Wednesday, March 20, 2013

In A Pickle By Beth Overmyer


Today I have Beth Overmyer on my blog talking about her book In A Pickle.
1. Tell us about your book and how the story came to be.  

In a Pickle is about a 1920’s orphan who time-travels all the time…quite accidentally. On one of his trips back to 1910, Charlie Pickle, the orphan in question, gets tangled up in a murder.

The idea for the book came to me when I was cat-sitting. I’ve always liked the idea of time-travel, and I wanted to have a book about a time-traveling cat. Well, the cat got cut out of the story during draft 1.5, and the rest is history.


2.  What three words best describe your main character?

Charlie Pickle is curious, spunky, and brave.

3.  Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what do you think makes them believable?

Sometimes I use character sheets. You know, going through a long list of questions about my characters and answering them. What is their greatest fear? What is their favorite snack? Etc., etc., etc. Honestly, though, I don’t really know my characters very well until I start writing. They come to life when they’re doing things. I could interrogate a character for hours on end, and still wouldn’t get the entire picture because we aren’t always what we say we are.

What makes my characters believable? They’re flawed. Charlie smarts off at authority and doesn’t listen to a lot of what they have to say. But what makes him really real to me is that he changes. Not a 180 change, but there you go. Also, I get lost in my characters when writing them. “If I were a ten-year-old boy, what would I say to this?” or “What would I do about that?”

4. Do your characters follow your plot path or do they take on a life of their own? Do you keep them in check?

My characters tend to have lives of their own. And since I’m a notorious pantser, they have freedom to do all sorts of things. I keep them in check to a degree, but mostly they do what they want.


5.  Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? If so, how did you over come it?

Oh, yes. I have suffered MAJORLY from writer’s block. Some people don’t believe in writer’s block, but I think they just have another word for it. Laziness, dry well, busyness, and so forth. What I do to get out of the dreaded block is to read and watch movies. I had been in a block for a year, and what broke that was the trailer for a movie. It was hard sitting through the feature presentation, because all sorts of characters and ideas were coming to me.

So, reading and movie-watching. And I’m one of those people who can’t force writing. Some people can make themselves sit down and push out words. Not me. I clam up and freak out and the block becomes worse.

6.  What types of books do you like to read?

I love all kinds of books (except for erotica.) Mystery (Agatha Christie, the queen of the genre), fantasy (Tolkien got me interested in the genre), classics like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre…I could go on and on. Oh, and young adult and middle grade. Lovely age groups with some very talented authors (Gary D. Schmidt, Rick Riordan, J.K. Rowling…) We’re in a good age for a wide variety of well-written and entertaining fiction.

Nice to meet a someone else who is a fan of Agatha Christie.

7.  What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I read. And read. Oh, and I’m a part of a small writing support group, which will be taking a sabbatical by the time this interview airs. Other than that, I’m enjoying getting to know my new niece and sometimes babysitting.


8. What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

I am working on a top secret project—mwahaha! Just kidding. It’s another middle grade book, this time a full-blown novel. I don’t want to go into too much deal yet—don’t want to spoil the surprise—but it may or may not involve superheroes.

Sounds interesting, Beth, you have piqued my interest.  

9.  What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?
Best advice: Every writer is different, and you can’t hold yourself to their standards. In short: Don’t compare or compete. You’ll wind up miserable.

10.  Where can readers find you and your books?

They can visit my blog at:

And they can purchase In a Pickle from the MuseItUp Publishing bookstore,, and (soon) Barnes and Noble’s site.





Bio: Beth Overmyer, a native Ohioan, writes anything from middle grade adventure to adult steampunk. She aspires to reach the world with her words, and would like to someday be a fry-cook on Venus.


Blurb: Charlie Pickle can't stay put in the year 1920, due to an annoying habit of time-traveling. On a trip back to 1910, he meets a man with a secret. Murder makes the headlines that day, and Charlie's new friend knows who the guilty party is. Now, not only does Charlie have bullies and murderers to contend with, he's got some history to fix.

Thanks, Beth, for being on my blog.

Readers, make sure you check out this book. Sound like a good read. Don't be shy. Leave a comment.


  1. Beth,
    enjoyed the interview. I am reading In a Pickle right now and loving it! I'm the director of a DayCare and Preschool. I am hoping to have the teacher read it to the school children during the summer.

  2. Hi Beth, sounds like a lovely read. A fry cook on Venus, huh? Next time around, I'm going to be a drummer in a metal band and dye my hair orange. What imaginations we writers have. lol.

    Good luck with the sales.

  3. @Kay - Thanks for having me on your blog today!

    @Victoria - Aw, thanks. I'm glad you're enjoying IAP. That would be awesome, to have the book read to school children during summer!

    @Lorrie - Thanks. We are a wacky bunch, are we not?