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When Nina Benneton and her family first arrived in America years ago, she took one look at the front lawns of her new neighborhood and thought, Gosh, these Americans are indeed a blessed race. They even got the gods to give them the power to grow trees in perfect geometric shapes. Inspired, she spent years making her family proud by trying to achieve the American dream--college, graduate school, gainful employment, then conquering the world and winning a Nobel Prize in something.

A wonderful husband and a gaggle of beautiful children interrupted her attaining the last two goals, though the family promised she could resume her campaign once the nest is emptied.

Meanwhile, armed with a laptop, a stack of tabloid magazines, and a dog-eared Jane Austen novel, Nina started writing. On the same week that she learned Compulsively Mr. Darcy would be published, she went to the local nursery to look for trees with perfect geometric shapes to plant in her yard. She is hard at work on another novel.

Interview with Nina Benneton

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you be?

Don Quixote. I love his passion in charging at windmills, righting the off-kilter tilting of his world. I love idealistic, unrealistic and impractical people, because it's people like them who have the passion to change the world. I wish I had that.

Name a book that you'd blush to be seen reading on the bus.

Any book that's penned by anyone with political views different from mine.

Do you ever write while intoxicated?

Sleep-deprived, yes. Intoxicated, never. I have a genetic deficiency of alcohol dehydrogenase, I discovered in college after a few sips of alcohol.

Did you ever read a book and then wish you had all that time back?

No. I'm the woman who was inspired to write my first novel from reading the tabloids, so I can't be too high-minded about anybody's work, can I?

I never think anything I read is a waste of time, even if it's the rambling, stream of consciousness of a paranoid schizophrenic. (Wait, that would actually be the first thing I'd read, out of curiosity).

What type of books do you like to read in your spare time?

I've become my eccentric father, I just realized when I look at the pile of books that's my guilty pleasure on my bedside table. They're all used books on obscure topics no one I know cares about.

I have 'The Complete Servant' by Samuel and Sarah Adams, first published in 1825 about detailed duties of servants, a 2008 tenth edition of 'The Criminal Law Handbook' I paid a dollar for last weekend, 'Literary Women' by Ellen Moers , and a dog-eared copy of Diedre Le Faye's third edition of 'Jane Austen's Letters.'

Is writing your main profession?

Gosh, I'm almost afraid to answer that question in case my mother's right: if you say it out loud, the gods will hear you and become wrathful.

The day job still pays the bills, but if everyone who stops by here would buy my book, then I'll be able wear black turtlenecks 24/7, hang out at cafes, take up smoking organic cigarettes and call myself a self-supporting writer, okay?

What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you have a work set schedule? What are your surroundings?

I get up early, about three in the morning (for peace and quiet), and put in some rambling thousand or more words of first-draft writing before the family gets up three or four hours later. Throughout the day, I jot down a few sentences here or there if I can.

Revising/editing and answering questions like this interview I can do amidst distractions. After homework and bedtime, I get another two to three hours.
I've trained myself to work on my writing anywhere, anyplace--in the van, while waiting in line at the pharmacy, even during intermission at a kid's basketball game.

Did you ever regret wanting to be a writer?

No. When it's just me and the words, however rough and ugly and cliche-ridden, it's conscious meditation.

Do you ever base characters on real people you have known?

Of course. Family reunions are a great source of material. Usually, however, within a scene or two, the fictional characters refuse to stay mere imitations of their real-life counterparts and insist on their own identity...and I let them. But the seeds of a certain character, especially secondary characters, come from real life inspirations.

Are you working on any new books now?

I'm editing a Regency Romantic Suspense.
I've just finished the first draft of a contemporary romantic comedy.
I've started writing a time-travel romance. 

eBooks found: 1
Compulsively Mr. Darcy ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Nina Benneton
Compulsively Mr. Darcy
Nina Benneton
Sourcebooks Landmark, February 2012
ISBN: 9781402262494
Format: ePub, PDF
List Price: $14.99 Our price: $12.99
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