Here is my Author Interview with H.C. Bentley hope you all enjoy 😉
Question 1… Hello and thank you so much for taking part in my author interview, why not tell us all a little about yourself, where are you from? Do you write full time or as a hobby? Do you prefer to use a pen name or your own?
Hi! Thanks so much for having me today! I’m the married mom of two teenage girls, living and working in my hometown in western Kentucky. I’m a military vet turned librarian (kind of a big leap, I know). I write around my work and family schedule, so it’s part time (though I don’t consider it a hobby). My pen name is my name, technically. lol. I say that because they’re the initials of my first and maiden names. I started writing young, and my parents were my biggest supporters, so I wanted their name represented in my pen name as well.
Question 2 … I have seen by being nosy on your Facebook page and on Amazon that you have a series of novels called ‘Small town hearts’ (Her Last Love) (When Love Comes Home) I do believe that this is a trilogy set. Why did you chose to do a trilogy? What are your stories about? How did you imagine the characters, did they just come to you or did you take time in planning them?
Yes, Small Town Hearts is a trilogy, though I didn’t intend to start out that way. It’s series of stories based on three friends, with the theme of second chances in love. I could see the women, knew their personalities, before I ever created their lives (so to speak). The strong red-head, the sassy and determined blond, the quiet and loyal brunette….all friends from their school days that just complement and understand each other.
It’s funny how the trilogy snowballed. I had started out writing the second book first, with the intention of it being a stand-alone. But the story of one of the other female characters tugged at me, so after a bit of consideration, I decided to write her story first and to give each of the three women their own story. I’ve loved exploring their lives and their friendship, so I’m glad I went with the trilogy. It will be hard to move on from them when the time comes.
Question 3 … What genre do you prefer to write in? Is it the same genre you also like to read?
I write, and mainly read, contemporary romance. I do branch out every once in a while with some biographies and mysteries, but I always come back to romance. I enjoy the relationships, the interactions, and of course, the HEA.
Question 4 … Do you have any other works in the pipeline? What are they and do you plan to write them as a series too?
I do have a book in planning for after the trilogy is done! It will be a stand-alone…I’m looking forward to being able to being open to new ideas without being tied down to a specific series. And this one is going to be a bit different for me…it’s going to have blackmail, mystery, and of course, romance. But it will also involve a lot of research and getting the details just right. I’m really excited to get going with this one!
Question 5 … With the books you have published did you decided to self-publish or go traditional and why? Would you do the same for your next novels?
I have been self-published all the way. I did start out with the daunting task of querying agents and publishers. I think I contacted something like 30 or 40 over the course of a year. And I always got the reply “we don’t think we’re the right fit for your work.” Which got me to thinking…why am I trying to conform to someone else’s fit? I like what I write and don’t want to change it to fit a cookie-cutter standard. So, I’ll remain a self-published author unless the right publisher comes along.
Question 6 … Do you have any writing rituals, such as listening to music, laying out your desk in a certain order or always having a cup of coffee by your side?
I rarely, if ever, sit at a desk to write. My best writing marathons have happened with me propped up on a mountain of pillows on my bed, with a glass of tea on the night stand and the laptop on my legs. I do, however, have one ritual. I listen to rain. I have an app that simulates rain and storms on my phone, and I almost always have it playing in the background when I write. It helps me focus.
Question 7 … Who is your favourite author? Has any of their works impacted on how you write your own?
I am a die-hard Nora Roberts fan. Her work has influenced me more than anyone else. The way she writes her characters makes them very relatable, like they could be someone you know. I love reading characters like this, and strive to make my characters people my readers can identify with.
Question 8 … How long does it normally take you to write a book from start to finish including editing?
I’ve tried to keep it to under a year, simply because I know how I am about waiting for new titles from favourite authors! I can’t say that will always be the case, of course, but that’s my goal.
Question 9 … Do you stick to a strict writing schedule or do you write if and when you can?
When I’m at home and in a writing cycle, I try to set aside at least an hour at night after the kids have gone to bed. Sometimes I go longer than that, and there are nights where I don’t write at all. It just depends on what I have going on, how strong the urge to write is, etc. I’ve also been known to write during my lunch breaks at work. I’ve learned to write where and when I can.
Question 10 … What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out as a writer and wants to publish their works?
First and foremost, just write. Get your ideas and words down on paper or in a writing document on your computer. The technical stuff – the grammar, punctuation, all that – can be learned and your manuscript can be tweaked for them later. But if you have no words written, there’s nothing to tweak and make better.
Second, network with other writers. Especially in your genre. Find writing groups where you feel at home The writing community is amazing, and I’ve met (and become friends with) so many talented individuals who have been more than happy to answer questions, read over my work, and just lend a hand of help or support.
Third….read, read, read. Anything that snags your interest. You can learn a lot by reading the writing of others!
Question 11 … Finally is there anything you would like to add?
I’d like to extend an invitation to all the romance readers out there to attend my author takeover release party on Facebook for When Love Comes Home (which is available for pre-order on both Amazon and Kobo, and releases November 5)! It’s going to be a two day event, with an amazing line up of authors, along with games and giveaways. It’s going to be a great time and I hope your readers will stop by to help me celebrate!
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Thank you so much for taking part H.C. Bentley and I wish you all the best with your upcoming release.