Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Meet Beate Boeker

This week's featured author is Beate Boeker. Not only is Beate an accomplished author, she is also one of the most generous writers I know, the first to come forward when someone needs help or information. So ... I'm going to take a minute to say "thanks, Beate" from all the Avalon Authors, for your help and encouragement. Now, lest I thoroughly embarrass you, we'll move on and focus on writing.

To start with, tell us how long you've been writing and something about the first story you actually wrote down.

I started writing seriously in 2005, but I ventured on my very first book when I was 13. It was about seven horses and seven friends. I sort of lost it later, but my sister dug it out again and made a little book of it - so it still survives to this day and when I read it now, I feel torn between embarrassment and a nostalgic feeling.

It's nice that you still have that story. Has your writing changed much since those early days?

I should hope so! But yes, I can see a change in my writing. In the beginning, the difference was even stronger as I was going through a steep learning curve, but nuances still change today.

Nuances are so important in painting characters, especially in a romance. We're familiar with your Avalon romances. Tell us about A New Life, your non-Avalon novel. How is it different?

It's a mix of mystery and romance - and that's something Avalon usually avoided as they kept the two categories well separated. Otherwise, it's not very different. You can still give it to your young teenager without fearing that she'll learn stuff you don't yet want her to know. :-)

The heroine Anne has just been acquitted of murder due to lack of evidence. Now she wants to build up a new life in Italy and gets a job as a secretary in a luxury hotel through family connections. However, the manager of the hotel is livid to have a new secretary foisted onto him who has never worked in a hotel before and who doesn't even speak Italian. It takes some time for them to get closer, and just as things turn out to be better, another employee of the hotel is found stabbed and once again, Anne is the prime suspect - which freaks her out, but this time, she decides to find the killer.

I gave A New Life to a good friend before it was published. She read it and immediately booked a trip to Florence. I thought that was a wonderful reaction. She also wanted to stay in the Garibaldi Hotel, but unfortunately, I have completely invented it - so I recommended a wonderful B&B instead. :-)

A New Life was chosen as a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012 Contest, and I'll post an excerpt here on this blog next Friday.

Sounds like a good read. It's nearing the top of my TBR list and I can't wait. What are you currently working on?

Another mystery with a romantic twist, plenty of humor and mischief. It's also set in Florence, Italy. It's the third book in a series (my very first series!), and the key ingredients are a lingerie store with the name of Temptation, a taciturn police Commissario, and a boisterous Italian family that has no scruples but is still quite charming.

I have to ask it - panster or plotter?

When I write a romance, I'm a panster. I often only start with one scene and off I go. However, my mysteries have to be plotted, because I can't very well start to kill off people right and left without knowing who dunnit. But still, I digress very often from my first plot. I once started to like an intended victim so much that I felt truly bad about killing her off, but I couldn't avoid it because everything had built up to it.

I can certainly understand that. Your characters are easy to like. Things are changing every day in the publishing world. Do you plan to continue to publish both print and ebooks? Will you concentrate on one or the other?

Both. I love to read in both formats and want to reach readers in any possible way. The stories count - not the medium.

Good answer. I know you have a lot of balls to juggle with a career and a young family, do you have a schedule for writing or squeeze it in when you can?

Next to my career and my family, I also have this strange habit of sleeping a lot. I can easily sleep ten hours, sometimes twelve, but never less than eight hours (if I have to sleep less, I start to be cross-eyed and do strange things). So I rarely write during the week. I plot and promote and blog and do queries during the week. At the weekend, I write several hours, if I can. 2000 words a day make me happy. On very good days, I've sometimes managed 5000 words - but I've also had days that only rendered a meager 500 words and much tearing of hair.

Tell us something about yourself that doesn't involve writing ... or sleeping. Any quilty pleasures?

He, he, yes, I used to quilt - not anymore at the moment, because I prefer to write when I do have time. I also started to dance Zumba recently to counter-balance all the sitting around in soft chairs. It's a sort of disco-dance with Latino-music in a gym. The choreography is not too difficult, and I enjoy jumping up and down and flinging around my arms and legs. I feel very sportive when I do it - and sleep even more afterwards.

Anything you know now you wished you'd known when you first started writing?

Can't think of anything off the top of my head!

Anything you're glad you didn't know?

Yes - how much waiting is involved. If I had known that I would have to wait for some answers to queries for one or even two years, I would never have started. I'm an impatient person, and all this waiting is driving me nuts.

Well, I, for one, am glad you didn't know that. Thanks, Beate, for taking time to answer my questions. 

NOTE:  For more about Beate Boeker, visit her website:

The Amazon link for A New Life is


Beate Boeker said...

Thank you for asking all the right questions, Sandy! Your introduction made me blush. I love to work with you and really hope that we can manage to meet in reality one day!

Gina/Katherine said...

I loved A New Life and highly recommend it! Great interview between two great ladies!

Sandy Cody said...

Beate, I hope we do too. Wouldn't it be funny, though, if after all the e-correspondence we've exchanged, we had nothing to say to each other? (I'm pretty sure that wouldn't happen.)

What a nice thing to say, Gina. Thanks!

Sheila Claydon said...

Loved the interview Beate and Sandy. Now I want to read the book.

Rebecca L. Boschee said...

Great interview Sandy and Beate! I learned something new about Beate (her first book was written when she was 13--and one more thing we have in common). Your description of Zumba made me laugh. I've been trying to use the treadmill to combat the soft-chair syndrome, but jumping up and down flinging around my arms and legs sounds like way more fun! (:

Thanks for sharing!

Beate Boeker said...

Thank you for your great comments! I'm so glad you loved A New Life, Gina, and I hope you'll enjoy it when you read it, Sheila . . . I had so much fun when writing it!

Yes, Zumba is fun, Rebecca. Sort of like a disco during the day. He, he.

No, Sandy, we would not run out of things to talk about - I always think that getting to know each other via e-mail is maybe a more honest approach. One is not distracted by looks and age and clothes and other stuff - but then, on the other hand, one can hide away more things. But if you are e-mailing long enough and have a few ups and downs and have really worked together, then you get to know the other's core.

Sandy Cody said...

I hope we get a chance to test your theory, Beate.