As I promised earlier on Monday, I got to interview my dearest friend and author Leigh Bennett of the new contemporary romance novel, Flirting with Magick. I met Leigh when we were both running our small “mobile” businesses. It was a completely chance meeting – I remember her youngest was still a baby then – which grew into a beautiful friendship – at least I hope it is in her books! 🙂 Anyway, I kept tabs on this beautiful lady (sort of stalking her) on facebook and found out she’s delved into writing. So, so very proud of her! And then she self-published a novel. Another WOW in my books!
Lucky for me, I got to do a short interview with her. Find out more about Leigh!
Loved your very first published novel Flirting with Magick, tell me, what was your inspiration behind the main character; Abby?
She was just your everyday girl. I wanted her to be relatable and imperfect, which means I’m sure she’s also frustrating at times.
In your opinion, why does your version of chick lit focuses more on the emotions that Abby goes through rather than the descriptions of her sexual encounters per say, like other chick lits you’ve come across?
Chick Lit started with Bridget Jones’ Diary and includes writers such as Marian Keyes and Sophie Kinsella. Most of the actual chick lit books I’ve read don’t have particularly descriptive sex scenes and I think that’s typical of the genre. I think other genres have been shoved under the ‘chick lit’ umbrella because people assume that it’s what you call anything aimed at women. Readers have come to expect more explicit scenes, especially with the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey, but that isn’t ‘chick lit’. Anyway, that’s the end of my rant. LOL.
Flirting with Magick was never really about the sex, and to put it in would have just been gratuitous and unnecessary. I trust my readers to get what’s going on, and allowing them to use their imagination can be far sexier than going into detail. I’m writing a book with more descriptive scenes, but I’ll be sticking that in the ‘erotica’ section.
Can you describe your thought process when writing this novel? What was your main aim – besides to entertain of course? How do you make sure that your characters stay grounded to everyday reality so that readers can relate to what’s going on to the characters?
As there was a love spell involved, of course I had to make it work and have more than one love interest, and that’s probably the only part that’s a little exaggerated although, after speaking to a few readers about it, it’s certainly not unrealistic as I know of people who have been in the same situation without a spell being involved. I also wanted to make it a ‘real’ story rather than a paranormal one. I made a concerted effort to not make my characters perfect – I wanted them annoying and loveable at the same time, like most people 🙂 . I tried to put in drama as well as humour but it’s not meant to be a heavy read. I think my main aim of the story was that it was okay to try and take control of your life, to make mistakes and also to just let the right things happen at the right time.
Do you think it’s easier now for Indie authors to get their works published thanks to electronic publishing?
Of course, but I don’t think it means you should be able to cut corners and just write a book and publish it without making it the best you can. I’m sure a lot of people publish without having beta readers or using an editor. Writing a book is just the first step, and I think a successful indie book needs to be the same as what you would expect of a traditional publisher. Even after you’ve taken all the necessary steps, there is still marketing to do. And then it starts all over again with the next book.
Will there be another book in this series? Or are you planning on making this a series?
So far I’ve worked out a second book in the series, even though both can be read as standalone novels. The second book features more of Luke, Abby’s cousin and guitarist for the band. He’s going to fall in love with the sister of the band’s publicist.
I can’t wait to read more about Luke!! Do you plan on writing novels other than chick lit in the near future?
As I mentioned, I’m writing something a little more erotic. I’m also working on a YA fantasy trilogy and experimenting with a mystery story. Of course I’m also outlining a couple of standalone chick lit novels too as that’s my favourite stuff to write.
Leigh sure has a lot on her plate right now and I really am looking forward to reading the next book in this series, especially on the band’s “playboy”, Luke!