When did you first realize you wanted to become a Writer/author?
I’ve been writing, in some form or fashion, since I was in junior high. I was on the newspaper/yearbook staff in high school, and took all the writing classes I could. I actually went into the service with plans to be a field journalist with the Army, but there were no positions open for it when I joined, which was very disappointing for me. But it all worked out in the end. :)
Where do you get your ideas for your book?
I’ll get an idea for a specific character, who (s)he is, what they do. Then it tends to snowball from there…who they’ve fallen for, what that person does. I tend to brainstorm and let ideas brew before committing them to a book...I kicked around ideas for Her Last Love for nearly a year before ever writing a word!
What kind of things do you enjoy when not writing?
I love movies. Usually chick flicks or comedies, but I’ve been known to throw in an action movie here and there. I’ve also recently taken up oil painting. It’s a challenge, but I’m really enjoying it. My family and I also like to take day trips, where we just decide where to go, jump in the car and drive. Those days don't happen too often, but are a good time when we do.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written two, but I have to say the first is my favorite. Not necessarily for the writing or story (though I do love the story), but because it was my first book. It came with the realization that this writing thing was something I could actually do.
Do you have any suggestions to help others who have a passion for writing?
First and foremost, just write. It doesn't have to be great, or even perfect in terms of grammar, punctuation, etc. Just get the words down and deal with the rest later. Second, make friends in the writing community. I have great author friends who are always there to answer questions, to lift me up when I get frustrated, to help spread the word about my work, and so on. These friends have helped me make great strides in my work, and the writing community is, for the most part, very tight knit and extremely supportive.
What do you think makes a great story?
Keeping the situations and characters believable, making the characters someone you could know in real life. There have been times where I've picked up a book, started reading, and found the plot or characters were too far-fetched for my liking. I tend to not finish reading books like those, but it's just a matter of personal taste. :)
Which Writer/Authors inspire you?
Nora Roberts, hands down. From the first time I picked up one of her books, I’ve been sucked into her stories. Plus, her determination to take her writing and make the dream happen….totally inspiring.
What are you working on at the moment?(optional)
I’ve got a couple projects going at the moment. One is a top secret thing, with only my PA and myself knowing the details (it’s been really fun – and really hard – to keep it a secret!). That will be revealed & released on May 27 (I have an event set up on my FB book for it, if anyone’s interested in joining me for the reveal). And I’m also working on finishing up the third book of the Small Town Hearts trilogy.
What genre are your books?
I write contemporary romance. I’m a sucker for a good love story. :) I do have plans for a future work to include a bit of mystery, which I'm excited about.
What drew you to the genre you write?
The Happy Ever Afters. HEAs are not something that necessarily happen in life too often, so it’s nice to be able to make them happen in my books…even if it is for fictional characters!
Which Actor/Actress would you like to see portraying the lead character from your most recent book?(any book you like)
Oh, wow...that's a tough one! I think for Her Last Love, I'd like to see Amy Adams play Lynn, with Chris Pine as Carter. Juliette Hough and a brown-eyed Harry Cavill would make a great Kari/Marc duo from When Love Comes Home!
Do you write full-time or part-time?
At the moment, I'm part-time. Depending on my daily schedule, I tend to write during my lunch breaks and/or for a couple of hours after my kids have gone to bed. I try to pack more into my days off from work, but there are a lot of times where those days are filled with chores or appointments...I just fit in writing where I can.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The hardest thing, for me, is not necessarily about the writing, but the other stuff that comes along with it. I enjoy marketing, but reaching new readers can be really hard.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded Writer’s block?
My writer’s block almost always clears in one of three places…the shower, behind the wheel of my car, or as I’m lying in bed going to sleep. lol My best advice is to take a walk, or find something that relaxes you, and shut off your brain for a bit. When you’re focused on something else is usually when the words start to flow again.
Do you read much, and if so who are your favorite Authors or genres?
I read as much as time allows. Working full time and raising a family, plus carving out time to write, tends to make this difficult. But, I squeeze in a few pages where I can, usually riding in the car or just before bedtime.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Just a couple things. :) I do a monthly book box giveaway on my FB page, plus I have events scheduled every 2-3 months for readers to take part in. Also, I am the creator/editor for Bookish Indie Ezine, where readers and indie authors can connect (https://www.facebook.com/bookish.ezine/). The first issue is out and it's a hit!
How can Readers discovery more about you and your work?(please provide proper links)
I'm a social media junkie, so I'm pretty easy to find! lol I love interacting with readers, so I hope your followers will decide to follow me!
Website (signed paperbacks available): hcbentley5.wix.com/hc-bentley
Thank you so much for having me a part of your interviews...this has been fun and I've really enjoyed it! :)