Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author, Beth Ciotta. Limiting herself to one sub-genre does not. Dubbed “fun and sexy” by Publisher’s Weekly, Beth specializes in writing Romantic Comedy with a Twist of Suspense and is published in contemporary, historical, and paranormal romantic fiction.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always loved a good story whether in book or movie form. Though I dabbled with writing in my youth, I pursued a career in entertainment and made my living as a performer for most of my adult life. In 1994, I read a book that ignited a new passion—storytelling. That passion fueled a new career in publishing.
What inspired you to write your first book?
One night on a whim I picked up a novel by Johanna Lindsey. I devoured the book in a few hours and when I got to the end I thought, “I want to do this. I want to write stories that will make people feel the way I feel right now. Happy and hopeful.” The next day I started writing my first manuscript and I haven’t looked back.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I sold my first book in 2001. To date, I’ve written and sold fourteen books and one short story. Choosing a favorite is difficult. Since I write from the heart, every story holds aspects that are special to me. But if I had to choose, I’d go with Romancing the West and All About Evie.
What books have most influenced you?
I tend to be influenced by authors more than individual books. A few favorites include: Julie Garwood, Nora Roberts, Robert B. Parker, Stuart Woods, and Karen Marie Moning.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a few books at the same time—some for pleasure, some for research. Crescendo (YA) by Becca Fitzpatrick, Clockwork Angel (YA) by Cassandra Clare, and Ransom (historical romance) by Julie Garwood.
What do you like best about working for the library?
Being surrounded by books! I love skimming the new titles as they come in, reading bits as I shelve and talking favorite authors and novels with co-workers and patrons.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Because of close deadlines and because there are so many stages in publishing—first draft, revisions, copy edits, galleys—it seems like I’m always writing. Typically I write weekdays from 6pm-10pm (after working at the library) and then eight to ten hours on my days off. Sometimes more.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Since I essentially work two fulltime jobs, typically I have very little free time. When I can squeeze it in, I read for pleasure, watch a movie, or play with my dogs.
What are your current projects?
I’m presently working on two projects. A contemporary romance (adult) and a paranormal with romantic elements (YA).
What are your main concerns as a writer?
Capturing the reader’s imagination and entertaining them throughout, creating compelling, believable characters, and getting the details right!