Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Include Life Experiences in Your Stories by Beth Wiseman

Today's post by author Beth Wiseman will tickle your funny bone and get you dragging out all those old memories to use in your stories. -- Sandy

Beth: I think there is a little bit of me in every character I create, and I’ve heard other authors say this as well. But another thing that makes our stories interesting and fun is including life experiences. If you’ve been through the death of a spouse or loved one, you might feel called to write about that. Maybe you’ve been through a divorce or some other traumatic event. Or maybe you’re adopted and found your biological mother, like I did. Those things seem to find a way into our books, maybe as a source of self-healing or to simply educate others or let them known that they aren’t alone.

But I’m talking about something else. What has happened in your life that is funny, touching, scary, or tangible that you can share? 


Recently, I was in a small six-seater plane. We hit a deer on the runway while landing, and when we started to smell smoke, we were told we might have to jump out of the plane and onto the runway. The plane was going about seventy miles per hour at that point. Hmm . . . death by fire . . . or a bad case of road rash? I opted for the latter, but luckily the pilot said the smoke was from burning rubber when he slowed the plane down, so I was able to keep my seat until the plane stopped. You can bet that will end up in a book!

When I was in high school, a group of girls and I put bubbles in a fountain outside a bank. That was a popular and fairly harmless prank in the 1970s. But the next morning when I walked into my parents living room, my mother was glued to the television and said, “Oh my! Someone put bubbles in the fountain by the bank. The bubbles are flowing out into the street and causing a traffic jam.” My friends and I panicked all day, just certain we would somehow be caught, and we were horrified that our stunt made the news! We weren’t caught, by the way, but I recently included that that little incident in a book.

After my very first book signing, a group of us middle-aged women went on a scavenger hunt—in our jammies. There were other authors involved in the mischief, and there might be a few reading this who are thinking . . . oh dear, don’t mention names. Ha ha! I can see that making its way into a story also.

Incorporating experiences that evoke emotion based on personal experience can be therapeutic and wonderful, however touching or tragic those topics might be. But sometimes it’s refreshing to just throw out adventures that are nostalgic, fun, and sometimes very original. I seriously doubt I’ll run into many other people who have hit a deer on a runway. My agent—Natasha Kern—made me laugh. She said, “Where exactly do you people live where you can hit a deer on the runway?” Ah . . . life in the country. J



What about you? Any unusual or unique experiences that you could see yourself including in a book?



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Beth Wiseman is best known for her Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan Amish series. Having sold over 1.5 million books, her novels have held spots on multiple bestseller lists, and she has been the recipient of many prestigious literary awards. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2019, and she has published fourteen novels and sixteen novellas to date.

Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas including Christian contemporary romance novels and novellas.  Need You Now, The House that Love Built, The Promise and A Tide Worth Turning are some of these recent releases. 

Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas with three dogs and a rooster. When she’s not writing, Beth loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. You can find Beth and her books at her website BethWiseman.com, Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bethwiseman.



One man. Two women. A child desperate for medical treatment. How can Kyle choose between the woman he once loved and his current fiancée? Is there a solution that suits all involved, or will someone end up out of the triangle forever?   

Morgan Calhoun and her parents are whisked away in the middle of the night, something Morgan always knew was a possibility because of her father's CIA job. But she'd always thought if such a scenario played out that she would have time to say goodbye to those she loved—particularly her boyfriend, Kyle. Adding to her unbearable situation, several weeks after the move, Morgan finds out that she's pregnant.

Kyle Brossmann doesn't even get a break-up letter from Morgan. She's just gone, along with her parents. His heart broken, Kyle continues with his plans. He graduates from high school and attends college, where he meets his fiancée, Lexie. But two men visit Kyle and encourage him to travel to an undisclosed location, where he will meet his five-year-old daughter. Rocked by the news that he has a child, Kyle learns he is the only person who might be able to save his daughter's life.

Will Kyle choose his first love and his daughter? Or will he stay with Lexie and live the life they’ve been planning?


Each Surf’s Up novella takes the reader to a beach locale, weaving romance and adventure into a soul-soothing journey of hope.

5 comments:

  1. I love getting to know authors personally and hearing about where they find ideas that are included in their writing.

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  2. I love your examples! As a child I once set a cactus on fire with a magnifying glass and the sun. It was an accident, the wind caught the paper which ended up wrapping itself around a cactus. I guess I could toss a mischievous child into a book.

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  3. I lived in Saudi Arabia for several years growing up, and I had some incredible experiences that I would love to share, yet I rarely have the discipline to sit still long enough to write any of them down. Thank you, Beth, for reminding me of just how special such stories can be!

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  4. This was a fun article to write. Aileen, write those stories down, lol. :)

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