My guest and fellow writer Betty Ann Harris on writing and all things Betty Ann

I’m delighted to welcome BettyAnn Harris as my guest. BettyAnn writes romantic suspense, is generous in her advice and support of other writers and I’m grateful she could spare the time to answer a few questions about her work and the writing life.

How would you describe your books?
I think my books would best be described as romantic suspense thrillers. I love to write a fast-paced plot to keep the reader interested, as well as using lots of mystery and suspense to keep them turning those pages to find out what happens next.

How long does it take for you to write a book?
It really depends on the story. I’ve written a book in four months, but have also been writing a book for almost two years. I also write multiple stories at the same time.

Do you do a lot of research for your books and if so, how do you do that? Yes, I need to do some research for most of my books. I’ve interviewed people such as FBI agents and pilots. I also do a lot of reseach online often goggling people, places and history.

Do you have a favorite author?
Yes, I love James Patterson, considering him the King of crime mystery and suspense. He’s so prolific. I also like Patricia Gaffney and Nora Roberts.

Was there any one thing that particularly inspired you to write?
I always loved writing, even as a youngster. I like to communicate my emotions and find it easier to write things rather than talking about something sometimes.

What’s the best and worst part about being a writer?
The best part about being a writer is having friends and fans tell me they really enjoyed reading one of my books. I also love talking with people who ask me questions about my books and writing. The worst part is the dreaded writer’s block, when I’m going through a difficult time personally.

How do you balance a personal life with a writing life?
It’s difficult. But I’ve learned as I get older to let some things slide so I can spend more time writing. I may not have the cleanest house, but that’s okay. If I’m writing, I’m a much happier camper.

What do you consider the most important elements of a great book?
Great characters and an interesting plot make for a great book. I also think dialogue should be realistic and well-written. I love writing dialogue. You can learn a lot about a character just by what they say and how they say it.

Is there any particular advice you have been given or heard given to a writer that you feel is particularly important?
Try to dedicate time each day to your craft. Even if you’re not writing on paper or on the computer, be writing in your mind. What I mean is, you can be figuring out what should happen next in your story, deciding to change some things or figuring out a problem that has you stumped.

What are you writing/reading now?
I’m actually not reading anything at the moment, but I did finish reading “Now You See Her” by James Patterson a few weeks ago. It was fantastic!

I’m writing a romantic paranormal at that moment, about a spirit who comes back to haunt (in a nice way) her great, great, great niece to avenge her being falsely accused of murder back in 1897. I’m finishing it up and hope it will be published early next year.

Where can we find out more about you and your books?
I have a website, which I have to admit is a bit unattended to. The website address is: http://www.bettyannharris.com You can find out more about my books on my Special Agent Series Blog: http://specialagentseries.blogspot.com

If you could be a character in one of your books, which one would you choose to be?
I think I’d love to be Ruby Stone from Ruby Stone in Danger in Paradise. She’s the first sexy, female Special Agent in the series. She’s smart, beautiful and a good agent.

Do you have a favourite character from your books?
Yes, I love Tom from Eureka Point and Beyond the Point. He’s my hero!

For series writers only: What do you especially enjoy about writing a series as compared to a stand alone book?
I like being able to continue a story, especially if people really like the characters. It’s like you can keep them alive forever, well almost.

What do you do to unwind, put aside the hard work of writing, or otherwise enjoy life?
I love music, gardening and interior design. I also love to get together with friends for lunch and shoot the breeze.

Where can we find your books and more about you? http://specialagentseries.blogspot.com and also at Red Rose Publishing. My book page is: http://redrosepublishing.com/books/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Betty+Ann+Harris&osCsid=idnrdrgae31hgb23lc4euloan7&search.x=11&search.y=19
You can also see my Author page at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Betty-Ann-Harris/e/B004HSM2D4/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1344454409&sr=1-2-ent

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