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Saturday, December 11, 2010
Author Interview: Bethann Buehler
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome BethAnn Buehler, author of the Rebel Canyon series from Wild Horse Press. The first book of the series, Broken Together, is out now with Broken Destiny scheduled for release in February and Broken Identity due out in October. She will also have a story in a paranormal romance anthology that will be released in time for Christmas, also from Wild Horse Press.
I asked her to tell us a little about Broken Together.
"Broken Together is the first in a three part series of novels featuring a small town called Rebel Canyon where readers invest in the lives of three close friends. Bryn Baxter is hugely successful professionally but when it comes to relationships, let me just be candid--she's a mess. When her otherwise orderly life falls apart, Bryn gets help from a hired gun, Beck Reynolds. Bryn wants the fairy tale but she doesn't want to have to think about how to make it all work. So Beck takes control... "
The series was born on a mountain in Utah. BethAnn was hanging out and reading in the lodge at Deer Valley (Utah) while her husband and son were out skiing. She had taken several books to read for the week since she doesn't ski.
"Honestly, each one I finished left me flat," she told me. "By the end of the third day (and the fourth dissatisfying book), I ran to the gift shop, bought a notebook, refilled my hot chocolate and decided I could do better. Hence the Utah setting for the series."
Broken Together was the hardest to write, because of the foundation that had to be laid to create the series. BethAnn also had to begin her research into the BDSM lifestyle. The easiest was Broken Destiny, but the last book was hard for BethAnn because she didn't want to say goodbye to the series.
BethAnn told me that the titles for her books are a group effort between her husband, her best friend and line editor, and herself. For the Rebel Canyon series, not only did she want each title to match the story line, the phrase is also used in her book. Writing without an outline doesn't faze her, but she can't start the story until she has a title for it.
BethAnn has a computer in her office where she writes when she's at home which offers her a beautiful desk, photos of the people and places she loves and her puppies for company. She also writes at her favorite breakfast spot quite a bit.
"I'll confess, I have two computers!" she said.
When she's not writing, she's a avid tennis player, reader, movie buff and music lover. She also belongs to a couple of craft/hobby groups that meet monthly. And, she can be found having breakfast out with her parents or good friends almost any day of the week.
When people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, author wasn't on her list.
"I was on track to be either an FBI agent or an attorney before I fell in love. Seventeen years of marriage and a few books later, I'm very happy with my final choice!"
"Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us?" I asked.
"When The Rebel Canyon series wraps, my readers will be introduced to three new friends who are each struggling to maintain healthy boundaries in their lives. Those choices lead to problems in almost every other area of their existence, including their love lives. Pulled straight from real life experience, my new series is taking shape and promises to be hard hitting and very passionate."
BethAnn told me that Lora Leigh and Maya Banks are two of her erotic romance idols, owning everything they've written. In non-erotic romance, she likes Robyn Carr; she also reads a lot of autobiographies. Elin Hildebrand is her favorite women's fiction author and for M/M books, T.A. Chase gets the nod.
On a personal note, I asked BethAnn, "You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?"
"I was a pretty selfish teenager and broke a lot of hearts so there are a few guys out there that I owe pretty big apologizes. I can say the same where my parents are concerned. Although I'm very close to my folks to this day, I still feel bad about 1984-1989. I'd like a blanket eraser to cover those five years."
The strangest thing she's ever eaten is actually something her big brother fed her when she was four: canned Alpo on a Milk Bone. She also tried everything her son ate when he was an infant/toddler.
"Think about it--all those little glass jars full of science project type food? I've tried them all...," she said.
BethAnn's son, who is nine, has Asperger's Syndrome, which is a very mild form of Autism.
"My hubby works very hard so that I can be here raising our son. It's the hardest job I've ever had but it's my favorite," she told me. "I started writing to carve out personal time for myself as a way to escape some of the stress in my daily life. Without really knowing where I was headed at the time, I created a contemporary romance with strong fetish/erotic elements. I know it sounds corny but I love "love". I love the underdog, the person who deals with their own brokenness and finds the courage to make their life happen against the odds, whatever those might be. That's why I write romance. I really want the happily-ever-after."
What does she want to know about the future?
"I want to know that my son will be alright. Given that he's only nine, sometimes when I think about all of the things he'll see and experience, I find it exciting. Other times, thoughts like that scare me to death."
Some things you might not know about BethAnn:
~~she's a little bit Greek, a little bit Cherokee, a little bit Irish, and a whole lot southern.
~~her favorite pizza is hand tossed sausage, green olive, jalapeño—no red sauce, extra cheese.
~~she loves researching the finer details of her stories and has gone to underground leather clubs and interviewed couples practicing various degrees of the lifestyle, consulted a doctore . I've consulted a doctor for the medically technical parts, an attorney for all of the legal parts, and she has a military consultant for the weapons and communications aspect."
~~when it comes to automobiles, she's her own expert.
"What is one thing scientists should invent?" I wondered.
"Jeans that fit! Seriously, are all designers male or just skinny? And what's with dinner plate sized flowers on shirts? Do you have any idea where those flowers always end up on someone who's only 5'4"?"
Finally I asked BethAnn if she had any advice for a new writer just starting out.
"There are several things that I think are key for new writers. Take an editing/proofreading course early on. It's so much easier to write well the first time than re-write (learned this little tip the hard way). Network with other serious writers and join a writer's group if at all possible. Relax. It seemed to me that once I started writing and networking, everyone was writing and getting published. I'm competitive by nature so sometimes I have to remind myself that there's room for everyone and this career isn't a race."
You can keep up with BethAnn on her blog, http://www.bethannbuehler.com/blog.html