The End of Feeling by Cindy C. Bennett
Publication date: January 27th 2015
Published by Amazon Childrens Pub
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Social Issues,Young Adult
Benjamin Nefer seems to have it all. He’s the most popular guy in school, the star quarterback with college scouts looking at him, his grades are near the top of his class, he can get any girl he wants . . . but he hides behind his dream life to mask the nightmare of his reality.
Charlie Austin is the new girl. Forced to move in with a bitter aunt, she only wants to protect her fragile mom from the world’s cruelty. When Benjamin sets his sights on Charlie, she’s armored against his charm—friends warned her about Benjamin’s game of pursuing and then dumping a long line of girls, not caring about the broken hearts he leaves behind. She doesn’t count on how single-minded he can be when she refuses him, or how charismatic, easing into her life through what he claims is just friendship.
Benjamin thought he could keep Charlie in the same place he keeps all girls—something to be used and then discarded. But Charlie has as many secrets as he does, secrets he’s determined to discover while keeping his own hidden. He realizes she’s the perfect girlfriend candidate . . . someone he can use to keep up the façade of a perfect life. Now he just has to keep his frozen heart from softening toward this unique girl, because if he doesn’t, his carefully constructed lies might just come thundering down around him, crushing him beneath the burden of feeling.
Cindy C. Bennett Interview
First I would like to thank you for agreeing to this interview!
Can you tell us a little bit about your new contemporary romance, The End of Feeling?
I had the idea for the story when I imagined a guy who’d shut off all emotion because of some traumatic event. I think even from the beginning I knew abuse would play into that somehow. The story alternates between being told by Benjamin and Charlie (short for Charlotte) though I really do consider the story to be Benjamin’s. It’s about these two people coming together by chance, who both have secrets that have the potential to be destructive, and how they almost accidentally heal one another.
So far, which of your books have been the most difficult to write?
Apparently the sequel to Immortal Mine, tentatively titled Immortal Yours. I published Immortal Mine in 2010 and I still haven’t written the sequel. I’ve decided I’m not a good sequel writer. I have so many stories in my head clamoring for release that once I write “the end” I want to move on to the next story. But I’ve sort of made the deal with myself that I won’t write anything else until I finish Sam and Niahm’s story.
I am a huge fan of fairytales and fairytale retellings so please tell us about your Enchanted Fairytale series?
I had a blast writing these stories. I am also a huge fan of fairytales and retellings, so it was a pure joy to write them. There are five stories in Enchanted Fairytales:
Beautiful Beast (a retelling of Beauty and the Beast): This is a contemporary YA version of the story where the beast isn’t so much a true beast, but rather someone who was transformed by tragedy. There isn’t any “magic” in this version, but it’s still one of my favorite stories I’ve written.
Red and the Wolf (a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood): This one is also contemporary but definitely has magic within. It’s more paranormal than anything, and I fell in love with my three main characters. This is another one of my favorites to have written.
Snow White (I suspect you can guess what this is a retelling of): Not an original title, but it felt completely appropriate. This is Snow White’s story as you’ve never seen it, beginning in our contemporary world and then quickly sliding into a fantasy world that Snow couldn’t have imagined.
Unmasking Cinderella (another you can guess what it retells): This is also contemporary, but filled with magic, including a fairy godmother. It’s tricky trying to make your characters smart, but also naïve enough to be able to make the ball scene work with them not recognizing one another.
The White Swan (a retelling of The Swan Lake): This is definitely not contemporary in setting, but the characters are fairly modern. This isn’t a story a lot of people know well, but I had a great time writing it and hopefully people will know at least the basics of the original a little better after reading this.
In all of these stories, I took great care in choosing names. Almost all of the names used come from either the original or one of the earlier retellings, or they might have a deeper meaning that reflects who they are.
What is your favorite fairytale and why?
