We caught up with author Beth K. Vogt at this year’s ACFW Conference. Beth provides some background on her latest release, Almost Like Being In Love (Howard Books), and a glimpse into her next project.
Your latest release, Almost Like Being In Love, is part of the Destination Wedding series. What’s your inspiration behind it?
Almost Like Being In Love comes off Crazy Little Thing Called Love. It’s the sister story. The story question has to do with just because you’re perfect for one another, does that mean you should marry one another? On the surface, Caron and her boyfriend Alex look like the perfect couple, and they’re told by their parents they are the perfect couple, but underneath, that’s not necessarily the case.
So Caron’s parents are seeing an ideal match and a “happily ever after” for their daughter that isn’t necessarily true?
The heroine really is striving for approval from her dad. I think a lot of people have that approval-seeking maybe gene maybe inside of them, so I think a lot of readers identify with that. I think there’s a quote that really drove that story. Everybody is holding up a mirror, and the question is who is in that mirror looking at them, that they’re looking at going, ‘Am I okay? Do you like me?’
Sometimes in real life that parental approval is enough, but others look for heart-throbbing romance …
Absolutely, and when Caron’s ex-boyfriend shows up, that creates conflict, because he brings that passion into her life. He really helps her pursue her dreams. Alex makes her feel safe.
This just got complicated!
Oh, extremely complicated. She wants her father’s approval, but what Kade gives her is that dream and that passion, but there’s a conflict of values. Which is more important, dreams and passion? Or approval? And how do you choose … ?
Where does the faith element come into the story?
Well, the faith element is who is our voice of authority? Is it someone in our life like a dad or a boss or a friend? Caron’s is very complicated because her dad is her boss. Who’s the voice of authority? Someone in our life, or is it God? I think for people, it takes a while. It takes maturity, life events, for us to finally realize God has to be our voice of authority. We have to silence all the other voices. We have to really listen to who God says we are. We have to anchor ourselves to the truths in the Word and the truth of who God says we are, and that’s Caron’s journey of finally separating herself from her father’s voice, which has been so controlling and so defining, and listen to what God says about her.
Will there be another book coming out in this series?
It’s interesting, because I spent the last year doing a lot
of praying about what is a Beth K. Vogt book? God made it very clear that it’s
a time of transition for me. A lot of my contemporary romances have had a
strong women’s fiction element to them. I like to go deep. I like to examine
deeper issues, even in Almost Like Being
In Love there’s an element of dealing with alcoholism in families and how
that affects everyone in the family. I feel like it’s time for me to make a
turn, so the next book I’m working on is a little bit different than what I’ve
written in the past.
Will you give us any clues, please?
The story I’m working on now is more straight women’s fiction and it’s about the relationship between four sisters.
Do you have sisters?
I have a twin — a fraternal twin — and I have a younger sister. If they were sitting with me, they would agree that it can be the most supportive relationships and they can be competitive relationships. There’s always a story question with my books.
Is “The story question” an original idea?
Actually, I learned about “story question” from My Book Therapy, Susan May Warren’s writing community. I just fell in love with the concept of a story question fueling your story, what the characters are wrestling with, and hopefully it’s something that readers can wrestle with, too. The story question for the novel I’m working on now is, ‘is family always worth fighting for?’
That’s a provocative theme a lot of people wrestle with.
Story question is never an easy question. It should never be an easy yes or no. It’s often said that sisters can be our most supportive relationships, but they can also be our most competitive relationships, and I’m really having fun diving into this.