Name H.C. Bentley
Age: As my Mema would have said, a lady never tells. So I’ll just say somewhere in my 30’s. 😉
Where are you from?
I’m from a little town in Kentucky…and I do mean little. We’re talking rural, one stoplight, everyone knows your business kind of small!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m working on a secret project, and driving everyone crazy because I won’t spill the beans. lol. I’m keeping it really close to the vest…the only other person who knows anything about it is my PA (she’s editing it for me), and even SHE hasn’t seen the cover yet!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been more of a creative person. Writing for me started in grade school, but by the time I was in middle school, I was entering national writing contests and placing in the top three of my category. That’s when I really knew I’d want to write books someday.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Oh, gosh. I’ve written two books (with two more in the works) and I still have a difficult time calling myself a writer!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had this idea for a story that just would not go away. It nagged at me for the better part of a year before I finally gave and wrote the thing. The product of all the nagging of my brain is Her Last Love.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I tend to write how I talk, for the most part. I try to keep the characters and dialogue true to life, because there’s nothing worse than stiff characters and awkward speech. Of course, this also means there’s sarcasm, some attitude, and a few swear words. lol
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It’s kind of a play on words. Without giving too much away, Carter was the last man Lynn ever loved, and after time apart, will be the very last. I hope that makes sense!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That second chances don’t come around often for the things that matter, so they should be grabbed with both hands!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Bits and pieces. I was in the military, so that helped when creating the character of Lynn.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I’m an avid reader, and can devour a book a day, given the time. So there is no way I can choose.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
To be honest, I’ve been so busy lately with my own projects that I have had the time to branch out to reading new authors. As for my favorite, anyone who knows me knows I’m a Nora Roberts junkie. lol. The woman is my writing idol, and I’ve read probably 90% of everything she’s written. I love how relatable her characters are (something I strive for myself).
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The indie author community is AMAZING. There have been so many indies who I’ve come to consider friends, and there is always someone to answer a question, offer support, or lend an ear when things sometimes go sideways.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to be able to write full time. But, I have two teenagers who will be off to college in a few short years, so unless I hit the big time with my books, I’ll still be writing while working full-time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I’m pretty happy with how everything went. 🙂
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It’s been so long ago, I really don’t. Writing is something that’s always just been a part of me.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Other than the teasers on my Facebook page, I can’t! lol. I’m not being difficult, I promise, but it’s just that my current work is the secret project, which won’t be revealed until May 27th! I’m working on the last book of my trilogy now, but it’s nowhere near ready to share.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the time to write! With raising a family and working full time, there are days where I’m too tired to try to write (and it makes me a little cranky when I can’t write!).
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Right now, no. My books are set in Kentucky at the moment, so no travel necessary (though I’m always hopeful to have an excuse!)
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
That would be me. 🙂 Before I went to work full time at my local library, I owned and ran my own photography studio, photographing mainly newborns, children and families. Learning the design aspect of things, not to mention the software, was a huge help in doing my own covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
With the first book, it was learning when to stop and knowing it would never be ‘perfect’. Oh, and letting others read it. That part was terrifying.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
So much! Not only technical points of the writing itself, but the formatting, marketing (oh, the marketing), and so forth.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Someone asked me this question not too long ago, and it really made me think! For Her Last Love, Amy Adams would make a great Lynn, with Chris Pine as Carter. A brown-eyed Henry Cavil paired with Juliette Hough would make a great Kari/Marc duo for When Love Comes Home!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just write, worry about all the other stuff later. Read (a lot). Ask questions, get feedback.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love my readers! I enjoy hearing from them, so I always invite them to follow me on social media. Having a reader pop in to say hi or tell me they’ve read my book makes my day! 🙂
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m between books as I’m working on finishing the secret project and getting the last book of the trilogy ready for editing. I just finished re-reading The Obsession (so good!).
