Today, I have my interview with Denise Hendrickson from Texas. She’s my younger sister’s age 😊
Lexi: Welcome, Denise. How did you get into reading romance novels?
Denise: I was an on/off reader of books throughout school. I could take them or leave them, really. However, I was home on medical leave from work while doctors were trying to figure out the debilitating illness I had come down with (which turned out to be Chronic Fibromyalgia) and my hubby comes home one day with a huge black trash bag full of books from a friend at work. I kid you not…the bag was stuffed full. I was overcome with joy to have something to do and focus on so I dug right in immediately. And I am so glad that I did. My introduction to books came from getting to know Christine Feehan, Diana Palmer, Nora Robert, Kat Martin and Sharon Sala. Once I read everything she sent me, I was desperate for more. I fell in love with the authors so I actually got myself an Amazon and Barnes and Noble account and started ordering books from these authors and learning about many more. And my hubby got me my first Kindle for Christmas that year so I could load it up with goodies too. I will be so ever grateful to my wonderful friend who introduced me to all the great authors and exciting reading worlds I have found and enjoy so much.
Lexi: Now that’s a great friend! Tell me about your pet.
Denise: Right now I just have one. Her name is Ciera and she is a Husky/Shepard mix (a Gerberian Shepsky) and she is 15 years old. She will actually be 16 in February. She is a rescue from the SPCA and I got her when she was 2 months old. She was an adorable little ball of fluff when she was a pup and has turned into my wonderful, loving shadow. She has had some health issues this past year but is still holding strong.
Lexi: She’s sounds wonderful. What are you good at?
Denise: Singing, I have sung since I was little from church and school, including competitions for solos, duos, trios and groups. I also sang at weddings, funerals and parties as I got older. I am also a self-taught cook and baker. It has taken years of trial and error but I love it and my hubby and family certainly never complain, lol. Though I am still always working to learn new stuff, I am happy with my progress and love doing it.
Lexi: Both things I’m terrible at :-p If you could name a character in a romance novel, what would you name him or her? Why?
Denise: I have always liked the names Ashley, Anya, Bree, Kylie, Mikela, or Shay for girls. They sound like fun, happy names of ladies I would enjoy knowing. For guys I would have to go with Jackson, Jake, Mace, Gabe, Ethan, or Tyler because they sound strong, determined and sexy. ;-)
Lexi: What makes you happy?
Denise: Overall, opening my eyes each morning and knowing there is a new day in front of me. Knowing my hubby is always here for me and goofing around to put a smile on my face. My dog for her wonderful licks and snuggles. Having a great, loving support system in my mom and in-laws. And knowing that my family and friends are happy, healthy and loving life.
Lexi: So tell me about your hubby.
Denise: My hubby is 10 years older than me and originally from New York but grew up here in Texas. I met him at work, we were in the same department, and we dated secretly since it was against policy to date someone you directly work with. When he proposed, I transferred to another department so we could stay at the same company. He has a large, overwhelming family that I am still adjusting to after all these years because I am an only child and it is still a huge adjustment with his sisters, brothers-in law and all the nieces and nephews even after 13 years of marriage.
Lexi: That sounds like a fun adjustment. What’s your favorite dessert?
Denise: I am a total Southern girl at heart and love Pecan Pie. My grandmother made the best and always baked me one for my birthday each year.
Lexi: Oh, I love that too! My mom always made it with molasses. What types of romances do you like to read?
Denise: I read just about everything. I love Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Suspense, Military, Cowboys, Action/Adventure, Mystery/Crime/Thrillers, Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Romance and even some Sci/Fi. I am not real big on Historical (though there are a couple authors I will read), time travel or straight comedies.
Lexi: That covers almost everything 😊 What are you proud of?
Denise: I am proud of me, actually. I have had a lot of stuff going on over the years – bad stuff that has left scars physically and emotionally as well as suffering from chronic migraines and Fibromyalgia. But regardless of how my day is going, how I feel or what is going on I am determined for life not to beat me. I get up and push forward each day with a smile on my face and a new outlook.
Lexi: I love your positive outlook and your posts on Facebook! What’s your average day look like?
Denise: I am a pretty boring person. I read, do housework, garden, cook/bake, run errands and make stuff and help out family, if needed.
Lexi: What’s your perfect day look like?
Denise: My perfect day would be one where I could wake pain free, with no worries and be able to do something I love.
Lexi: Oh, I hope you have some perfect days. How many hours a week do you spend reading romance?
Denise: I spend way too many hours reading, not that I think that is a bad thing per se. You will never find me without a book or my Kindle in hand or at my side.
Lexi: Who made the biggest impact on your life?
Denise: I have been lucky to have several wonderful friends and family impact my life but the biggest would have to be my grandfather. He always had a quiet strength in him and was a calming presence. In my early 20’s I was struggling through a bad time. He pulled me aside one day and sat me down for a quiet chat. It was not even so much his words as his presence. He gave me a hug, held my hand and told me I had this. That I would overcome my struggles and my family would be there no matter what. There was no anger, no judgement, no disappointment, nothing…just a feeling of being loved and accepted. Being understood. His quiet words of understanding helped me pull myself together and become a new me.
Lexi: He sounds like an amazing man. If you could go on an all expense paid vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
Denise: I have always wanted to go visit Ireland and Scotland. The beautiful countrysides alone would be amazing to see.
