Q & A with Connecticut Authors: Beth Turley
September 22, 2022 • Features & News, Q & A

Registration is open for the 2022 Connecticut Book Awards!

When: October 23, 2022 | 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Where: Hartford Public Library


Please note that clicking the button will bring you to another site for registration.


COVID is still with us, although easing off a little, thank goodness. Did you have a favorite comfort genre to turn to when things were looking bleak? Something that lifted you away and to a different place for a while?

My comfort genre during COVID turned out to be “re-reads.” I found a lot of comfort in revisiting favorite books to cope with the stress. When everything felt so unpredictable, it was nice to sink into something that I knew would be a solid and certain escape from the craziness. This spanned all kinds of genres – middle grade contemporary, adult romance, anything familiar!

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get inspiration from setting. I like to have a strong sense of season in my books, whether it be the chill of October or the first days of summer vacation. Very specific feelings and images can be conjured up just from the time of year a book takes place in (especially when writing about places that resemble Connecticut), so I use that to influence my characters and their stories.

Who made reading important to you?

Absolutely my parents. My interest (obsession) with reading and writing really took off in kindergarten, and I think my parents knew even then how important books were going to be in my life. I appreciate all of the encouragement and support they gave me from the very beginning.

How would you describe your books?

I would describe my books as contemporary, character-centered, coming of age stories with a focus on the relationships that are so important for middle graders. I like to highlight small moments, big heartbreaks, and the connections between friends and family. I write the kind of books that I enjoyed the most as a middle grader, which were the books I could relate to my own experiences and use to put words to my feelings.

Who was your childhood hero?

As I child I was really inspired by female athletes, especially gymnasts and college basketball players. I was amazed by their skill and the level of effort and dedication they had put into their sport. I had the posters on my wall and everything; they were just so cool!

What message would you like to send to young readers? 

When I would sign my first book, If This Were a Story, I used the message “be brave, be kind, be you.” I think that can be advice for anyone, but it is especially my message to young readers. Be brave enough to feel your big feelings and conquer them. Be kind to others, because they’re having just as many big feelings as you are! And be you, because no one else out there is exactly like you.


Beth Turley is a graduate of the MFA in creative and professional writing program at Western Connecticut State University. She lives and writes in southeastern Connecticut, where the leaves changing color feels like magic and the water is never too far away. She is the author of If This Were a Story, The Last Tree Town, and The Flyers. Visit her on Twitter @Beth_Turley.




With the arrival of an envelope in the mail, Elena Martinez’s dreams come true: she’s been chosen for the Spread Your Wings Magazine’s Young Flyers program—a week-long summer internship where she’ll get to learn the ins and outs of working for the most popular teen magazine. She heads to New York City, anxious to get away from her best friend, who is suddenly spending a lot time with another girl from school and being secretive about it.

In NYC, she makes some new friends. As the four new friends explore the city that never sleeps, each girl brings a piece of home, and a few secrets, with them and learns that no one’s life is as glossy as it may appear. But with courage, teamwork, and lots of passion, there’s no stopping a Flyer.

Sign Up For Email Updates