MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR BERNADETTE FRANKLIN
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Hi! I’m Bernadette Franklin, a figment of imagination operated by two cats, four fish, and an author, and we write contemporary romantic comedy!
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Shammed, releasing March 12, is about a woman on the other side of a bad situation who learns to love life again. She got a bad lot in my first contemporary rom com, Claustrophobic, and felt she needed a happily ever after, too.
Here’s the book’s description:
At R.K. Legal & Associates, office hours are between ten to six, pranks happen after hours, and evidence of all shenanigans are removed before doors open to clients.
When Alice’s boss, Mr. Kenton, starts a prank war with Lance McCarthy, an up-and-coming attorney from a rival firm, she thinks it’s just business as usual.
She’s never been so wrong in her life.
Chosen to be Mr. Kenton’s accomplice, Alice must face off against Lance in what quickly becomes a winner-takes-all game of hearts.
It’s going to be fun. Warning: contains spiders. (Oops!)
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve always enjoyed laughing, and I write humorous fantasy, so making the leap to contemporary romantic comedy, something I do enjoy reading, seemed logical. I kinda got tired of all the kind of rom coms that’s humor and a lot of sex flung together, and I also kinda got tired of a lot of the humor being based on embarrassing people, so I decided to do my own thing.
Sometimes a character gets embarrassed, but it’s not the driving force of the relationships. And at the heart, these books are all about relationships presented in funny ways. (From glitter to plush spiders to optical illusions painted on bathroom floors…)
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Surprisingly, there’s a lot of research that goes into any book, even a light rom com. Shammed involved a lot of research on local laws about exotic pet ownership. Upon further review, my version of Earth had some laws changed because yes, my characters have legal tarantulas in New York City, and no danged law is going to stop me!
Can you tell me about your Series?
The Bernadette Franklin books are a sorta series, in that characters from previous books may or may not show up. It was mostly luck that Alice from Claustrophobic became the main character of Shammed. Murder Floof, (it’s about a kitten) which should release later this year (if all goes well) doesn’t feature any of the characters from Claustrophobic or Shammed, but it does take place in the same shared world, so it’s possible the characters may meet!
It’s fun being able to write characters from all walks of life, and it’s fun when the characters get to meet each other.
But back to the research part of things: I tend to research a lot into local laws, what sort of people live in a specific location, and things of that nature. If someone is injured, I’ll spend a lot of time looking into the medical elements.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I’m going to have to go with the unreleased Murder Floof; this one cracks me up. I absolutely adored writing Claustrophobic, and I’m having a great time with Shammed, too, but the kitten in Murder Floof makes me smile without fail.
And her poor owner gets one heck of a fun ride on her way to her Happily Ever After.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
That’s a good question. I don’t actually remember. I think I just wanted to write something fun, lighthearted, and different from what I usually do. So, I came up with some basic concepts, had my cover artist make me some ridiculously cute, fun covers for it, and went to town.
Let’s just say this series wasn’t really planned.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Noooooppppeee. And it shows. Some stories connect, some don’t, but they do share one thing in common: they’re fun!
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
This year, most of my work days have been 8-15 hours a day of busting butt. I work from home, I’m a full-time author, and I want to be able to take a vacation where I don’t have to work much. That means I have to make up the hours somewhere, and well, I’m getting them out of the way now. It’s rough, but it’ll be worth it.
I’m taking an adventure to England, and my spouse and I are going to tour the ruins of castles and see Stonehenge. It’ll be a blast!
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Shammed releases March 12, 2019, and can be preordered at most major vendors. After that, the cats, fish, and human will be working on a Zodiac-themed paranormal/urban fantasy themed series called Seeking the Zodiacs.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Not very, honestly, and not usually. Rarely, a character will have a secret meaning to a name, but I find I’d spend all my time trying to name a character if I did stuff like that, so I just pick something I like at random. It makes my life a lot easier.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Writing books. Writing is my number one passion, and I want to keep doing it until I either get old and die or get bored of it, and I don’t foresee myself getting bored of it anytime soon.
Have you always liked to write?
