This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on fantasy author Bekah Berge!
Interviewing Bekah was a pleasure. She is a creative and brave young woman who lives with a rare chronic pain condition known as CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). Bekah is also the co-founder of @writing.pains, a page developed to help spread awareness and spotlight other authors living with chronic pain.
A quick note:
During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!
Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.
Bekah Berge fell in love with all things mystical at a young age. Her love of stories led to her writing her first book in her early twenties, and she’s never looked back since. When not scribbling down fantastical tales, she enjoys traveling, gardening, vegan baking, and brewing the perfect cup of tea.
She also suffers from a rare chronic pain condition called CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) and to learn more visit: CRPSBookshelf.com
Four musicians vie for a coveted spot on the main stage at the prestigious Olive Branch Music and Arts Festival.
For as long as she can remember, Melly has only been good at one thing: making music. From the instant she got her fingers on a flute and tambourine, music had transformed her life and become a way for her to express the hidden desires of her heart. And like every artist in the realm, joining the illustrious Olive Branch Music and Arts Festival was her ultimate dream.
When Hakim encounters Melly singing in a grubby tavern, his world stops for the briefest of moments. For Hakim, it was as clear as the sky on a sunny day—her voice was what his band, Needlework, had been missing. On a whim, a deal is struck. Soon Melly finds herself whisked away with the band as they join the Olive Branch Festival for what promises to be one wild ride.
***Trigger Warning: Content includes after-effects of sexual assault, as well as depression, grief, and suicidal thoughts/attempts.
Bekah’s book Needlework is available now!
And now, the interview:
Bekah, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I had been a voracious reader during my teens and had begun dabbling in short stories, but in my early twenties I wrote my first book and was hooked. Been writing ever since.
Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.
My latest book, Needlework, is centered around music. I’ve always loved music and was inspired to write a story about a music and arts festival after going to several concerts. I thought it would be interesting to weave that into a fantasy setting.
What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?
I love writing fantasy. There’s a certain playfulness that comes with being able to create your own world with its own separate set of rules.
Do you have a furry familiar? Tell us about them!
My dog Marvin is my constant companion. He’s been with me for nine years and always snuggles into my side or sits on my lap when I’m writing.
Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.
I actually don’t have a writing schedule, but I usually do all my writing at night. I love a good cup of tea when writing and my heated blanket, because I’m always cold. But that’s about it.
Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?
I think writing helps me cope with life, the world, and having a chronic illness. It’s an outlet for me to express my thoughts on life and it’s quite therapeutic.
Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?
Focus on character motivations when creating a plot, stop comparing yourself to everyone else, and give yourself some grace.
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else, and give yourself some grace.
What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?
Poetry, art, and music. Those are the three main things that really help inspire my stories.
How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?
[Laughs] I have no idea. I’d like to think I’m intuitive, but I think I follow my heart more than my intuition.
Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.
My goal is to continue writing stories and one day, if I’m lucky, become a bestseller. That’d be pretty incredible.
For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?
I’m very grateful for my family. I can’t live independently because of my illness, so I really rely on the help of my family for most things. They sacrifice a lot for me.
Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?
I love cooking and baking. Reading, of course. And when summer rolls around, I’m often in my garden.
Which book are you reading right now?
The Bridge Kingdom, by Danielle L. Jensen
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Dial A for Aunties, by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Fill in the blank: Magic is...
Magic is the ability to write stories that make our hearts sing.
Stay connected with Bekah! Here’s where you can find her:
Next up, I’m continuing my Tarot Stories series with the next card in the deck: The Star.
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative or on Facebook at @haintbluebooks.