Beth Williamson is the author of many romances, many of them featuring my favorite kind of hero – cowboys! Beth has a new series hitting stores, The Circle Eight, written under Emma Lang. I asked Beth to drop by the virtual offices to chat about her new smokin’ hot series.
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Beth Williamson] Romance novelist, cowboy lover, dreamer, reader & wordsmith who also writes as Emma Lang. Gluten free, love mac & cheese & Reeses. I’m quirky & a bit goofy.
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about MATTHEW?
[Beth Williamson] MATTHEW is the first book in a new series called The Circle Eight. I’ve set the series in the Republic of Texas, beginning in 1836. Matthew is the oldest of eight Graham siblings, who finds himself responsible for his family and in need of a wife. Hannah marries him knowing full well it is a marriage of convenience. The story is their journey from strangers to lovers to true love.
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the book?
[Beth Williamson] I love to write series about a family, traditional or non-traditional. I wanted to create a new family series in a timeframe. I decided on the Republic of Texas, an important time in Texas history and one that required you to be as tough as the land itself.
[Manga Maniac Café] What was the most challenging aspect of writing the story?
[Beth Williamson] I haven’t written anything in the 1830s timeframe. I had to do a significant amount of research to make sure I was true to the historical period. Creating the right mix of grit and realism, courage and hope.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things you would never find in Matthew’s saddlebags?
[Beth Williamson] I love this question! You would never find apples, a deck of cards or peppermints. He doesn’t like apples, likes peppermints too much and never learned to play cards.
[Manga Maniac Café] Why do you think romances are so popular? Why did you decide to write them?
[Beth Williamson] Romances have been popular for a hundred and fifty years. Why? Because they allow the reader to become someone else and fall in love. The reader feels right along with the hero and heroine – the joy, the anger, the heartache and the triumph. They appeal to the romantic in all of us, just like romantic movies, only better. I enjoy reading romances immensely, and when I decided to write books, romances were my genre of choice.
[Manga Maniac Café] What makes cowboys so sexy?
[Beth Williamson] I think it has to do with how a cowboy was the ultimate gentlemen, by word of mouth of course. Helping stranded women, damsels in distress, being a hard man that lived and worked hard. I like a man that puts everything he has into what he does. Cowboys remind me of modern day knights – a code of honor drives them, and they earn their spurs.
[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Beth Williamson] There are so many! I have a degree in writing from NYU, so I studied the greats. Shakespeare of course, was a huge part of life for me for a while. I also read all kinds of genres. My absolute favorite writer is Stephen King. In terms of romance… let’s see Lynn Kurland, Johanna Lindsey, and Mary Balogh for historicals in general. For Westerns, Joan Johnston, Elizabeth Lowell, Leigh Greenwood, Jo Goodman, and Lorraine Heath.
I think Elizabeth Lowell’s Only series had some pretty “hard” western men. I knew that’s what I wanted to write about. And although they aren’t your typical men to inspire warm and fuzzy feelings, they feel everything deeply. Nothing is done unless it’s done right.
[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Beth Williamson] I listen to music when I write, or it has to be uber quiet – either will work for me. I generally like to listen to AC/DC when I’m writing. I also need to have my imagination engine engaged in my brain – if I don’t read, I can’t write so I have to read regularly. Last, no distractions like tv, hubby or my kids.
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Beth Williamson] Oh heck, probably The Poky Little Puppy. That was my favorite book when I was a little girl. Read it a jillion times I’m sure. I have always read, from the time I can remember. I don’t think you can write unless you are an avid reader. They are two halves of the same coin.
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Beth Williamson] Sleep… well no that’s not true, I guess I fantasize in my sleep too don’t I? Really though I am a wife (married 22 years in April), and mother with two boys (age 20 and 15). I also work full time as a technical writer. Interestingly enough, I have a knack for writing both romance and technical documentation. One is my passion, the other is what pays the bills. Someday I hope to write romance full time.
[Manga Maniac Café] Thanks!
You can learn more about Beth and her books by visiting the following websites:
You can purchase Matthew from your favorite book seller, or by clicking the link below: