Friday, September 24, 2010

Interview with Beth Cornelison

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Beth Cornelison. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called THE BRIDE'S BODYGUARD. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

THE BRIDE'S BODYGUARD is the second book in my Silhouette Romantic Suspense series, The Bancroft Brides. This is the oldest sister Paige's book, and the story opens with Paige at the altar, marrying the man she's convinced herself is her perfect match, even though there are no sparks. But the ceremony is interrupted by armed men demanding that her fiancé turn over "the bead." When he refuses, the terrorists fire on her fiancé. Chaos erupts, and before she knows what's hit her, Paige is whisked out of the church by the best man and pursued by the terrorists. The best man, an ex-Navy SEAL hired by her fiancé as a bodyguard, helps keep her safe while they figure out what the bead is and why her fiancé and the terrorists think she has it. Of course, this ex-SEAL is smokin' hot and Paige's opposite in most every way, but the chemistry between them can't be denied!

Would you describe your book as a cozy, mystery, suspense, or thriller?

Mostly THE BRIDE'S BODYGUARD is category romance, but there is plenty of action and suspense, too. I'd call it romantic adventure/suspense.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

Because it is what I love to read. I love action/adventure and suspense and the idea that ordinary people can be put in extraordinary circumstances and rise to the occasion. If they also find romance along the way, all the better!

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I honestly don't remember specifics except that I wanted another bride-themed story for the Bancroft Brides trilogy, and I built the story using my favorite story hooks... heroine in jeopardy, forced proximity, and opposites attract.

Do you have all the key suspense/mystery elements thought out before you begin writing?

Not always. A lot of times I'm not sure who the bad guy is or how the good guys will save the day until I'm well into the story. I have to sketch out an outline for my editor but that outline has been known to change. The characters sometimes take over the story and tell it the way they think it should be!

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

I did a little research for this book but largely I use information I already had from previous research on other books. When a specific question came up, I'd Google it, but nothing needed extensive research. I love the scope of internet for research, not one specific site or book.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I think I liked writing the hero Gage McCall the most. Gage is haunted by his last mission in Iraq when things went terribly wrong. I love a tortured hero!

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I've been known to use a sort of character interview as I develop my book. Usually before I start a book I spend time thinking about who the characters are, what they want and why. I decide what happened to them to make them this way, what kind of family they have, how their childhood affected them, and decide how they will deal with the conflict I throw at them in the story. Creating my characters and inventing their backstories and personalities and quirks is like figuring out a puzzle to me. It's my favorite part of writing a book!

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Lots! Too many to list them all but I love to read Linda Castillo, Karen Robards, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Lisa Gardner, Harlan Coben, Susan Wiggs and Susan Elizabeth Phillips (yes, I know the last two don't write suspense but I love the characters they create!)

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Promotion is such a mystery to me. I really can't tell what works and what doesn't. I really think it is a sum of all efforts. Building name recognition, writing good books, being visible at conferences and online all contribute to promoting an author.

What do we have to look forward next?

Several things are coming in the next few months. In November, PI DADDY'S PERSONAL MISSION, my contribution to the Coltons of Montana continuity series with SRS, hits the shelves. (Peter Walsh is investigating the murder of his father and finds romance with his son's teacher.) In January, the paperback edition of REYN'S REDEMPTION, a small town romantic suspense with Samhain Publishing is released. (A firefighter returns to his childhood home to confront the people who accused him of killing his mother and to find the real killer.) And in February, THE PRODIGAL BRIDE, the final book in the Bancroft Brides series comes out just in time for Valentines Day! (Youngest sister Zoey Bancroft is stranded, pregnant and penniless, in Las Vegas, but her best friend, Gage Powell, offers a solution...a marriage of convenience. But trouble follows Zoey home from Vegas, and her friendship with Gage is tested.)

Thanks, Beth!

To celebrate her book release, Beth is offering a free copy of THE CHRISTMAS STRANGER (The Bancroft Brides book 1 and a 2010 Rita finalist!) to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (Please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


Award winning author Beth Cornelison received her bachelor's degree in Public Relations from the University of Georgia. After working in public relations for about a year, she moved with her husband to Louisiana, where she decided to pursue her love of writing fiction.

Since that time, she has won numerous honors for her work including a final in the Rita contest sponsored by the Romance Writers of America. She made her first sale to Silhouette Intimate Moments in June 2004 and has gone on to sell many more books to Silhouette. She has also published with Five Star Expressions, Samhain Publishing, and Sourcebooks.

Beth has presented workshops across the country to numerous chapter meetings, conferences, online classes and book clubs. Beth Cornelison lives in Louisiana with her husband, one son and a fluctuating number of cats who think they are people.

Check out author’s website at



Anonymous said...

Good morning Beth. Thanks for joining us here today. Oh, I love bodyguard books. Where can I sign up for my own personal hunk covered in chocolate! Enjoy yourself.

Beth C said...

Thanks, Kim! I'm thrilled to be here! A bodyguard covered in chocolate? Yum....

Virginia C said...

Hi, Beth! I have been a great fan of yours ever since I read "Healing Luke"! Congratulations on your latest release! I also enjoy romantic suspense reads. I think that the intrigue, adventure and romance all enhance each other in the story line. I definitely want the hero in romantic suspense to be a natural born protector, even if it takes him awhile to embrace that side of his personality : ) The heroine should be smart, strong, show some sass, and able to defend herself, and the hero, when needed. No ninnies allowed! The villain should be intelligent, intriguing, and multi-layered in shades of gray. A villain is always much more interesting and the evil more intense when a touch of humanity shows through ; )

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catslady said...

You are a new to me author but after reading about your book and the interview, it sounds exciting. My husband worked next to a group of Navy Seals while in Nam and the stories he told!!! But then he said he'd have to kill me if he told too much roflmao.

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Beth! What a wonderful twist on the bride being left at the altar, or whisked away, in this case! Your book sounds fabulous, and it's a pleasure to learn more about you.

Carolyn Matkowsky said...


Your book sounds so good, I just pre-ordered it on Kindle. I got my Kindle last week and find it is dangerously easy to order books. Truly, your book sounds like something I would love.

Cara Marsi

Donna Del Grosso said...

Hi Beth,
Your book sounds exciting. Kathryne is right, imagine your wedding getting interrupted by goons and guns! Definitely not the kind of sparks Paige wanted! =)

Beth C said...

Hi all-
I apologize for being so late stopping by today. I've literally been gone all day and when I got home I fell asleep on the couch! Oops...
I hope you all enjoy THE BRIDE'S BODYGUARD as much as I had fun writing it. I'll pop back by in the morning when I'm more coherent to chat more...

Estella said...

I love romantic suspense!
The Bride's Bodyguard sounds very good.

robynl said...

can't go wrong with romantic adventure/suspense!! Bring it on, lol. Sounds very intriquing.

Tina LaVon said...

I like the idea that you used your favorite story hooks.
Thanks for stopping by MCTT.