Interview with contemporary romance author Meg Benjamin

I’m a tour
stop today for author Meg Benjamin.
She’s talking with me about her new contemporary romance story, Running on Empty.



During her
virtual book tour, Meg will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift
card (winner’s choice) to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a
chance to win, use the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit
her other tour stops
and enter there, too!



Bio:
Meg Benjamin
is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her Konigsburg series for
Samhain Publishing is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Ramos Family
Trilogy is set in San Antonio’s King William District. Her Salt Box trilogy
takes place in her new home the Colorado Rockies. She’s also the author of Going Up in Flames, part of the Sapphire
Falls Kindle World series. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an
EPIC Award, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion from
Virginia Romance Writers, the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance
Writers and the Award of Excellence from Colorado Romance Writers.



Welcome, Meg. Please share a little bit
about your current release.

Running On Empty is book three in my
Salt Box Trilogy. Here’s the blurb:

She’s running her heart out to stay
in the same place.

Ronnie
Ventura has every reason to distrust Fairstein Productions: she’s had run-ins
with their shows before. But Fairstein’s newest reality show offers Ronnie a
chance to redeem herself from looking like a blonde bimbo. All she has to do is
win a modified triathlon. Simple, right? Except this is Fairstein, and nothing
is ever simple with them.

Ronnie’s
boss at the Blarney Stone bar and café, owner Ted Saltzman, is a lot less
convinced that another Fairstein show is just what Ronnie needs, particularly
when he’s head over heels about Ronnie himself. 
But she’s determined, and he’s a man in love.

Ted becomes
her running coach, which fans their budding romance to a fever. But can
Ronnie’s newfound confidence stand up to the usual Fairstein plots? And can Ted
find a way to keep his true love in Salt Box if Hollywood tries to steal her
away again?

What inspired you to write this book?
I really wanted to end the trilogy by returning to one of the supporting
characters in Book 1 (Finding Mr. Right
Now),
Ronnie Ventura. Ronnie started off as a naïve and slightly
exasperating bachelorette on a reality show, but through the course of the
trilogy she develops into a much stronger, much more self-confident woman. I
wanted to show what she’d learned and how much she’d grown from book 1.




Excerpt from Running on Empty:
Ted watched Ronnie circle the high school track. It was always a bit easier to
train here since the track had quarter-mile markers and he could time her more accurately.
Saturdays were the only time they could use it, though, until school was out.

They’d
switched to two minutes of running followed by a minute of jogging for the
warm-up, rather than the one-minute run, two-minute walk that he’d started
with. Ronnie’s stride was really developing.

As he’d
watched her over the past few weeks, he’d come to a surprising conclusion. Dick
was right—Ronnie was a natural athlete. She loved to run, just like she loved
to bike and swim.

He was a
little embarrassed about how long it had taken him to realize the extent of her
abilities. He was willing to bet that he would have wised up a lot sooner if
she hadn’t been, well, Ronnie in all her Ronnieness. He wasn’t sure why the
idea that a gorgeous woman could also be an athlete seemed so revolutionary.
Probably more evidence of his troglodyte side.

Now she was
sprinting down the stretch, knees pumping, arms swinging at her sides. She
seemed to be enjoying herself, but lately she always seemed to be enjoying
herself. The sight of Ronnie running full-out in shorts and T-shirt did
predictable things to his libido.

Of course,
the sight of Ronnie doing just about anything did predictable things to his
libido these days. Even when he caught a glimpse of her bent over her bike,
which was about as unsexy as you could get, he still found himself watching her
long legs spin the pedals, her blonde hair steaming behind her helmet.

God she was
lovely. And God he was a horny, lust-filled idiot around her.


What exciting story are you working on
next?

My next is a trilogy about a family-owned brewery in Colorado: Brew Romance, Love On Tap, and Ale’s Well That Ends Well. It should be
out next year.



When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
I wrote for most of my life, since I was expected to
publish a lot while I worked as a college English teacher. But I really wanted
to try writing fiction. When I discovered romance and found my local chapter of
the Romance Writers of America, I started to feel more confident about what I
could do. When I finally got my first acceptance from Samhain Publishing (Venus In Blue Jeans), I began to feel
like I’d actually made it.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?

Since I retired from teaching, I write full time. I have a quota for
myself—1,000 to 2,000 words a day. I usually write during the afternoon, but
when I’m really under the gun, I write whenever I can. I’m lucky because I
consider writing my full-time job and I make time for it before I make time for
anything else.

What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?

I’m an insane plotter. I can’t start writing until I’ve at least done a summary
of what the plot’s going to be (and I usually do a lot more than that). I may
not stick with the summary because characters will frequently take off in
directions I hadn’t thought about, but I have to have it. It’s sort of like a
security blanket: it keeps me from coming to a stopping point and having no
idea what’s going to happen next.

As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?

I wanted to be a college professor. I have no idea why, but it always stuck
with me. And that’s what I did!

Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?

I hope you all enjoy Running On Empty.
It was a real labor of love for me. Originally, it was supposed to be published
by Samhain, but after they started having problems, I got the rights back and
taught myself how to publish it on my own. I just didn’t want the Salt Box
Trilogy to be incomplete!



Links:


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