Interview with Jenna Bennett

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Norway, and I'm not sure it influenced my writing at all, since I live in the US and write in English about Americans. I'm very happy to have grown up where I did, though, and once in a while a Scandinavian setting or character makes its way into one of my books.
When did you first start writing?
I've always been writing. I can remember being about 5 and sitting on the floor of a friends house writing and illustrating a "book" about a black poodle named Top. I made up stories all through high school and through my twenties, but it wasn't until 2006 that I began writing professionally, with an eye to publication.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My new book - finished and in the process of being revised - is the 7th full length book in my Cutthroat Business mystery series. It's just an extension of the series as a whole, and about halfway through the second story arc. The first five books were all about getting the hero and heroine together; and about the heroine growing up enough and getting over enough to her hangups to see the hero for who he is. The second half of the series is about the two of them moving on together, learning to work together, dealing the with problems that stop them from taking the next step in their lives.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The first book in my Cutthroat Business mystery series had a home, but the publisher decided not to publish the rest of the books in the series. I had four written at the time. We negotiated the release of the ebook rights for the first book, and I took that book and the others that were written at the time, and published them myself. It made more sense than going back to trying to sell the series to a traditional publisher. There was a lot of talk about how great self-publishing was, and I thought I'd give it a try.
What do your fans mean to you?
None of us who are writers would be anywhere without readers, so readers mean the world to us. Without them we wouldn't be able to share our stories.
What are you working on next?
Two or three more Cutthroat Business mysteries. A new police procedural series. Two more science fiction romances. A continuity about three writers who go on a retreat to a tropical island. A small town romance series set in Alaska. And a super seekrit collaboration with a friend. Not necessarily in that order.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yep. 5 years old, black poodle named Top.
Describe your desk
Small and cluttered.
What is your writing process?
I don't have one. I put my butt in the chair every day until the story is written, and then I edit it a few times, and publish it before I start on the next one.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading. Ferrying kids back and forth to school. Sleeping.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Turning the alarm clock off before it buzzes so I don't have to listen to it.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Word of mouth, mostly. Still the best way there is.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Advertising on Bookbub and ENT. Bookbub especially is costly and hard to get accepted for, but the results are great. Putting the first book in the series free worked well for a while too.
What do you read for pleasure?
Good books. I don't care so much about the genre as long as the quality is there. I'm a picky reader.
Who are your favorite authors?
Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels. Lois McMaster Bujold. JK Rowling. Julia Spencer-Fleming. JD Robb. Jennifer Crusie. Josh Lanyon. Tasha Alexander. Tessa Dare. Suzanne Brockmann. Barbara Samuel/O'Neal. Linnea Sinclair.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
iPad. I also have a Kobo Mini that I have yet to figure out how to use. It's tiny but cute.
Published 2013-08-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Dirty Deeds
By
Series: Savannah Martin mysteries, Book 10. Pre-release—available November 4, 2014. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 10. Language: English. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Book 9 in the USA Today bestselling Savannah Martin mystery series.
Friends with Benefits
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 56,860. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2014. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A Cinderella story about a pregnant waitress who marries the boring guy next door for his health benefits, only to learn he's the man she should have been with all along.
Past Due
By
Series: Savannah Martin mysteries, Book 9. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 87,920. Language: American English. Published: April 23, 2014. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Book 8 in the USA Today bestselling Cutthroat Business mystery series, featuring Realtor & recovering Southern Belle Savannah Martin.
Virginia Creeper
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 82,000. Language: English. Published: October 3, 2013. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Mystery & Detective
A mystery set in picturesque Abingdon, Virginia: When sixteen-year-old Jolene Brennan's older brother Jared is accused of strangling his pregnant girlfriend, it's up to Jo - with a little help from her best friend Kelli and Jared's best friend Rufus - to prove that Jared didn't do it.
Kickout Clause
By
Series: Savannah Martin mysteries, Book 8. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 87,270. Language: English. Published: October 13, 2013. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Book 7 in the Cutthroat Business mystery series, featuring Savannah Martin, Southern Belle and real estate agent, in Nashville, Tennessee. Savannah and her boyfriend Rafe are settling into domestic bliss, until someone - or several someone's - from Savannah's past threaten the status quo.
