Featured Author: Beth Kendrick

kendrick_headshot_resized (3)200x220I was trying to think when, and where, I first met Beth Kendrick…and I can’t.  I have so many great memories of her—tea with our librarian friend, John Charles…presenting together at a Scottsdale Library program, lunches and more teas, and then our great visit in Hawaii this summer when Beth brought her mom and son out for a week to Oahu, and I happened to be there, too, with my little guy.  Beth and her crew went surfing with Ty and his instructors and in less than a month, Beth will be here in San Clemente for my Orange County book party.  The party is going to be awesome…Anita Hughes, Beth Albright, Suzanne Redfern, and Beth Kendrick will all be joining me (and hopefully some of you!!) for a fun girls night out on October 12th, so save the date if you haven’t already!

But in the meantime, I’m delighted to feature Beth Kendrick here on my blog.   Her The Week Before the Wedding is a fantastic read—funny, smart, engaging.  And that’s not by accident.   Beth Kendrick is equally funny, smart and engaging.  Not surprised, as she’s armed with a PhD in Psychology!

So readers, without further delay, here is my friend and talented novelist, Beth Kendrick!

Beth, what do you love most about being a writer?

The delights of having canine co-workers cannot be overstated.

Tell us about your current release in 2-3 sentences.

Seven days, three rebellious bridesmaids, a dozen Stepford in-laws, two potential grooms who are hot like fire, and one bride-to-be on the ragged edge of sanity.

Emily McKellips is a wild child who’s grown into a worldly, responsible woman, and she’s facing a crossroads in her life as she tried to decide whether to embrace her free-spirited side or her sensible, serious side. I think every woman can relate to the struggle to achieve balance in adulthood without losing your sense of self. Leather mini-skirts or tweed suits? Minivans or motorcycles? It’s a quandary!

WBTW cover art pfd

What are you working on now?

THE CURE FOR THE COMMON BREAK UP*, which is actually a follow-up to THE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING. For those of you who’ve read WEEK, Summer the bridesmaid gets her own book. She goes through an excruciating break up and runs off to Black Dog Bay, a tiny beachside town known as “The Best Place in America to Bounce Back From Your Break Up”. As it turns out, bouncing back from your break up involves extended stays at the Better Off Bed & Breakfast, phantom dogs, and some very naughty behavior in a country club parking lot…  Oops, I’ve said too much.

*Cocktail recipe included. For real.

Name five items sitting on your desk.

The July issue of Architectural Digest (I’m in the process of decorating a very swanky fictional summer home), Chapstick, a crystal polar bear paperweight, assembly instructions for a Lego Coast Guard helicopter set, and approximately 18 pens.

What is your favorite thing about your book?

Emily, the bride-to-be, wears her future mother-in-law’s heirloom wedding gown for the big day, and I had a great time scouring the Internet for ideas. I ended up basing Emily’s gown on a tea-length Priscilla of Boston dress with an illusion bodice and a nipped-in waistline. Dress porn at its finest!

Action movies or chick flicks?

Chick flicks, ninety percent of the time.  “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” + “Clueless” + “Mean Girls” = GENIUS!

But every once in a while, I need to switch it up and watch Hans Gruber and John McClane throw down in “Die Hard”. “Shoot the glass”, y’all.

What has writing taught you?

1. The value of simplicity. When you’re in the middle of a draft and everything’s stalled and falling apart, fight the impulse to add another subplot/character/story twist. Instead, try to pare your story down to its essence. Write down the goal, motivation, and conflict for each character, and try to re-focus on those core issues.

2. Don’t be afraid to fail sometimes. Failure is a byproduct of growth and learning. Not every idea is going to work out. But you cannot improve as a writer until you are willing to take a few steps outside your comfort zone. We learn from analyzing and fixing our mistakes (a.k.a. revising).

3. Always break in your brand new, super cute shoes BEFORE a book signing or conference. Otherwise, your feet will blister so badly, you’ll look like you need a skin graft.  Trust me.

First thing you do once you’re ready to face the world in the morning?

I read vapid celebrity gossip blogs every day before I start writing. Say it with me: it’s not procrastination; it’s part of the process!

