Interview with historical romance author, Barbara Bettis...

1.)                What did you want to be when you grew up?

I don’t recall having one certain ‘thing’ that I wanted to be—except I was always writing something—in the second grade, I wrote a play for my classmates (I also directed--I used to be a bossy little thing!) In high school, I decided I’d join the foreign service—but when I got to college, history and English were the subjects duelling for attention. I was fascinated by how people lived in earlier days and by what we could learn about our past through examining their literature and ways of living. But through all of that, I loved to write. Life came along, however, and it wasn’t until the past few years that I finally sat down to write a book.

2.)                Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?

Tea and coffee both, depending on the mood.  Hot chocolate is a cold-weather luxury.

3.)                What genre do you typically read? Why?

I usually read history—historical novels and romance, and non-fiction. However, I do read my friends’ books, no matter what they write. I have quite a collection of fellow Roses’ books in all genres. I don’t read in the genre I’m writing at the time, however.

4.)                Share a favourite childhood memory.

In grade school, I had a rather large dog that would let me dance with him. He’d stand on his back legs, and allow me to put one paw on my shoulder, hold the other in my hand, and take a few steps back and forth. I can remember our times on the big front porch doing that. Of course, our dances didn’t last long—three or four steps—but he was so gentle and accommodating. Then, of course, we go run and do stuff he liked. J

5.)                Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?

Books, books, books.

6.)                What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?

My biggest challenge is really getting to know my main characters so that deep point of view is natural. Even if I do character sheets, background summaries, and the like, it takes me a chapter or so before I really get into them. I’ve finally accepted that I’ll be going back to the opening pages to tweak them more than once. (I used to think it had to be correct from the beginning—a legacy of my daily newspaper years, when we made our rounds, got the stories, and wrote them up by deadline that day.)

7.)                Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

I haven’t yet (except for the basic 100 words a day to keep that daily writing habit alive.) I’m hopeful that soon, I’ll be able to devote more time to writing and I’ll be able to achieve a higher count consistently and not wait for a weekend or write-in marathon

8.)                What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I enjoyed reading series, as well as stand alones, so I had no opinion one way or another. I certainly had no intention when I started writing to do a series. But during  my first book, I became so attached to the characters, I hated to give them up. So I didn’t. Each of my books involves characters from the previous ones. They loosely follow the siblings of the same family.

9.)                My latest book, For This Knight Only, is actually first as far as the timeline of the four books, and tells the story of the elder sister of the family, Alyss.

Here’s a little about it:

He’ll do anything for land, even marry her; she’ll do anything for her people, except marry him.  If only either had a choice.  It’s a marriage only love can save.

Sir Roark will do anything to gain land, even beguile an unwilling lady into marriage. He knows she’s much better off with a man to take control of her besieged castle, to say nothing of her desirable person. But it isn’t long before he discovers that, although her eyes sparkle like sunlight on sea waves, her stubbornness alone could have defeated Saladin.  

Lady Alyss is determined to hold her family’s castle, protect her people, and preserve her freedom— until her brother’s dying wish binds her to a stranger. Still, she’ll allow no rugged, over-confident, appealing knight to usurp her authority, even if she must wed him. Especially since he thinks a lady’s duties begin and end with directing servants. Alyss has a few surprises for her new all-too-tempting lord.

But when a common enemy threatens everything, Roark and Alyss face a startling revelation. Without love, neither land nor freedom matters.


A former health insurance claims adjuster, a former journalist, a former journalism and English professor (she recently retired), Barbara Bettis plans never to be a “former” author.

Visit her at:                                               


  1. thank you for hosting me today, Rachel :)

  2. Hey Barbara!! You need books sounds like a winner. Wishing you lots of sales! Loved the interview!

    1. Thanks Tena! Yep, give me books, tea, the occasional sweet and sour chicken with crab Rangoon, and I'm a happy gal :)

  3. Barbara, this book was one of the best I've read in this genre. There are those few that stay with you for a long time--this is one. I can't wait for the next one. Good luck and keep the books coming.

    1. Sandra, you are the best! Thanks for the lovely words.

  4. Barb, great interview! The book sounds like a winner. I love your characters!

    1. Oh, I appreciate it, Laura! And you know I love yours, too :)

  5. Wonderful interview! You know I'm wishing you the best of luck with the book, Barb! :)

  6. so glad you stopped by, Judith. Thanks so much for the good wishes :)

  7. Enjoyed hearing about your favorite childhood memory, Barbara! How special. "For This Knight Only," is a wonderful story! All the best!

  8. I enjoyed your interview, Barb. Thank you for sharing. Good luck with your new book.