Author Influences with Beatrice Fishback

Welcome to this week’s Author Influences. Joining me for today’s bookish chatter is Beatrice Fishback, author of Bethel Manor and Bethel Manor Reborn among others.

Which authors/books did you like to read as a child?
I loved to read Victoria Holt and her gothic romance novels set in England. It was at that precise time that I fell in love with all things English.

Were you good at English at school? Did you like it?
No. I was dreadful with sentence structure and nearly failed my junior high class. Which makes the fact that I am now an author quite humorous.

What genres do you like to read? Have they had an impact on the genre you write?
I love to read cozy mysteries and have always been a fan of Agatha Christie. However, I generally prefer male authors such as James Patterson and Lee Child. With preference to crime novels and cozies, I guess it’s no wonder that I am drawn to writing that type of story. Dying to Eat at the Pub, a cozy that takes place in Great Britain was my first attempt at a full-length novel.

If you were to write a different genre what would it be and why?
Hmm. That’s a good question. I was challenged by an agent to write an inspirational, historic romance. I wasn’t particularly fond of that type of novel but I took up the dare and wrote two books: Bethel Manor and Bethel Manor Reborn. Through that experience I learned to enjoy historic romances and a totally different genre.

Did any author’s work encourage you to pick up your pen and write and if so who, what and why?
I’m very fond of Max Lucado who writes non-fiction and children’s books. He has an amazing way with words and has always inspired my own creativity. I also enjoy Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series. Once again, his magic with a story stirs my own desire to try and write something as imaginative and original.

Are there any authors who, as soon as they publish a new book, you have to get it?
I certainly keep my eyes open for anything by Alan Bradley.

Which books have you read that have made you think ’Wow, I wish I had written that’ and what was it about the book?
Mr. Bradley’s books always leave me with that impression. His stories flow with humor, a bit of suspense, a murder that his young sleuth must solve, and a great amount of detail about her interest in science and chemistry. It’s the rolling together of all these things that make such a great tale. Although they are probably intended for a younger audience, I appreciate the descriptions, sentence structure and his main character—Flavia de Luce comes alive and the reader is caught up in the every day drama she goes through.

Have any of your plots/characters been influenced by real life events/people? (Be careful, I don’t want you getting sued!).
Dying to Eat at the Pub was influenced by my husband and our relationship; the challenges and great fun we have as a mature couple who have had the privilege of living in Great Britain a total of twenty years. The basis of this book is about an American couple who retire to a small village in East Anglia, U.K., and the cultural and marital challenges that can create humor and misunderstandings.

Thank you, Beatrice, for taking part. I really enjoyed reading your answers. 

Beatrice’s most recent book is Winter Writerland: A Daisy McFarland Mystery and here’s what it is about:

A gruesome murder was inevitable, but how the death would unfold would be anyone’s guess. And the murderer’s identity? That would remain a mystery until the appropriate time…

Meet Daisy McFarland, an American spinster who has retired to England after teaching elementary school for thirty years. An aspiring novelist, Daisy looks forward to attending the Crime Writer’s Conference in Branick for the third year in a row.

The winter gathering provides a great excuse for Daisy to escape being alone and keep holiday blues away. It also gives her a chance to meet new people and reconnect with several British friends. Their lively spirits and enjoyment of a glass of wine spark Daisy’s creative juices—especially after she’s enjoyed a few drinks.

Teachers at the event are regular contributors, all specialists in law enforcement, forensics, crime scene photography, or pharmaceutical drugs. With such an intriguing lineup of classes, Daisy can scarcely choose which ones to attend.

Bitter weather keeps attendees indoors. But after a night of wine, joviality, and juicy gossip, a jaunt outside is exactly what Daisy needs to get her blood flowing. Much to her horror, she soon discovers that blood is also flowing in the lake.

Daisy had come to the conference to write about murder, not discover one. Who was the dead person floating facedown in the murky water, and who among them could have murdered this unfortunate victim?

About Beatrice Fishback

Beatrice Fishback, originally from New York, lived in the East Anglian area of Great Britain for over twenty years and traveled extensively in the United Kingdom and throughout Europe. She is the author of Bethel Manor and Bethel Manor Reborn, Dying to Eat at the Pub, Loving Your Military Man by FamilyLife Publishing and, with her husband Jim, is the co-author of Defending the Military Marriage and Defending the Military Family. She has been published in various compilations, magazines and online websites. She and her husband have spoken to audiences worldwide and currently reside in North Carolina where scones are called biscuits and are topped with gravy, and tea that is served over ice.

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