June 1, 2016
Recently I had the chance to interview Western Romance author Stephanie Berget about her writing. Stephanie is a tender-heart yet isn’t afraid to tell you how things are.
Hi Stephanie, thank you for agreeing to this interview! You are definitely building a name for yourself with these quirky characters. The details in your books are rich and memorable. What inspires you or where do you draw these characters from?
Steph: I’ve decided these people already exist on a different plane, just waiting for me to discover the place they live. As I’m writing, they appear, fully formed and full of opinions. They have their own personalities and life stories that they are more than happy to tell me about. This is one of the most enjoyable aspects of writing for me, finding new friends.
New fictional friends who you can boss around. That’s awesome. Yet, I know you’ve done rodeo for years, do you pull from those experiences at all?
Steph: One of the reasons I started writing, besides the love of romance, was to depict ranching and rodeo is a realistic light. As a city born, horse-crazy girl, the years my husband and I rodeoed were the culmination of a life long dream. Rodeo is a unique community and the colorful personalities do show up in my books. Very rarely do I base one character on a person, instead using bits and pieces of personalities to construct the cowboys and cowgirls who populate my books. Traveling across the West all those years also helps me create the people and places I write about.
Depict horses accurately, yes, I could see that being a big deal. You mentioned earlier the ‘from the hip’ way you write – the story forms as you put it on paper. What are the good and bad sides of being a pantser?
Steph: The obvious good side is having characters pop up, fully formed, crazy and opinionated. It’s also fun to have them take off on their own, shaping the story in ways I couldn’t imagine. One of the few bad things about being a Pantser is when they don’t tell me until way into the book and I have to do a ton of rewrites. I do kind of like rewrites, so there’s that.
Having written is an amazing feeling! So your latest book Gimme Some Sugar was written for an anthology. City girl and pastry chef Cary falls for the hardworking ranch owner Micah. Do you have a sequel in the works? What are you working on now?
Steph: The sequel to Gimme Some Sugar will be out in August. Sweet Cowboy Kisses is the story of Pansy Lark and professional bull rider, Kade Vaughn. Readers met Pansy in the first book. Pansy and Kade were college sweethearts, and although Kade is still all cowboy, Pansy has changed. Her outlandish behavior and style of dress, keep people at arms length, especially Kade. The theme of this book is their struggle to find the love they lost.
I’m also working on Love and Other Useless Things, the story of Stevie Prentiss, the blue-haired twin from Radio Rose, and Will Bogarts, a saddle bronc rider on his way to the National Finals Rodeo. Well, he was on his way until he met Stevie.
Love the titles! In the stories I’ve read, your sexual tension is slow to build and deeply felt. Is writing the smexy stuff hard? How do you keep it connected to the story?
Steph: Honestly? I’ve considered writing children’s fiction just so I don’t have to worry about writing the sexy parts. That is the hardest things for me. There are only so many ways to describe sex, and it’s tough to keep the scenes fresh. Portraying the characters emotions along with the mechanics helps me to keep things real.
I think you could pull off a great book about learning to ride horses. Little ones would love it. Okay, last question. What keeps you motivated?
Steph: Keeping motivated is something I struggle with every day. Give me a deadline and I can meet it every time. But year in and year out, the biggest help for me is my friends in the Coeur du Bois RWA chapter. They cheer me on and pump me up when I’m sure I can’t write a word.
Thank you so much for answering my questions. It was a pleasure!