Author Interview - Beth Albright
Good morning! Today, I have the lovely Beth Albright on my blog. She's dropped in for an author interview while she's promoting her new book Stardust in Dixie, with Goddess Book Tours. I've asked her to talk about her favorite vacation spots because in a few short weeks my husband and I will be taking our annual anniversary trip. We try to travel to different places each year but this year we're going back to Sint Maarten. The first time we went was 11 years ago, the year before our first child was born. We're staying at a different resort this time and I'm eager to see how the island has changed since we last visited. The last time my husband and I got away was a year and half ago, when I was seven months pregnant with our third child, so I'm pretty excited to get away and relax with my husband for a week, sans kids. I know everyone has different ideas of vacation and downtime, so I was excited to get Beth's answers about how she does vacation and downtime.
1. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I love both the beach and the forest! So I have several. I loved being in Northern California where we lived for 3 years—this is where the forest meets the sea. So many little spots exist there including Sequoia National Forest where we vacationed in winter. The snowdrifts were above my head. We literally had to walk through snow tunnels to get from our cabin to the lodge. I loved Lake Tahoe, the wine country and Monterey, all such gorgeous vacation spots. But I also love the blue-green waters of the Gulf Coast. I vacationed there as a child growing up in Alabama and still it relaxes me like no place else, with clear warm waters and sugar white sand. Most recently, we went to Victoria, British Columbia in Canada. It was over New years and so cold and rainy but Victoria is like no place else, especially in the winter. Just breathtaking.
2. What was the best vacation you ever took?
Oh so many, there is no way to choose. Though I am from Alabama, we have lived out west for 10 years and we have seen the entire west coast from Canada to San Diego. I love Seattle and all of the North West. We even went through Forks and all the places from the Twilight saga. But before this we lived in the East so I have seen from Toronto down through Florida, all of it. There is no way to pick a favorite—every single trip had a special flavor and memory of its own! The standouts were a trip over the winter to Washington DC and Williamsburg. We spent New Years Eve at the Kennedy Center in D.C. listening to the symphony, and then dancing to big band 40s swing into the New Year. I remember dancing with my son that night—a memory that will stay with me forever. That was so spectacular and so memorable. We took my son on a huge trip when he was 12 years old all around Eastern Canada, through Niagara Falls and back through my hubby’s hometown where we were able to show my son my husband’s childhood home. We knocked and the new owners let us in to explore the house. It was just surreal and so magical for the two of them, seeing my husband’s boyhood bedroom and all the memories came flooding back. My husband lived there when I met him and I spent many holidays there before his mom sold it. Just so many trips and vacations to name only one.
3. When you're vacationing, do you go alone, with your husband, with your children? Do you have separate trips for each?
No, I have never been without my husband and son on a vacation since our son was born. We are a lucky family in that we genuinely like each other and like being together. My hubby and I have been to a few B&Bs when our son was little but once he could have fun and be involved we always went together. This way we share all the same travel memories. Our son is moving away to grad school so we look forward to visiting him and exploring even more places together.
4. Do you write while on vacation?
Only ideas, jotting notes here and there. Never out of choice. But one time when I was writing my first series for Harlequin/MIRA, THE SASSY BELLES, they needed a major overhaul of one of my books and gave me only a couple of weeks to get it done. After crying on the floor of my closet because I was so new and didn’t understand the business whatsoever, I re-wrote the book on a huge important vacation. My son is heavily into ancestry. So, for Christmas, we had gotten him a trip to central Pennsylvania where he had mapped gravesites, wedding churches of every generation back to the 1600s. He was ecstatic. But my book was due so I sat in the car as we crisscrossed the snowy Pennsylvania countryside with my laptop on my legs and my head down. It was so sad. I was up till 4 and 5am in the hotel rooms and was exhausted as my son happily discovered grave-markers and took pictures. I swore on all those graves I would never ever find myself missing family moments for writing. NEVER! Life is short and our son will be gone and having a family of his own so these moments are precious. Never again! So NO—I do not write on vacation.
5. Do you prefer stateside or overseas?
I love both! So many unique places to discover. I love history so anything anywhere with a story. Show me a cobblestone street and I am a gonner—whether it’s Paris or Charleston!
