Beth Hoffman is a wonderful author, and an even more wonderful person. In the few years since her first book, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, was released, I have had the pleasure of coming to know her as an online friend. She is genuinely kind, and I am so pleased that her books are receiving the success they deserve. I loved both CeeCee and her latest, Looking for Me, which is now available on paperback. I am honored today to have an interview with Beth here on Books and Movies.
A chat with bestselling author Beth Hoffman
With the international success of your debut novel, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, it would have been easy for you to write a sequel. But you surprised us by traveling down a new path in Looking for Me. What was it like to create such a different kind of story?
Beth: Though there were times I was nervous about it, I kept giving myself permission to write what I wanted to write. I longed to craft a story that encompassed the things I’m fascinated by: nature and her creatures, antiques, how families become fractured, and the various ways we search for our dreams. It was a challenge to weave all those topics into a story and keep it cohesive, and I enjoyed it immensely.
Tell us about the antiques restorations scenes in Looking for Me.
Beth: Throughout my interior design career I observed true artisans work miracles on furniture restorations. Sadly, it’s becoming a dying art, and that’s why I wanted both Albert and Teddi to be experts in their fields. I’ve always admired the patience and talent required to restore and repair antiques, but I was never able to master more than the basics. It was great fun to live vicariously through Teddi and experience a talent that I admire.
The characters in Looking for Me are so real — what do you draw from when writing characters?
Beth: From an early age I watched and listened to the people around me. By the time I was 8 years old, I was well on my way to becoming a mimic. I’ve always been attuned to voices, mannerisms, and body language, and I’m sure that’s why there seems to be a storehouse of characters just waiting to pop out of my imagination and onto the page.
Who are some of your writing influences?
Beth: No matter how often I read the fictional works of Truman Capote and the poetry of Dorianne Laux, they still have the power to leave me breathless. Not long ago I reread Capote’s The Grass Harp. His genius shines in his ability to observe the ordinary through an extraordinary lens. I believe this sentence pretty much sums it up: “The nearest winter came was to frost the windows with its zero blue breath.”
Beth Hoffman is the internationally bestselling author of Looking for Me and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt. Before beginning her writing career, she was president and co-owner of an interior design studio. Beth lives, along with her husband and their four-legged fur-kids, in a historic Queen Anne home in Kentucky. Her interests include the rescue of abandoned and abused animals, nature conservancy, birding, historic preservation, and antiquing.
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