Julie Benson & “A Fish Out of Water”

I love writing fish out of water stories. I have a husband and three sons who’d tell you I love those stories because I get a perverse pleasure out turning the tables on confident men. It’s true, but okay gals, is there anything more fun that that? Really?

But it’s more than the fact that writing those stories is fun. I’ve always been a person who’s nervous in new situations. There have been times I haven’t gone to an event because I wasn’t sure I’d know anyone there. I’m not big on change, either. I actually prefer being in a rut. As Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory would say, “They call it comfort zone for a reason.” Because I loathe uncomfortable situations, it’s easy for me to step into my hero’s boots and really know what it’s like.

One of the things that sold my first novel to Harlequin was that my editor loved the fish out of water element. For those who haven’t read my first blog for Petticoats and Pistols about how I came up with the story idea for Big City Cowboy (click here to read the post), I met a cowboy in Colorado who people often asked to model. Cowboys are so confident, so much a part of the land they love, and yet often so private, that forcing one to go New York City to model sent my brain into story spinning mode. In Big City Cowboy, my hero, a dyed in the wool cowboy, is forced to go to New York City to model in order to get the money to pay for his mother’s experimental cancer treatment. When I wrote that book, the minute the hero’s brother, Griffin McAlister, strutted onto the page I knew he needed his own story.

On top of being a former bull rider, Griffinis a first class charmer, who’d gone back in the confidence line for seconds. As I thought about his story, I realized I had to turn the tables on him. One day while watching TV, a commercial for The Bachelor came on, and I had the idea for Bet On a Cowboy.

WhenGriffin’s model brother can’t become the bachelor because he’d engaged,Griffinagrees to go on the show. A friend told me someone she knew who was on the show as a bachelorette received $3000 an episode.Griffinthought he had it made—he’d get paid to date gorgeous women. So what if he doesn’t want to get married? Every woman has a deal breaker issue. All he has to do is find the finalists’ and use that to his advantage. His plan is that whoever he proposes to will turn him down.

The story is a fish out of water combined with a ‘be careful what you wish for’ story. Griffin discovers life isn’t all fun in games when, instead of doing the chasing, he’s now the prey. Those scenes where the bachelorettes took control of the situation were so much fun to write. And then I threw in a heroine, Maggie Sullivan, who instead of falling atGriffin’s feet, saw through his tactics and had the audacity to call him on it. Now that was fun to write!

For me, I’ll stay in my comfortable little rut and make my characters face the unexpected and awkward situations in life. It’s a lot more fun.

Julie’s new release, Bet On a Cowboy, is available now. Add it to your “to-be-read” pile today!

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9 thoughts on “Julie Benson & “A Fish Out of Water””

  1. I’m interested in reading how Maggie upsets Griffin’s plan!

    A NYC model and a Bachelor contestant, both stories sound cute. You are a new author for me.

  2. Hi Julie,

    This will definitely go on my TBR pile! It sounds like a fun summer read. I agree it’s fun to put our characters through the wringer while we remain in our “comfort zones.” :o)


  3. Julie, how wonderful to have you back. I love the new book cover and what a fun premise of the story. Sounds hilarious. I can just picture a big cowboy getting chased instead of doing the chasing. I, too, like the fish out of water stories. They’re always fun to read. Wishing you much success!

  4. It’s always interesting to me to learn where the ideas for books come from. Both these situations sound like good reads. Looking forward to finding them!

  5. Sorry to be late responding. I had to drive to Oklahoma
    City. Thanks for all the kind comments about my story. Maggie was fun to write because she was a straight shooter. She kept griffin guessing. There are a couple of times when he tries to charm her into seeing things his way and she actually laughs!

  6. Hi Julie! Welcome back to the Junction. I loved Big City Cowboy and can’t wait to read this story (it’s in my tbr mountain!). And Maggie sounds like the perfect match for Griffin. Congratulation!

  7. I remember your post about the cowboy model. We lived in Colorado for three wonderful years, and I can just imagine the reactions if some of the men we met were put in that situation. It would be true of Griffin’s situation. It makes me think a bit of the two young cowboys who competed on The Amazing Race. It was definitely very different from what they were used to, but they always seemed to pull together and do their best in spite of the differences between their values and those of other contestants.

    I am curious to see just how well the ladies handle Griffin,

  8. Julia, thanks for stopping by the Junction and telling us about your story. It sounds like such a great premise. Love it, and love men when they kinda get out of their comfort zone. I’m on my way to order it now. Sounds like a fun read. Hugs from Texas, Phyliss

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