Name: Beth Trissel

Age: You’re kidding, right?

Where are you from: Virginia for the past several hundred years. Before that, England, Scotland, Ireland and France. Our family has well documented lines.

A bit about Beth

Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by my children, grandbabies, and assorted animals. An avid gardener, my love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into my work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of my inspiration. In addition to American settings, I also write historical and time travel romances set in the British Isles.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

I am cohosting the month long Face Book launch of Nine Ways to Fall in Love, a romance anthology with nine stories from nine authors. I am also scheduled to lead an online workshop on Herbal Lore and Medicinal plants in the British Isles for Celtic Hearts Romance Writers in October (also open to the public) and I am trying to make headway on my latest novel. I’m always at work on something. People ask me, are you still writing and I think, what else do writers do? We’re a driven breed and not entirely sane.


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

As soon as I could hold a crayon. I’ve always written more, or less. But didn’t get into writing fiction novels until the past 15 years or so. I also write nonfiction about gardening, herbal lore, and country lfie.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After I completed my first novel, but especially after I was a historical romance finalist in the Golden Heart Contest in 2008. That was my official launch.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book, historical romance novel Red Bird’s Song was inspired by a vivid dream I had on New Year’s Eve (a highly propitious time for dreams) and research into family genealogy,  a rich wealth. I was especially struck by an Indian attack on my ancestors and what happened to some of the captives, also the account of a Shawnee warrior to whom I have ties whose story is amazing. In this novel, and my other strongly Native American based works, I have been aided by historians, archeologists, anthropologists, reenactors, and the Ohio Shawnee themselves.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

I’m sure I must, but readers would have to comment. I give deep point of view from the main characters.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Titles usually just comes to me. In Red Bird’s Song, the heroine, a young woman taken captive by a Shawnee warrior, is given an Indian name which translates to Red Bird in English. In Through the Fire, also a strongly NA historical romance, the characters go through the fire in this adventure romance. The Bearwalker’s Daughter was inspired by my learning about Bearwalking (a form of shape shifting) from a Shawnee tribal sub chief. And so on.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In my Native American theme historical romances, I want readers to gain an understanding of the Indians from a historical standpoint, their culture and what they’ve suffered. In all my works, I strive to give the readers an appreciation of those who have gone before them. I’m deeply drawn to the past.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

 In the historicals, more than you might think. Truth is stranger than fiction. In the paranormal/time travels, not so much. Although I do research the time periods and countries I flash back to.

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

 Much is based on historical research/events and family genealogy. Some on people, yes.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?

C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia! I’m still looking for Narnia.

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

British Author James Herriot. And I adore Miss Read.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 A Scottish herbal.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?


Fiona: What are your current projects?

I am at work on the sequel to my historical romance novel set during the American Revolution, Enemy of the King. The sequel is entitled Traitor’s Legacy and centers around spies of that era and the infamous traitor Benedict Arnold. The hero of this novel is the British dragoon who was a strong secondary character in Enemy of the King. I am endeavoring to give both points of view regarding that dramatic conflict. The research for this novel has been a killer, but fascinating. And I’ve had a lot of help. Some of my titles are indie published but this novel is destined for the senior historical editor at the Wild Rose Press.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

 The Wild Rose Press is fabulous.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 Yes. But glad I’m not dependent on it.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

 The last title I published was sci-fi, fantasy, time travel romance novella Somewhere in the Highlands, (the sequel to Somewhere My Lass) and no, I wouldn’t change anything. I’m also planning a sequel to that story as soon as I finish my current work.

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

 It just grew along with reading from early on.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?  I did above, historical romance novel Traitor’s Legacy.

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Actually sitting down and doing it. I agonize over every word and drive myself crazy on my bad days. On good days, I zip along.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

 I have traveled in Virginia, Ohio, and the Carolinas for historical research, but not as far as the British Isles. For those story settings, I am dependent on friends and family who have visited or who live there, and on my intensive research.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 My indie titles are done by my talented art major graduate daughter Elise. The others are designed by The Wild Rose Press cover artists, especially Rae Monet.


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learn from every book I write because most are historical or have a historical element and require a great deal of research. Even the modern day elements of my time travels require research. I’m always learning and that’s good for me.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep on going!

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Remember those who have gone before you. Create a legacy for those you will leave behind.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

 I am big on gardening, but suffer from allergies so that makes it a challenge at certain times of the year. I am very involved with my family and my many animals. I love to watch a good mystery, historical, or paranormal show. And I read, mostly nonfiction. I want to make more time for fiction.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music  

I listen to music when I write and tend to favor the moving sound tracks from various films and TV shows. I like green-gold colors best and am severely gluten intolerant so must be quire careful what I eat.

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ?

Been a time traveller some other way.

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it?

My blog is the happening place and has links to everything else.

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