Each Monday I would like to take some time to get to know some of our favorite authors. My hope is that this will help readers connect with the authors.
Today I would like to introduce you to: Sydney Tooman Betts!
I found Sydney a couple of years ago when I saw another author posting about one of her books. I had seen that she had written historical fiction and I decided to give her books a try. It didn’t me long to be hooked on her books!
Sydney Tooman Betts and her protagonist-husband currently reside near the extensive cavern system that inspired the setting for several early chapters of this book.
While single, Ms. Betts (B.S. Bible/Missiology, M.Ed) was involved in a variety of cross-cultural adventures in North and Central America. After marrying, she and her husband lived in Europe and the Middle East where he served in various mission-support capacities. Her teaching experiences span preschool to guest lecturing at the graduate level and serving as the Sunday School Superintendent, Children’s Church Director, or Women’s Ministries facilitator in several evangelical denominations.
Before penning her first novel, A River too Deep, she ghost-wrote several stories for an adult literacy program.
To help us get to know her, I have given her some questions and here are her responses:
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I have been writing since 2003.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: I’m currently “cooking” the next story in the Phoebe Mysteries while I promote the first and second books. Before I write that, though, I may write a prequel to The People of the Book series to give away free as a reader magnet. It would follow the separate lives of the two main characters in A River too Deep until they converge during Alcy’s escape. I have one dilemma. I highly object to books with cliffhangers. I view them as unethical because they defraud their readers by withholding the answer to the book’s driving question. Does this apply to a free story written expressly to draw readers into a series?
Q: What are some of your writing must haves? (Drink, snack, supplies, etc.)
A: I must have my computer and relative quiet. I’m not someone who thinks well with music in the background or can continue a train of thought well after I’ve been interrupted.
Q: What is your favorite time period to write about? Or read about?
A: I write and read about my favorite time-period: the 19th century. It’s long ago enough to take me away from my every day struggles, but it’s close enough in time for continuity of traditions and thought. Eventually, if I outlive Phoebe, I’ll venture into the 20th century.
Q: What are some of your favorite books?
A: Assuming you are asking about fiction, my taste runs to historical romance and historical whodunits. My favorite author of the latter is easy: Agatha Christie, and my favorites of her books are The Sleeping Murders and The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Of the former genre, I have too many to list. Two particularly memorable books I’ve read in the past few years are The Widow of Larkspur Inn, by Lawanna Blackwell, and Healing Ruby, by Jennifer H. Westall.
Q: If you could spend a day with one fictional character, who would you pick and what would you do?
A: I’m very attached to David Suchet’s portrayal of Hercule Poirot, but I’m afraid I’d drive him crazy. At risk of sounding self-absorbed, if I could pick any on earth, I’d pick Alcy Callen so that I could visit and interact with all the characters who surround them. I miss them.
I have saved my favorite question for last!
Q: What would you like readers to take away from your books?
A: I’d wish most of all to convey that Jesus is worth everything, from wishes and hopes to time and treasure spent. His purposes (making disciples of all nations, proclaiming the Kingdom until He returns) are worth giving ourselves to wholly, for He is holy and faithful in ALL He does.
To connect with Sydney, please click on any of the following links: her website, Facebook, BookBub, and her Amazon Author page.
I’m also featuring her newest release, Phoebe’s Christmas. I loved this book! Phoebe is such a great character! Be sure to add this one to your Goodreads shelf and get yourself a copy!
About the book:
Phoebe Farrell has one distinguishing talent: listening. When a wealthy, if vinegary, widow employs her as a companion, Phoebe becomes acquainted with a variety of people upstairs and downstairs, in and outside of the household. Some are caustic and greedy; some are generous and kind. A few are tender. One is planning a murder. While Phoebe unearths their secrets and desires, can she uncover the truth before it is too late?