Please give a warm welcome to my best friend and husband, Dana Bennett, author of Geared to the Present, Jones Whitman Time Travel Series and The Demarcation of Jack. Make sure to check back tomorrow to see the cover reveal for Geared to the Present!
What genre is your book? Do you write in other genres as well?
Geared to the Present, Jones Whitman, Time Traveler is a new adult, historical fiction, time travel romance. My wife and I recently published The Demarcation of Jack which is contemporary romance with a twist.
Do you use test readers? If so, how many?
I do use test readers or beta readers, as we call them, and they are invaluable to producing your best product. Usually around five. Make sure your list of questions for your readers will lend to perfecting your product.
What advice do you have for writer’s just starting out?
Write about what you love and it will show through in your work, but most importantly, write. Create a great product and it will sell itself; a good story with interesting characters combined with appropriate beta readers and a pro editor, and of course, a beautiful cover that tells the story of your book in one picture. A picture is worth a thousand, or in our case, 70 to 90 thousand words, or more. AND wear virtual earplugs for a while, ‘cause everybody’s an expert.
Do you outline your stories or just go with the flow?
It’s sort of an outline. I have an excel worksheet that lists scenes with characters, location and purpose of the scene. When I write I refer to the worksheet, but the characters don’t always read the worksheet and I can find myself being pulled in a whole new direction.
What does your writing space look like?
It’s an unorganized mess on my desk, but I have reminders of grammar issues hanging to my left and bio’s of all of my characters with photos hanging to my right. That helps me with their voices.
Do you have any writing rituals or interesting writing quirks?
Yes. I write best between eight and noon. I can go longer but the quality begins to diminish. I enjoy research. However, I can also find myself with ten websites open and may have forgotten the original question. 😉
Is there a message in your book(s) that you want readers to grasp?
I really enjoy strong female characters and men who aren’t afraid to show emotions, so the characters are constantly surprising me with some of their dialogue. I hope to free both men and women from their contrived, role expectations.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
I suppose that might be Roark. He is a six foot eight inch man of Irish descent who has been hired by Jones as a bodyguard. So he needed to be tough but lovable as well. My wife, who is my first reader, says that Jones and Roark have a bromance going on that she really likes.
What do you do to stay sane as a writer?
Write. Work on something else. I also work with my hands as a carpenter, which gives a different kind of creative outlet.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Spending precious time with my best friend, Blakely Bennett. I do have projects outside of the home, but whenever I can I am at her side, talking about the future, better ways to play, what our characters are up to and new ideas for stories.
Do you read your reviews and if so, how do you cope with a bad one?
I do read reviews. I respect that POV is just that. When I’ve worked really hard, as well as my editor and beta readers, and I really love my product, I stand behind it. I don’t expect everyone to love my kids the way that I do and I certainly don’t give credence when a person is just flat out mean. I dismiss them and move on.
To buy Dana’s book, please click on the cover below or the links in the interview. Geared to the Present will be available on Amazon in paperback and eBook February 27th.