1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
In Fortune's Hero, definitely Quinn. Quinn's awesome. Overall... that might be Quinn too. He's really pretty cool.
2. Tell me about your travels.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?
You're gonna be sorry you asked... I've been an actress, a waitress, a restaurant hostess, a receptionist, a bank teller, a travel agent, an airline employee, a bed and breakfast reservationist, a tour guide, a store clerk, a real estate agent, a home renovator... some of them a couple times each. I have a tour management degree I've never used, too. There's honestly very little I haven't tried to become at one time or another.
5. Who are you reading right now?
Lois McMaster Bujold. Her latest Vorkosigan book was released in November - Ivan's story, Lord Vorpatril's Alliance - and I've been gobbling it up. She's one of my auto-buys: I buy - and read - her books the instant they're available. And I've been waiting a long time to see who Ivan ended up with!
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
In Fortune's Hero, it's the scene where Elsa - the heroine - has to kill Quinn, the hero. It's only a few pages long, but it's ugly, and while I was writing it, it felt like it would never end. On a larger scale, I wrote a book once called Close to Home, the 4th book in the Cutthroat Business mystery series, and I had set up that whole five-book series, or story arc, as one long book, with three acts, a dark moment, and a climax and resolution. Book 4 is the dark moment, the whole damn thing, and it's the fastest book I've ever written. I cranked those 90,000 words out in a month and a half, because I couldn't stand being in the character's head any longer.
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I'm a pretty dedicated pantser. However, lately, I've tried to work with some very basic outlines - just the three high points, say; two pages at the most - and for the shorter books I've written lately - 50,000-60,000 words vs. my usual 85,000-95,000 - it seems to help me keep on track and wander less. I can't outline in too much detail, though, because it takes away any desire to actually write the book. I like to discover as much as I can of the story as possible as I write it. And even with the super-short outlines, I find that a lot of the details change as I go along.
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
Very big and difficult question, because I read everything, and write almost everything too. Elizabeth Peters is one of the bigger influences on the mysteries. Jennifer Crusie for the romances, I think. Lois McMaster Bujold is definitely the biggest influence for the science fiction. If you go back far enough in time, you get to people like Enid Blyton and the many Carolyn Keanes, not to mention a Norwegian children's author named Berit Brænne, who wrote a book series about a little Norwegian girl named Trine who picked up siblings all over the world, traveling with her sea captain father. Ever since then, I've been interested in stories about people developing relationships across cultures and borders and differences. Which is one of the themes of Fortune's Hero, incidentally.
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
New York Times bestselling author Jennie Bentley/Jenna Bennett writes the Do It Yourself home renovation mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and the Cutthroat Business mysteries for her own gratification. She also writes a variety of romance, from contemporary to futuristic and from paranormal to romantic suspense. Her latest release is Fortune's Hero, first in the Soldiers of Fortune science fiction romance series from Entangled Publishing. For more information, please visit her website, www.jennabennett.com.
Last year, space smuggler Quinn Conlan was on top of the world. He had everything a man could want: a fast ship, a great crew, a gorgeous girlfriend, lots of money, and adventure and excitement around every corner.
That all changed when he agreed to ferry a shipload of weapons to the beleaguered planet Marica, currently under siege by Rhenian forces. Now he’s stuck in a prison camp on the moon Marica-3, subjected to weekly sessions with the camp’s “medical team,” and praying for a quick death before he breaks under the torture and spills everything he knows about the Marican resistance.
When the opportunity presents itself, Quinn takes a Rhenian med tech hostage and heads into the inhospitable interior of the small moon. There, he has to keep himself and Doctor Elsa Brandeis safe from the deadly flora and fauna, as well as hidden from the prison guards searching for them, all while formulating a plan for getting his crew out of prison, his ship out of impound, and everyone out of orbit.
But when Elsa professes her love, can Quinn take the beautiful doctor at her word, or will trusting her—and his heart—condemn him and his crew to an eternity on Marica-3?
Purchase information at Entangled Publishing.