Romance Author ~ Isla Bennet

1. If you could trade places with any of your leading ladies, who would it be and why?? Definitely I would trade places with Valerie Jordan, the heroine in TEXAS REDEEMED. She can ride the hell out of a horse, gives as good as she gets and is strong enough to overcome a lot of challenges to get the man she’s loved all her life.

2. In 5 words, please describe your ‘Romance Writing Style’. To be truly honest, I go into low-maintenance hot-mess mode when I’m writing. Not too long ago I tweeted that a hot guy I haven’t really gotten to know yet (I call him Stranger Man) found it sexy that I write romance. Sitting on the floor, typing, wearing a Barbie T-shirt and eating Pringles, is sexy? I’ll take it.

3. Are any of your more ‘passionate’ scenes, based on any real life experiences? Let’s just say I’m very educated. But where the hell would I be without an overactive imagination?

4. What is your ‘girl vice’? ie getting your hair done? Nails? Shopping? Gossiping? Chick flicks? Watching Hallmark movies. Really, there are some sweet feel-good gems out there.

5. Are any of your leading ladies, based on your you or any of the ladies in your life? If so, who? Valerie, the heroine of my debut contemporary romance, is many of the things I’m not. I’m almost intimidated by her, which is fascinating for me as a writer. I don’t know anyone like her, who’s been through what she’s been through. She’s someone I do admire.

6. When writing your more ‘adult’ scenes, do you picture what’s happening in your head, then write what you see? Of do you use another technique? I actually “see” it as I write it. I need to really be in the characters’ minds and have a solid idea of how sex affects them physically and emotionally. Nope, I wouldn’t call it a threesome.

7. This or That ~ Wine or Beer? Sex in the City or Caroline in the City? Perfume or Jewelry? Painted nails or Au Natural? Tall or Dark or Handsome? Beer! Sex in the City. Perfume. Painted nails. Handsome—definitely handsome, because it comes in a great variety of forms.

8. Do your leading men come from any place in particular? Dreams? Movie stars? Your partner? Past partners? Aside from looks, my leading men are totally fictional, which is a bummer because I’d really—no, seriously, REALLY—love to meet Doctor Peyton Turner, the hero from TEXAS REDEEMED. He’s got quite possibly everything I would want in a man. Alas, we wouldn’t make a good match because he’s meant for Valerie Jordan. 😉

9. What is the first romance novel you ever read? How old were you? There’s a historical romance I picked up on the school bus when I was in junior high. Pretty raunchy—much more interesting than algebra. And, of course, the same year I read Judy Blume’s FOREVER.

10. Do you write for a particular audience or for yourself and pray others like it as well? I walk a fine line between writing for myself and keeping in mind my audience. It’s not very simple to do.

11. What was the LAST (most recent) romance novel you read? Did you enjoy it? THE DERBY GIRL by Tamara Morgan. Hell to the yes, I enjoyed it! The heroine is kickass.

12. As a write of romance, do you ever put yourself in your leading lady’s shoes and ‘walk’ around in them before you write? Funny you should ask. I’m working on something now that offers up a heroine based on all of my “personality shortcomings.” She makes mistakes, doesn’t quite have it together, and I’m writing her as if I was in her shoes. Which is already rather challenging because in the first scene she’s rocking stilettos, and I am more of an UGG Boots kind of girl. LOL.

13. Would You Rather ~
Live 1 wk in your leading lady’s shoes
The leading lady from another author? Who & Why? I would love to be Josephine March from LITTLE WOMEN. I would certainly not refuse Laurie.

14. Do you have any advice to give the leading lady of the novel you are currently working on or just finished? To Valerie – you can breathe now. This man and this child are your happy ending.

15. How hard do you try to keep your ‘love’ scenes realistic and flow with the plot? Does it come easy for you? I’m a stickler for seeing to it that the sex makes sense in my books. Whether it’s a slow-burn romance or a hot, heavy-on-lust story, the sex must make logical sense and change things in a big way.

16. in 5 years, where would you like to be in your career as a romance author? 10 years? I’d love to win a RITA, whether within 5 years or 10 years. I want to write a book that reaches out and changes readers in some meaningful way. A reader commented that my debut reminded her of ATONEMENT, and it made me smile because ATONEMENT tortured me—it was so beautiful and tragic and heartbreaking. There’s quite a bit of beauty, tragedy and heartbreak in TEXAS REDEEMED, but I’ve been told that the one person who’d never, ever satisfy me is myself. Despite even that, such a comment made me think, and I doubt I’ll ever forget it.

17. When it comes to mainstream Romance authors, who do you enjoy curling up with to read? Nora Roberts. The woman’s an expert storyteller.

18. If your sweetheart wanted to sweep you off your feet, what would they need to do?? Look at me in my Barbie T-shirt and the shorts I stole from my brother, and call me sexy in a tone of voice that makes it clear that in no uncertain terms, he will spend the next several hours proving that he means what he says. Or, of course, just grab me and pick me up, such as a certain impossibly hot bartender did during a male revue… Okay, I’m not getting into that. Next question, please!

19. In the spectrum of ‘Romance’, where would you place your most recent novel? Closer to the ‘Sweet’ side or ‘Naughty/Erotica’ side or somewhere in the middle?? Straddlin’ the middle. It’s a slow-burn romance, and the hero and heroine have a hell of a lot of big issues in their way. When they do have sex, though, they don’t hold back. If you knew what they’d been through, you’d understand why.

20. Do you ever daydream about people you see at the park? Airport? Train station? Mall? And build romance scenes around them while you daydream? Nope, I never have. I envy authors who can do this.

21. This or That ~ Romantic Dinner at Home or Romantic Dinner Out? Roses or Lilies? Diamonds or Emeralds? Demure or Sex Kitten? Making love on a secluded Beach or Making love in a secluded cabin in the woods? Romantic dinner out. Roses. Diamonds. Sex Kitten (okay, more like Hellcat, but hey.) Making love in a cabin in the woods. I’m gonna need that one to happen. Soon.


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