Author Spotlight: Leigh Bennett
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I adored creative writing at school and wrote dodgy song lyrics all through high school and in my early twenties, then just small snippets of writing here and there. Once I started my family I started writing more profusely again for a bit of me time, starting with a few short stories, one which was the precursor to Flirting with Magick.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
I started writing Flirting when I was pregnant with my second child, for fun once my oldest was in bed at night. It was my wind down from the day. My second child is now nine and I also now have a seven year old, so it was quite a long time in the making. I put it away a few times, sometimes not picking it up again for years. And then I got another story idea which I’m working on now, but really wanted to finish Flirting first, so I brushed it off and got excited about it again. I didn’t really think that much about publishing it at first – I just wanted to finish it. Then I discovered that people were self-publishing so I made it my goal to get to a publishable standard and start off that way and see how it went. By then I got the bug and just wanted to write more. A year or so after I self-published it got picked up by Booktrope.
Tell us a little more about Flirting With Magick:
It’s about a woman who decides to leave fate up to the universe, so in putting her trust out there, she really puts her heart on the line.
Flirting With Magick is a fun read that centres around the central character Abby Williams and her quest for love using a love spell. But while the magic is fun for a little while, it doesn’t all run smoothly does it? With love, highly strung emotions, and secrets all colliding, Abby questions her flirtations with magic—what inspired this theme for you?
I wanted to write a romantic comedy novel and had a little experience in Wicca having studied it when I was younger. I loved the idea of someone doing a spell and seeing what happened. With magick, there is always the idea that you can’t really make things happen, so you can’t try to force someone to fall in love with you, but if you leave it open, the universe will provide what you want, once the right person is ready and it is the right time.
What one character trait will most endear Abby to readers?
A lot of readers tell me she’s real and relatable. She’s not perfect. She’s a little insecure but her heart is open to what the universe will give to her, so she hopes for the best, in people and in life.
One thing you’d like readers to know about the romance genre…
One thing I’ve noticed is that there are so many interpretations of what is romantic. So I think, even for people who say they don’t like to read romance, there really is something out there for everyone.
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
I’m currently studying Interior Design, not necessarily for working, just so I have a better idea what to do for my own house. But I am enjoying it so if I run out of story ideas, at least it’s another creative outlet.
Biggest accomplishment to date:
As I’m a pretty slow writer, and am constantly tweaking my work, in all honesty every story I see through to completion is a pretty big accomplishment.
What’s next for you?
I’m actually working on a young adult urban fantasy called Avalon’s Child, which is the first in a series. There is plenty of romance in that one too. After that I have a couple of tie-in novels for Flirting with Magick planned out, and then about 3 more romantic comedy novels.
Favourite snack whilst writing? Liquorice bullets and coffee
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self? Relax.
What do you find easiest to write? And, the hardest?
When I’m inspired and focused, and the writing is flowing, everything is easy. When it’s not, the simplest of sentences can be difficult, even when I know in my mind what the scene is about.
Favourite travel experience?
Trekking Thailand with friends when I was about 23.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list:
More travel but this time with family.
Milk, dark or white chocolate? Dark
Red, white, bubbly? Whatever I can get my hands on! But bubbly is the favourite.
Salty or sweet? Sweet, but I’m trying to give it up. Again.
Beach or mountains? I already live in the mountains, so beach.
Give or receive? Give
About the Author:
Leigh Bennett is an Australian author who lives in Melbourne’s hilly outer east with her husband, three sons, two beagle x cavalier dogs, and a varying number of chickens. Before giving up the glamorous life to be a stay-at-home mum, Leigh worked in various industries including public service, education, road, and music. She enjoys reading, cooking, interior design, and writing stories filled with love, drama, and fun — happily ever afters not optional.
Flirting with Magick
There’s nothing like a love spell to get Abby Williams out of her rut and over her ex, but when a gorgeous rocker, a cute colleague, and an apologetic ex–boyfriend come knocking Abby wonders if maybe the spell worked a little too well. If she even believes in that stuff. As emotions run high, secrets are exposed, and feelings change, Abby wonders if flirting with magick is more trouble than it’s worth. But the real question is, do any of these men deserve her heart? Flirting With Magick is a contemporary romance that proves you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.