Interview by Lara Zielinsky
Words matter. Writing our stories and putting them out there for others to read builds bridges of understanding. Exceptional authors open doors and windows, inviting in the wider community to see our lives.
Beth Wylde is such a writer. She lives in the “Wylde’s” of Virginia with her husband and three young children. During the day she’s a mild mannered mother and housewife but at night she lets her imagination take flight. Beth can usually be found in front of her computer, doing promo, chatting or typing away on her next story in genres that range from paranormal romance to lesbian erotica and beyond. She’s been writing for years but only recently decided to submit her stories to be published. Her first release was in April of 2006, so she’s fairly new to the business, but her reviews have been top notch. She received Romance Erotica Connection’s 2008 F/F Author of the Year award, one of the few times it has gone to a writer of lesbian or bi-women stories.
Beth and I met through the online group Sapphic Planet and were crazy enough to go in together on editing an anthology project. Between our busy schedules, I recently spoke with Beth to discover what makes her tick, what brings her to write about women loving women, the politics of bisexuality and beyond.
Lara Zielinsky: How long have you been writing? How long did you write before you found publication? What got you started?
Beth Wylde: I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. My first love was poetry and then I moved on to song lyrics in junior high and then short stories by the time I was in high school. Literature was my favorite subject and I never fussed about having to read a book or do a report. I’m a bit of a nerd. ^_^ I got serious with my writing while I was pregnant with my first daughter, it became a way to pass the time when I got put on bed rest for preterm labor. After the birth, things got put on hold for a bit but on a whim I sent off the story to a friend of mine and she said, “You should send this in to a publisher,” and gave me a few recommendations. It took about a year once I started submitting to get my first acceptance letter and the book came out six months later, in early 2006. I write daily now, even if it’s just for ten or fifteen minutes.
LZ: What genres do you write, and do you have a preference?
BW: I write what I like to read, which is a little bit of everything. Most of my books are either contemporary or paranormal in genre. I love sci-fi and fantasy too. They all contain erotic content and the pairings can vary as well. I’ve written a bit of it all.
LZ: What comes first for you? Character or plot? How do you build a story?
BW: Character is always first, without knowing my characters’ descriptions and names my story goes nowhere. Then I usually get the idea for the beginning of the story and the rest unfolds as I write. I cannot plot or outline: my storyline always veers off track when I try. My characters are as stubborn as I am and that’s really saying something.
LZ: What from your own life makes it most often into your stories?
BW: Lots of my characters are based on people I know and most of my lead female characters tend to get a lot of my own personality traits, especially the stubbornness and the independence. In this day and age women have to be able to handle anything that comes their way. Women do not have to be wimpy. A strong female is a big turn on.
LZ: What’s your experience of being a B in the GLBT community?
BW: There is just so much prejudice in the world. Why shouldn’t we all be free to love who we want to? I just don’t understand it. Slowly and surely changes are being made, some for the good and some for the bad. It’s a constant struggle.
LZ: Most writers are voracious readers. Introduce us to a few of your favorites.
BW: OMG! Where should I start? My bedroom looks more like a library than a place to sleep and I’m quickly running out of space for any more bookshelves. I like anything with a bit of paranormal and erotic flavor to it, especially the vamps and the shifters. Pairing doesn’t matter. I’ll read it all. Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Cassandra Gold (who also co writes the Shaun and Adam stories and critiques for me), Syd McGinley, Mychael Black, D. L. King, Jolie du Pre, I’m sure I’ve left out at least a hundred or more names but this is what came to me off the top of my head.
LZ: What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
BW: Outgoing, compassionate, hardworking.
LZ: How do you think others would describe you?
BW: My closest friends would tell you I’m the person that always tries to cheer them up and make them laugh. I hate to see people when they are sad.
LZ: What you are most passionate about outside of writing?
BW: My children. They mean the world to me.
LZ: How does your family react to your writing? Are they supportive? What about friends?
BW: My family is clueless and that’s probably for the best. I get my support for my writing from my friends. My critique partner is also fabulous too. My friends always ask me when the next book is coming out and they are online to order it on release day. Several of them have already promised me a trip to the bookstore in February when my first print book comes out. It should be fun but probably a bit of a scene too. My best friend wants to give her girlfriend a signed copy of one of my books for Christmas. You can’t ask for better support than that.
LZ: Tell us about your family situation. Why is it “for the best” they don’t know what you write?
BW: Yes, they know I write, and to some extent they know that the subject matter is adult in nature but that’s as far as it goes. S-E-X was a dirty word in my house growing up so the less my parents – especially my mom – knows about my books, the better off I am. My husband takes it in stride, he’s not thrilled about it but he sees it as my hobby so he deals with it. My kids are too young to understand. It’s my friends that give me the support I need to continue reaching for my goal of one day making a living off my writing.
LZ: What’s coming up from you? Describe new projects or recent releases.
BW: 2009 is going to be a big year for me and I’m so excited about each and every project in the works that I’m not sure where to start. 2009 marks the release of my first ever print book, coming from Phaze, in early February. It’s a four author erotic lesbian anthology. I’m also working on assembling a BDSM GLBTthemed series of books with some of the best BDSM GLBT authors in the business. (These books are going to be huge!!) My most recent release, A Little Taste of Red, is a werewolf themed novella and my first release so far that is straight het in pairing. I run several yahoo groups, one is a critique group for authors of any genre or pairing, another (Sapphic Planet) is strictly for lesbian fiction authors and then my own personal group (bethwylde) is for both readers and authors of everything under the sun! It seems like I’m constantly working on something and that’s good I think because a bored writer is a jobless writer.
Beth’s stories with bisexual women and bisexuality themes:
** The Big 4-OH! The lead female character and her best friend are bi.
** “Caught in the Act,” part of the Swing! anthology from Logical Lust and edited by Jolie du Pre. “My main female character is bi and refuses to admit the truth to herself and her husband until he makes her come to terms with her own desires and needs.”
For more information on Beth and her writings, visit Beth’s website: www. bethwylde.com
Lara Zielinsky is the author of “Turning Point”, and a 2007 Golden Crown Literary Society Finalist for Debut Author. Her latest project is “Readings in Les and Bi Women’s Erotic Fiction” airing bi-weekly on Blog Talk Radio. For more information visit her website, www.lzfiction.net