Bette Lee Crosby

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Bette Lee Crosby

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

At what age did you know you wanted to write?

I am a Southerner and Southerners are born Storytellers, so I was probably born with the gene. However, I didn’t realize it until I was in my twenties. I studied art and started my career as a designer for a packaging company. At one point I asked the Sales Rep for copy to use on the back of the package and he said, “Just make something up.” I did, and a career was born. I wrote for business for a number of years before I turned to fiction.

Who are your favorite Authors?

I don’t have favorite authors as much as I have favorite books and the funny thing is they are across the board in diversity. I enjoy any book that is well-written and has characters I care about. Some of those at the top of my list include, To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone with the Wind, The Night Circus, Garden Spells, The Wishing Thread, A Dog’s Purpose and so many more. I almost always enjoy books by Anne Tyler and John Grisham, but never read them one after the other. I think finding the work of a new author is always an exciting adventure.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what is it?

I write almost every day and I am my most creative in the morning. I try not to get on social media until late afternoon, because it truly is my guilty pleasure and I can easily spend 2 or 3 hours chatting with friends on Facebook and Goodreads.

What is your favorite book?

Oh, that’s almost impossible to decide. I guess I would say To Kill a Mockingbird – it is very like Spare Change (a USA Today Bestseller of mine) and I love both books because in each of them there is boy protagonist who absolutely steals you heart away.

As a reader I often think of how I would have ended books differently (if I did not care for an ending/or if the ending is ambiguous)Do you, as a writer, ever think, as you are reading, how you would have written the book differently?

Absolutely. It is almost impossible to turn off the ‘writer’ portion of your brain. This is particularly true if the book has a weak plot or poorly defined characters. I find myself broadening the personality of the characters I am reading about. This is much less likely to happen in a book that is well-written and has believable characters.

Do you think being an Author makes you more critical of other Authors books? Â Or, are you more supported of their books because you know what goes into the process of writing?

Both. I think internally I am more demanding of books, but I am also kind-hearted to a fault and absolutely will not undermine another author’s work. I can appreciate all the hard work that goes into writing a book and that effort alone deserves a reader’s respect.

Out of the books you have written, what is your favorite?

Because I write in a few different styles it is impossible to say. How can I compare the 11 year old boy in Spare Change with the 90 year old woman in Memory House. They have both touched my heart as have the characters from several other books I’ve written. The story can change, but it is the heart of a character that I usually come to love.

What inspires you to write what you write?

Mostly people. There is a unique beauty in people and each person is different. When someone tells me a story about their life it stays in my head for a very long time.

Are your story lines (or characters) ever based on people and/or situations in your life? If so, how do people react to that?

Most of my characters are not based on a single person, but are a compilation of the characteristics of many different people. Also I include a disclaimer in every book stating that the characters and story are fictional.

You write a particular genre, what draws you to this genre?

The genres I write in are also the genre’s I read. It’s what I enjoy most.

I once read an article where a pop artist said she sings Pop songs but does not enjoy listening to pop music herself, she likes an entirely different genre. Do you feel this way about writing?

No. I like to read books that are somewhat similar to what I write – at least in that they are heartwarming stories, often with a life affirming ending.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Anywhere from 3 months to a year. Very rarely have I written anything faster than that – and that doesn’t include all of the editing, etc.

Reading is an escape for me. I love to relax and read. What do you do to relax?

Read, float around the pool and play with the dog.

More and more people are reading on their kindles, has this impacted how you write? What you earn? How your books are promoted?

It greatly impacts sales and marketing. I love that the author can sell books for a much lower price on Kindle and other e-readers because there is no printing, production, inventory stocking and shipping, so the reader gets the savings – which I believe is a boon to the entire industry