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Interview with Beth Hoffman, Author of Looking for Me

LookingForMePaperbackLooking for Me by Beth Hoffman, which made my Best of 2013 list, is due out in paperback this month.  Her second novel weaves “a story that will enchant readers with not only its southern charm and hospitality, but also the mysteries of family connections and miscommunications.”

Today, Beth will regale us with her wit and charm in a short interview.

Thank you so much for inviting me to chat with you, Serena.

1. In Looking for Me (on Kobo), Teddi Overman has a gift for restoring old furniture, but she seems unable to cope with the past. How do you think her ability to restore furniture reflects her inability to address her own past or the life she leads after high school?

Teddi adores her brother, and her hope for his survival is a tangled mess of guilt, unbearable grief, and even anger. These feelings translate into how she believes even the most severely damaged piece of furniture can be resurrected. By immersing herself in her craft, each repair represents how she’s trying to mend herself and her past.

2. Have you ever restored furniture or found a piece that just spoke to you?

Though I’ve restored a few pieces, I don’t have the patience to do what Teddi did. She was a master. Yes, certain pieces speak to me, and when they do it’s like being reunited with an old friend. Years ago I walked by an antiques shop and saw a circa 1908 Herschell-Spillman carousel horse in the window. My reaction was so powerful that nothing could have stopped me from having him. He was far outside my budget, but I found ways to scrape together enough to finally bring him home. I named him Ziggy.

3. When we leave home, we often leave behind who we were or were expected to be, how is this true of Teddi and do you think those pieces we leave behind can ever be recaptured?

The best way I can sum up my feelings is to quote Teddi: “I thought about that old saying, how we can never go home again. But I think it’s more like a piece of us stays behind when we leave—a piece we can never reclaim. One that awaits our next visit and demands that we remember.”

4. Between Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and Looking for Me, could you describe your experience in publishing and editing the books? How were they the same and how were they different?

CeeCee’s story was my debut, and I had no idea what to expect once it was acquired.

I had edited the manuscript with a ruthless hand, so the re-pub editing was minimal and easy. But when the book published I felt like I’d been shot out of a cannon! I’m an introvert, so having a big spotlight shined on my face was frightening. Plus, I didn’t know how grueling a book tour could be. But it was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade.

When Looking for Me published I knew the ropes and had my feet beneath me, so I was better prepared.

5. What current projects are you working on? Care to share any details?

I recently started a new novel, and so far I’m enthralled with the characters. The story takes place in two historic districts that sit back-to-back in Northern Kentucky (Newport and Covington). The two female main characters (one in her early 30s and one in her silver years) are both hiding something. It’s through their unusual friendship that their mysteries unfold.

Thanks, Beth, for sharing a little bit about your books with us and about your new work. I know I cannot wait to read it!

****Enter to win a copy of Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman by leaving a comment here.  You must live in the continental U.S. to enter.  Deadline to enter is May 9, 2014, by 11:59 PM EST.***

  • Happy to see what Beth’s working on now. I’ve been to both of those places 🙂
    stacybuckeye´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday – May 12

  • I just read her first book (I know, how late to the Hoffman party am I?), and I’d love to win this one!

  • Laura P Bryant

    Fantastic interview. I absolutely love Beth Hoffman. I think she is probably one of the best writers out there.

  • Shelley Thomas

    It’s thrilling to know Beth is working on a new novel. I’m so ready to get immersed in her talent of creating a story I can get lost in. 🙂

  • First of all, I’m SO HAPPY Beth is working on a new novel and I plan on doing some very intricate dance moves, here in my cube, to demonstrate my elation. The number of cares I give if caught stand at ZERO. That’s how much I LOVE her books! I don’t technically NEED a copy, but I’d love to win and then give it away to someone who would, in turn, owe me for life 😉

  • No need to enter me, as I’ve already read and loved this book. I am so excited that Beth is writing another book. No matter what it’s about, I’m going to read it!
    Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday — May 5

  • Hi Serena,

    Unfortunately I am not eligible to enter this great giveaway (sobs uncontrollably!), however I shan’t hold that against you and will still be adding this great sounding book to my list, where ‘Saving CeeCee Honeycutt’ is already waiting to be read.

    I don’t believe that you can ever go back and that includes to a childhood home or the family you left behind. I felt different from the very first day I left home and now when I go back, it is always as a ‘visitor’, never as the daughter of the house.

    A lovely interview, you asked some original questions.

    Yvonne
    [email protected]´s last blog post ..New On The Shelf At Fiction Books This Week … Plus Great Introductory Offer!

  • Beth Hoffman

    Thanks so much for hosting me, Serena! I’m grateful for all your kindness and support. Happy spring!

  • Linda B

    I loved CeeCee Honeycutt, and am sure I will love this novel too. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • I’m beyond thrilled to see that Beth is working on a new novel!!! No need to enter me in your great contest.
    bermudaonion (Kathy)´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday

  • karenk

    a wonderful interview/posting…thanks for the chance to read this fabulous story 😉