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t. I do remember being a big Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl fan as a kid, though. Oh, and The Babysitter’s Club! My favorite series growing up.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My daughters both have a fun sense of humor, and something one of them says or does makes me laugh just about every day. Really emotional scenes in books or movies can make me cry (my husband has learned to ignore it), as do big moments in the lives of my family.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
If we’re talking writing-related, I’d love to meet Nora Roberts one day. Just so I can tell her how much I love her work and how it’s inspired me to be a writer. And, yeah, I’d want to pick her brain a bit too. 😉
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Never really gave it much thought, since I’ll probably be cremated. lol
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Reading, traveling with my family. I’ve recently taken up oil painting…that’s been an interesting adventure so far!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love romantic comedies, and too many shows to mention. I like dramas, and shows with a cop/political theme. I’m an NCIS junkie, a Scandal addict, and my oldest daughter and I watch Designated Survivor together every week without fail.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
The only one of these I can be definitive on is my favorite color (blue). I love food and music…two of my favorite things, actually! With food, I enjoy foods from all over the world. To name a few…Greek, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Yugoslovian…I’ve tried (and loved) them all. As far as music, it depends on the day. I’m pretty eclectic…my playlist includes Adele, Maroon 5, Sam Smith, Justin Timberlake, Elvis, The Eagles, Tim McGraw….you get the idea. lol
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
If money were no object, I’d own a restaurant or food truck.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do! My website is http://hcbentley5.wixsite.com/hc-bentley . It’s main hub for everything…links to social media, my blog, signed paperbacks, eBooks, newsletter signups…they’re all there! 🙂
LINKS &SOCIAL MEDIA:
BUY LINK (Signed paperbacks & eBooks):
There’s just something about a small town that makes relationships interesting, whether they are romances, long-running feuds, or life-long friendships. These are the relationships H.C. Bentley enjoys discovering and exploring. Well that, and the fact she just loves a good happily ever after or second chance story.
When she’s not writing, H.C. works as a cataloging librarian at her county library. In her spare time, you can find her playing pool, traveling with her family, or curled up watching movies (romantic comedies are a favorite!). She’s also an avid reader, leaning towards various authors of romance and chick lit, but her favorite is Nora Roberts.
A southern girl at heart, H.C. calls Kentucky her home. After opting to join the military to pay for college, she spent three years stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany before returning to her hometown in rural western Kentucky, where she and her husband live with their two daughters.
H.C. loves chatting with readers. You can contact her through her website, or any of her social media.
Her Last Love blurb
She left for the military thinking she would have it all. The career, the man she loved, a family of her own. Then her fiancé issued an ultimatum: come home and marry him, or lose him forever.
Eight years later, Lieutenant Lynn Johnston returns to her small Kentucky hometown with a secret to keep and a desire to find peace. Her planned lifelong career had been cut short by events beyond her control. Now, she hoped that she could forge a new path, one that would heal her heart and help to put her past behind her. Those hopes are dashed when she discovers Carter Mathis, her former fiancé, has also returned and is raising his two young sons.
Lynn must decide if she can deal with not only the old hurt feelings from the past — and Carter’s soon-to-be ex who has a vendetta against Lynn– to give Carter a second chance. A deadly collapse at the coal mines where Carter works, an accident that rocks the town, could possibly take the choice out of her hands. Does she confront her feelings and move forward, or leave the life she’s always wanted behind?
When Love Comes Home blurb
The summer before she left for college, Kari Nelson had the world in the palm of her hand. She was on her way out of her small hometown and out from under the thumbs of her controlling parents. But more importantly, she was in love for the first time.
That summer would change her life forever.
Years after returning home unexpectedly, Kari is no longer a naive and hopeful teenager. She’s a grown woman who has been married and divorced, and is now a single mother who balances running a respectable business while also raising her daughter. The daughter Marc Eaddens, the boy she’d loved all those summers ago, didn’t know he had.
That boy is now a man who’s returned to town to take over the family business from his ailing father. Sparks fly and tensions rise when he discovers the truth about the girl in Kari’s life. Will he forgive Kari for keeping her secret – and his daughter – to herself? And can the two of them come together for their child…and themselves?