Book of the Month ~ The End of Feeling by Cindy C. Bennett
I love sharing great book finds and this month I can't wait to share with you Cindy C, Bennett's re-release of The End of Feeling. This book is anything but, as you will feel the effects long after the last word is read. Benjamin Nefer and Charlotte "Charlie" Austin will follow you into your dreams and keep you company for weeks to come. I LOVED it!
We start our journey as Charlie moves to a new school, becoming the topic of conversation for many there. She is beautiful, smart, quirky, and an instant target for smooth talking Benjamin. The problem, she's already been warned of his reputation and she has a secret or two she'd rather keep private. Hiding is her specialty and she prefers to remain in the shadows.
Benjamin is the typical great looking, smooth-talking, high school jock with amazing footfall skills and a reputation for breaking hearts. On the outside he is the kind of guy every girl wants to date and every guy wants to emulate. But his home-life is a nightmare, one that will only be tolerable when he remains unfeeling.
Assumptions keep Charlie at arms length, giving Benjamin time to realize feeling empty may not be what he wants. Outside influences help Charlie remain at a safe distance from Benjamin's heartbreaking ways and wonder what it would be like to trust her secrets with the outside world.
This book is one emotional whirlwind that keeps you turning pages to see what happens next. I found myself cheering for Benjamin and Charlie as they navigate a world no teenager should ever have too, knowing that many do.
I had the privileged of interviewing Cindy C. Bennett! Not only is she an amazing author, but a wonderful person, both professionally and personally.
You can tell a lot about a person by their favorites so I love to ask . . .
What ‘s your favorite type of ice-cream? Cookie dough What’s your favorite writing beverage? Water (boring, I know)
Do you have any favorite writing snacks you like to have on hand? Chocolate, usually dark
How did you discover your love for writing? I think I’ve always loved to write and make up stories. I found one I wrote when I was 12 (it’s horrible). But in high school I had an English teacher who would have a “10 Minute Writing” everyday where he’d have a subject on the board, and for 10 minutes we would just write. Anything we wanted about that subject. That’s when I first realized that I loved writing enough to want to be an author. It was my favorite part of every day.
When did you begin writing and was your intention to become an author at that time? After that teacher in high school, I began writing in earnest. However, I was so afraid of rejection that I always had a reason not to try to publish: I was too young, I was too busy, etc. I never finished a manuscript until about 6 years ago when I wrote Heart on a Chain and then Geek Girl for my daughters.
Your first book, Heart on a Chain, was such an emotional read. The End of Feeling is no different. What is your inspiration for these soul searching books? Heart on a Chain actually came from seeing a real girl who lived near us. She was always on her swing, whether 110° or a blizzard outside. It’s not based on her real life, of course, but on my interpretation of why she was always outside on her swing. The End of Feeling began with the first line which came to me one day when I first woke up: “I don’t feel anything anymore.” I’m not sure where it came from or why, but it intrigued me enough I had to run with it and see where it went.
Do you have any rituals? Nope. I never outline, I don’t have specific hours that I write, I don’t have a specific setup for my computer and what else I have with me as I write. I just write when the muse strikes.
How many hours a day to you devote to writing? Do you write every day? It really depends. If I’m in the middle of a book that I can’t get out of my head I write a lot. If I’m not particularly inspired then I don’t write as much as I should. I try to force myself to write every day because I believe you should, but I’m not really good at following that.
Tell me a little about your re-release of End of Feeling. How did you come up with the title for your book? The story is really Benjamin’s even though it’s told from alternating POV’s of him and Charlie (short for Charlotte). And since it’s about his journey from not feeling anything for anyone or anything to learning to feel again, I thought it might be a nice, ironical title.
What are you reading now? I can’t remember the last time I read a book for pleasure. All the books I read these days are either because I’m editing them, I've been asked to do a review or endorsement, or it’s a book that’s been submitted to Creative Prose Publishing that we’re considering for publication. I will say one of my favorite reads from last year was your book, Michelle. I love it! (Thank you! This made my lip quiver!)
If you could adapt this book, or any of your writings, which one would it be and who would play your main characters. That’s a tough one. We all think we’d love to see our books turned into film, but then that means we’d be giving our vision over to someone else and hoping they do it justice. So it’s hard for me to say I’d really like to see any of my books made into a movie just because what if someone completely demolished it?
Tell me more about End of Feeling. What was the hardest part of your book to write? Is there a message you want your readers to grasp? The hardest thing for me was showing the gradual changes in Benjamin as he learned to feel again, because the story is told first person present alternating between him and Charlie. So I wanted to show that he was beginning to feel and have the reader understand that before he did.
Do you have any advice for other writer? Just keep writing. If it’s your passion, don’t give up. You’re going to write a lot of crap before anything good comes out, so be willing to just keep writing the crap until you find the spark that brings out the book you want to publish.
Where can we follow you?
Last question: Flip flops or tennis shoes? Tennis shoes winter, flip flops summer. How’s that for an unclear answer? (I love it!)
Thank you, Cindy, for taking time out of your busy schedule! Like I said, she's amazing, isn't she?!
Pick up her book now at AMAZON or B&N now! I promise you will not regret it, and she may just become one of your favorite authors. I know she's one of mine!
Happy Reading, my friends!