It was my absolute pleasure to be able to conduct an interview with Bethany Hoeflich, author of the Dreg trilogy! As our June Author of the Month, I thought it would be incredibly beneficial for our readers to know just a bit more about Bethany and her fun, quirky personality!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“Other than an ethereal being who sparks both terror and wonder in the hearts of my enemies?
I had a revolving number of interests as a child. Off the top of my head, I wanted to be a veterinarian, a librarian, a teacher, and an artist.”
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
“It wasn’t until a few years ago. I’m a fairly voracious reader, so I decided to give writing a try. How hard could it be?
Spoiler alert—really, really hard.
But it’s also incredibly fulfilling. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else now.”
When did you write your first book, published or unpublished?
“I wrote my first book in first grade. It’s a nonfiction book titled, ‘Cats’, and contains only two chapters. Incidentally, chapter two revolves around dogs. (Terrible story, zero stars). My teacher typed it up and bound it, along with the rest of the stories I wrote, and I still have them today.”
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
“It depends on the time of the year and where I am in the writing process. Some days are research days, while others are for outlining or exploratory writing. A handful are reserved for eating my body weight in nachos and screaming into the void.
It’s important to have variety.
Before the world imploded and the kids were in school, I’d spend about a half an hour marketing and checking social media in the morning, then another half an hour planning out my writing session. I’d write straight through until lunch. After a quick break, I’d write for another hour, then spend an hour reading before the kids came home. Now that I’ve been forced to adapt, I have to take whatever I can get, whether it’s a solid hour of writing, or fifteen minutes sporadically through the day. Writing sprints are my BFF at the moment.”
How long does it take you to write a book?
“Anywhere from three to nine months depending on the complexity of the story.”
Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your books?
“Everywhere. In the shower, when I’m driving, when I’m sleeping, etc.
It’s actually pretty annoying.
Dreg was born from a dream I had of Mara. I won’t spoil it, but there’s a particular scene toward the end of the book that is pulled straight from the dream.”
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite, if you can choose?
“I have five books completed and published, and three more in the works at the moment.
My favorite (so far) is my current project, “The Reluctant Familiar’s Guide to Keeping Your Witch Alive.’ It’s fun, lighthearted, and a complete joy to write. I can’t wait to share it with my readers!”
What do you think makes a good story?
“Character. When I read a book or watch a movie, I don’t care about the explosions or the gorgeous worldbuilding or the mind-blowing plot twists—I care about compelling characters and watching their struggles, their victories, and their evolution over the course of the story.”
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
“I’m not sure I have any quirks, per se. I prefer to work in complete silence because I’m easily distracted.
Oh look, a book!”
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
“That characters literally come alive as you write them. Not in a creepy horror movie kind of way (at least, I seriously hope not), but I would find myself having full-blown arguments with them in my mind. Or they would reveal their backstories and motivations when they chose to do so. By the time I published Dreg, the characters felt as real as my family and friends.”
What does your family think of your writing?
“They’re very supportive, especially my father, who is my number one fan (It’s practically an obligation).”
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
“Reading is my number one go-to hobby. I love immersing myself into different worlds and losing myself in the stories.”
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
“I do! I have the absolute best readers. They are always so supportive, and I love hearing from them.”
Do you have any upcoming books?
“The Reluctant Familiar’s Guide to Keeping Your Witch Alive will be released on August 28th this year.”
What is some advice you could give other writers to help them with their own writing adventures?
“Run away while you still can!
I kid, I kid.
Finish the story! Your first draft is going to be an absolute mess, but you can always go back and revise it later. Too many new writers get stuck in an endless cycle of revisions and edits and never finish a book. Don’t get caught up on perfection.
And most importantly, have fun.”
Is there any other information you wish for us to share with our readers?
“Yeah, could the person who keeps trying to summon me please stop? This is the third night I’ve gotten stuck in a bathroom mirror, and interdimensional travel is exhausting.”
I highly recommend looking to the Dreg Trilogy by Bethany Hoeflich, as it is an amazing read. We are planning on posting our review of the first book, Dreg, within the next week! Also keep your eye out for her upcoming novel in August!