Friday, January 12, 2007

Interview with Rene Gutteridge!!

Rene Gutteridge writes comedy like no one else!
This woman draws you in with nail-biting suspense and relatable characters, all while tickling your funny bone with a long-stemmed feather!
I was recently given the honor of visiting with Rene, author of the beloved "Boo" books and other favorites like Storm Surge and My Life As a Doormat.

Betsy: Thanks for visiting with us today, Rene! So tell us - when did you first begin writing seriously?

Rene: This is a fun question to answer, because I really was writing seriously even as a kid. I'd be in there pounding away at my computer, sure I was going to change the world! It wasn't until college that I even thought about doing it as a living.

Betsy: Did you always know you wanted to be an author?

Rene: Not in a professional sense. It wasn't one of those jobs that seemed like it was secure. But as I got into college and realized this passion could also be my living, I dedicated more time to learning the business of the trade, as well as the artistic side.

Betsy: Tell us a little about your spiritual journey.

Rene: I was raised as a Christian, but it wasn't until I became an adult that I really started understanding what this faith was about. It became my own, personal journey with God as I began studying the Bible and worshipping God with my heart. I continue to seek after God to this day, learning more and more about Him, and learning to trust more than hope. That's been an important lesson for put my life in God's hands and trust Him with it rather than hoping everything will turn out like I want it to.

Betsy: That's so inspiring! Now Rene, your Boo series is such a fun, creative set of books! You've created such a wonderful town in the form of Skary, Indiana. What gave you the idea to write the Boo books?

Rene: It was just one of those crazy ideas, you know? It started with the character of Wolfe Boone, and then I imagined his world, and his world was inside Skary, Indiana. From there, it literally took on a life of its own!

Betsy: Which Boo book was your favorite to write?

Rene: Boo Who was my favorite. I really loved the theme and I wrote it in 2 1/2 months. I've never had a book flow out of me like that since, or before. Everything worked in it. And it was exciting because the publisher wanted another Boo book, which helped my confidence. Back when Boo was published, there wasn't a lot of comedy out there, but it was well-received and I'm so thankful for that! It was originally just one book.

Betsy: Have you ever considered a Boo prequel?

Rene: No, but good idea!

Betsy: What do readers have to look forward to that is coming up soon? Any projects currently on your desk?

Rene: I'm just finishing up Boo Humbug, a Christmas novella which has been a blast to write. I'm having so much fun with it. That'll be out in 2007. I'm also finishing up Snitch, which will be the second book in my new comedy series, The Occupational Hazards. The first one is Scoop, which is already out. I also just finished a novelization of a motion picture that is coming out in March called The Ultimate Gift. That was a real treat for me. I took the screenplay and adapted it into a novel.

Betsy: Wow, you've been busy! So what is the one piece of advice you'd like to give aspiring authors out there today?

Rene: I always tell writers to write. I see a lot of people doing conferences, reading books, etc, which is fine, but then you have to go and be alone and write. Writing and writing and writing is the only way to get better.
Betsy: Was there an author that helped guide you or mentor you throughout your own writing journey?

Rene: Not really. But there have been several who have helped guide me along the way with their friendships and encouragement. I never had one person that led me, so often times I was blindly navigating myself through it all. I had really wanted a mentor, but it just didn't fall into place.

Betsy: Do you have a set writing schedule you stick to daily, or do you have to sort of wing it, between being a writer, a wife, and a mom? I imagine that is a delicate balance!

Rene: It's been nice having both kids in school this year. It was very hard when the kids were young. I would try to coordinate writing time with nap time. But now I have a very set schedule and write while they are in school. I try to take Sundays off, but that's not always possible. And I can get pretty behind if one of the kids is sick. It is a delicate balance, but it's made easier by remembering my priorities. I am sometimes surprised at how easily they can get flipped. But I always come back around to what is important.
Betsy: Thanks for the interview, Rene, it's been great chatting with you! Happy writing!
To read more about Rene Gutteridge or check out her complete set of books, visit her website at

1 comment:

GeorgianaD said...

I loved MY LIFE AS A DOORMAT--probably the most memorable last line of a novel I've ever read. Enjoyed SCOOP as well, and look forward to the next book :-)

Great interview.