The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

I also edit, critique, and blog. So, please be nosy and look around.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Talkin' Tuesday with Sondrae Bennett!

Good morning everyone! WOW, what a night of rain, here in the Northeast of the US. At least we didn't get any in the house. :) 

Today I have Sondrae Bennett who's paranormal romances sizzle off the page! 
WELCOME, come in, have a seat. How about a cuppa coffee? Cream and sugar? Don't mind the bandsaw noise, you'll get used to it. If my husband comes in to bug us, we'll just start talking about woman issues and he'll run. Heeheehee

-What's your favorite read & series?
SB-I can’t get enough of Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series. She has such a fantastic way of incorporating humor into her stories and characters. If I didn’t order the ebooks, I’d be waiting outside the bookstore for them to open on release days, lol.

-What/who got you reading?
SB-I’ve always been a big reader. I was the kid in school who spent recess with their nose in a book. The first books I really remember loving were the Boxcar Children books. Other books I loved as a kid were the Shannara series by Terry Brooks, and the Belgariad series by David Eddings. I didn’t start reading romance until I was twelve when I read my first Nora Roberts book. I was immediately hooked, and it’s been my favorite genre ever since.
I'm a Nora Roberts creeper. :)
-Writing was a natural thing for you, but what part of it is the hardest?
SB-Knowing when to put the computer away. Between writing, editing, forums and my social sites, it would be so easy to stay on the computer all the time. But I’m learning to put it down and get out when I need a break.
Its crazy how much time you can suck without meaning to. I used to use a timer for advertising time, social and forums, so I wouldn't go over. You know what? I think I need to start that up again!
-You have very unique shape shifters. What pulled you to do that?

SB-When I wrote Arctic Winds, I was fascinated by the idea of fox shifters. I was really drawn to that animal. Jason, the hero in Arctic Winds, was originally a fox shifter, but he kept resisting and finally convinced me he was a wolf. Everything kind of spiraled from there. I thought about what animals I wanted to be shifters and then I ran with it. I just finished writing the fourth book in the series and it revisits the fox shifter idea, featuring Cody, a neighboring alpha who appears in the first book. 

-Too organized Plotter or Maniac Panster?
SB-Honestly, I’m a little bit plotter and a little bit pantser. I like to plot out the books but leave the ending blank. The reality never follows the plan though. I usually end up plotting a bit, writing what I plot, then let what I have simmer in my head before plotting another section and inching forward that way. 

-You have a new beautiful website up, as of June. What did you want it to say to readers and what inspired you to change it?
SB-Thank you! I’m pretty proud of my website as I ended up doing it myself. I wanted it to be a place readers could go to find out…pretty much whatever they want to about me and my books. Somewhere they could get the information about upcoming releases straight from the source, and find out how/where to find me/contact me.  

-Is there anything we all would be shocked to know about you?
SB-Probably a lot of things, lol, but I’m not really sure what would shock people. I’m a reality tv/gameshow junkie. Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Brother, RuPaul’s Drag Race…I love them all. I even used to have a pool for Survivor with some friends where we all picked one person to win. I’m also a big nerd. One of my favorite movies is Star Wars (the original trilogy), and I play video games (when I can find the time which isn’t as often as I’d like).  

For Fun
Wine with cheese or Beer with TV? 
Both but if I have to choose, Wine with cheese.
Paperback or ebooks?  
 Ebooks but I still buy both

Great cook or master at ordering take out? 
Definitely master at ordering take out. I’m trying to change that, but still a long way away from great cook.  

Sexy in flannel nightwear or hopin' to get lucky silk? 
Sexy in flannel
Romance, comedy, or horror movies?
Horror movies

What's your biggest pet-peeve, in the world, that makes you want to beat something/someone? 
Rudeness. There’s no need for it.