Lexi: How many books do have in your “To Be Read” pile (means you’ve bought them but still need to read)?
Denise: Wow, this is a sad, sad number. I have at least about 100. Shocking, I know! I have found so many new, exciting authors in this past year and have been working to grab up their different series, as budget allows, so I can catch up but of course that leaves me with my already neglected and continually growing TBR pile.
Lexi: Actually, I think that is one of the lowest numbers I’ve heard so far! If you could give someone what they wanted most, what and who would it be?
Denise: My mom. I would love to see her worry free, completely healthy and be able to take care of her so she would want for nothing for the rest of her life.
Lexi: How many romance authors are on your auto-buy list?
Denise: About 25. 10 never miss and 15 for certain series I love.
Lexi: What kind of car do you drive? If you had your choice, would it be that one or a different one?
Denise: I love my car! It is a 2000 Honda CRV and perfect for me. I know she is old but she is well cared for and still runs perfectly. If I had to get another car, I have no idea what it would be.
Lexi: How many children, grandchildren, great grandchildren all total do you have?
Denise: None for me. I am an only child and hubby and I have no children. Just furbabies.
Lexi: You sound like me 😊 What do you do for fun (besides reading romance novels)?
Denise: Cook, bake, garden, make lotions, creams, salves, etc.
Lexi: Wow, you stay busy. What did you think you’d be when you grew up?
Denise: I wanted to be a Marine Biologist.
Lexi: What don’t most people on social media not know about you?
Denise: Pretty much everything. I am kind of a hermit. I am quiet and keep to myself.
Lexi: What’s your favorite holiday? Why?
Denise: Christmas used to be my favorite holiday and I am working to get it back. My father passed away several years ago right after Christmas so I have struggled with it since then. I loved the carols, festive parties, decorations, fragrant trees, giving presents and just hanging out with family.
Lexi: I understand that. My dad passed just before my favorite holiday, Halloween. What mistake have you made that you learned the most from?
Denise: I have a huge heart but have learned over the years to see with my eyes and listen to my gut versus letting my heart take control.
Lexi: What color eyes do you have?
Denise: My eyes are chocolate brown, sometimes black depending on my mood.
Lexi: How old do you think is perfect for a hero?
Denise: I think you can have a hero at any age.
Lexi: Do you collect anything? If so, what?
Denise: Wow, when I was young I collected a ton of stuff. But of course that was before I had to find a place for it all as an adult. Haha! Now I collect Tweety (I absolutely love Tweety and Sylvester) and wolves. Actually I also consider my books a collection too. I collect my favorite authors books/series. And I am very OCD about the condition of my books; I keep them in pristine condition. If I accidentally ever break the spine, I will order a new one to replace it if it is still in print.
Lexi: “I taut I saw a Puddy cat” 😊 What are you afraid of?
Denise: I am claustrophobic and not overly fond of heights.
Lexi: What educational background do you have?
Denise: Life got in the way and prevented me from having the educational background I always wanted. I graduated High School and have a couple of vocational school degrees.
Lexi: Do you dream at night? Do you remember your dreams?
Denise: I used to dream when I was young but do not as an adult.
Lexi: What are some of your favorite movies?
Denise: The DC Universe movies, Marvel movies, The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings series, Harry Potter series, Indiana Jones series, Underworld series, Resident Evil series. I am weird and love old movies/shows too. I love Columbo and Murder She Wrote and old westerns like Rio Bravo and El Dorado. My favorite movie of all time is While You Were Sleeping. I could always see myself as Sandra Bullock’s character. Like I said, I am weird. Haha
Lexi: I love it! I’m a huge Marvel comics fan from way back. I’ve also discovered that weird is relative.
Okay, time for the quickies 😉
Lexi: Dark-haired hero or light-haired? Denise: Dark
Lexi: Vanilla or chocolate? Denise: Chocolate
Lexi: Hot and spicy or sweet and chaste? Denise: Hot and spicy
Lexi: Spicy food or not spicy? Denise: Spicy
Lexi: Beard or no beard? Denise: No
Lexi: Hot weather or cold? Denise: Cold
Lexi: Chest hair or no chest hair? Denise: Light chest hair (not a wooly mammoth but not smooth as a baby’s butt either)
Lexi: Morning person or night person? Denise: Night
Lexi: Rich hero or blue-collar hero? Denise: Blue collar
Lexi: Beach or mountains? Denise: Mountains
Lexi: Cats or dogs? Denise: Both/either (I had cats growing up and dog now because my hubby is a dog person)
Lexi: Hero with long hair or short? Denise: Do not really have a preference – short to medium is good
Lexi: Rent or own? Denise: Own
Lexi: Working or retired? Denise: Denise: I do not work right now, medical reasons
Lexi: Blonde heroine or brunette? Denise: Brunette
Lexi: City or town? Denise: Town or country
Lexi: Cook or eat out? Denise: Cook
Lexi: Tattoos or no tattoos? Denise: No
Lexi: Pajamas or naked? Denise: Shorts/tank
Lexi: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Denise: I am happy to know you and glad I found your books. You are a great writer with wonderful stories to tell. I hope to eventually be able to collect all your books to add to my library.
Lexi, Aw, Denise that is so sweet! I’m so thrilled you enjoy my stories 😊 Thank you so much for chatting with me!