—she sees them as individuals and mentors them, both on and off the court. She believes in competing . . . and she believes in caring about them, through volleyball seasons and the seasons of life—for years to come. The girls are always “her girls.”
|Coach Sydney with the club team|
And I didn’t have to make any of that up because I’d seen it all lived out in Sydney Nelson as she coached my daughter.
About the Author
Beth K. Vogt is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Now Beth believes God’s best often waits behind doors marked Never. Things I Never Told You, releasing May 2018, is Beth’s first novel in her women’s fiction series for Tyndale House Publishers.
Beth is a 2016 Christy Award winner, a 2016 ACFW Carol Award winner, and a 2015 RITA Award finalist. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2014. Having authored nine contemporary romance novels or novellas, Beth believes there’s more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.
An established magazine writer and former editor of the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth blogs for Novel Rocket and also enjoys speaking to writers’ groups and mentoring other writers. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Rob, who has adjusted to discussing the lives of imaginary people, and their youngest daughter, Christa, who loves to play volleyball and enjoys writing her own stories. Connect with Beth at bethvogt.com.
Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt
ISBNs: 978-1-4964-2723-6 & 978-1-4964-2724-3
Hardcover: $24.99 & Softcover: $15.99
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