Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you—Betty Mermelstein!
Betty is a retired teacher living with her husband in Phoenix, Arizona. She has had various articles, poems, and humorous essays published, and has self-published ebooks on Amazon, Smashwords, and Lulu. Her ebooks feature children’s illustrated stories, short stories, preteen novels, an adult novel, and a novel targeted for about 3rd graders. Betty is an avid ballroom dancer and loves to spend time with her family and travel.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
That went along with wanting to be a teacher. I’ve always loved the written word: reading it and writing it.
Why did you choose to write your genre?
I’m actually pretty eclectic in that I write a variety of genres: short stories, short humorous essays, children’s illustrated stories, preteen novels, poetry, and one adult novel.
Currently, what are you working on?
I’m concentrating on poetry and my humorous personal essays for my blog.
Let’s talk about your latest book for a moment. What motivated the plot?
All of my motivation for any of my writing comes from my personal experience and feelings.
What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written?
It is probably mice. One of my children’s illustrated is the story of two mice that fall into a pool and find their way out using various items that have blown into the pool.
Who has been your favorite character? Why?
That would be Karen from my two preteen novels because she appreciates humor, her family, and perseveres to achieve her goal.
What process do you use to plan your novels?
I start with a general situation that a character is in: the classroom difficulties a teacher faces or the photos of Karen’s ancestors hanging in the hallway. I build on those asking what could happen within these situations to make an interesting story and develop the main character?
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it?
Oh yes! I usually leave my writing to sit for a while (a day or a week) and then revisit it with a fresh outlook.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be?
It would be historical fiction since that is what I mostly read.
Which authors inspire you?
James Michener comes to mind because he beautifully brings to life historical landscapes, animals, and people; does wonderful research for his settings; and writes for the “long haul”.
What novel would you read multiple times?
I don’t know if I would reread one on purpose. I like to move on and experience new stories.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character)
I would love to talk with some of my ancestors to see what they were really like!
What is your favorite quote?
I’m really bad at remembering quotes, so I’ll throw in one of my own that actually hasn’t been written into a story yet:
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary?
What is your favorite color?
Shades of blue.
When you’re not writing…
It’s definitely not a full-time career. I’m happy to have been collecting my retirement pension from the state after having retired from teaching!
You can find Betty online at…
Thank you for hanging out with me today. It was a pleasure getting to know you.
Join me next week when nonfiction author Eva Pasco will be dropping by!