Back to Work
-You've been working on losing weight/getting in shape. Congrats! I remember losing 50 pounds ten years ago and feeling great! I've fluctuated a little but push myself to stay on the health side. What made you decided to do the life change? For me it was learning my dad developed heart problems from his weight. And, how are you fitting it in your schedule?
SB-I’ll be honest, there really wasn’t a big life altering thing that made me want to do it. I put on the weight after going through a rough patch a couple years ago, losing my grandfather, my job, and breaking up with my long term boyfriend all within the course of three weeks. To escape from it all, I turned to food. And as I’m sure many people can understand, putting weight on is a whole hell of a lot easier than taking it off. So even after things turned around, I was left with the weight. One day, I decided enough was enough. I’m only about half way through my journey, but I’m plugging away. I’ve lost about 25 pounds to date and just started doing a yoga class three times a week.  I’ve only been taking the classes for a week, but so far I’m loving it. 
That's a tough three weeks, but you totally proved yourself to be stronger. :)

-Are you insanely organized or are there note written on everything?
SB-There are notes written on everything when it comes to plot, characters, and other story things. But when it comes to receipts, contracts, and the things relating to the business of writing, I’m insanely organized. I have file boxes and binders all labeled and sorted. 

-What's the biggest misconception people have about you & your writing?
SB-I’m always surprised at the amount of people who ask me if I’m following the paranormal trend because I write paranormal romance. I’m a firm believer in writing what you love, and I happen to love romance, especially the paranormal variety. My first romance book was one of Nora Roberts light paranormal romances way back in the 90s and it’s what made me fall in love with romances. I love the other worldliness of the stories. The possibilities are endless. And since I’ve always been an animal person, the idea of shifters immediately appealed. It certainly wasn’t a decision to write what was popular, but to write what I want to read. 

-Do you ever get so overwhelmed you want to quit?
SB-Overwhelmed, no. Discouraged, of course. At those times I just have to give myself a pep talk and remind myself why I write. I love what I do. I love taking people into a different world and entertaining them. As long as I’m accomplishing that, I’m on the right track. 

-You are a busy woman with two releases this year and The Wolf Within coming out in November. What do you do to keep yourself grounded and focused?
SB-This is particularly hard for me, since so much of what I do involves getting lost in my own head. But I set a goal for how much I want to write every month and also every year. So I guess setting goals and trying to stick to them keeps me focused. I’m a firm believer in goals. 
Very good advice! And allow yourself room to breath, in case something tries to throw you off track. 
-What part of writing makes you want to pull your hair out and scream like a banshee?
SB-When I get stuck and have to rewrite. This year I started a story three different times before shelving the idea for a while and try again another time. That’s frustrating. To pour so much research and plotting time into something only to realize it’s not working. 

-Any advice for aspiring writers?
SB-Read as much as you can. Learn as much as you can about writing, about the publishing industry, about grammar. Never stop learning, even after being published. And don’t be afraid or discouraged by rejection. Sometimes it can show us what we need to work on, and sometimes it can lead us to something even better.
Very true words!

Sondrae Bennett has shared her latest story with us, Chasing Paradise. ENJOY!

He’ll do whatever it takes to earn back her trust.

A vacation is exactly what Ethan needs to escape the mate hungry females in his pack. Determined to have fun, he can’t think of a better way to start than sampling all the different flavors the shifter only resort has to offer, and not the food variety. But after he meets Gwen, no one else holds any interest for him. Ethan came on vacation to avoid mating. There’s no way he’s going to give up his freedom without a fight.

Gwen is devastated when she hears her mate denying everything they are to each other. She can’t sit by, watching him fool around with other girls at the resort. Or worse, crawl back, unable to resist the mating pull but not really wanting her. She needs to get away and her own vacation sounds like the perfect plan. But she should have remembered what her mother always taught her, never run from a predator unless you want them to chase you. The hunt is on…

WARNING: This title contains explicit sex.

Where you can find Sondrae Bennett:
Link to amazon page:
Link to Chasing Paradise:
I can also be found on twitter and facebook. 

Everyone Have a Sparkling Day and I'll see you next week when I have car racing romance author, Sutton Fox!


  1. Great interview!! Sondrae is awesome!!! Good luck!!

  2. huh...I posted a comment yesterday and it seems to never have posted. Strange.

    Thanks for having me Rebecca! And thanks for stopping by Stephanie!