Interview with Betta Ferrendelli, Author of On the Border

02 Jun 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, On the Border?

On the Border is the fifth book in my award-winning mystery series featuring reporter Samantha Church. This time Sam works with a cub reporter to uncover a money laundering scheme involving undocumented workers.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I watched the movie Fried Green Tomatoes years and years ago and loved it. I read the book, but in this case, I thought the movie was better than the book. The story touched me deeply and having written all my life and professionally for many years, I decided I wanted to write books to tell my own stories that I hope would resonate with people as much as Fried Green Tomatoes has for me.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Honestly, I don’t have a favorite, but the two I like the most and have meant the most to me include The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and The Prophet by Kahil Gibran, which was given to me by my eighth grade teacher when I graduated from high school. I also love the last four or five paragraphs of A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

Kahil Gibran would be my guest, and my question would be, “What is your first memory of life?”

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Having finished, ha, ha! Actually the process, writing, thinking, rewriting, editing and watching as it all unfolds into a good (I hope!) story. I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I see the manuscript pages piling up.

What is a typical day like for you?

I do work full time as a writer for a healthcare magazine. For now, like the rest of the planet, I am working from home. A good chunk of my day is spent writing and being on the phone or in Zoom meetings for work. There’s lots of traveling involved with the magazine when there isn’t a pandemic. We were in Nashville in February and Chicago in early March. I also work out with a personal trainer two times a week, along with working out in my home gym. I play lots of golf, which works well with social distancing. Now that I have finished writing the latest book, the nice thing about the little free/down time that I do have is that I can enjoy it. When I am “novelling” as my sister used to call it, I use every free moment to work on the book.

What scene in On the Border was your favorite to write?

There were many, but my favorite scene comes when Sam goes her daughter’s softball game and has to retrieve a softball that was hit over the fence. She’s not the ace athlete her daughter, April, is. She has a little trouble throwing the ball back to the team and some of April’s teammates make fun of her.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“The answer is always no unless you ask.”

Betta Ferrendelli is the author of the new book On the Border.

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