Local Author’s Latest
Writer’s 19th novel has been published
Cooler temperatures are flirting with Shreveport-Bossier City. Now is the perfect time to pick out a good book to curl up and read on sweater weather days.
Local novelist and 318 Forum writer Betsy St. Amant Haddox has you covered. Her 19th novel, “The Key to Love,” hit shelves on Oct. 13.
“The Key to Love” is a classic opposites attract trope set in small-town U.S.A. When she began brainstorming the book several years ago, St. Amant Haddox originally planned to set part of it in Paris and feature the Pont des Arts (also known as the famed Love Lock Bridge) that connects the Institut de France with The Louvre. She changed the book’s setting when Paris officials declared the bridge an eyesore and replaced the chain links and locks with glass panels.
“That was when I decided to set the story in small-town Kansas,” she said. “[The heroine] has her own version of the bridge at her bakery.” St. Amant Haddox says her heroine is a loveobsessed baker who views her parents’ marriage as the ideal relationship. The bakery where she works has a Love Lock Wall. The bakery owners are also the town matchmakers, and a lock is placed on the wall to commemorate each successful love story. The wall becomes so popular, couples from all over make the trek to see it. The Love Lock Wall goes viral, winds up on YouTube, and a travel magazine sends out its love-scorning perma-bachelor to write a feature. That’s when heads butt and sparks fly.
St. Amant Haddox began writing at age 7 when her father brought home the family’s first computer. Her early stories about a girl and her dog evolved into “Baby-Sitters Club” fan fiction. “I didn’t realize it was fan fiction. I just thought, ‘I love “The Baby-Sitters Club.” I’m going to write my own Baby-Sitter’s Club with these characters.’”
She worked hard toward her goal to become a published author. “When I was 18, I thought I needed to actually do something about this if I’m going to get there,” she said. Writer’s conferences were attended, and classes were taken to learn the craft of fiction writing. Eventually, St. Amant Haddox connected with Christian fiction author Gayle Roper at a conference. She says Roper mentored her and encouraged her to join the American Christian Fiction Writers. “That was really my launching point – Gayle’s suggestion to join that group. That was where I found my agent that got me my first book contract,” she said.
That first book was a Love Inspired Inspirational Romance novel (Harlequin). In the 13 years since, St. Amant Haddox has had 19 novels and novellas published.
She says she is character-driven in her writing and creates her characters first. “I start from the inside out. I figure out my character’s deepest fear and their internal struggle. I want to put them through their biggest fear then and come out stronger on the other side.”
St. Amant Haddox says her goal as a Christian author is to include something uplifting in her story. “I can normally include a subtle faith or inspirational thread. There’s some room, I think, in Christian fiction to play around with that, that leaves the reader hopeful, too,” she said.
“The Key to Love” was released on Oct. 13. It is available for order at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. Visit betsystamant.com to check out this book and others she has written, as well as links to purchase.