Interview with Bethany Hensel

Tell us a bit about the story.
Sweetly Irresistible is a feel-good, funny, sexy story about a girl going after her dreams. I say it's like a Hallmark movie or a classic rom-com. I hope it's great escapism for a rainy day and you come away from it feeling better than you did before.
What inspired you most when you were writing Sweetly Irresistible?
I listened to a lot of Taylor Swift! I actually came across a song I had never heard from her before called "Begin Again" and it's really perfect for my heroine, Layla. She's a strong girl, but she's been hurt, she's been let down, she's let herself down. This story is her journey about how to begin again.
What inspired the town of Silver Lake?
I was born in Seoul, South Korea but adopted when I was young. I moved to Pittsburgh when I was about nine months old and I just love the city. It's big, but it has a very small-town feel, which is lovely. People are friendly, they say hello to their neighbors, and maybe it's the sports, but I feel like we're all very invested in our city and seeing it do well. Our history is filled with stories about the steel factories and smog, but we've shaken it off (apparently, Tay Swift even inspires this interview!) and we've really fought to clean up and move forward. It's a wonderful place of renewal.
What was your favorite part about writing Sweetly Irresistible?
Definitely discovering Layla's self-growth. I felt like I was working with some super crazy Rubiks Cube and every time I thought I had it right, I discovered a whole new side to the thing. It was challenging, but so rewarding to see how Layla grows over the course of the story.
Finally, Layla is a world-class baker. What is your favorite baked good?
Cookies. If I'm at the store, my go-to's are chocolate Oreos and almond Milanos. If I'm wandering in a bakery, I tend to buy peanut butter blossoms.
Published 2015-11-05.
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