If you’ve followed my blog or my Instagram all through 2021, then you already know about my love for Lena Hendrix. Another author who debuted last year, Lena’s books are a mix of steamy, funny and heartfelt; tugging at every part of you as you fall in love with her stories. Lena is also one of the few authors who I consider a friend and have spoken to over the course of the last year.
And now, she’s kicked off her new series with the first book The Badge and the Bad Boy and I am really looking forward to what else the Redemption Ranch has to offer!
While she writes part time now, Lena hopes to make it a full time thing soon enough. And, she’s always finding ways to include parts of herself into her heroines. If you haven’t read Lena’s books yet, you are truly missing out.
Now, here’s your chance to get to know Lena Hendrix a little better!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
I have always been a writer. Since I was little, writing has come very naturally. Over time, it changed to more academic writing, but when I turned 37, I decided that I wanted to shoot my shot as a romance author! I didn’t tell anyone except my husband and quietly learned as much as I could about the industry while I drafted Finding You.
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
I have always read romance and it’s my favorite genre, by far! I love happy endings, people finding their soulmates, and the excitement of a new relationship.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
For me, being an indie author gives me the flexibility and freedom to make my own decisions. I also love not being on anyone else’s timeline but my own!
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
Not being on anyone’s timeline but my own. Ha! Some of the best parts: FREEDOM! I also love being able to make decisions, take risks, and get things done! (I live for a good checklist) Worst parts: having to keep myself accountable. Also, as an indie author, you really have to search and search for information. There is a steep learning curve and at the end of the day, it’s all up to you! It’s a LOT to learn (but that’s part of the fun!).
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?
Currently, writing is NOT my full time job. I can’t wait until I can retire early from my career and be a full time writer. I am hoping that happens sooner rather than later!
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
I love to garden. Even though I live in the suburbs, I have 15 chickens and they are hilarious. My dream would be lots of property with huge vegetable gardens (that someone else can weed for me!)…maybe even a little goat.
If not romance/or subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
I love reading/watching true crime, but I’m confident I’d be terrible at writing it.
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
This is tough! I VERY rarely re-read books. I read every day but then completely forget what I read so…I’m not the person people should come to for recs!
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
1. Learn EVERYTHING you can—if someone more successful than you takes the time to give you advice, take it (or at least strongly consider it)!
2. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle—it’s easy to get discouraged when you see someone else taking off but it’s important to just keep your head down and keep plugging away.
3. When you can afford it, get a PA to take some things off your plate (Best. Decision. Ever!)
4. Write the stories you love. People will find you and love you for it.
5. WRITE THE NEXT BOOK!
Can you briefly tell me about the books you’ve published so far?
I currently have 3 books out. The Chikalu Falls series consists of: Finding You, Keeping You, and Protecting You. An origin novella (Choosing You) will also come out this summer! I have a new release out now for the first book in my Redemption Ranch series, titled The Badge and the Bad Boy.
Of your books, who is your favourite character?
Lincoln Scott (Finding You) will always have a piece of my heart. Retired Marine, tattoos, scars, scruffy exterior, a heart of gold? Sign. Me. Up.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
There are so many things that inspire me—song lyrics, someone I see on the street, etc. I’ll get a spark of an idea (either a character or scene) and then build from there! The Notes app on my phone is out of control.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
I take things from my everyday life ALL the time when writing. Joanna (Finding You) is an avid fisherman (me too!). Honey (Keeping You) loves to laugh and have a good time (also me). Maggie (Protecting You) was a single mom (me at one point). There are also things about the characters that are VERY different from myself, so it’s a good mix of reality and pure fiction.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I want my readers to feel like they’ve escaped from their everyday lives and can feel swoony, happy, and maybe even a little turned on.
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
I have so many random ideas floating around my head it’s frightening. One day they’ll all make it onto the page!
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
The Redemption Ranch series is something I’m really excited about. It’s a secluded ranch in Montana where the residents are in Witness Protection. I love the idea of a Mafia cowboy. I have the tropes and main characters planned for the series and I can’t wait to write each story! Book 1 (The Badge and the Bad Boy) is out now!
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
I love a good, broody hero that only loves his woman, brother’s best friend, age gap, and enemies to lovers. My least favorites are virgin heroes/heroines, and secret baby/surprise pregnancy.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I have plans for a fake marriage, age gap, and grumpy/sunshine!
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
I think infertility/pregnancy loss is something that lots of people struggle with (I did!) and should be normalized. Also, I think that often heroes are allowed to have flaws, but readers can be hard on heroines. I love when I read a heroine that isn’t perfect in every way (and I’m not talking that she’s just clumsy, but maybe has some actual issues in her life!). If I could imagine having a drink and a laugh with her, I’m in!
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
I have made some incredible friends. Romance readers are so supportive and because they’re so voracious, there’s room for every author at the table. In the end, it’s not a competition and I love that the romance community supports and lifts each other up!
THIS OR THAT
- Ebooks or audiobooks
- Historical romance or romantic suspense
- Single or Dual POV
- Standalones or series (I like either! If I HAVE to choose….series.)
- Music or silence while writing
- Plotter, pantser or plantser
- Tea or coffee
- Cold or warm weather
- Morning person or night owl
- Illustrated cover or photo cover (I love a good man chest!)