Friday, April 15, 2022

This week in The Loft: Author Estelle Pettersen!

Joining me today in The Loft is Australian/Norwegian author Estelle Pettersen. A former journalist for Australian Provincial Newspapers, Estelle now writes steamy romance in the erotic, LGBTQ+, and contemporary romance sub-genres. Her stories explore empowerment, freedom, and finding one’s strength. Passionate about history, languages and cultures, traveling, food, and wine, Estelle says she is happily married to a handsome man from Norway, where she now lives.

Author Estelle Pettersen

S:  Good morning, Estelle. I'm so happy we are able to chat again. 

Let's start at the beginning. Why write romance?

E:  We all feel the burden of life’s worries, but we are not robots. Many of us read romance books to break away from routines and lighten our shoulders a bit. I wanted to write romance to create a sparkle of entertainment for readers, hoping to give them joy.

S:  When it comes to writing romance, do you consider yourself a dreamer or a realist?

E:  I’m both a dreamer and a realist. I try to make the challenges and outcomes as real as possible for the protagonist and her lover. The realism is also in the little details, like the flaws that readers get to know when peeling each layer of the protagonist’s life. The dreamer in me believes in a happily-ever-after, one way or another, for my characters.

S:  I believe people need to believe in happy endings. It gives us hope. That's why what romance authors write is so important.

Are there any characteristics your lead characters share?

E:  My lead characters are independent and like to try new things. They’re also vulnerable when they’re hurt, and develop resilience over time as they grow. That’s something I share with them, giving them pieces of me--including my flaws.

S:  What was your worst date ever?

E:  Long before I met my husband, I had a great track record of worst dates. My closest college friends know this well. The most memorable worst date was a guy who wore an electric buzzer in his inner hand and gave my friends electric shocks when he shook their hands. He thought it was funny—my friends and I were not amused.

S:  Okay, that made me cringe. I hate those hand buzzers. I don't think they're funny, either.

What inspires your stories?

E:  Real world issues inspire my stories, from speaking out against hypocrisy and conformity in my first novel, "Lessons on Seduction," to surviving sexual assault in my latest novella, "Elizabeth." 

S:  What inspired "Elizabeth?"

E:  A strong, bold, woman who I know very well inspired "Elizabeth." She is independent and uses the resources around her to take care of herself, no matter how far from home she is. In all her life, she fights in solidarity with others against misogyny, gender inequality, and gender-based violence. That woman is my mother, my sister, my friends, and so many more. That is how "Elizabeth" was born.

S:  Is there anything special you would like people to know about "Elizabeth?"

E:  The novella, "Elizabeth," is the prequel to the Starling Sisters trilogy of women in rural Australia who achieve confidence, strength, and growth in their struggles, whilst finding love along the way.

Here's the blurb:

Newsday Australia reporter Elizabeth Martin seems to have it all. Until her boss gives her an ultimatum that will change her future.

It’s 1996 and Elizabeth has to choose: work for six months at a country newspaper, Maranoa Herald, or lose her job. Convincing herself this is just another stepping stone, Elizabeth leaves the city and her fiancĂ©, lawyer Paul Ricci, for a small town in rural Australia. Despite the scorching heat and pests, Bandara holds a charm of its own—Keith Starling, a handsome farmer with sky-blue eyes and a spellbinding smile.

What happens when Elizabeth returns to the city and discovers what Paul’s been hiding from her? Will she choose her career or everlasting love in the country with Keith? Find out in this steamy Australian romance novella, a prelude to the Starling Sisters series.

S:  As a former journalist, I always love stories that feature female reporters!

Where can readers buy your book?

E:  It's available on Amazon at

S:  Estelle, thanks for joining me today. If you'd like to learn more about Estelle Pettersen and her books, please visit--

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Seelie Kay for the interview, which I really enjoyed.