Name: Beth Albright Age: 50 (May 1)
Occupation: “Sassy Belles” Author
San Francisco, California
To figure out what the hell to do with myself after I raised my fabulous son. I am naturally super-ambitious. “Dream it, Do it” has been my life’s motto. But I had a stroke when my sweetheart was born and because of this, I was able to have only one baby. So all of my ambition from being a radio talk show host to a soap opera actress on “Days of Our Lives” turned toward being the best mother I could be for him. When my son was a junior in high school, I freaked a little because I knew I needed to have something to do when he left for college. Other wise I would be home crying every day because he is just the best son a mother could ask for. I knew missing him would be crippling.
In 2001, I opened an acting school for kids in Houston. My son was only 11 when we had to close the school in 2004. It was and still is the most devastating thing that has happened in my life. It was much worse than the stroke. The Enron scandal brought a wave of financial devastation to people in Houston and it was too much for my tiny school to bear. I sat devastated, watching my dream crumble right in front of me. My son and my little acting students lost the life they cherished. The doors of my school closed for the last time in December 2004. It was the painful ending of an era in my life. I began to write in order to survive. One night as I sat in the car under rainy sky while my husband ran into a grocery store I pulled out a notepad and scribbled the first words of what would become my novel, “Sassy Belles.”
My novels are all about women and the relationships we share with each other. They take place in my hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This way, in my head and heart, I am always “Home” with my “Sassy Belle” sisters. Initially I didn’t think anything of my writing and would often put it down for long periods of time. But my mother pushed and prodded me until it was finished. Eventually “Sassy Belles” was picked up by an agent and sold as a three-book deal! It was my miracle in May just in time for us to make our son’s college tuition payment due in August! We made it with prayer and tenacity.
My Approach:When my son turned 16, I decided it was time to take becoming an author seriously. I freaked when I realized he would be headed to college and into his own life and would need me in new ways. I needed to be successful for both of us. He would need college money. Since my husband and I made the decision for me to stay home with him all his life, we had willingly jumped into the difficulty of raising a child on one income.
It was so worth it but my husband I worried about paying for college. My mother told me, “Get the damn book finished, Beth. You have a career as a writer. I know it!” She told me she would send me to the San Francisco Writer’s Conference if I finished “Sassy Belles” which had been on the shelf for five years. At that point everything changed. It was October and I had self imposed deadline of Christmas to finish and send “Sassy Belles” to my mother as her gift. I made it. She loved it and, as promised, sent me to the San Francisco Writer’s Conference in February.
My inspiration was and continues to be my son. He inspires me in everything, every single day. I also want my mother to be proud me. Of course her favorite thing to say now is, “I told you so!”
I landed a three-book deal with Harlequin/MIRA. AMAZING! I wrote ONE book and this is how the fairy tale played out. At one point I had to pull over to the side of the road and cry. Once the deal was done then came the tough part. I literally had to write all the “Sassy Belle” books in six months! Book one needed a major revision. Initially book two was flat-out rejected and I had to do a complete re-write during the Christmas holiday! That left me with only five weeks to write book three! So from late August 2012 to mid-March 2013 I sat and wrote and wrote sometimes for 13 hours a day! I’m thrilled to say the “Sassy Belles” series is coming to a book store near you this year! June 1st – “Sassy Belles,” August 1st – “Wedding Belles” and October 1st – “Sleigh Belles” http://www.thesassybelles.com/
NEVER EVER GIVE UP! NEVER! See your goal as a reality. Take your goals seriously, but not yourself. Laugh and no matter what keep going– moving forward a little bit everyday. Even taking baby steps moves you further along than you were yesterday. My mother said, “Keep your eye on the ball Beth.” And I did. NEVER quit re-inventing yourself. Life begins whenever you decide—YOU– no one else. It’s never OVER till you decide it is. So keep living and LIVING and doin’ your thing. Decide to do something you always dreamed of! Throw caution to the wind and don’t listen to the naysayers! GO FOR IT!!! No matter what age or size you are!
God, Please help me be the best me I can be. Let it be your intention for me to reach my highest potential, and to use all the talent and tenacity you gave me. But most importantly—help me to give my love to those I love without any reservation so they will know every single day how much I love them. Gratitude everyday for those people you have put in my life.