Kris T. Bethke on Writing, Stories and her release ‘Hearts and Hazelnuts’ (guest blog)

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Hearts and Hazelnuts (States of Love) by Kris T. Bethke
Dreamspinner Press
Cover art by Brooke Albrecht

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to be hosting Kris T. Bethke here today on her Hearts and Hazelnuts tour.

Thanks so much for hosting me today, and I’m so glad to be here!

How much of yourself goes into a character? A little bit of me always ends up in characters, and some much more than others. Sometimes I find my peculiar speech pattern creeping in, and then leave it as a character quirk. Sometimes characters have my likes and dislikes, or feelings about a particular subject. I find it really hard to completely separate myself from my characters, though I often make a concerted effort to make my character like/do/react differently than I would.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures? There’s never been a book where I didn’t have to research something. In my newest release, which is out tomorrow, I researched extensively about hazelnut farming. I found it way more fascinating than I ever imagined, and spent a good week reading and watching everything I could get my hands on, even though not all of it made it into the book. So I really enjoy research and learning, and use it in everything. Even when I create a new world or culture, it’s always rooted in something I started out researching, then changed and evolved for my own purposes.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why? I like them both, but I find HFN more real. In fact, I think most books end with HFN. You never can know what the future will bring. So having the MCs solidly in love, and moving into the future, satisfies me deeply.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult? Yes! I was reading Harlequin romances years before it was appropriate, but I’ve always been a romantic at heart and romance makes up the bulk of my reading. When I do veer to other genres, it’s usually sci fi or paranormal, and even then, I like a romantic subplot

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going? I love the ebook format, though I will admit I resisted for years. There’s nothing like holding a book in your hand. But once I got on the ebook wagon, I was thrilled. It allows me to having thousands of titles at my fingertips without storage space issues. And they are a bit more affordable. I think it will only continue to grow. Though there are definite issues with piracy and undercutting prices, I think on the whole it’s a health market that will improve as time continues.

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part) I don’t always get to pick, but I usually get at least some input. With the ones that I get to hands on for, I mostly concern myself with the feeling of the cover. Does it convey the story within? Of course I want the models (if there are any) to look appropriate for my characters. But I focus more on the aesthetic. The cover for Hearts and Hazelnuts, for example, took a little back and forth with the artist, Brooke Albrecht. But in the end, she brought my vision to life. The rich, vibrant colors really sold it for me.

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened? I have! To be honest, if I shelve something, I rarely go back to it. But I have a release in January, Ghost of a Chance, where this exact thing happened. Several years ago, I started writing it, but put it away because it just wasn’t working. A year ago, I pulled it out, dusted it off, reworked some things, and the story flowed from there. It’s even better than the original idea, and I love it.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write? All of these things, really. I write to escape, and to give my own opinions and thoughts and feelings voice. And to project hope. That, especially, I think. That in all the bad and scary going on, there is still love and the happy is still within reach. A lot of my characters are bisexual, too, which is a soapbox I get on. Bi-erasure, and the myths surrounding bi folk, really get under my skin. It hits close to home. So I like to show my bi characters finding love…and use them to educate and dispel some of those myths and fallacies.

What’s next for you as an author? I’ve got a lot coming up, as I’ve had a very productive writing year. A Timely Gift is out in December, which starts on solstice and ends on Christmas. And then in January, the first of my paranormal series releases. Ghost of a Chace is the the first in the Requiem Inc series with the Dreamspun Beyond line, with two more slated for release later next year.

Blurb:

Mechanic Jordan Hart is down on his luck, so he gladly accepts a temporary job servicing tractors at a hazelnut farm in Newberg, Oregon. He doesn’t expect to be attracted to his boss, Beckett Shaw. Still working on embracing his bisexuality, he’s reluctant to start anything, but Beckett’s gentle coaxing convinces Jordan to take a risk.

Beckett has vowed not to get involved with anyone until he can restore the Shaw Farms name as a leader in hazelnuts. But there’s no denying his interest in the shy mechanic who shows up at his door. Just as they begin to find a balance, outside forces threaten to tear them apart. Job opportunities force Jordan out of the Portland area he loves so much. But when danger comes too close to Beckett, Jordan must decide if he can follow his heart to the Willamette Valley… and straight back to Beckett.

About the Author

Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long.  An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head.  She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project.  Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time.  A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures.  She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head.  She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.

Find her on her site https://kristbethke.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-T-Bethke/100014524539852 or on Twitter https://twitter.com/kristbethke

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