Beth Hodgson Q&A
Book Link: Fragments of Light
The year is 2384 M.E. The world is divided up into city kingdoms and empires ruled by kings, queens, and courts. Each city kingdom fights to be the most technologically advanced, hoping to dominate the others.
The King of Arcadia, Damaris, has a weapon that could have the other kingdoms kneeling at his feet—a magic-infused cyborg army and his daughter, Princess Emerald. Born with the power of green magic, Emerald is the first person in a thousand years to have the gift of magic, and her secret is being heavily guarded by the king at all costs.
Unbeknownst to Emerald, a sorceress from the plagued future seeks all the colors of magic. Hellbent on revenge to all those who wronged her, the sorceress vows to reclaim the throne that was once to be hers and overthrow the all-powerful high court in her time. Green magic, the last color to complete the spectrum of magic within herself, would make the sorceress unstoppable, ridding the world of any who oppose her.
With a prince from a rival kingdom, her father, and the sorceress in search for her, Emerald comes across a most unusual ally—a wild rocker from the lower levels of Arcadia. Now Emerald must come together with the past, present, and future gifted to stop the sorceress from succeeding.
If they do not, all of time will pay the consequences…
Beth Hodgson was born and raised in Minnesota. During her college years, she worked and went to school in downtown Minneapolis, the city that inspired the kingdom of Arcadia in Fragments of Light. She worked as a graphic artist and illustrator for several years, then switched industries to retail management in high fashion. Currently, she is married and stays at home with her three young children and writes in her spare time. When not writing or hanging out with the family, Beth loves to make costumes, doodle her characters, and play Skyrim and Hearthstone. Her favorite color is violet, but she has a secret love for green.
Beth Hodgson Q&A
1) Tell us a bit about yourself. Any personal tidbits you’d like to share?
I am a full-time mom to three kids (twins that are 5 years old, and a daughter who is 3.) I have always loved fantasy and scifi as a kid, and I have been a huge book and video game nerd my whole life. I used to be into the cosplay scene years ago, and had a huge following and ran my own site. I slowly faded away from the cosplay scene after the kids, but my husband and I have done Blizzcon occasionally since having kids (which I placed in their contest several times.) As of right now, I mainly focus on my writing, read a good book at night, and play video games once in a blue moon. Oh, and I have a huge obsession with pixel art.
2) Tell us about your past and current works. Any future projects you’d like us to know about?
I have one book out which was published in November of last year, which is titled ‘Fragments of Light’ in the Spectrum of Magic series. It is a cyberpunk fantasy, but it has many traditional fantasy elements, in which I geared for an audience who loves to read epic fantasy. It is 213k words, so it is a great choice for people who love immersing themselves into a good story. ‘Fragments of Light’ has many different characters it follows, many of which who have magic powers that associate with a certain color in the spectrum. The story has a nice blend of scifi and fantasy, and also draws on a unique magic system based off of color.
I am also in the process of writing the second book in the Spectrum of Magic series called ‘Fragments of the Mind’. I have about 100k words done so far, and hope to finish up in the next couple of months to begin the editing process.
3) What inspired you to write your current project?
I had this story brewing inside my head for 20 years of my life, and I felt that now was the time to tell it. Many years ago, I used to be an artist and went to art school. I created these characters, and dreamed up stories of them, making many pictures and comics that pertained to their story. A few years after creating them, I came across Billy Idol’s Cyberpunk album. After listening to that album, I felt like the music perfectly told the story that I saw in my mind. I tried to write down everything that came to mind, and drew many sketches of my ideas.
Years passed on, and after several attempts of writing my story as a graphic novel, I put it aside, forgetting it due to the stresses of life. A few years ago, after my third child was born, I had a crazy week-long dream experience of my story. Every night I went to sleep, I would dream of my characters, going on their adventures and living life as Princess Emerald. After that crazy dream experience, I decided to write my novel.
4) Why did you decide to start writing?
Well, this question is kind of answered above, but I can say that I did write some Warcraft fan fiction for past contests, but that is about it. I never in a million years thought I would have wrote a book if you asked me this years ago.
5) Who are some of your favorite authors & why?
This is a hard question, as I love many authors, and even then, they have put out a dud every so often. But, I can say that I love Joe Abercrombie, Brett Weeks, Brandon Sanderson, and Phillipa Greggory. I always have one of their books in my rotation of reads.
6) What do you think makes an author successful, and what makes their work resonate with people?
I once told another author friend of mine this: If you aren’t willing to bet your mortgage on your story, it isn’t worth telling. You have to have the passion and the drive. People will see that bleeding through your writing if you have those two things. If you believe the story and characters are real, people will fall in love with them.
7) What were the biggest hurdles you had to overcome as an author?
I guess other authors telling me what I should and shouldn’t do. I tend to do the complete opposite when I am pushed and told I can’t do something. When authors in all the other facebook groups found out my story was 213k words, they all schooled me on how that is far too big of a debut novel from a first-time author. They also told me that I should split up my story into 2-3 books to make more money. To me, I just laughed. I understand that perspective, but here is my perspective: Can you split up Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Way of Kings’? Of course not. You cannot split up my story either. Also, I view stories as works of art, being a former artist. This story is my life-long passion. Why would I break it up to sell a ‘part’ of the story. It wouldn’t be whole; and to me, that didn’t sit well. So yeah, I didn’t listen to those people. The crowd says go right, I go left.
8) This is a personal question so feel free to answer how you want or to not answer. A lot of people in the creative arts suffer from depression, self-doubt, and hopelessness. Can you share a moment in your writing career where you felt these emotions? How did you overcome it? Do you have any advice for those currently struggling?
My whole life I struggled with depression and anxiety. In fact, I went through a serious dark time when writing this first book. I have a rare autoimmune disease called Mast Call Activation Syndrome, and anxiety comes with the territory. I cannot take antidepressants because of my genetic enzymes, and I can only take an Ativan in extreme anxiety attacks, so I am screwed on the medical front. All I can say is this; keep searching and keep pushing and don’t give up. There is hope on the other side. You might be in darkness for days, week, or even years, but you will get out of it. You have to keep the faith. You will overcome it.
9) What do you feel is the biggest reward with writing?
It’s such a rush when someone messages me or leaves a review saying how much they loved my story. It makes my day knowing that someone traveled through my world and fell in love with my characters.
10) Is there any advice that you can offer new writers?
Read everyday for an hour. Write everyday for an hour. That was the best advice given to me, and I swear by it.