• Where—Ohio, USA
• Currently—lives in Newport, Kentucky
Beth Hoffman was president and co-owner of a major interior design studio in Cincinnati, Ohio, before selling her business to write full time. (From the publisher.)
In her own words:
I was born on an elevator during a snowstorm, a story my father often enjoyed telling whenever the opportunity arose. For the first five years of my life, I lived (along with my mom, dad, and older brother) on my grandparents’ farm in northern Ohio. It was a rural area, and other than a few tolerant garden toads, a highly social chicken, and Midnight, our family dog, there wasn’t anyone to play with. So I created imaginary friends. I’d draw pictures of them and build them homes out of shoeboxes—replete with interiors furnished by pictures I’d cut from a Sears & Roebuck catalog. Eventually I wrote stories about my friends, giving them interesting names and complex lives.
From earliest memory, there were two things I loved above all else: writing and painting. I wrote my first short story when I was eleven and sold my first painting at the age of fourteen. I believed the sale of the painting was a sign of what direction I should take in life. So I chose a career in art that eventually segued into interior design, but I still kept writing and dreaming of becoming a novelist. Life sent me on many creative journeys and I ultimately landed in Cincinnati, Ohio, becoming the president and co-owner of an interior design studio.
Years went by, long hours and hard work brought success, and with it came the inevitable stresses of business ownership. During the busiest year of my professional life, I nearly died from the same infection that took puppeteer Jim Henson’s life—group A streptococcal infection that resulted in septic shock. After finally being discharged from the hospital, I returned home to convalesce. I spent weeks reevaluating my life—the good, the bad, and the downright painful. As I struggled to regain my health and find spiritual ballast, my dream of writing a novel resurfaced. But no matter how I looked at it, there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to fulfill the demands of my career and write a novel. So I let the dream go.
Then, on a snowy morning in January of 2004, a complete stranger said something to me. And like an unexpected gust of fresh air, his words blew the door wide open. In an eye-blink I knew if I were to write a novel, it had to be now or never. I chose now. I sold my portion of the design business, and after a month of sleeping and meditating and realigning my energies, I plunked down at my computer. Day after day my fingers blazed over the keyboard, and I didn’t come up for air until I typed “The End” nearly four years later.
If there’s a moral to my story, it’s this: take a chance, embrace your dreams, forgive, let go, move on. And if life gives you a big smackdown, there’s a reason—and it just might lead toward your own little piece of the rainbow.
Oh, and there’s one more thing: be mindful of the words of strangers. (From the author's website.)
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