Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Friend: Welcome to Bernadette Marie

The words are not mine…My characters write their stories.
Bernadette Marie

One of the questions I’m asked most often is, “How many books have you written?” I’m to that point where I have to start to count. By New Years I will have 15 in print.

The next question is, “How do you come up with all those stories?” To thank I don’t really have an answer. Any author will tell you their head is full of them and they just keep coming. But here’s what really happens.

As an author I have a good idea, a character I like, or even a catchy line I want to use. That only gets the ball rolling. I give my characters a few chapters where I tell them what to do and then a miraculous thing happens—they take over!

Now anyone who doesn’t write is thinking that doesn’t make any sense. Oh, but it happens. I’ll have a scene going a certain way and then all the sudden BAM! The character comes up with something all on their own.

Well, from then on out the story is theirs to tell. I just do the manual labor part.

The phenomenon is crazy. I don’t even know how to explain the fact that the author is no longer in charge. After all, wasn’t I the one writing this book? I guess not.

This happens quite a bit, I suppose because I’m a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants.

I don’t detail everything out on a spreadsheet or a paper. I know nothing when I start, except for those few items I discussed earlier. The story builds as I write it (and they take over.) I never know where the journey of the book is going to lead me, but it is as much fun to see where the characters take me while I’m writing as it is when I’m enjoying someone else’s novel.

Not everyone can let their characters do the writing. I, however, like how they think!


Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. The married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it, because she lives it.

When not writing, Bernadette Marie is shuffling her sons to their many events—mostly hockey—and enjoying the beautiful views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains from her front step. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.

A chronic entrepreneur, Bernadette Marie opened her own publishing house in 2011, 5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too.

Buy links for my book can be found at
Twitter @writesromance


The Executive’s Decision is book one in the Keller Family Series (which will span 10 books.) It is also almost always free in ebook form.

Regan Keller fell in love with a wealthy and powerful man once. He was her boss. When that turbulent relationship ended, she swore she’d never again date someone she worked with. That was before she literally fell into her new boss’s lap.

Zachary Benson is the head of a successful empire and used to getting what he wants in the boardroom and outside of it – and what he wants is Regan Keller. He’s determined to convince Regan that even though he’s her boss, they can share a life together.

However, when Regan’s past threatens to destroy the architectural firm Zach has invested his entire career in, he has to make an executive decision whether to choose his business or fight for the woman he loves.


Thunder rippled through the gray clouds that loomed overhead. Regan Keller raised her eyes to the sky. Please, please don’t rain. As she sent up the silent prayer, she felt the first drop hit her forehead.

The nervous flutter in her stomach quickened as she looked down at her watch. Surely her day couldn’t get any worse. But the sky opened up, and those around her crowded together in the bus stop shelter. Her hair, tied in a tail at the base of her neck, dripped rain down her back as she hunched in her coat. How could she have forgotten her umbrella? Had her car been running, she’d have the one tucked safely away in the glove compartment because spring in Tennessee often meant sudden storms. She should carry one in her bag but had suffered a lapse in memory, having opted for the sunny beaches of Hawaii for the past two years.

As the bus arrived, those under the shelter huddled onto it ahead of her, claiming every seat. Soaking wet, Regan wedged herself between two people and held onto the handrail above her head. She looked out the window at the commuters driving themselves to work in the pouring rain. That should have been her.

A bitter-faced old woman sat below her, her oversized bag occupying the next seat. Regan bent to ask her to move it, but the woman glared up at her and gave a grunt that sounded like a dog’s bark. Regan flinched and tried to look away. But she was compelled to keep an eye on the woman.

The man to the other side of the vacant seat snickered. Regan looked down at him in his long black overcoat and perfect hair. Hemmed in between the old lady’s bag and an overweight man in a jogging suit, he was as pinned in his seat as she was to the people around her. She would have given him a piece of her mind for laughing at her had the bus not jolted to a sudden stop. It lurched forward then back and tossed Regan onto the man’s lap.

“I would have offered you my seat,” he said with a bright grin as the bus lurched again.

“Why, you…” She struggled to free herself, but the crowd moved in tightly around them as the bus bounced down the street. The pace of her heart kicked into gear and she could feel the sweat bead on her brow.

She hadn’t been this close to a man in over a year, and the panic of having him actually hold her on his lap was making her more than uncomfortable. “I need to stand up.”

“You might as well sit.” He wrapped his arms around her. “Doesn’t look like you’ll be standing again anytime soon.”

Regan took a few deep and cleansing breaths. She forced down the panic that was filling her body and tried to push it away. Alexander Hamilton thought she was dead. There should be no danger in sitting on the lap of a nice-looking man. She should find it within her to enjoy the experience and focus on something else.

He didn’t have an accent native to Tennessee like hers. Perhaps the rain had caught him off guard as well. If she didn’t relax, she’d have a heart attack, and this nice gentleman who wasn’t from Nashville would probably be blamed for her death on the bus on his way to work.

Accepting her predicament at face value would be a prime opportunity to let go of bitter feelings for the opposite gender, though after what she’d been through, she wasn’t sure she could. The thought of ever loving another man or letting one touch her made her palms sweat and her stomach clench.


  1. Welcome to HWH, Bernadette. Your post summed up exactly what happens with my stories. As you say, the characters somehow take over and start telling you their story. Sometimes I have to haul them back, but most times I simply enjoy the ride with them.

  2. Welcome, Bernadette. So nice to have you here. Here's my question for you--how do you balance writing, publishing and family? Any tips?

  3. First of all...thank you for having me! I'm so glad to be here!

    As for balance...having a schedule that can be flexible is key. I never write anything down in stone (as for schedule), except for those items that are time sensitive. During the summer my office hours have to be early in the morning or late at night. My family needs me present and attentive during the day. When school is in session, I work during the day and I can have a heavier work load. Since writing is my passion and my obsession, I find time. Of course, all of my kids were born into my writing, so they are use to me having my laptop on my lap at all times. I can shut out the world and write while they watch TV. I also do my writing first thing in the morning, before they get up, and sometimes when they head to bed. But always my family gets priority. I don't miss their events and I'm present at every hockey game. So again, being very flexible is key to my success.

  4. It is wonderful to meet you, Bernadette, and to be introduced to your stories. Your excerpt hooked me.

    How did you start your publishing company?

  5. Ana,
    I hope you enjoy my stories!!!

    As for publishing, it was almost by accident. I had started my publishing house to be professional and not "self-pubbed" if you will. Even a few years ago this wasn't looked on as professional. But approached would be. I'd sadly fallen victim to a bad publishing house who was using its authors and mishandling their work. I swore I'd never let that happen to me again. Thus I'd stay in control of my books. So I started the business and went about publishing myself in digital and POD. Then I began to be approached by others who wanted to submit to my company. I'm very much a jump in with both feet kind of girl. So I was very open to my first few authors that I was learning as I went...and they were happy to just have someone who would let them be part of the process. That model has worked for our company for nearly 3 years. Though we are a legit publishing house and not a vanity press, we allow our authors say in the finished product of their books. After all...those are their babies. We do ask our authors to help promote each other, though not mandatory, and we've created a nice little family which continues to grow. So...again, it was mostly by accident that I now have multiple editors and over 20 authors. But there was a need for this kind of company or we wouldn't be successful.

    Thanks for stopping by!!!

  6. What kind of stories do you publish? Are you looking for new authors?

    1. We publish nearly any genre and are always looking for new talent. We recommend anyone interested go to our website at and check out our submissions page.