The fabulous Beth Moran has written three novels. She’s a mother, wife, church leader and trustee of Free Range Chicks. Beth’s a woman of quiet strength, intense awareness and sensitivity, and a passionate lover of Jesus Christ. I feel more like I’ve found her, rather than met her. You can meet someone without it mattering much to your life at all. But when you find someone, its like discovering a great big lump of gold that you store away somewhere, you may not see it everyday, but you know its there and it gives you a pleasant satisfaction knowing you have this treasure. I was pleased to interview her as the first person in the ‘People doing exploits’ section of my blog.
HMJ: Before you became an author, what did you do for a living?
BM: I originally worked as a scientist doing cancer research, then spent 10 years teaching antenatal classes. I also taught the piano, ran parenting groups and worked as a volunteer in various capacities.
HMJ: What led to your writing your first novel? When was it published?
BM: My first novel, Making Marion, was published in 2014. A change in my working hours pushed me to a point where I was ready for something new, and I really wanted this to be a great exploit. I just wasn`t sure what! But after spending time praying and talking to wise friends I realised that stories were my passion, and decided to try writing a book. I prayed hard about giving up my job to follow such a crazy dream, but God made it clear I was on the right track, and the first day of writing I knew I`d found something I was created to do.
HMJ: Why Romantic comedy?
BM: I`m not sure I`d class my books as romantic comedy, despite the covers (Making Marion contains very little romance at all, although there is more in the other books). I wanted to write about life and death, love and hate, friendship and family, all the ups of and downs of being human, never skating around the truth that life can be tough, but also reminding us that it is wonderful and hilarious. I want my books to make people smile, yes, but also to think. I want to answer that eternal question in every human heart – there is hope, love wins, one day all will be well.
HMJ: What’s 1 main challenge you face as a writer?
BM: The biggest challenge is that it is a long-term solo project – I work from home, so have to be completely self-disciplined. It also means when I`m struggling with a chapter, or a plotline, or on the days when the whole book feels like a load of rubbish (and I think all authors reach those days!) I have no one to motivate me, to talk through the answer with, I have to wrestle with these things alone.
HMJ: How do you overcome it?
BM: I pray, every day before I write, as I`m writing, as I`m lying in bed at night thinking about what to write tomorrow…
I plan, a lot, and I set myself small targets, like a number of words to have written that day. And I have great friends who will pray with and for me. Getting some cheerleaders alongside us is essential.
HMJ: Of the 3 books you’ve written, do you have a favourite?
BM: That`s a bit like asking if I have a favourite child! But truthfully, I had the most fun writing my latest book, The Name I Call Myself, because I had the confidence to really go for it and write how I wanted, without worrying what other people might think.
HMJ: Who are your favourite authors, titles?
BM: I love Cathy Lambs books – she was the first author I read who combined humour with tragedy, and did it really well.
Rainbow Rowell`s Eleanor and Park was the first book I read that I immediately turned back to the beginning and started reading again when I`d finished.
I grew up a major J.R.R. Tolkien geek, loving the stories. It`s now I`m a writer myself I can really appreciate the word craft.
For non-fiction I love Shauna Niequist – her latest book Present over Perfect is like a breath of pure mountain air for busy people.
HMJ: What did you think of Do Great Exploits?
BM: I loved Great Exploits before I`d even read it! Just the idea of it got me excited.
Having read it, the three top things I love are:
1. The stories – is it just me that is tempted to skip to all the stories in a book like this? Stories are how we remember the theory, and this book is packed full of inspiring, moving and relevant stories.
2. It`s true! Having gone through a long, hard journey to see my dream become reality, so much of what I read I thought “Yes! That`s exactly it!” For those contemplating stepping out, they are going to find real, practical, wise advice to help them do it. Why didn`t I have this book 6 years ago…?!
3. So many people have good ideas, or good intentions, or a good start, but somewhere along the way never see it become a reality. We need people equipped, resourced and inspired to do great exploits. This book will do just that.
HMJ: What’s next?
BM: I`m currently writing my fourth adult novel, and also have a young adult book I`m working on. After that, the challenge is going to be picking through all my ideas and choosing which one to tackle next!
All of Beth’s books are available for your reading pleasure on Amazon.