Right Brain: Beth Groundwater | SummitDaily.com

Right Brain: Beth Groundwater

Special to the Daily

In retirement, Beth Groundwater took her skills as a software engineer to the world of mystery writing.”I know a lot of mystery writers that used to be engineers,” she said. “It all has to do with designing a solution to a problem or solving a problem – both things you do in engineering and writing.” The Colorado Springs resident and Breckenridge homeowner recently published her first book, “A Real Basket Case,” and the sequel, “To Hell in a Handbasket,” is due out in 2009.The sequel is set in Breckenridge with a murder on the slopes. She interviewed Summit County Undersheriff Derek Woodman to find out about local procedures, as well as to learn details like the color of their uniforms and cars.She writes her novels in real-life towns instead of fictional ones so that readers can have fun identifying with the setting.Groundwater is a member of several writing communities, including serving as president of the Pikes Peak Writers and secretary for Sisters in Crime.Signed copies of “A Real Basket Case” are currently available at Hamlet’s Book Shoppe in Breckenridge.What are your dreams/what would you like to do with your art?

I’d love to write and sell more mystery novels, continuing with the Claire Hanover gift-basket-designer series, and starting a new series for which I’ve written the first manuscript, with a protagonist who is a whitewater river ranger based in Salida.What does art give you/why do you do it?I love to tell stories, and I’m thrilled when others read and enjoy my stories. And I love the feeling of being “in the zone” when I’m writing and just serving as a typist recording the conversations that characters are having in my head.What do you try to convey through your art?Unlike some other mystery writers, who keep their sleuths uninvolved with the murder other than trying to puzzle out the solution, I like to explore the deep emotions that erupt when a murder directly affects the sleuth. I also try to explore some underlying theme in my books, such as the nature of marriage in “A Real Basket Case.”What is/has been your biggest challenge, and how do/did you deal with it?

I think my biggest challenge is accurately portraying male characters, given that I’m female. Some ways I overcome that is to conduct first-person interviews with my male characters and to have the two males in my writing critique group tell me whether “a man would never say/do that.”What are you most proud of regarding your art (and/or greatest accomplishment)?I am most proud of setting a goal in 1999 of publishing a novel and continuing to work at my craft without giving up until finally succeeding in 2007.How do you stay fresh/motivated?”With a little help from my friends.” Seriously, though, the only way to survive in this depressing, screwy business of fiction-writing is to have the support of fellow writers who are going though the same thing. I would have given up long ago without the encouragement of my critique group and other writer friends.What do you do when you’re not making art?

I ski, walk, bike, lift weights, garden, travel, interact with my family and friends, and read. I love to read, and I think all writers need to read widely in their genres.ART: Right Brain, Beth Groundwater.jpg/secondary art: RB, ARealBasketCase.jpgBOX: Beth Groundwatern Type of art: Fiction writingn Hours per week dedicated to art: 20-40n Favorite artist: Mystery author Sharyn McCrumbn Artist website: http://www.bethgroundwater.com

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