It’s probably a tie between Cinderella and Rapunzel. I love the idea of Cinderella, a girl who lives a life that would beat down most people but who has managed to remain sweet and kind, and karma comes along and gives her the life she deserves. With Rapunzel, I think the reason I love it so much is because of a cheesy cartoon version of it I used to watch as a kid. It was just so magical and romantic to me. Then Disney came out with Tangled and I fell in love with the story all over again, mainly thanks to the fact that the hero is so flawed (he’s a thief who spends most of the movie trying to dump his obligation to the heroine).
When did you know that you wanted to become an author?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I’ve always loved creating stories. As a kid I played a lot of Barbie dolls. Now I can look back and see it was simply because I could make up stories and act those out using the little plastic dolls. I always say that writing is just my grown-up version of playing with those dolls. I’ve always made stories up in my head when I was bored to entertain myself. Now I just actually put those stories down on paper. I know I’m a writer because I’m always rewriting movies and books and anything else that has a story as I watch or read it.
What is the most rewarding part of the writing/publishing process?
Having the final, finished product on the market and making that first sale of that particular book. It’s extremely nerve wracking and exhilarating at the same time. But once a single copy has sold (to someone I don’t know, I should say) then it feels like a success—even if they hate it.
Since it is my personal favorite, I have to ask. Where did you come up with the idea for Geek Girl?
I’m a huge fan of sarcasm, and I’d had the idea of Jen running around in my head for a while. I wanted to take the overdone “make the ugly girl pretty and popular” storyline and turn it on its head, so I decided this sarcastic girl who was living in my brain would try to take a guy who’s basically really good and turn him into the male version of her, who she considers “bad”. It evolved into him being not just a good guy, but a complete geek who would typically be more easily swayed by a pretty girl than a goth girl (who she’d somehow morphed into in my mind). Then I saw an interview with Zach Ephron where he said in high school he was a cool geek. I realized how many cool geeks I knew in high school, and suddenly Trevor was completely formed.
Do you have information on any upcoming projects you can share with us?
My goal is to finish Immortal Yours before allowing myself to begin anything new, but I have several stories pushing at one another trying to be the first I tell. I haven’t decided yet. At some point I’d like to write a sequel to Enchanted Fairytales (yeah, I know what I said about me and writing sequels) but I’d like for it to be a “what happened next” for these characters. What happened after that last sentence in the book. I also have an idea for a middle grade book I’d like to write that’s a story I made up and used to tell to my sons about dragons. That’s somewhere on the horizon also.
Before I let you go, I want to do a short lightning round of questions so people can get to know you better!
1. If you could hop on your motorcycle tomorrow and travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Scotland. It’d be hard to ride it across the ocean, but once I managed that, can you imagine riding through Scotland on a Harley? Amazing. And if it happened to take me into Ireland as I rode, I wouldn’t complain.
2. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas. I know it seems like the obvious answer, but I love the feeling that surrounds Christmas, where people are so much more giving than at any other time, where you get to shop for other people and try to find that gift that won’t get lost in the crush of other gifts, all of the cheesy Hallmark channel Christmas movies and the music and the smells and sounds. It’s all so amazing to me.
3. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were 16?
That all of those things that seemed so huge, so important and life altering were going to eventually go away, and that I’d be stronger because I had the challenges in my life. And that I should avoid eating so much cookie dough, ice cream, and other junk food that took my skinny little body and made it . . . not. Not give it up all together, mind you, just take it a little easy.
4. If you could have lunch with any character from a book, who would it be?
Cole from Sherry Gammon’s Port Fare series. I seriously love that klutzy, sexy, handsome, ind doctor. *sigh*
5. What is your favorite song today?
“Take My Breath Away” by Berlin. It’s from the 80s movie Top Gun. I love the beat of it, and the lyrics. I find the song extremely romantic, even still after all these years.
Cindy C. Bennett’s Books
Click on the covers to go that book’s Goodreads page.
Enchanted Fairy Tales series:
Cindy C. Bennett’s Biography