Monday, 6 July 2015

Author interview for 'Men for Hire' anthology

This month we have Bella Settarra talking about her entry in the ‘Men for Hire’ anthology due out in September.

Hi Jen. I’m an Erotic Romance author who lives in the English countryside. I love allowing my imagination to take over and am often surprised to read what I have written at the end of the day. I have been writing professionally for eighteen months now and will be releasing my twelfth novel this week. One of my favourite things about being an author is having contact with my readers, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch! J

Your Writing

The ‘Men for Hire’ anthology has a specific theme. That of
a firm in London run by Jennifer Archer offering ‘men for hire’ to do any job from dog walking, house sitting, DIY, chauffeuring, etc…. How did you find this theme easy (or hard) to work with?

At first it was hard as there were so many occupations I could come up with, but the idea of chimney sweeps came to me when a bird got stuck in my chimney. I liked that it was a little more unusual, although the problem of having a bird fluttering around your chimney when you’re a woman on your own is a very real one.

This is Luminosity’s first anthology. Have you had any short stories accepted in an anthology before and tell us the title of your story in the Men for Hire anthology.

My story for the ‘Men for Hire’ anthology is ‘Ménage at Mealtime’ and is the first short story I have ever had published. I will certainly be writing more in the future though – it was great fun!
(Glad to hear I have converted you!)

‘Men for Hire’ is contemporary MF/MFM stories (there will be a follow up anthology with MM stories later on). What other genres do you normally write?

As well as MF and MFM stories I have also written MM and hope to be releasing a MFMM shortly. Although my current series, ‘Collar and Cuffs’ is contemporary, set in a BDSM club, I have also written two cowboy romance series, ‘The Men of Moone Mountain’ and ‘Midnight in Montana’, while my first series, ‘Sirens and Sailors’ was mythical/fantasy.

The stories in the anthology are all between 8-12,000 words. What is good (or hard) about writing a short story?

Keeping to a strict word count was quite a challenge for me – my first attempt at a short story of this kind ended up as a novel, ‘Last of the Sirens’, which then went on to be the first in a series of six books, called ‘Sirens and Sailors’, lol!

I think the hardest part about writing a short story is not incorporating strands which would lead to extra storylines or even subsequent books. Sticking to one story and keeping on track takes a lot of discipline, but I’m learning 
(Very true)

Tell us about the characters in your story?

Naomi Powell is a 38-year-old writer who has recently been dumped by her boyfriend, Richard, who went off with her best friend. She is plumpish and regards herself as plain, though not exactly ugly. She has lost her confidence and is nervous and worried as she prepares for the evening ahead.

James is about 36 and is fair-haired with blue eyes which twinkle with mirth. He is a lot of fun and real flirt, although very kind and caring, too. He smells deliciously of spice – oh and, of course, he’s an Adonis!

Aaron is also about 36 and is a veritable hunk that has dark hair with chocolate eyes that smoulder sexily. His lips are moist and full and he has a dazzling smile ‘which would put Donny Osmond to shame’. His husky voice is soft yet slightly commanding and he smells of Georgio Armani

Blurb for Ménage at Mealtime:

Naomi Powell nervously prepares for a dinner party where she hopes to secure her a lucrative deal with a new publisher. Her ex, Richard, is also attending with his new girlfriend, Naomi’s best friend, Paula.

When Naomi hears a bird stuck in her chimney she urgently calls ‘Men for Hire’ for help. Two gorgeous guys, Aaron and James, come to her rescue. Not only do they solve her chimney problem, they woo her guests and give Naomi the time of her life – ménage-style!

However, when Richard announces that he wants Naomi back will she follow convention or follow her heart?

About You

Although Luminosity Publishing is based in the UK, we have authors from several different countries in this anthology. Which country are you from (and name of county/state). Did you grow up there?

I am British, living in the Shropshire countryside. As my father was in the British Army, I grew up all over the world, including Germany and Saudi Arabia as well as various parts of the UK.
(In all this time I’ve known you, I never knew your Dad was in the army!)

When was your first book published and with whom?

My first book, ‘Last of the Sirens’ was published in November 2013 with Siren Bookstrand.

Give one thing about yourself that you would like to change?

Only one? LOL!  OK, I think the main thing is that I’m a bit of ditherer; very indecisive. I spend ages procrastinating about stuff instead of just getting on with it. I would definitely like to change that – life’s too short!

Name three people you would like to be shipwrecked with (and why)?

Great question! OK, putting aside family members and such, I think I would choose Stephen Fry as I find him fascinating and so funny. I don’t think I’d ever run out of things to discuss with him as he’s such a genius and has so many exciting experiences to talk about.

The second person I would choose is EL James. Love her or hate her, the woman is amazing! I would want to know how she really felt about the success of Fifty Shades – had she planned it to be the blockbuster it turned out to be, as there are so many different reports about her being ‘gobsmacked by its runaway success’ but also that she planned it meticulously, having already got 32,000 fans eagerly awaiting it’s release having read her earlier versions as fan fiction for ‘Twilight’.

And, of course, I’ve got to have some eye candy so I would have to choose Jamie Dornan as my third ;)  Apart from loving his Irish accent, being such a great singer means he would be able to keep me entertained when we had exhausted other avenues, if you catch my drift? I find him a total enigma; he manages to not only portray such diverse roles but also to look so different too! I love him with or without the beard but can’t get my head around him being the same guy, and when he is just being himself he has a totally different look and demeanour altogether.

What’s the strangest (bravest, funniest etc) thing you’ve ever done?

I think that the most amazing thing I ever did was survive breast cancer – not that it took much effort on my part, lol! I have always been very positive and my first words after being told my diagnosis were ‘OK, so what do we do about it?’ I was determined not to let it beat me and am pleased to be looking forward to getting to my 5-years’ remission this summer. I know I’m not out of the woods yet, it could come back at any time, but I won’t let that worry me – I’m living my life to the full and making the most of every day! 
(And you amaze me with how you have coped with it all and still remain smiling!)

Please give links of how fans can find you on the internet/buy your books.

Thank you so much, Bella, for taking part. Next month it will be the turn of me(!) as I am the fourth of the anthology authors.


  1. Thank you so much for having me over today, Jen. It was great fun! :)

  2. Bella, so happy you're part of the Men For Hire Anthology. We are all looking forward to release day. Oh, and I have to agree, Stephen Fry would be a fab person to have on a desert island. He would never run out of things to discuss. :)

  3. Interesting.
    Good answers, Stephen Fry for me too.
    I'm certainly looking forward to buying the book. Well, not the buying part, but the reading!