Author Interview with Beax Rivers
We tend to think of great people in history as having always been noticed and respected, and even after reading interviews and biographies chronicling their struggles, we still think of them as the persona that they became. I wish success to all of the authors that I interview, but I am especially interested to see if any of them do make it big. I would like to have a relic of the pre-famous version of themselves which makes them more human and relatable. It’s also interesting to learn about their past and hear what they hope for their future. Beax Rivers is one of these authors that I will be rooting for to find success in her writing career. She is already five books in and has earned praise for her hard work. Hopefully, in time, she will get the exposure and readership that all writers strive to achieve, not just for fame and fortune but to make an impact on the world and leave a legacy through the written word.
My name is S. B. Middlebrook, and my Pen Name is Beax Rivers (Beax is pronounced “Bee”). Readers will soon be able to visit Gold-a-beaxriversnovel.com, which is now under construction. They are also welcome to visit Beaxrivers.com (soon to be renovated), and Hubpages.com/@drmiddlebrook.
1. How many books have you written and where can you buy them?
I have written five novels, so far, and I have self-published two of them (so far). Both of my novels (Silver—Currents of Change, and Gold—The Heat of Refinement) are available at online booksellers, such as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
2. What famous books can you compare to your own?
I don’t really compare any famous books to my own, even though one day I hope my talent will become as refined, or that I'll be able to produce the same caliber of writing achieved by some of my favorite authors, including Toni Morrison, James Patterson, Terry McMillan, John Grisham, and Nora Roberts.
3. Why do you write for this particular age group?
I write for an “intergenerational” age group. My primary target group is women 35-65, and my secondary target group is women 18-34. I write for these groups because I enjoy writing about families, and families are made up of many generations. I’m honored to have grown up a family that had a strong mix of generations (and personalities), and I know I am who I am today because I interacted with and learned from people whose ages spanned many generations. No matter what age I reach, I hope I will always do my best to interact with people who are younger, those who are my age, and with those who are older, so that I can continue to learn all I can from observing the living of life from a variety of vantage points.
4. How autobiographical are your books?
My books are not autobiographical, at least not intentionally. I do use some aspects of my own life, sometimes, when assigning come characteristics to my characters. For example, my protagonist in my first two books is a journalist who also is interested in business, and that is—essentially, my career background as well as the areas of my college degrees. I think it helps sometimes to write about what you know, but at other times, I like to do research on those things I don’t know a lot about (but have an interest in), so that I can learn as much as possible while I am writing.
5. What’s the best compliment that you’ve ever received about your writing?
One reader (a woman who’d read my first novel, Silver—Currents of Change) told me “I couldn’t put your book down after I started reading it. The writing was so down to earth and the story seemed so real, I just had to know what was going to happen next.”
That was the biggest compliment I’ve ever gotten. In fact, what that woman said is what every writer wants to do—to write so that readers will want to keep turning pages, needing to know what happens next.
I also liked the fact that the woman described the writing as “down-to-earth.” I didn’t get a chance to ask her what she meant by that part of her comment, but I took it to mean it was easy to read and to understand. That’s something I always strive to do with my writing.
6. What has been your greatest moment as a writer so far?
I am going to have to go all the back to high school to share my greatest moment, so far, as a writer. I’ve gotten all kinds of recognition since high school—including awards and notoriety when I was in college, as a college professor of journalism/mass communications, and as a working professional writing for advertising, marketing, and public relations. Still, I am most touched by being featured on the front page of my hometown newspaper (at least I remember it as being on the front page) as the writer and director of a Christmas play I wrote that was performed--to standing ovations, at our town’s elementary school and our high school. My mother was alive then, and I remember how happy it made her to see my picture and a story about my play in our town’s newspaper. That moment in my life made me know I wanted to continue writing and publishing. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, or what would be the end result of my work, but I knew I was going to continue to write and to create fictional worlds. I knew I wanted to create works to entertain people while doing my best to add value by provoking curiosity and providing a chance for readers/viewers/listeners to learn or at least to look at some aspect of life in a different way.
7. Where do you get your covers?
My cover ideas usually form while I am working on completing my books. I create images as I am writing so that I can visualize certain scenes, and once I’m working on the last revision, I usually know which scenes or which images might work best on the cover to pull readers into the story. After I get several alternative ideas in mind, I either prepare my own cover design (as I did for my first novel), or I will work along with artists/graphic designers, to prepare the cover (as I did for my second novel).
8. Who is your biggest fan?
I have several family members and friends who might take the top fan spots for my books. I am also a fan, however, of the kinds of stories I am doing my best to tell. I believe it is really good for an author to put love into their writing, and I don’t think I could do that without becoming a fan of the stories I enjoy creating. I also love all of the challenges that come along with the writing of my novels. If I couldn’t find a way to love it all—to be a fan of the good, the bad, and the ugly, then I’m not sure I could find the inspiration I need to keep writing.
9. What is next for you?
I am publishing my third novel this year (at least, that’s my plan), and I'm also publishing an online course to help other first-time authors complete their first fiction manuscript (I am a former college writing professor). I have written a book to go along with the course, and I plan to publish that book this year too. And, in addition to publishing more novels, I want to create and publish more online/e-delivery courses related to publishing, self-publishing, and writing.
10. End with a quote (from one of your books, a favorite quote by someone else, or one that has been on your mind recently).
“Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.” ~Benjamin Franklin
This is the quote I placed at the top of the page on the Prologue of my second novel, Gold—The Heat of Refinement. I am thankful to Benjamin Franklin for it, because—since it is true, I know there will always be plenty of material, all around and everywhere, for all the novels I plan to write.