Author Spotlight – G Benson
Meet Lesbian Fiction Author G Benson
Our reviewer Rocio had this to say about G Benson’s books:
I have loved every G Benson book I have read so far.
There is something in her books that takes me into the story from the very first moment. When I choose a Benson book, I know what I am going to find – real-life characters and great stories.
Each book has a different theme but they are all tied in by the resilience in the characters – in All the Little Moments, our characters have to go through difficult circumstances when their lives change in a split second whereas Flinging It deals with women stuck in marriages that make them miserable. In Pieces, teenagers are faced with the challenge of having to face the world by themselves, while Who’d Have Thought highlights the issues of women who suffer homophobia from their own families.
This is what G Benson excels at – she puts all these issues onto paper and develops the stories beautifully. Her stories resonate of strong women who will go to great lengths and make hard sacrifices to be happy.
We spoke to G Benson about her books and her writing plans for the year.
(a) Tell us something interesting about your last published book.
Who’d Have Thought almost never got written. It was completely unplanned, more so that anything I usually write, which is saying something. I sat down for the first three days of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—a month in which you attempt to write 50000 words in four weeks) writing something completely different, but it wasn’t gelling. So I scrapped it, opened a new doc, and wrote the first 5000 words of Who’d Have Thought with absolutely zero idea of where it would go. I grabbed onto the idea of fake marriage and in four weeks wrote 65000 words.
Really, it wrote itself. I was just fuelled with caffeine and chocolate and some characters who were very, very insistent on who they were in my head and wanted out.
(b) What got you into writing?
I was always scribbling in notebooks. I had pages of half-started stories, or scenes that were in my head that I wanted to get out and down on paper. When we got a computer when I was in my teens, I had docs saved on a floppy disc (LOL!) so no one could read them. But that’s all it was then, this burning desire to put down little scene ideas.
It wasn’t until I discovered Buffy, then fanfiction, that I actually started writing in earnest. There were all these stories I wanted to see and the TV wasn’t giving them to me. And so I fell in love with telling untold stories.
(c) Can you tell us about your writing style? How do you decide on plots and characters? Are you a planner or a pantser?
As is probably evident by my answer to the first question, I in no way plot. At all. Zero. I’m jealous of, and admire, those who do. Sometimes if I get a little stuck it would help to know where I need to go, how to connect A to C—the problem is I don’t often know what C actually is.
That said, I actually really enjoy pantsing. Usually where I start ends somewhere very different, and even if I have a vague idea of where I want to take a story, it’s very flexible. The strongest point of a story, for me, are the characters—the plot is this fuzzy unknown as I write, or background when I read. But the characters, for me, rise up fully formed and pretty much drive themselves. Characters are the best part of any story, for me.
(d) If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?
With hindsight, there’s a lot I would do differently. I know so much more now about storytelling and editing, and will be learning about that forever, I feel. So, technically I would love to go back to my first book and change things. But really, I wouldn’t do it differently. I like that I can see how much my style has changed from my first book, All the Little Moments, to now. I think our mistakes shape us as much as our achievements and they’re all a learning experience.
(e) What is next for you? What is your next project?
I’m not currently working on anything new. Just waiting for a character to demand a story….
ROCIO’s TOP PICKS
Anna is a successful anaesthetist focused on her career and her girlfriend. Her life is well planned until something devastating occurs in her life, and she finds herself responsible for her young niece and nephew – Ella and Toby, two adorable children, who have to deal with too many things at such young age. And then Lane comes to her life too. They are an awesome couple. Lane helps Anna with love and humour.
When you start reading this book, you can’t put it down. Your heart cries, laughs and suffers with them. I know I did. I felt all their emotions and have to admit that some tears came down my cheeks a few times. It is a touching story and it has real issues. I wish I could explain my feelings better but I’m afraid I’m not able to. You will just have to read it.
I totally recommend this book because it is my favourite ever. Did I mention it before? No? Well, it is my favourite book. A book will have to be really good to take its place. Just sayin’.
You start reading Who’d Have Thought and wonder what is going on – what circumstances might be so difficult to make a person to accept a marriage for money, and for the other to make the offer?
Hayden is an ER nurse with money issues, and a secret. Samantha is a successful neurosurgeon with a lot of money, and has her own secret. They are both family secrets but for very different reasons.
In this book I have found, once again, that there is more than one way to love. At first the term “they” confused me when referring to Hayden’s best friend Luce, until it is perfectly explained later along in the book. Jae’s Perfect Rythm taught me about asexuality, whereas this book taught me two new terms: pansexuality and non-binary. Both feelings were so sensitively and well described, that I feel I have been missing a lot in this vast world.
We can also find homophobia, the hardest I believe, when coming from your own family. G Benson has handled these scenes exceptionally well and with great sensitivity, and these scenes really showcase her skills as a writer.
This book is brilliant and I totally recommend it.