XENIA — Bethany Huston grew up around the publishing business.
Her father, Frank, worked for the Xenia Gazette’s Linotype department and she would spend countless hours hanging around the newsroom. The newspaper was also fodder for dinner conversation. So it should come as no surprise that Huston is now a published writer.
The 62-year-old has put the finishing touches on her first novel,”Shifting Sand” and it’s available online through Front Porch Romance publishing as well as Amazon.
“I used to write short stories all the time when I was in high school and junior high,” Huston said. “They were like mini-stories. I’d pass them along in study hall and let the other kids read my work.”
Writing came naturally to Huston but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she decided to actually try and get something published.
“I got laid off my job,” Huston said. “I said ‘you know something, I’m going to write a book. I’m going to make my life useful.’ “
A friend, who also has ties to the Gazette, offered the use of her home in Naples, Fla., so Huston packed up and headed south to begin writing. She moved back to the area and shelved the project for a year while recovering from a serious illness.
“After I recouped last year … I submitted my book to the direct publisher,” Huston said. “Within 24 hours they said they want the full manuscript. Within that week they said we want your book. I had sent my book out to about 20 publishers. I got four hits.”
Huston had her pick of the four companies but Front Porch simply stood out.
“It was just meant to be,” Huston said. “The name. It felt right. It was intuition.”
Huston’s deal happened a lot quicker than she was expecting.
“I about flipped out,” Huston said. “It happened so fast. I was opening my email and I read it and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’m not even a college graduate. I far surpassed a lot of people that have their doctorates (who are) trying to get their book published.”
Ironically, “Shifting Sand” about a young woman who is a novelist living in the Hamptons.
A bit biographical?
“Everything I’ve done I’ve projected my own life,” Huston admitted. “(The main character) was a novelist. I became a novelist. I live in a historical home, she lives in a historical home. Some are personal experiences … I won’t reveal.”
Huston’s writing style makes her book an easy read. She writes a book exactly the way she likes to read one.
“I don’t like real lengthy books,” Huston said. “I get bored reading a book after so long. My books move along really fast.”
It’s approximately 140 pages with 19 chapters. Each chapter leaves the reader with a thirst to turn the page. And the final page leaves the reader hungry for more.
“You’ll never be able to predict the ending of the book,” Huston said. “The book leaves you with a cliffhanger for a possible sequel and I wrote it that way on purpose.”
Whether or not Huston writes a sequel is yet to be determined. But “Shifting Sand” will not be her only literary effort.
Book No. 2 is already in progress with a local flavor. Called “Dry Rain,” the story centers around a man who moves from New York back home to Yellow Springs to start living an authentic life.