Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes YA author Betty Bolte. I had the pleasure of meeting Betty last October when we were at the Vegas Valley Book Festival to accept medals from Literary Classics for our books.
First, a bit about Betty:
I live with my hubby on a 22-acre farm in
Tennessee with our two outdoor dogs and one house cat. I started reading
romances in the 1980s, much to my mother’s dismay—she actually threw
away a copy of my friend’s mother’s Rosemary Rogers novel! But I was
hooked, and there was no going back. Language and writing are my first
loves. I have written in a variety of types and genres and have been
published since 1995. I started writing as a child—short stories and
reports—but turned professional as a technical editor and freelance
writer, and then published historical fiction and romance. I’m a member
of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, and the
Why did you pick to write books for Young Adults?
I wrote Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Adventure
for a YA audience because I wanted to bring history to life, to make it
entertaining for younger readers and perhaps spark a love of history in
the process. I stumbled upon the idea by reading a book that listed the
historic landmarks in America and was surprised at the number dedicated
to youth. Since it was a book most youth wouldn’t read, I decided to
write one they might enjoy and thus discover other youth and what they’d
accomplished. Perhaps it would even inspire them to strive for their
What types of books do you like to read?
I read a little of everything, including a
lot of nonfiction—biographies, histories, memoirs, etc.—for research
purposes. But my favorites are historical fiction, classics, mysteries,
and contemporary romances.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I love to go outside and walk or hike, dance with my husband, read, crochet, cross-stitch, and travel to historic sites.
Tell us about Hometown Heroines and how the story came to be.
Hometown Heroines: True Stories of Bravery, Daring, and Adventure
is a collection of 18 short stories, each featuring the actions of a
particular girl who lived in the 1800s who is remembered today with a
landmark or exhibit dedicated in her honor in America. Each of the 19
girls—one story is about two sisters—did something worthy of her
community and our country establishing a durable way of celebrating her
achievement or actions. Most remarkably, they were all teenagers or
younger at the time. The historical sites range from a park, to a
statue, a railroad trestle, and even a mountain. Included with each
short story are the biographical facts the story is based upon, a list
of other books/resources related to her, and the locations of landmarks
and other sites. I was honored to receive for this book a gold medal for
Best Female Audience YA book in 2015 from the Children’s Literary
Here's a peek at Hometown Heroines:
During the 1800s, daring and courageous girls across America left their unique mark on history.
Milly Cooper galloped nine miles through hostile Indian Territory to summon help when Fort Cooper was under attack.
Belle Boyd risked her life spying for the Rebels during the Civil War.
Shelly, when she was 15, crawled across a nearly washed-out railroad
bridge during a ferocious thunderstorm to warn the next train.
Lucille Mulhall, age 14, outperformed cowboys to become the World’s First Famous Cowgirl.
These are just a few of the inspiring true stories inside Hometown Heroines—American Girls who faced danger and adversity and made a difference in their world.
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
Yes, I’ve written several other
nonfiction YA books, two on starting school clubs for Mason Crest
(Foreign Language Clubs and Hobby Clubs), and two on horse sports for
Chelsea House (Dressage and Jumping). I’ve also written romances, two
paranormal for Liquid Silver (Traces and Remnants), and four historical (A More Perfect Union series set in Charleston, SC during the American Revolution). Emily’s Vow, Amy’s Choice, Samantha’s Secret, and Evelyn’s Promise
each features a woman fighting for her own form of independence at a
time when the women’s rights movement was just beginning along with the
new country of the United States of America.
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I’m always writing! I’ve started writing a
spin-off trilogy set in 1785-86 Charleston, featuring the three
Sullivan brothers introduced in the AMPU series. I’m also working on a
historical women’s fiction series.
What advice do you have for other authors?
Write what you’re passionate about. Dig
down inside to find the emotion to put on the page. Don’t publish the
story before it’s ready. Just because you can easily self-publish
doesn’t mean the story should be quickly put out there before its
polished. Get away from your writing regularly to refill the well with
activities and experiences that inform and energize your stories. But
most of all, don’t write/publish in a vacuum – join a supportive
professional organization related to your genre/category of books to
learn and grow as an author.
Anything else you want readers to know?
I know I’m not perfect, but I do my
utmost to ensure that my historical stories are based on meticulously
researched facts to the best of my ability. One male reader reviewed one
of my romances. He admitted he didn’t normally read romance but he did
find the historical details accurate. That was a huge compliment to me!
Also, the Historical Novel Society has given very positive reviews to
the AMPU series. You can find links to the reviews on my website.
Where can readers find you and your books?
My books are available at most retailers and e-tailers. The best starting place is my website, www.bettybolte.com.
From there you can find me on social media, and the descriptions and
buy links for my books. You’ll also find a list of my upcoming
appearances where we can meet. I love to hear from my readers, and am
available to talk to book clubs (in person if possible, or via Skype).
You can also sign up to receive my newsletter to keep informed about new
releases and other news.