Thursday, April 21, 2016

Meet YA Author Betty Bolte

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 Authors Guild.

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 own dreams.

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 Classics organization.

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.

Kate 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, 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. 


  1. Thanks for having me stop by today, Cheryl! I appreciate it.

  2. Stopping by from the Linky Hop to say hello. Always looking for YA books to recommend. Lovely meeting Betty and learning more about her writing.