Friday, January 20, 2023

This week in The Loft: Author Estelle Pettersen!

Joining me today in The Loft is Australian/Norwegian author Estelle Pettersen. Estelle is a former journalist whose contemporary romance stories explore empowerment, freedom, and finding one’s strength. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Psychology, from the University of Queensland, Australia. She also earned an MBA from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Estelle is passionate about history, languages, cultures, traveling, food, and wine. She lives in Norway with her husband.

Author Estelle Pettersen

S:  Welcome, Estelle. It's wonderful to have you back in The Loft!

What’s love got to do with writing romance?

E:  Love has to do with everything when it comes to happily ever after romance stories. For romance to work in these stories, love is important.

S:  Do you think romance books have become “too spicy?”

E:  It depends on the reader because we have different tastes and thresholds. Personally, I don’t mind reading erotic romance stories if they are written tastefully. If the stories are too vulgar, lack a plot, and don’t have any relationship or character development, I won’t read them. If the scenes of a book are highly spicy and written in a tasteful way, and there is a real relationship between the characters, I would read the book. I usually look for relationship growth, character growth, and a good plot, regardless of heat levels.

S:  I have never understood why some complain about steamy romance when they have a choice not to read it. There are plenty of other options out there.

After the publication of the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, it was reported that some readers ventured into the BDSM world seeking their own Christian Grey. Some were scammed, sexually assaulted, or otherwise harmed. Does an author bear any responsibility for those types of consequences?

E:  I believe the author bears responsibility for the content they publish. As an author, I feel a moral obligation to make sure readers understand that sex is meant to be safe, sane and consensual, whether the sex is vanilla or has any type of BDSM. Sexual assault is a crime.

S:  I am somewhat conflicted about this. On the one hand, it's fiction, but on the other, we seem to have some very naive readers out there.

What would you like to people know about you?

E:  I love animals and have adopted two precious furry friends. I believe that a person’s true nature is reflected in how they treat animals. I don’t trust people who show any slightest act of cruelty to animals. That’s my instinct – to keep away from them. My writing buddies are my beautiful four-legged friends: A Danish Swedish Farmdog and a house cat.

S:  How do you get in the mood for writing?

E:  I need a quiet place away from distractions, such as the television. Calm music, usually classical music, helps me to focus on getting started when I don’t feel like writing. My dog wakes me up in the morning, helping me get my routines done as early as possible so I can write. I need to distance myself from the noise of social media, otherwise, I lose the motivation to write. When I am on a roll with my writing, I’m offline so I can focus on getting my chapters done. That’s just the first draft. Then there’s the rewriting and editing, again and again.

S:  Social media is a great disruptor. So is my phone. I have to shut it off.

What inspired "The Wolf of Varg Island?"

E:  In the Dark Desire anthology, I wrote "The Wolf of Varg Island," a steamy supernatural romance. It has naughty hints of an adult version of "Little Red Riding Hood." I was inspired by an island in Europe that had an eerie feel. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a wolf or bear in the forest whenever I took a walk. It’s not unusual for mist to appear, shadows to lurk, and the rain to drizzle. The setting of the story is inspired by a real place and it was the setting that drove me to write the story.

S:  Is there anything special you would like people to know about the Dark Desire anthology?

E:  Dark Desire is written by a group of highly talented authors from different parts of the world. Each story is unique, yet they connect. When I read the stories, I must admit that I was a little frightened at times. Some of the stories gave me goosebumps, but I loved the authenticity of the romances and how each of them complements the other, making it easy for the reader to jump from one story to the next.

Here's the blurb--

Dark Desire showcases twelve stories where the authors delve into the dark crevasses of their imaginations, probing into dark themes, creating strange new worlds and inventing larger than life characters. These stories explore relationships, unafraid of taking the genre of romance to a darker deeper level. You will meet:

· Jillian, a wife and mother, who serves as an assassin for her clan of werewolves.

· A shifter mermaid who is forced to team up with a vampire to steal a magical weapon, but can she resist his lethal charm?

· A cocky rodeo cowboy, who falls into the clutches of a hard-core Dominatrix.

· Gina, who following an accident, can see the dead. Can she find a positive? Maybe find true love?

· Lily, who wakes from a coma with dark dream memories of a stranger. Is he the love of her life?

· A shifter who finds a woman who can change the world’s destiny. Can he protect her, or will a supernatural battle destroy them all?

· Kat who talks to herself and mentally responds as her mother. Murder and arson lead her to a cop, but could he be much more?

· Two Nazi officers who meet for dinner on Christmas eve and reveal their darkest desires.

· Lovers, on a crazed road trip, murder and wreak havoc at every turn as an expression of their true love.

· Tasha whose world is rocked by a mysterious teacher. His dark secret only makes her want him more.

· Harper who is visiting an Island known for a wolf’s mysterious healing powers. Will this lead to a dangerous game?

· Two young people fleeing for a better life; a six-gun, an outlaw and a Tarot card binding their fates together.

Buckle up as you journey into the unknown and discover the shadowy forces that hauntingly dwell within the provocative pages of Dark Desire.

S:  Now I understand the goosebumps. The stories sound very suspenseful.

Where can readers buy the anthology?

E:  It's available at

S:  Estelle, thanks so much for joining me today and good luck with the anthology. If you'd like to learn more Estelle and her books, please visit--


  1. Thank you so much, Seelie. It's wonderful to see Dark Desire featured here. :)

  2. What a unique and wonderful interview. Estelle is a wonderful Author and is a great mother too.

  3. I loved Estelle's story in Dark Desire - a sensual take on the werewolf myth. It's a wonderful anthology.

  4. I love learning more about authors and what makes them tick. I also loved Estelle's The Wolf of Varg Island story. I could feel that island come alive! And now I want to visit the one that inspired the story.

  5. This was a great anthology! Wonderful interview Estelle.

  6. Great interview Estelle. I really enjoyed your story in Dark Desire, especially the wonderful setting which was perfect for a werewolf story.