When Allison Denman kisses her fiancé’s brother just days before her wedding, she’s not sure which is the mistake—the kiss or the wedding. It won’t be easy, but Allison is determined to find out. In her debut novel Wish You Were Here, Beth K. Vogt provides readers with a happily ever after woven through with humor, reality, and God’s lavish grace.
Vogt has had experience with her plans and God’s plans not lining up as expected. She is a non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction, but God had other plans for her. She decided to begin writing contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.
Q: You said you would never write a novel. What changed your mind?
I hit a season of burnout as a nonfiction writer and editor. I told my husband I was not going to write – ever, ever, ever again. He came home to find me at my computer and asked, “What are you doing?” When I confessed I was writing, he asked what happened to my never-going-to-write-again vow. I told him that I was having fun writing fiction and, since no one would ever see what I was writing, it didn’t count. That “just for fun” story became Wish You Were Here, my debut novel.
Q: How did the story come to you?
The catalyst for Wish You Were Here was a fiction assignment from the Christian Writers Guild Apprentice course. I took Jerry B. Jenkins’ Guild course to scrape all the rust off my writing ability when I was trying to get back on the writing road after motherhood detoured me for a few years. For the assignment I had to write one scene from three different points of view (POVs.) I’d written a wedding scene from the view of the bride, the best man, and the wedding photographer. The story is the answer to the questions: How did the bride get here and what happens next?
Q: In the story Allison’s father considered her to be a mistake. In what way?
Ah … that’s all part of the story. Did Allison’s father really think she was a mistake? Or did he think he’d made a mistake? Sometimes our perceptions of a situation can be mistaken.
Q: How do things that others say about us, especially our parents, impact us in a way that affects us the rest of our lives?
Scripture tells us that words can either kill or give life (Proverbs 18:21.) Parents represent a person’s first idea of “home” or “safety” – and it’s from our family we first develop an idea of who we are. So the words our parents speak to us are so, so crucial to our development. As parents, we have the powerful ability to speak a blessing over our child – and yet, sometimes we tragically miss that opportunity.
Q: No one is perfect, but do you believe there is such thing as someone “perfect for me”?
The greater challenge is: Am I willing to learn how to love someone in such a way that I become perfect for them – despite my imperfections? My husband and I have been married over 30 years. We are not the same people we were when we said “I do.” But the changes we’ve made – the way we’ve submitted to one another and forgiven one another, the way my husband has loved me sacrificially, the way I’ve tried to respect and love him no matter what – all this has made us perfect for one another.