Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Interview with mystery write S. R Betler

Today is the final interview in a series with the authors of

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

About the anthology:
The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda RenĂ©e, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

“Each story is fast paced, grabbing the reader from the beginning.”
- Readers' Favorite, 5 stars

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter.

So far, we’ve had C.D. Gallant-King (on April 19), Gwen Gardner (on April 26), Jemi Fraser (on May 2), Christine Clemetson (on May 11), Rebecca M. Douglass (on May 15), Yolanda Renee (on May 23), J.R. Ferguson (on May 31), C. Lee McKenzie (on June 7), Tara Tyler (on June 13), Mary Aalgaard (on June 20), and now S.R. Betler is here to chat about her crime short story called “Three O’Clock Execution.”

Born and raised in New York, S. R. Betler now lives in Kentucky, where she passes her days collecting stray animals, torturing her characters, and inventing new worlds while attempting to keep her husband and offspring from destroying this one.

Welcome, S.R., What do you enjoy most about writing short stories?
I really just love the challenge of it. It's hard fitting a full-fledged story into so few words and finding just the right words to get it across. There can be no spare words in a short story, so it really makes you stop and think about exactly what you're putting down and how you phrase things.

Can you give us a little insight into a few of your short stories – perhaps some of your favorites?
In Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime, my short story is “Three O'Clock Execution,” and it isn't, I don't think, a typical crime story. When I sat down to write it, I really wanted to focus more on the psychological aspect of crime. More specifically, I got to wondering just what sort of toll it would take if someone were to be convicted of a crime they didn't commit and they were desperate for someone, anyone, to believe their innocence. A lot of my stories start that way, with a what-if question or the beginning of a premise I want to explore. I really enjoy exploring moral and ethical dilemmas in my writing.

What genre are you inspired to write in the most? Why?
The genre I most often write in is fantasy, and most often contemporary fantasy. I'm not really sure why. I guess because I really like the idea that some sort of magic exists in our world, lurking in the shadows or just around the corner, waiting to be discovered. So I like exploring that in my stories, where things seem mostly "normal" except for a few fantastical elements. 
What exciting story are you working on next?
Actually, what I've been working on most recently is a contemporary fantasy YA novel, which is book one in a series. I actually just started querying with it, in the hopes of finding an agent, so that's an exciting and terrifying new step.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Am I a writer? Yes, I suppose so. I think I've always considered myself a writer; it just took a long time for me to consider myself an author. I'm not sure if there's really a distinction, but there always was in my mind, where a writer is someone who writes and an author is someone who's published. I've considered myself a writer since probably around junior high, when I started my foray into trying to seriously write and improve my work.

How do you research markets for your work, perhaps as some advice for writers?
The easiest way to research is to read. Luckily, it's also probably the most enjoyable form of research. Staying abreast of the most popular books in your genres, whatever books are hitting the top 100 list on Amazon in your particular niches, etc. Networking is also really important, to see what agents or publishers are looking for in your areas, what tropes are popular and what are falling flat, and what other authors are doing or talking about. Another great resource, if you're looking for where to submit things, is the Writer's Market book series for the year, or if you're querying a novel, Query Tracker makes it easy to find agents to query and keep track of people you've already reached out to.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Oh, gosh, I don't know if I have any. I usually write with either a cat or a dog's head (it's all that will fit) in my lap. I'm not sure that counts as a quirk so much as the life all pet owners have signed up for. I refer to characters as if they were people. Does that count? It drives my husband batty, but when I'm writing something, I'm living in that world, so the characters are as real to me at that point in time as anything else, I suppose.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A paleontologist! Until I realized that I actually hate heat and the majority of that time would be spent writing boring things I didn't want to write, so I figured I might as well be a writer, then.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime became available on May 1. You can keep up with everything that's happening by liking our Facebook page, or following our blog at

Thanks, S.R.

Tick Tock links:

Purchase links:


Gwen Gardner said...

HaHa! I refer to my characters as if they're real people too. I search through Pinterest for clothing for my character Franny, the ghost of a former Victorian madam, and think, "Franny wouldn't be caught dead in that!" LOL. All in fun ;)

Thanks for hosting, Lisa!

cleemckenzie said...

Writing with the warmth of an friend nearby is always a good strategy. They can be so encouraging, can't they? Thanks for letting us get to know S. R Betler more.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Writing with a pet is probably good therapy! Thanks to sharing this interview, and all the interviews and support for Tick Tock!

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview! I love thinking (knowing???) magic exists in our world as well :)