Have you always wanted to be an author?
Hi Dawn! Thank you so much for having me on your site today! What a great question, and the answer to that would be no. J From a young age, I always knew I wanted to do something in the arts. I love performing and being in front of an audience and sharing a story. But I had no idea if that meant I’d become a dancer (I went to a performing arts middle school for dance), musician (I was a second violin for the All-City Orchestra here in Pittsburgh) or get into acting (it is a dream of mine to one day star opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in something…anything). But one summer day, I read Harlan Coben’s Tell No One and I knew I wanted to tell stories like that.
Are you a plotter or a punster or combo of both? And you explain the difference?
If a plotter plots every detail and a pantser just flies by the seat of their pants and dives right in, I’d say I’m probably a fair amount of both. I definitely outline – a lot – but by the time I’m in the thick of things with the writing, I veer off so much from the outline that it’s sort of like, why did I even draft it? But outlining helps get things in focus and helps me start, so it’s never a waste. J
What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Hmmm, great question. I don’t know! I don’t think I do anything very quirky, but maybe quirkiness is in the eye of the beholder. Let’s see…I tend to write wearing this great robe my Mom bought me for Christmas – it’s very Sherlock Holmes-esque. But then again, sometimes when I write, I wear just a t-shirt. It’s always a fashion show with me. J
Can you please tell us about your latest book(s)?
Sure! My latest book is called Irreversible, book 2 in the Truth and Love series. It’s about the relationship between best friends Sabrina James and Derek Archer. It’s a novella, but it’s packed full of romance, suspense and drama. Oh the drama!
How did you come with the idea for this story?
I always loved the relationship between Derek and Sabrina in Unstoppable. It’s full of such tension! Something happened between them, something big that knocked both of their worlds out of orbit. In Irreversible, I finally reveal that something. I call the story a gut-punch of a novel because the final confrontation between the two best friends is quite a doozy. (Do people still say “doozy”?)
Can you share with us your current work(s) in progress?
Gladly! I’m working on book 3 in the Truth and Love series. Unforgettable, fan favorite Jace Pearce’s book, is, like the other books, full of romance, suspense and action. It’s also probably THE sexiest book I’ve ever written. I can’t wait to share it with everyone!
Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why?
I can’t just list one author! Talk about the impossible. J I’d love to meet Harlan Coben! He’s changed my life and I’d ask him everything from writing process to what does Win wear to sleep in. He’s one of my biggest inspirations. (Harlan, not Win. Though Win is definitely inspiring in other ways. J) I’d also love to meet Sherry Thomas, a woman I greatly admire whom I chat with via email a lot and but have yet to see face-to-face. When I do, my plan is to kiss the ground she walks on. I’d love to meet Lisa Kleypas and Julia Quinn. You know, there’s so many authors who mean so much to me that it’d probably take years to meet them all!
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
For the beginning writer: Just do it. Dive in, head first. Be brave. Don’t compare yourself to others or think you’re not good enough. If you have a story inside you, share it. And finish it. Writing The End on a book is seriously one of the best things you can ever do and it will change the way you look at your work.
For the writer who has finished a book: Relax. Take a break. Give your mind a rest. Watch Chris Evans as Captain America or something. Then…revise. Revise, revise, revise. Get great beta readers to help you. But absolutely revise.
For the writer who has finished, revised, and is figuring out the tricky world of publishing: Research. There are so many authors and agents posting daily about the crazy world of publishing. People like Hugh Howey, JA Konrath, Kristin Nelson, Courtney Milan, CJ Lyons, Barry Eisler and so many more. Read them and learn from them because they really are such advocates for writers. They have no hidden agendas. And remember, this is your career. Go into it with eyes wide open.
Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?
I am DYING to get my hands on The Saint by Tiffany Reisz. I would KILL someone to read The King by Ms. Reisz as well. Oh, my heart fluttered just typing the title! Sherry Thomas’ The Perilous Sea is definitely on the Can’t-Wait-To-Read List. Harlan Coben’s newest Mickey Bolitar YA. Jeaniene Frost’s NA Beautiful Ashes. I could go on and on. J
What is one book everyone should read before they die?
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The prose, the imagery, the wit. It’s amazing!
What is your favorite time of year & why?
I’m so lucky in that Pittsburgh has such amazing seasons! Out of all of them, though, I adore fall time best. I just wish it lasts longer! J
Who is your Celebrity crush? And what would you do if you ever meet them?
Well, my heart will always belong to Leo DiCaprio. His work for environmental causes and animal rights is just inspiring. It’s my goal one day to have my own animal rights foundation and I’d love to just sit down and pick his brain.
But I also really am adoring Tony Goldwyn aka President Fitzgerald Grant II. If I met him, I’d probably just, I don’t know, yell in his face to “earn me!”
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just thank you! This interview was so fun!
Book Two in the Truth and Love Series
Sometimes, the path you’re on is a collision course. Sometimes, you find yourself surrounded by broken bits and pieces, shrapnel from a fall-out that you’ll be digging from beneath your skin for years. But the most painful of all these lessons is this: A single action can shatter everything to pieces.
Sabrina James is almost six feet tall, biracial, the butt of many school jokes and the bull’s-eye of many cruel pranks. Her only ally is her childhood friend—smart, beautiful and kind Derek Archer. When she overhears two girls talking about him in the school bathroom, she can’t help but confront them. And that’s when the bet is made…a dare that will have devastating consequences for everyone.
What happened that night between best friends Sabrina James and Derek Archer? It’s a question readers have been clamoring for since they finished Unstoppable, the first book in the Truth and Love series. Now, it will all finally be revealed. Irreversible is a gut-punch of a novel with a final confrontation that will leave you breathless.
“I have a big favor to ask you.”
Derek doesn’t glance up from his e-tab. He’s lying on his stomach across his bed. I’m standing in his doorway, hands braced on either side. I sigh and roll my eyes.
“Hello? Can you look up from your e-tab for a sec?”
His eyes meet mine before they go back to the tablet.
“That was nice and literal.”
“You said a second.”
I pick up a shirt from the floor and fling it at him. Unfortunately, he easily catches it. He shakes his head and scolds, “Violence is never the answer.”
In answer to his answer—the big idiot—I walk over to him, raise my hand high, and slap it hard on his ass. He yelps.
I ask, “Do I have your attention now?”
About the Author
Since her breakthrough into publishing in 2007, arts and entertainment writer Bethany Hensel has compiled a vast and varied catalogue of work that includes interviews with television personalities, bestselling authors, award-winning singers, and more; as well as reviews of popular books, Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, and beloved musicals. Her Truth and Love Series (Unstoppable, Irreversible, Unforgettable, Irreplaceable) has been called “sexy”, and “sizzling”. For more information, check bethanyhensel.com (http://bethanyhensel.com/)