6. Are you a beach or mountain girl?
Both. So we visit both a lot. Living in California was amazing for both but now I have lived in Arizona for the last 7 months—and am still working to get used to the dessert. I can get the mountains here but I so so miss the water! I may never get used to it! So I send a lot of time taking pictures of sunsets. They are spectacular here.
7. Cruise or all-inclusive?
I actually like neither. I like the freedom to be on my own, no set times, nothing formal. I like to explore and discover surprises. My husband is amazing with a map and finding secret spots and unknown highlights and so is my son. They are my guides as we explore together. We have so much fun; all of us are so into history so we do nighttime ghost walks, mostly for the historical aspects. We love exploring old homes and castles. I would love to do a river cruise with lots of stops to explore.
8. If you could go anywhere (a place you've not been before), where would you go?
I have several fantasy trips I think about. I would love to explore the many countrysides of France, especially the coast and the Bordeaux regions and then jet away to Bora Bora and Fiji—the entire South Pacific in general is my fantasy get-away.
9. Do you plan your writing and releases around vacations?
Yes, in a way. I make sure that if it’s my son, or hubby’s birthday, or mine or my mom’s or Christmastime, or any major getaway holiday I will have already released my book so I will never have it be the center of the event again. I need to celebrate the people in my life without distraction. I am so lucky to be able to do this. My son’s birthday in coming up and I knew I would be releasing the current book, Stardust in Dixie, before his day. Those days work now as my deadline. We are taking another quick trip away and I didn’t want to be sitting in the car with my laptop watching him and my hubby have fun.
10. When you have down time, how do you use it? Manicures, shopping, reading, hanging with family?
Oh, I am a girly girl—yes mani/pedis, massages, shopping, and board games and movies—all of the above. But the more pampering I can get the better! I do lots of cooking, cleaning and organizing too because I am an OCD clean freak, so I can’t help myself. I wish I could. Oh did I mention margaritas??—that is a wonderful way to spend some down-time! Salty and on the rocks, by a poolside somewhere in Fiji!
Abigail Harper Cartwright was coming undone. As the promotions director for Tuscaloosa radio station, a huge upcoming Mother’s Day live event could make or break her career. But at the same time, two former lovers have stumbled back into the picture turning her life upside down.
One old boyfriend – who works for a competing radio station, seems to be out to sabotage everything she does, while another may just be her knight in shining armor. But after being dumped during a very public marriage proposal, he may not be able to give Abby a second chance.
To make matters worse, a nosey neighbor has started an epic turf war and azalea bushes, a stolen mailbox and some front porch graffiti are the result. As event day draws near, the dirty tricks at work get more intense and Abby has to call on her sassy sisters to help get to the bottom of it.
And Abby’s new/old love has another love of his own – a three year old thoroughbred horse whose name holds the secret to some long harbored feelings. It all culminates in some Derby Day and Mother’s Day fireworks that will get your heart pounding and tears flowing.
Beth Albright is the author of the award-winning, best-selling series The Sassy Belles, and the nationally best-selling series In Dixie. After spending nearly 15 years as a talk radio host in talk radio, acting as a principal character on the soap opera, DAYS OF OUR LIVES, owning her own acting school and children’s theater, and raising a son who was a nationally ranked figure skater, Beth returned to her roots; storytelling. “In the south, we are good at stories. We hold them close like fine diamonds, polish them up like precious silver, and we hand them down like a priceless heirloom to our young with the hope that they will tell our stories for us when we are buried beneath the red clay of home.” Except from Southern Exposure, Tales From My Front Porch (Beth’s Memoirist book of essays.). It’s just what we do down south, pass on our stories,” she says.
Though Beth has had a remarkable career, literally from New York City to Hollywood, she has never forgotten where she came from, and what she loves: The Deep South! Beth is also a screenwriter, a voice-over talent for commercials, and a nationally known speaker and emcee. Beth lives with her TV producer husband, award winning promotions and branding executive, Ted Ishler. Her son, graduating with Distinction from Berkeley in the top 10%, is on his way to graduate school in the fall.
I hope you enjoyed the interview. As always, thank you for reading!