Storytelling comes naturally to award-winning author Beth Ciotta. Dubbed "fun and sexy" by Publisher's Weekly, Beth is published in contemporary, historical, steampunk, and paranormal fiction. She lives in NJ with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat. A retired professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing. To learn more about her colorful life, read on!
From Stage to Storytelling…
Notice the dazed look on my face? Ten to one, I was daydreaming. Pretty sure I had it down to an art by the time I was one. The quirky kid with the overactive imagination. When I'm eighty, they'll call me eccentric. For certain, I'm a restless spirit drawn to the creative arts. I think I popped out of the womb singing 'Born Free'. Okay. I'm exaggerating, but not much. By the age of seven, I was already writing, directing, and starring in my own backyard variety shows. Clearly, I had no focus. I wanted to do it all. Amazingly, I've come darn close. Let's just say I took the long road around in my journey to become a published author.
Storytelling, in one form or another, has always been in my blood. I wrote my first book--The Littlest Green Man--when I was ten. Fifty hand written pages with horrible illustrations (I've never had a talent for drawing). The story featured a curious Martian who decided to visit Earth and ended up feeling like an 'alien.' He just didn't fit in. My next book came in my high school years. It was a children's story about an octopus with an identity crisis. He felt different from the other 'fish in the sea' and set off on a journey to find out how he fit in. It didn't occur to me at the time, but obviously I've always felt a little quirky and out of the normal loop of life.
It's not surprising that I gravitated toward a career in the arts. But rather than nurturing my writing, I pursued a career as a singer. I started singing professionally at age 14. Fresh out of high school, I went 'on the road' performing in hotel lounges and nightclubs six nights a week, fifty weeks (more or less) a year for eight years. During my travels, I met the love of my life (my now husband--see right) and joined his band. We performed together for several years, settling in Atlantic City where he eventually left the stage to become a highly skilled audio/visual technician--a sensible job. I, on the other hand, morphed into a variety performer, working the casinos as a character actress, singer, dance motivator and emcee. Yup. Quirky.
The desire to perform burned strong and sustained me for more than twenty-five years before ebbing to a dull flicker. An artist without passion is a frightening thing (for the artist anyway.)
Out of the blue I started reading romance novels and experienced an epiphany. This was what I was supposed to be doing! Writing love stories! That was in 1994 and I have never looked back. I first published in 2002 under the pseudonym, CB Scott, along with my then writing partner, Cynthia Valero. After three published novels as CB Scott, I branched out with my first solo novel—JINXED—in 2004 and since then have published eleven more novels under my name, with several more on the way.
The journey to becoming a published author was a challenge, but I honed my craft and persevered. Let me just say that the thick skin I developed as an entertainer proves advantageous to this day. Perseverance, dedication to craft, and networking in a wise and genuine manner helped me to achieve my publishing dream. I thank all those, and there have been many, who have guided and supported me along the way. A special shout out to those who were there in the beginning and continue to cheer me on. Many are multi-published authors or industry professionals and I remain in awe of their generosity.
Sandra Chastain, Kathryn Falk, Carol Stacy, Heather Graham, Connie Perry, Cynthia Valero, Julia Templeton, Mary Stella, Stephanie Bond, Helen Rosburg, Elle J Rossi, and my husband, Steve Ciotta.
I thank all of the editors I’ve had the pleasure of working with and I am forever grateful for the enthusiastic support of my literary agent, Amy Moore-Benson.
I am a proud member of the New Jersey Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America and Novelist, Inc. and attend writers and readers conferences whenever possible.
As for my publishing history, I am presently published in paranormal, historical, and contemporary romance and have written for Imajinn Books, Medallion Press, and HQN (Harlequin). I most recently signed with St. Martin’s Press to write a new contemporary series—CUPCAKE LOVERS, and with NAL (Penguin) to write a new steampunk series—GLORIOUS VICTORIOUS DARCYS. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, I also signed with Nocturne (Harlequin) to write a novella for an upcoming Christmas Anthology, spearheaded by my dear friend, NYT bestselling author, Heather Graham.
When I’m not enjoying life with my wonderful husband, two fabulous dogs, and our crazy cat, I’m living my dream as a storyteller. I’m so very grateful to the readers, booksellers, and librarians who make that possible! The journey continues . . .
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”—C.S. Lewis