Today’s post comes from a writer I met online. We discovered we share a release date and are counting down to blast-off together. My book, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, and Beth K. Vogt’s Wish You Were Here release May 1. I’ve talked about Lucy Banning in other posts. Beth is here to share with us her character, Allison Denman.


I first met Allison Denman, heroine of my debut novel Wish You Were Here, as she walked down a church aisle dressed in her never-should-have-said-yes wedding gown. Because I’d written the scene, I knew what Allison was thinking as she approached her groom:

I do.

I can’t.

I must.

The looming question? Would Allison say “I do” and become Seth Rayner’s wife? Reality: If that happened, then I was writing a short story, not a novel.

An even more important question needed to be answered: How did Allison get to this pivotal moment of indecision? The wedding was the first scene I wrote for Wish You Were Here. I had to develop my story both backward and forward—determining what propelled Allison’s doubts, as well as everything that happened once she reached the front of the church. In other words, the rest of the book.

One of the components every novel must have is a character arc—meaning characters must change from the beginning of the story to the end. And discovering who Allison was on page 1 and who she became by the time I wrote “The End” was a favorite part of writing Wish You Were Here.

Allison thinks she wants one thing when you first meet her. By the end of the book she is able to admit she wants something entirely different. How does she manage this transformation? While Allison is a fictional woman—a figment of my imagination, if you will—she changed the same way you and I do: She confronted hurts from her past. She was honest about who she was, rather than trying to be who she thought she needed to be. And she embraced risk.

There is more to happily ever after than fairy tales ever tell us. As readers follow Allison’s story, they’ll be drawn into her wrestlings with the realities of love, mistakes, choices and forgiveness. Ultimately, Allison accepts who she is and what she wants—even as she admits that doesn’t always make life easier or simpler.

Beth K. Vogt’s contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here, debuts this May. Beth is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force physician (now retired and in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. She’s discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Join the conversation at Beth’s blog, In Others’ Words, at bethvogt.com.
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  1. Rel Mollet on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    Loved this look at Allison 🙂 Can’t wait to read both your books, gals. Thanks for sharing xo

  2. Keli Gwyn on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    I’m looking forward to meeting both Allison and Lucy in your books, Beth and Olivia.

  3. Beth K. Vogt on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    I had fun putting together this first glimpse of Allison. I learned quite a lot from her.

  4. Heather Kopp on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    Beth, thanks for sharing. I don’t how you fiction writers do it! Just make up people and make them seem real. Amazing. Congrats on your success. So glad you know Olivia, as she’s one of the best people on the planet. Heather

    • Beth K. Vogt on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

      Being a Deb with Olivia is one of the unexpected blessings of this journey to publication, Heather. And, even better — we live in the same state!

  5. Melissa Tagg on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    Yay, can’t wait to get to know Allison even better when your book comes out, Beth!

    • Beth K. Vogt on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

      Thanks, Melissa! You’ve been hearing about her story forever, I know.:)

  6. P. T. Bradley on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    I can’t wait to read the rest of Allison’s story! Great insights on how you discovered her journey.

    • Beth K. Vogt on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

      Discovering her story happened the same way I’ve unraveled my own.

  7. Olivia Newport on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    Aw, shucks, Heather, thanks. Right backatcha.

    So glad people are eager to read Beth’s story!

  8. JoAnn Durgin on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    Love the cover of Beth’s book, love Beth as a person and writer, and the sneak peek is great! Thank you for this post. Truly, it is one of the most highly-anticipated books of the year for me. I’ve already preordered it and encourage everyone to do the same. It’s sure to be a page-turner. Olivia, I’ll have to check yours out, as well, and thankful for the introduction to you and your upcoming book. Congratulations to you both! Many blessings as you write for His glory.

    • Beth K. Vogt on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

      JoAnn — everyone should have a JoAnn in their lives. Truly.

  9. Donna Pyle on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    Thanks for letting us meet Allison! Can’t wait to read the rest of the story.

  10. Delores Topliff on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    I’ve pre-ordered Wish You Were Here and can hardly wait. I also love the post card teasers you’ve included at vital points–they add so much interest and tell more of your great story. Keep it up–we want and need more books.

    • Beth K. Vogt on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

      The post cards were an early, early addition to my book — and they were never optional.

  11. Roxanne Sherwood on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    I can’t wait to get my hands on these books. Congratulations, ladies!

    • Beth K. Vogt on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

      Roxanne — you know how vital you were to this writing journey. You and Allison should feel like best friends.

  12. Johnnie Alexander Donley on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    Beth, Pat Trainum told me about your book yesterday when I called asking for her help in brainstorming my next novel. My favorite part of your interview was in the bio section: about those “Never!” doors! Congrats on your book!

  13. Beth K. Vogt on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    Thanks for stopping by, Johnnie.
    And you know, the “Never” part of my life has become my favorite part too.

  14. Olivia on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    Thanks to all who stopped by! If you’re new to my blog, I look forward to hearing from you again. If you’re new to Beth, keep watch!

  15. Ginger R. Takamiya on the March 7, 2012 remarked #

    I have been waiting for a long time to get my hands on Wish You Were Here. I’m a firm believer in Pre-ordering. That way you never miss a release date. Especially with my absentminded brain 😉

  16. Ruth Ann Dell on the March 8, 2012 remarked #

    Olivia, I’ve just discovered your blog through a tweet. I’ll definitely visit again.

    Beth, your book sounds enthralling, can’t wait to get hold of a copy to read.

  17. Cathy West on the March 9, 2012 remarked #

    I can’t wait for May 1st!!

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