Crazy Little Thing Called Love (click on title to see my review) was my first read by Beth K. Vogt, and let me just say that I will be reading more by her soon. It's a character-driven story about relationships and while romance is a major theme, there's nothing fluffy about this story. Here's a brief description . . .
Marriage is serious business — both for the couple tying the knot and for wedding vendors, with the average cost of an American wedding topping $25,000. As budgets get stretched, so can fraying nerves and already-taut emotions, as captured in Beth K. Vogt’s new Destination Wedding series.
In the first novel in the series, Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Howard Books/June 30, 2015/ISBN: 978-1476789781/$14.99), paramedic Vanessa Hollister thinks she has moved beyond the pain of her first marriage — a “what-were-you-thinking” teenage elopement — and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Fla., with her new fiancé. Her dream of an idyllic beach wedding is disrupted, though, with the sudden reappearance of her first husband.
Now enjoy as Beth shares some thoughts in this wonderful interview, compliments of Litfuse Publicity . . .
Q: Crazy Little Thing Called Love is the first book in your new Destination Wedding Series. Tell us a little about where the idea came from and what you’re most excited about for this new series.
I discussed the idea of writing a series with my mentor and friend, author Rachel Hauck, as well as my agent, Rachelle Gardner. I was thrilled Howard Books liked the idea of the Destination Wedding series. So often in contemporary romance novels, the wedding comes at the end of the novel — often as an epilogue. In this series, the wedding is a main plot point. And travel — well, so many people love to read about new places, right? So combining weddings with new destinations — to me, that was a win-win situation.
Q: If you had the chance to plan a destination wedding, where would you go and why?
My destination wedding series focuses on wedding locations in the U.S., so I’m going to pick a site within the 50 states (and because I live in Colorado, that’s ruled out). My husband, our youngest daughter and I vacationed in Bandon, Ore., several years ago with close friends; we rented a beach house. The sunsets and sunrises were lovely, and the town is so quaint. I think Bandon would make a great location for a destination wedding . . . maybe even for a novel!
Q: What was your inspiration for writing Crazy Little Thing Called Love?
I have several friends who met in high school and ended up getting married — and they’ve stayed married, I’m happy to report. When my husband and I were dating, we talked briefly of eloping — very briefly. And I think everyone looks back on their high school years and can think of at least one decision they made, a romantic one or a just a general life decision, and they wonder, “What if?” What if they had done things differently?
Q: You usually have a high-concept question you weave into your stories. What was the main question for Crazy Little Thing Called Love?
I believe a Story Question is what fuels a novel. It’s what your characters are wrestling with from chapter one to the end. And it’s often a question readers might wrestle with too. For Crazy Little Thing Called Love, I focused on this Story Question: What if you realized what you thought was your worst mistake actually was the right choice?
Q: How did growing up in a military family that moves around frequently impact the person Vanessa became?
Remember, as the author I got to plot exactly how Vanessa was affected by being part of a military family; her experience isn’t true for every military child. She moved around a lot and had difficulty forming lasting friendships. This can be a challenge when a family moves every couple of years. The way I summed it up in Crazy Little Thing Called Love is that Vanessa was good at saying hello and goodbye, but she didn’t know how to do the relationship in between.
Q: To grow closer to God, Vanessa starts writing prayers in her journal. What do you do in your own quiet time with the Lord that helps you remain close to him?
Listening to praise-and-worship music has always been an important part of my quiet times. I’ve created worship playlists on Spotify, compiling my favorite songs. A few years ago I discovered the book Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth. I’m not an artist, but this book, which details how to incorporate drawing into your prayer time, rejuvenated my quiet time. I also like to read my Bible in tandem with a specific book. Right now I am reading Finding Divine Inspiration: Working with the Holy Spirit in Your Creativity by J. Scott McElroy, which a friend gave me for Christmas.
Q: Why did you want to choose a risky profession for Logan’s character? What kind of research did you have to do to represent it well?
I knew Logan needed to be in a profession that was risky because I wanted him to challenge Vanessa to move past all the boundaries she’d put around herself. I wanted to choose something outside the box. So I mulled for a few days — mulling is a huge part of the writing process. And the idea “storm chaser” came to mind. I would have loved to have time to do more research about storm chasing; there’s just never enough time to do everything I want. I’ve read some about storm chasers and have always been intrigued about why someone would run toward a tornado instead of running for safety. And I discovered they are not just thrill seekers. They are scientists, motivated by a desire to understand storms better, to help protect people. I read some books and did research online to understand storm chasers further.
Q: What can we expect from you next?
More Destination Wedding stories! I’m working on another novella and another novel (Almost Like Being in Love) for 2016. I’m intrigued by Logan’s little sister’s story: What happens with Caron and Alex? And there are always other stories perking in my brain, sparked by conversations, news stories and random things I run across in my day-to-day life. Did you know you can rent a bridesmaid? Now how intriguing is that? And I’ve already started a list of “What if?” ideas for other stories.
For more information about Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Beth K. Vogt visit www.bethvogt.com, become a fan on Facebook (AuthorBethKVogt) or follow her on Twitter (@bethvogt) and Pinterest (beth_vogt).
Congratulations to our book winner, Brenda! And thanks to all of you who visited and shared about this giveaway.
To enter the drawing for Crazy Thing Called Love . . .
1) Please go to my Facebook page and share about this giveaway ("likes" to my FB page are not required, but very much appreciated).
2) The destination wedding theme features prominently in this story. What would be your ideal destination for a wedding or vow renewal?
BE SURE to leave your name and email address in a safe format - [at] and [dot] - for the drawing. Contest ends at midnight PST on Monday, September 7. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and contacted by e-mail. Respond within 48 hours of notification or another winner will be chosen.
Eligibility: US residents