One of the best things about editing is that I get to read some really inspiring works. I want to share some of the amazing people I have had a chance to collaborate with.
I have always enjoyed various genres, so you never know who I will be featuring here!
This month, I have Beth Schap, my first blogger to interview—and to work for…
She is just as much in love with the city of Baltimore as I am, and she has dedicated a blog to it. I love anything that puts a positive light on Charm City. And is it any coincidence that the two of us love the City That Reads?!
So let’s get to know Beth better.
Who are you?
Elizabeth Schap, very part-time blogger at just B more and full-time educator. And all-the-time reader and traveler, when I have the time.
Reading and traveling, check! Love it!
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I think it all started when I started to travel a lot. I was collecting all of these great stories and wanted to do something with them, like write a book. The hilarious thing about that is I have never even remotely tried to write any of my travel stories down, but I started the website and blog about my hometown of Baltimore. So that’s when I really made the choice. But I always journaled, and any writing or English class always came easy. I grew up having people read my writing and tell me I’m pretty good at it, so it sorta worked its way into my subconscious, I guess.
What is most important for your writing routine?
To actually want to write. I have never been able to force it at all. I know people who can set aside time every day or have a word count or free write. None of that works for me. I just sit down on the couch, or bed, and start writing – literally whenever the mood strikes. I’ve woken up at midnight to write something I never intend anyone to see, just because I felt the need to do it.
How did you get into your niche?
Writing about the local artists and businesses in Baltimore just came naturally to me. I found I really wanted people to love this city and the experiences it offers as much as I do. While I’ve always written for myself and tried short stories, it’s writing about the people and things of Baltimore that excites me to publish and share.
I love that this blog is “a present tense memoir about [your] love affair with the region”! It’s such a great small-town city.
What do you hope your readers get from your writing?
I hope they get the urge to support the people I interview and feature! I really want to inspire people to see the best in my city, and if they don’t live here, to see the city through different eyes. I think we get so used to what we hear and see about a place that we forget all the good that can come from it.
What do you look for in a good book?
A snazzy title and cover are, no lie, the first things I look for (if it’s not an author or series I’m already into). After that I’m reading the back blurbs. If it seems like a book I can learn a lot from or the writing style is alive and breathing then it’s making it to my house. Then it has to fight all the other books to get read sooner than later!
What books would you recommend for the badass women reading this?
Ah! Such a hard question because I have so many books. So I’ll break it into a few categories – and keep it brief. From what I’ve recently read, Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison, which is about her life as a Playboy Bunny. It’s fascinating to read. For a book as good as the title, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Women by Balli Kaur Jaswal, which is possibly not exactly how it sounds. And from my usual recommendations: Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger and anything by Mary Roach or Bill Bryson. Oh! And seriously, if you read nothing else, pick up My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows. Seriously, great book.
I’m embarrassed to say that I have not read any of these (except for the Bill Brysons…) I guess we all know what might end up on my reading list over the next few months.
Do you have any advice for would-be writers?
The same advice that people say about anything – just start, just do it, just write. It doesn’t matter what it’s about or who it’s for, if you publish it or not. Just write. And read.
Where can we learn more about you and keep track of any new releases?
Did I forget anything that you really want to say?
Read anything and everything! If you can’t tell from my recommendations, I don’t really have a single niche I read. If you aren’t one for branching out in your reading, try it. Go to a different section you would never think to read, and find the book that speaks to you. Reading like this makes your life, and your writing, so much better.