I didn’t start to really write seriously until I became an adult. I’m actually glad this was the case; after fourth grade, my passion was to read, and I think I would’ve missed out on a lot of great books had I been writing more than reading.
I still love to read, but the tables have turned. Reading comes second to writing for me now.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Writing is hard, but you can’t get better at it unless you keep trying. There’s talent, and then there’s the talent of hard work, and the person who works hard is going to always beat the person with talent who screws around.
Of course, the person with talent that also works hard has an unfair advantage, but I’ve found a lot of people don’t really want to invest the ten thousand hours of work it takes to master something—and that includes writing.
It’s worth it, though.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Chief Cat Feeder, Pet Administrator, and Slave to Felines. What? That’s not a job? It should be.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Here’s a small (and unedited) snippet from Shammed.
Stuffed spiders hung from the ceiling of my boss’s office, brushing against the heads of the unwary entering the room. Mr. Kenton’s shriek had brought everyone in the office running. As his newest secretary, I’d had the dubious honor of arriving first.
I’d only been working for him for a month, and I ran a high risk of losing my job from laughing so hard at the childish prank. Tears pricked my eyes, and wiping them away did no good. They kept coming back.
I was probably the only person in the office who actually liked spiders and kept several as pets.
“It’s not that funny, Alice,” the attorney complained.
Yes, it was. “I’m sorry, sir.”
Despite my best effort, I couldn’t stop from laughing.
Several other attorneys crowded into the doorway behind me along with their secretaries and the paralegals working on the floor. Like me, they laughed at the partner’s expense.
Unlike every other legal firm I’d worked for, Mr. Kenton handled the situation with grace—and a few laughs of his own. “To whomever helped with this one, well played. As soon as I figure out which one of you rascals did this, I will have my revenge.”
At R.K. Legal & Associates, office hours were between ten to six, pranks could only be performed after hours and needed to be cleaned up before ten every business day, and all legal representatives were to show up by nine to ensure all shenanigans were removed or cleverly hidden.
As Mr. Kenton’s internal secretary, I needed to make the spiders disappear before ten, but I’d enjoy the work compared to the general monotony of filing paperwork, doing research, making certain Mr. Kenton made it to his appointments on time, and otherwise serving as a well-paid office gopher.
Fighting to regain my composure, I straightened, cleared my throat, and dabbed my eyes, careful to avoid the tender skin of my healing cheek. I’d been promised the injury would stop hurting one day, but the latest surgery to fix my face had left me with a new like of stitches which would result in a second thin scar near my eye.
In eight weeks, I’d be free from all my stitches and be able to get on with my life—and wear makeup without inflicting pain on myself to hide my scars and bruises.
I couldn’t wait.
Once I could speak without giggling, I asked, “What would you like me to do with the spiders, Mr. Kenton?”
The attorney counted stuffed spiders. “It seems there’s enough cute, fluffy spiders for everyone, so do deliver one to every attorney first, and then distribute them as you see fit. Keep the one you like best for yourself. I think I’ll see about getting them little hats with shamrocks on them. We’ll call them holiday decorations for St. Patrick’s Day.”
I lifted my hand and bit my knuckle so I wouldn’t burst into laughter at the thought of stuffed spiders wearing shamrock-themed bowlers. Unable to speak without giggling like a fool, I nodded.
Those behind me didn’t even bother to hide their mirth over the situation—or Mr. Kenton’s reaction to the prank. Fetching a chair, one without troublesome wheels, I went to work retrieving stuffed spiders from the ceiling. They came in bright colors, and upon closer inspection, I discovered some of them came with power switches. Puzzled, I turned one on and set it on the floor.
Mr. Kenton dodged hanging spiders, circled his desk, and yelped at something he found on his chair, likely more spiders.
The bright blue and pink spider took off across the floor right towards the attorney.
His yelp grew into a full-fledged screech.
The toy sped up, spun in a circle, and darted off in another direction.
The best way to keep in touch with the felines, fish, and female behind Bernadette Franklin is to join this facebook group, which features advanced snippets and the latest news about the author (in all her guises.) https://www.facebook.com/groups/1970054263314922/
Thanks for having me!
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
Here’s a link for Shammed: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MFGHHJ2/