Last thing you do before you turn in for the night?

Give my dog, Friday, a kiss on his giant noggin. He stays up with me, follows me around the house while I turn off the lights, and then settles down to sleep right next to the bed, where I will be sure to trip over him when I get up in the morning. Canine stalker love!

Friday_relaxing

Favorite conference memory?

My very first conference was RWA 2002 (Denver, CO). I was a clueless, wide-eyed newbie who’d just sold my first novel to Simon & Schuster, and so I was invited to the publisher’s author dinner. I was all scared and shy, and I spent cocktail hour mumbling at my shoes and trying not to make eye contact with anyone. When we sat down for dinner, I ended up next to Kresley Cole, a charming and fabulous paranormal author who had ALSO just sold her first book and was ALSO feeling scared and shy. Kresley and I spent the whole dinner laughing and bonding (there may have been some red wine involved), and at the end of dessert, one of the editors asked us, “Are you two long-lost sisters separated at birth?”

A decade later, we are still besties. We always joke that we met at the kids’ table.

~~~

Beth, it’s been great to have you visit!!  Thanks for stopping by to share about your new release…and I can’t wait to see you in October when you come visit me, and meet all my wonderful Southern California readers and friends!

Readers, please stop by Beth’s website to learn more about her books.  In celebration of Beth’s visit today, I’m giving away a signed copy of The Week Before the Wedding, a signed copy of Odd Mom Out, a Starbucks drink card, and lots of fun reader goodies.  The contest ends Friday the 20th at midnight with the winner announced Saturday morning so do check back on Saturday to see if you won!

82 Comments

  1. Beth Kendrick is very witty! I bet her books are fun to read.

    Sounds like you’ve been a busy woman, Jane. Us readers appreciate all that you do.

  2. I can’t remember our first meeting either, Jane. We have known each other since time began! But I feel like every time I see you, there is some sort of delicious dessert involved. When I think Jane Porter, I think scones and petit fours. That’s why you’re my favorite!

    Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog.

    1. Oh Beth, I started laughing out loud when I read “since time began” as I pictured grizzled dinosaurs with fancy hats and nice eyelashes lumbering through dino-land.

      I love you.

      You are so awesome!

  3. Looking forward to reading The Week Before the Wedding. Love Beth’s voice and I’m a sucker for a book with a dog on the cover.

    I agree – canine co-workers are the best! 🙂

    Great interview, ladies!

  4. I simply love the cover for The Week Before the Wedding. I’m very tempted to pick up a copy and when Jane puts an author on her blog, the books are always just so good.

    Thanks for introducing me to Beth Kendrick’s books.

  5. Again you have introduced a new to me author Jane and I thank you. Beth, you sound like someone I wish could live next door to me. Could you and Jane (and of course your families) move to Texas? Having met Jane, I know I want to live next door to her, too. So many great authors and books, I need to be reading all the time…that sounds like a good idea to me! 😉

    1. YES! We all need to commandeer a neighborhood and start a Crazy Book Lady Collective. Great novels and cake all the time! Hope you like dogs.

  6. I am getting so behind on my personal reading list with all these new book suggestions and I haven’t been able to start Sarah’s story. But seriously, I am adding Beth’s new book to the list. I read My Favorite Mistake and I loved it! I am also interested in reading a few of her short stories listed in anthologies on her website. As always nice chatting.

  7. I love the cover of this book. it would make me want to pick it up really quick. The story sounds like a lot of fun too. I put it on my list to read.

  8. I can’t wait to read this, I already adore Jane, so I know I will love you too, Beth, when I meet you at the event in October! Jane really does host the best parties! Love your dog Friday. I had a Friday kitty for many years, and I still miss him. See you both very soon!

  9. Enjoyed reading about Beth and her book! Heading over to her website to pick it up now! Wish I was able to come down October 12th! I may just have to see what I can do about that as I would love to meet Anita and Beth and the other ladies as well!

  10. I love the cover of the Week Before the Wedding! It sounds like a fun read, like Beth Albright’s book Belles Wedding, what a sassy, fun book with a southern flair to it! love to win this! Another author to put on my list!

