Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nine Questions for Meg

Okay, y’all, today it’s my turn. Meg Benjamin, formerly of South Texas, currently of the Front Range in Colorado. I write books about the Texas Hill Country, particularly about a town called Konigsburg (of which I’m sole owner and proprietor).

1. If you had to choose only one form of chocolate for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I’m not a big chocolate lover (salty stuff is more my weakness—cheddar cheese Lay’s Potato Chips, anyone?), but I’m found of the little Ghirardelli chocolate-raspberry squares.

2. What author got you started reading or writing romance?
Linda Howard got me out of reading the mysteries I’d been focused on (fortunately, the library shelved her stuff with the mysteries). I read her Dream Man, and thought, “Hmm, this is different!” It made me realize, little by little, that I was really more a romance writer than a mystery writer since the mysteries I’d been working on concentrated more on the romance than solving the murder.

3. What's the naughtiest thing you've ever done?
Hey, I’m a former teacher. “Naughty” for me involved sneaking tea and cookies into the University of Washington Graduate Library.

4. What do you like best about the heroine in your latest book?
Jess is my first sort of thriller heroine. She’s in a really tough spot, trying to protect her infant son from a very powerful family, but she doesn’t cave. She figures out how to get away from them and how to hide out successfully. But when the time comes, she’s also willing to accept help when she recognizes that she needs it.

5. What is a must have in your writing routine?
I set goals for myself—I have to or I get anxious. I have a certain number of pages to do every day (three, usually), and most days I make it. Actually, most days I go beyond it, but at least I know I’ve made my minimum. This is probably a great example of neurosis, but, hey, it works for me!

6. What was the most interesting thing you learned in researching your most recent release?
I had to find out about Tasers, particularly about what it felt like to actually be Tasered. I found a few descriptions, along with a lot of medical research about the effects. Suffice it to say, if somebody has a Taser, I’m going to do my best to make them like me!

7. You're marooned on a tropical island (yay!!!), what sexy celebrity and comfort reads would you want with you?
I’m not big on celebrities, actually. With a few exceptions (George Clooney, Paul Newman), they don’t seem like people who’d be very interesting to be around in real life. Now fictional characters, hell yeah! Indiana Jones, for example, could probably figure out a way to get us off the freakin’ island. As for reading matter, I’d go with the big three—Linda Howard, Elizabeth Lowell, and Nora Roberts. Between them, they’ve written enough books to keep me occupied for a couple of years at least.

8. Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what's your favorite, or does it change from book to book?
I so wish I could listen to music while I write, but I can’t—it’s just too distracting for me (I have to listen to the words). I do have my characters listen to music, though, and I have them dance a lot. In Wedding Bell Blues, the hero first decided the heroine was hot when he saw her dance to James McMurtry’s “Red Dress” and the heroine of “Venus in Blue Jeans” dances around her shop to Joe Ely’s “Cool Rockin’ Loretta.”

9. What's your favorite writing procrastination trick?
Besides the entire Internet, there’s always Ultimate Solitaire. Just a couple of quick games to shake loose the cobwebs, honest.

My newest release is Be My Baby, due out on December 8. It’s the third in my series about Konigsburg, Texas (after Venus In Blue Jeans and Wedding Bell Blues), and my first mystery/thriller. Although since it’s me, and since it’s a Konigsburg book, there’s also some humor involved. Here’s the blurb:

There’s no room in her life for love. Love has other ideas…
Konigsburg, Texas, Book 3
If Jessamyn Carroll had only herself to consider, staying in Pennsylvania after her husband’s death would have been a no-brainer. Her vindictive in-laws’ efforts to get their hooks into her infant son, however, force her to flee to a new home. Konigsburg, Texas.
Peace…at least for now. She’s even found a way to make some extra money, looking after sexy accountant Lars Toleffson’s precocious two-year-old daughter. She finds it easy—too easy—to let his protective presence lull her into thinking she and her son are safe at last.
Lars, still wounded from enduring a nasty divorce from his cheating ex-wife, tries to fight his attraction to the mysterious, beautiful widow. But when an intruder breaks into her place, and Jess comes clean about her past, all bets are off. Someone wants her baby—and wants Jess out of the picture. Permanently.
Now Jess has a live-in bodyguard, whether she wants him or not. Except she does want him—and he wants her. Yet negotiating a future together will have to overcome a lot of roadblocks: babies, puppies, the entire, meddling Toleffson family—and a kidnapper.
Warning: Contains Konigsburg craziness, creepy in-laws, a conniving two-year-old, a lovelorn accountant, a sleep-deprived Web developer, and lots of hot holiday sex.
Meg Benjamin
Romance on Wry


Erin Nicholas said...

I love holiday stories! This will be the perfect way to kick off the season for me! Honestly, what's with going from Halloween to Christmas and entirely skipping Thanksgiving? Christmas season doesn't start until AFTER the Thanksgiving leftovers are used up-- not that that takes long around here *G*

Meg Benjamin said...

I'm with you. Writing about Thanksgiving involves writing about cooking, which is always fun (at least for me).

PG Forte said...

I loved your answer to question #2, Meg. I started out reading (and trying to write) mysteries as well. My characters weren't having it though. Midway through my first book I realized it wasn't a mystery at all...or, as I prefer to phrase it, I chose sex over violence.

Meg Benjamin said...

LOL PG, I love it!

Erin Nicholas said...

PG, you crack me up! *g*
Meg, isn't your freebie from Samhain a Thanksgiving story? Or at least between Halloween and Christmas? :)

Meg Benjamin said...

It's actually a food story, and it's set in summer. But I figured, hey, it's about cooking and so is Thanksgiving. I'm not sure whether it's due out at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Be My Baby, on the other hand, has a big Thanksgiving scene and ends with a Christmas wedding.

Erin Nicholas said...

You had me at 'food story'!
If I could do it over, I'd have a Christmas wedding. Seriously. My mother would kill me, but still...

Meg Benjamin said...

My older son got married on New Year's Eve. Not the greatest time to do it, believe me. On the other hand, the reception was a blast (and we didn't have to pay for it--yay!).

Kelly Jamieson said...

I commented earlier but it disappeared into cyberspace. I like your idea of a three page a day goal. It sounds doable and even if that's all you've done you've accomplished something. I may have to try that!

s7anna said...

Be My Baby sounds like it's going to be a phenomenal read. I've added to my TBB pile...

Congratulations on your upcoming release!

Happy Reading!!!
Anna Shah Hoque