Beth Barany

Beth coaches and teaches writers and those who want to write. She's done so in two of her favorite places in the world (so far): the San Francisco Bay Area and Paris, France. Raised in Sonoma County, California, Beth knew she wanted to be a writer from a young age, and started at age 7 by writing her first book about her family's cats with her brother. Beth started teaching writing by teaching it to ESL students in Oakland, California. Soon, they were surprised to be writing short stories in their new English-language skills, and most importantly, they were enjoying it. (Well, most of them were.) Determined to get published, Beth published her first journalism article in the Paris Free Voice while she was living in the City of Lights in the early 1990s. It only took four tries and five rewrites! From working in journalism for 15 years, Beth switched her focus to fiction, and now writes fantasy and science fiction. She currently has a young adult fantasy novel under consideration by agents and editors. On her off-hours, Beth enjoys the outdoors, gardens, watches movies, and reads! Beth is married to singer/song-writer and high school physics teacher, Ezra Barany.

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  • Beth Barany

    Hi Carol, Thanks again for your wonderful column and for sharing your newfound and hard fought wisdom with us!

  • Carol Anne Olsen Malone

    I couldn’t have done it without you, Beth.

  • Marj

    Well, that was interesting. Such a very different experience from mine. I just started writing, had no help at all, and quite a bit of hostility. I had written a dozen books before the one I knew was good, and only after that plus two sequels did I even discover my online writing friends.
    Now I’m published, a couple of my family have shown a bit of support, and others remain hostile or at least, indifferent.
    So just to assure people, even if you have no support, have not had the wit to do it right as Carol did, you can still write and publish books and even sell them.
    Marj. (M. A. McRae)

  • Carol Anne Olsen Malone

    Marj, thank you for your comment. You are absolutely correct, you do not need the support of another soul to write or to become a great author and publish books. Congratulations on publishing your trilogy. I applaud you and celebrate your success with you. Please share your successes.

    I wrote six manuscripts before ever seeking help to see if they were good enough to publish. They weren’t, by the way. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t pour my soul into each one and will publish them someday with the knowledge I’ve acquired since writing them.

    None of my family members have shown any interest in my published book even when I asked them to read my work for reviews. Friends were indifferent much like yours. I think people are hostile when you tell them you’re a writer because they are envious and maybe the time you spend writing takes you away from them.

    I only know my journey went easier because I was lucky enough to find people who have trodden the path to publication ahead of me and knew the pitfalls of the writing process and mentored me.

    But it didn’t take another person for me to realize I loved being an author and could write whatever I wanted to write. I realized that if I never wrote for another person, if my manuscripts remain locked up on my hard drive, and I’m the only one who reads them, then I would be happy with that. And if I want to publish one by myself without anyone else’s input, then I will.

    No. You do not need anyone’s help to be a world-class author. You have to admit, it’s nice to have a shoulder to stand on when you reach for the stars.