Belinda Bennett is an author based in the UK. She specialises in writing novellas and short reads. Her new release, currently a 'hot new release' in the British and Irish short story section on Amazon, is called Midlife Crisis. We have conducted an interview with her.
How long have you been specialising in writing novellas and short reads? Why novellas?
My first short story was considered by a publisher when I was just nine years old, so I’ve been writing fiction all my life.
Like many people, I am daunted by ‘big books’. I’ve got a busy life, so the prospect of me finishing a book that runs to hundreds of pages is pretty slim. I write for people just like me; those who like a short, satisfying read that entertains them - something they can digest on the commute to work, during lunch breaks and in the evenings.
Which perspectives and point of views did you take in writing your book 'Midlife Crisis'?
Midlife Crisis was inspired by my memory of the first time I had a ‘hot flush’. I was 46 and the editor of a newspaper. Because I thought the menopause was something that only happened to women in their fifties, I didn’t recognise the intense heat for what it was. Instead, I mistook it as a sign that I was about to have a stroke. I was under pressure at work, on deadline, and felt so ill I thought I was going to die. I suffered a panic attack. As the menopause progressed, I noticed I was occasionally forgetful and that my perceptions of things were sometimes skewed. It occurred to me that bad things can happen to women experiencing such extreme changes to their body.
Why should people read this book? Who is it for?
This book is for everybody, because it is a thriller. However, I think women will especially appreciate it and identify with some of the themes. Because renegade hormones must never be allowed to win, Midlife Crisis has a comical twist. It is also a story of endings and new beginnings. I tend to write for women just like me - those who want to fight off the ageing process and stay young.
What is your background and what is your writing process like? Do you like to write in other genres?
I worked in the newspaper industry for 32 years, first as a reporter and latterly as an editor and copy editor. Over those years, I recorded every aspect of human depravity, suffering and kindness, as well as amazing feats by those who battled to overcome adversity. I covered everything from parish council meetings to murders - once, two in one day - and charity events. These things have all inspired me.
Although thrillers are my main interest, I also like writing comedy. All my books are clean reads. I would never write erotica. There’s nothing worse than seeing an author profile featuring a photo of a middle-aged woman in a state of undress.
What do you consider is the most interesting things in life as an author?
The fantastic thing about being an author is that you can take the seed of an idea and develop it into something that can be shared and discussed. Words reach out and touch people in a very profound way. They encapsulate a particular moment in time and bring it to life. I like that, and I like seeing a project through from start to finish.
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