  11. Beth you are a new author to me, love trying new author work. I love the sound of your book so I am putting on my TB list and check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Love this interview. And I kiss my dog before going to bed too! Congrats on the release. I love the cover of the book with the dog/wedding dress. Way adorable. Can’t wait to read it.

  13. I love the cover pic on your book; sounds like a great read and one I’d love to win.
    thanks Jane for introducing us to a new author(to me)

  14. Thanks for introducing me to another new author – while I await book 4 of the Brennan Sisters – I know, could be waiting a few years, but I am patient. Thanks,
    Cathie

  15. What a lovely blog….
    Would love to read another of Beth’s books, as I just loved SECOND TIME AROUND. Was impressed with what I thought was an original storyline, liked how well girlfriends and their strengths were represented, enjoyed everyone’s strengths and foibles, and appreciated that the characters were so well written that I didn’t get them confused with each other.

  16. Jane I already am one of you biggest fans and look forward to reading Beth Kendrick’s books. The Week Before The Wedding sounds like a great read!

  17. I didn’t used to look at covers, but now I’m being to be more aware of them. The cover for THE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING makes me fantasize a bit about my granddaughter getting married (she’s almost 22, but I hope it’s several years in the future). She has a blood hound and 3 cats – I can just see them, and her, pulling and cuddling with the wedding dress.

  18. Wow! How fun! Can’t wait to check this one out… I did laugh at the lego instructions on her desk…I believe my son would like that set!
    Thanks, Jane for a great interview!

  19. Great cover! “The Week Before the Wedding” in my case meant a relaxing week on the Cape; however, I relaxed so much that I fell asleep and ended up with the worst sunburn of my life on my back!! And only a week before our Honeymoon!!!Would so enjoy reading Beth’s book. The description and picture of the dress is beautiful.

  20. This sounds like something I’ll surely enjoy and I thrilled to Congrats on your latest release to Beth and my thanks, again, to Jane!

  21. I’m so happy to meet Beth here. I love meeting new Authors. I really like the sound of the book and Emily sounds like quite an active character. :)Thanks for the chance.
    Carol L

  22. I wish I could be there for your book party! Sounds like fun – and what a line up. I loved Second Time Around, it’s one of my favorites. I look forward to reading this one!

  23. I’m trying to remember if I’ve read any thing by Beth Kendrick before. I do know that I’d love to read The Week Before the Wedding and it is on my tbr wishlists and all, but I had no idea she was so witty!

  24. Beth sounds like a great person-how can you not like someone who kisses their pet on the head before bed every night? I do the same thing w/my cat. I really think I’d enjoy her books, as well.

  25. I’m looking forward to reading Beth’s books. I saw some of her older books and will be checking them out too. Thanks for introducing the author…..

  26. Jane, Thanks for introducing me to another author that I just know I will enjoy!

    Beth, Looking forward to reading your books! Also the Secret Sisterhood Szarlotka recipe looks delicious!! Will definitely have to try it!!

  27. I love this interview! Beth, you sound like such a fun person, someone I could be friends with. 🙂 This book has been on my radar for awhile, can’t wait to read it!

  28. I love Beth’s books, she has a beautiful way with words. I definitely would love to win! Thanks for the chance, Jane! You rock! Xo

  29. Sounds like I have another book & author to add to my reading list…now I just need to find time to read all these amazing books 🙂

  30. Hey everyone,

    Thanks for helping me make Beth Kendrick feel welcome. She’s a great gal and I know you’ll love her books!

    Our winner for Beth’s blog is:

    #42 Donna D.

    Donna, shoot me an email with your full name and mailing address and please mention your comment number and the blog title. I’ll get the prize in the mail to you asap!

    For any of you in the Fresno area, I’ll be at the local Barnes & Noble on N. Blackstone Ave. this afternoon at 2pm so if you can get away, come see me!!

    love to all,
    Jane

  31. Love the interview! I hope to get to know Beth Kendrick as well as you do, Jane. She is an inspiration to many young writers and I wish her a world of success!!!

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