by Bethany Maines
Q: What do you write?
I’m enamored with the mystery genre. During my corporate career, I traveled all over the world. Before a long flight to Japan, I purchased a Harlan Coben paperback at the JFK airport in New York. The twists and turns in the story slapped me around like a go-kart on uneven terrain. I was instantly smitten. Now that I’m a novelist, I write mystery and suspense.
Q: What got you excited and started you on your writing journey?
During my two decades in the corporate world, I always thought someday I’d return to painting, the object of my natural abilities. Growing up in Mexico, a country with an abundance of talented singers, I always felt left out since I could not even carry a tune.
Yet I could draw. And I could paint. By age ten, I sketched portraits and painted landscapes. Naturally, I thought I’d grow up to be an artist. Life, or perhaps destiny, had other plans. I had to earn a living, so I became a CPA and specialized in international finance. Hence my corporate travels.
Before leaving the corporate world, I analyzed what I really wanted to do. After all the countries I’d visited, it quickly became obvious I should write rather than paint. It’s exciting to pen stories set in other lands.
Q: Are you a Plotter or Pantser?
Since I’d written strategic plans, I thought I’d complete an outline for each story my brain conjured up. After all, wasn’t it like analyzing the steps in a product launch?
It didn’t work that way – my right brain took over. As much as I’ve tried to plot, my stories grow organically every day while I pound away at the keyboard. Even after deliberate attempts to speed up my writing, I struggle to plot anything. It’s normal for me not to know from one paragraph to the next what I’ll compose. Stories unfold magically in my mind like a movie reel.
Q: Who encouraged you to write?
I’m so fortunate, friends, family, and my husband are all incredibly supportive. I could not do it without the help of my husband who manages the back office details and takes on household tasks, except for cooking, to give me time to write.
Q: What secret skill do you have that our readers might not know about?
I can kill snakes. I’ve lived in places with deadly snakes, like the Inland Taipan of the Northern Territory of Australia, considered the most dangerous in the world. (One 100mg dose of Inland Taipan venom is enough to kill 100 adult humans). I’ve encountered corals and rattlesnakes of the Chihuahua desert and mountainous terrain, and now the copperheads and cottonmouths of Texas. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t like killing snakes, but when it comes to either them or me, it’s an easy choice.
At our summer cabin in northern New Mexico, we don’t have snakes. Only bear and mountain lions and I leave them alone!
Q: And of course, I would be remiss if I didn't ask... what are your favorite shoes?
Knee-high leather boots with stiletto heels!
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Snatch up one of the globe-trotting Nikki Garcia Mysteries:
Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous short stories. When she's not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and BookBub.