Stepping into the spotlight this month, Harlequin Romantic Suspense author Beth Cornelison...
Beth started writing stories as a child when she penned a tale about the adventures of her cat, Ajax. A Georgia native, Beth received her bachelor's degree in Public Relations from the University of Georgia. After working in Public Relations for a little more than a year, she moved with her husband to Louisiana, where she decided to pursue her love of writing fiction.
Since that time, she has written many books, including her romantic suspense CHASING A DREAM, which reached the final round of the 2000 Golden Heart Contest sponsored by the Romance Writers of America. In the summer of 2000, AVID PRESS, an electronic publisher, published CHASING A DREAM in electronic format. In 2001 her manuscript PROTECTIVE CUSTODY not only finaled in the Golden Heart contest but went on to win the coveted prize. Beth is active on the board of directors for the North Louisiana Storytellers and Authors of Romance (NOLA STARs).
Beth lives in Louisiana, with her husband, one son, and three cats who think they are people.
Beth, thank you for joining us at The Pink Heart Society today. You've got a fantastic line up of books out this year. Would tell us a little about your current release? What inspired it?
Special Ops Bodyguard (Harlequin Romantic Suspense) is the second book in the Kelleys Legacy continuity. In Special Ops Bodyguard, Gage Prescott is a former Special Ops soldier who has been hired to protect Senator Hank Kelley from an unknown group that is threatening the Senator’s family. While in Maple Cove, MT with the senator, Gage meets Kate Rogers, the pastry chef at the local diner, who faces dangers of her own thanks to her sister’s abusive husband. Gage cannot sit by and see the sisters threatened by Kate’s abusive brother-in-law, but his involvement with Kate unwittingly leads an even greater threat to Kate’s door—the organization trying to destroy Senator Kelley.
The story idea came from HRS senior editor, Patience Bloom, but the continuity was born over dinner at a conference in Florida a year or so ago, when Patience, another author and I hatched a plot to bring the Kelley family from the last Coltons continuity back with their own danger-filled storyline.
Sounds exciting! How about a blurb?
Gage Prescott can't put his finger on it, but something about the Maple Cove waitress is both sexy and innocent. Not that it matters. The battle–scarred ex–Army Ranger has come to this Montana town as bodyguard to Senator Kelley, not to let a pretty face distract him.
Kate Rogers has her own mission. If, while on assignment, the handsome Gage can assist with her sister's abusive husband, she'll accept that gratefully. But will their growing passion interfere when their duties involve life and death?
Who are a few of your favorite authors to read?
So many! Harlan Coben is wonderful. I also adore Linda Howard, Lisa Gardener, Susan Elisabeth Phillips, Susan Wiggs, Linda Castillo, Karen Robards…whew! Like I said, too many to count, but most fall in the suspense or romantic suspense, or women’s fiction genres.
When the writing is done, how do you kick back to relax?
Why, reading of course!! And I love to watch movies, listen to music, walk in my neighborhood to recharge the body and mind.
What’s your favorite flavor of romance? (Sweet? Spicy?) Do your tastes vary when it comes to reading versus writing?
I like my romances with just a dash of spice. Nothing overly graphic. I write my stories generally the same way I like to read them. I want the story focused on the emotion with only enough spice to show the physical bond between the H/h.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Because I write romantic suspense, you might think I have all kinds of high adventures to draw from. No so. The truth is I’m kind of a mouse, and I like my adrenaline rush on the page! That said, I have been white water rafting several times. That is the most adventurous thing I can think of at the moment. I’d love to try rappelling or deep sea diving sometime though.
What’s something about you that would shock your readers to know?
I’m probably the least shocking person on earth! LOL. No tattoos, no dark secrets, no high drama. I’m a work from home mom of one with a husband, three cats and a hum-drum routine…and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’ll leave the drama to my heroines!
How long have you been writing and what prompted you to begin?
I’ve been writing and telling stories since I was a child. My mom still has the first book I wrote in elementary school about the adventures of my cat! I write because it is part of me. I can’t NOT write. I love telling stories and creating characters.
When you write, how many projects do you generally have going at once?
One at a time! I don’t think I could keep more than one set of characters and plot lines straight at once!
How do you manage your ideas for new stories before you’re able to really sit down and work on them?
I love the planning stage when the story ideas and characters come to life. Generally I make notes by hand in a notebook and toy with charts and lists as I work out the plot and character histories. Listening to music really helps my muse work, too.
When pursuing that first sale, what line did you target?
I targeted Intimate Moments- which became Silhouette Romantic Suspense and now Harlequin Romantic Suspense- from the beginning. I’m thrilled to write for this line because it has ALWAYS been my favorite. I love the blend of romance, emotion and adventure/suspense that is the mainstay of the line.
What inspires you?
Music is very inspirational for me. Nothing gets my story ideas going like powerful or emotion-evoking music. Beyond that, I draw inspiration from everything, everywhere. Life, with all its twists and emotion and quirks, inspires me.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
Plot or Pants?
I used to pants, but now I have to preplan a story to give my editor enough information to buy the book. It has really change the way I approach a story but in the long run, it’s a good thing.
Beth, wonderful getting to know you! Thank you again!!
For more about Beth Cronelison check out her website or look her up on Facebook facebook.com/bethcornelison