Change of Heart
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Series: Savannah Martin mysteries, Book 7. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 85,920. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2013. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
*** Book 6 in the USA Today bestselling Savannah Martin series *** When Rafe sneaks out of bed at the ungodly early hour of 6 AM, Savannah gets to the office in time to catch her colleague Tim rinse blood off his hands in the bathroom sink. But even the murder mystery taking place right under her nose can't quite keep Savannah from worrying about her boyfriend, her relationship & her future.
Contingent on Approval
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Series: Savannah Martin mysteries, Book 6. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 21,680. Language: English. Published: November 18, 2012. Category: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas
*** 18,000 word holiday novella *** It's the morning after the events of A DONE DEAL, and Savannah is looking at Rafe Collier, a pair of fuzzy handcuffs, a economy sized box of condoms (one of which plays Christmas carols), and the rest of her life... but first, there's Christmas dinner with the Martins to get through.
Island Getaway, An Art Crime Team Mystery
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 66,250. Language: English. Published: October 18, 2012. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
A shy librarian and a dashing FBI agent must work together to catch a killer and recover a priceless silver treasure in this light and sweetly romantic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Do It Yourself Home Renovation mysteries and the Cutthroat Business mysteries. Previously published as Act of Redemption.
A Done Deal
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Series: Savannah Martin mysteries, Book 5. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 87,420. Language: English. Published: December 14, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
5th in the Savannah Martin romantic mystery series by New York Times bestselling author Jennie Bentley writing as Jenna Bennett. It's Christmas time in Nashville, and the only thing Savannah wants to unwrap on Christmas morning is Rafe Collier. Unfortunately, things don't look good...
Same Time Next Year
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Price: Free! Words: 3,830. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2011. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
* * * 3,500 word short story * * * A newlywed receptionist at an upscale hotel reflects on her own marriage as two guests arrive for the night and check into adjoining rooms.
The Boddy in the Snowbank
By
Price: Free! Words: 1,880. Language: English. Published: November 23, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Just for fun... a short story based around the game Cluedo/Clue. When Mr. Boddy is found dead in a snowbank, his loyal housekeeper, Mrs. White, must give a statement to the police about the case. It's the Clue characters like you've never seen them before!
Close to Home
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Series: Savannah Martin mysteries, Book 4. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 90,670. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
4th book in the Savannah Martin romantic mystery series, following A Cutthroat Business, Hot Property, and Contract Pending, by bestselling author Jenna Bennett AKA Jennie Bentley.
Contract Pending
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Series: Savannah Martin mysteries, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 89,240. Language: English. Published: June 27, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Savannah Martin mystery #3, following A Cutthroat Business & Hot Property, from bestselling author Jenna Bennett. "A lighthearted Southern romp with plenty of steam beneath the surface" (Jaden Terrell) from an author "who restores houses, speaks the lingo of a realtor and is a black belt storyteller. A jack-of-all trades, she spins a mystery like it’s nobody’s business." (Examiner.com)
Hot Property
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Series: Savannah Martin mysteries, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 88,060. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2011. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Savannah Martin mystery #2, sequel to A Cutthroat Business, from nationally bestselling author Jenna Bennett. This sexy, sassy mystery "sizzles" as the author proves that her hunky hero and spicy Southern heroine can heat up the pages quicker than two goats in a pepper patch. "Full of charm and sass, this follow-up to A Cutthroat Business will have readers racing to the finish." (examiner.com)
A Cutthroat Business
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Series: Savannah Martin mysteries, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 90,460. Language: English. Published: April 28, 2011. Category: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
"A frothy girl drink of houses, hunks and whodunit, narrated in a breezy first person,"* this sexy and sassy mystery from nationally bestselling author Jenna Bennett "will delight fans of chick-lit mysteries and romantic suspense."** 88,000 words; first in the Savannah Martin Southern real estate mysteries. * Nashville Scene ** Library Journal