Friday, November 29, 2019

Q&A: Stephanie Bentley, Author of Lustily Ever After

Stephanie Bentley is the creator and composer of Lustily Ever After: The Audiobook Musical, a funny, sexy love story inspired by romantic fiction and ’90s pop music. Stephanie is a musical theater/musical improv comedy performer and audiobook narrator with experience acting in television and film. She studied improv at Upright Citizens Brigade and has performed all over Los Angeles and New York.
Stephanie and her cast are available for live performances of pieces from the book.
Listen to a sample of the audiobook here:

What is your name? 

Stephanie Bentley

What do you look like?

5’6” thin Caucasian woman with light brown hair and green eyes. Why does that feel like a description for a police sketch artist…

Where are you today and what are you doing?

I’m writing this at home while listening to questionable sounds coming from the bathtub where my husband is wrangling the wet children.

You come face to face with your worse enemy. How do you react?

Oh man…my WORST enemy? Okay first instinct truthfully is for sure to hide immediately, even if that involves falling dramatically to the floor and rolling under something (I’m more of a flight-er not a fighter), or maybe pretending to be on the phone like I do when I pass the people with clipboards outside of grocery stores? (Sorry guys, I’m here to shop not sign up). If I’m totally out of those options I would probably panic and be really nice. (The more I think about it, the bigger dork I am in this scenario). Then I would go home and fantasize about how Uma Thurman would have Killed Billed that face to face and wouldn’t sleep for a week coming up with moves for the next time that surely won’t happen. Yep…slick.

You keep a photo album of memories from your lifetime. If you could only keep one photo, which one would that be?

Is the photo on my phone where I can zoom in?? That makes a difference! I mean, of course it would be a photo of my two freakishly adorable kids…(BO-RING I know!) however, they refuse to both smile in the same photo so I would have to choose which kid I wanted smiling and which one I wanted looking off in the distance or talking through the photo, but I would treasure it just the same.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I am naturally a night owl, but kids threw a big wrench in that whole lifestyle, although they are both baby night owls too. I think my whole family would sleep in until 10am every day if there was no such thing as school.

A police officer stops you for a minor violation. What violation is that and how do you react?

Oh my gosh my stomach drops even thinking of this! I am such an extreme rule follower, if there is a sign that says no walking on the grass or something, I would go way out of my way to avoid breaking the rules! I hope it’s something small like a taillight, but I have been known to get speeding tickets in my day (I know, the irony, right?). I would probably be overly nice and thank her (yes it’s a female police officer in my fantasy!) for doing her job…unless I’m stopped for speeding and then I would sulk quietly and berate myself while trying out puppy dog eyes that will likely get me in more trouble.

What is your favorite piece of clothing?

I have these super warm coats from Shein (I could be a sales associate for them based on how many people have bought this after seeing mine). It’s the warmest most blanket-like coat ever and finally achieves my life-long dream of being able to wear a socially acceptable robe in public. Here is the link if you’re allowed to share it… you’re VERY welcome… 😊

Open your wallet, purse, or briefcase. What do you find?

This is actually a very fun experiment that I did once with a bunch of single girls in their 20s, and it turns out I have a few things in my ‘purse’ that they are for some reason not carrying around with them. These things include a (clean) diaper, baby wipes, many pairs of socks, so much food I could live for days, equally as much sunscreen, zoo passes, pieces of toys that have long since been separated from their toy family, and usually something sticky and wet that has spilled everywhere.

You move into a new home. What's the first thing you buy for it?

I love this fantasy… the first thing I would buy for it would probably be a new couch because mine is covered in all the things from the above-mentioned purse.

What scares you?

Scary movies or books! As a kid and young adult, I loved them so much, I was the only eighth grader reading Stephen King’s ‘It’ at lunchtime (I can’t believe people still talked to me). Today I can’t tolerate previews or even scary billboards! So funny how things change.

How would your parents describe you?

I think they would describe me, at the moment, as very, very busy.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?

Because I have little kids, this won’t be the same answer every night nor is it the answer I wish it was, meditating, making a gratitude list, etc. The truth is that most nights I go kiss my husband goodnight since I go to bed first and then if I can’t sleep I scroll through Pinterest to try to teach myself how to have better style (my natural born instincts are terrible!), then if I still can’t sleep I start putting a bunch of things in online shopping carts, almost never ever ordering but having comfort that it’s in there just in case.  Usually, by the time I go back to hit order the item is out of stock!

Who is your best friend?

My husband is my best friend even though we are often struggling to navigate this parenting thing and how to fit a million things into a regular Wednesday.

Who is your worse enemy?

I hope I don’t have one! It’s probably myself though. I read somewhere that the only reason anyone tries to tear me down is to build himself up. I think that’s so true for myself and others.

Are you faith-oriented?

I’m a very spiritual daily prayer non-religious kinda gal. (It’s California, what can I say.)

Are you married or in a relationship?


Do you have children?

Two of some of the cutest ones I’ve ever seen, who are my greatest teachers and keep me busy every second.

Where is your favorite hangout?

Since having kids my favorite hangout is any place that has a gate around it to keep those kids from escaping.

You are at the zoo. What is your favorite animal?

I love the lions! I just get awed every time by how big they are!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I only ever wanted to be a singer and actress, maybe a vet for about five minutes until I realized that I would have had to see animals in pain which was a deal breaker. So, I sang and did plays and plays and musicals and tv and film and commercials for ever and ever and here I am still singing and performing however I can!

If there was one thing you could change about yourself, what would that be?

This is a weird one, but it just came to mind, I’ve always been shy, not outwardly since I sing and perform all the time, but very hesitant to talk to strangers or just start up conversations in general. I wonder to myself sometimes how many friends or opportunities I may have missed because I was too scared to talk to someone or strike up a conversation. I would love to change that about myself and see where that takes me! 

About the Audiobook:

Combining a titillating collection of romance tropes, LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL, created and composed by Stephanie Bentley, and performed by a multitalented musical cast from the Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade, makes a surprising and innovative contribution to the audiobook listening experience. With 20 original songs inspired by ’90s pop music and a spicy story penned by erotica ghostwriter Miranda Ray at its core, the musical parody pushes the limits of sexual innuendo right to the edge before tipping over into the throws of uproarious ridiculousness.

When sassy Raleigh Jackson interviews for a six-week contract to be the fake girlfriend of Trystan Lay—schmillioniare playboy, politician, ex-Navy Seal, songwriter/astronaut, and “the world’s most perfect human”—she knows the outcome will change her life.
A student/waitress/intern living with her obligatory best friend, Kim, Raleigh overcomes her medical condition—chronic clumsiness—and snags the job, thus beginning a whirlwind of extravagant travel and glitzy events.

LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL covers the span of romance novel clichés from the brooding playboy to the fake romance with sprinkles of paranormal love. The story is sultry, silly, snarky—and hilarious. Chapter titles are sung in harmonies invoking the R&B group En Vogue. The characters voice their own dialogue and routinely burst into song, as they fumble through pillow talk, and relive steamy memories in songs such as “Talkin’ Dirty” and “50 Shades of Lay.”

The creator’s inspiration for LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL came from her unusual day job. “I’m a romance audiobook narrator by day and a musical theater performer by night. Every day in the booth, I giggle at the same tropes coming up again and again. Then these song lyrics just started coming to me, “The models in my bed don’t keep me warm at night,” for example. I started writing and pretty soon, the whole musical just came tumbling out!”

LUSTILY EVER AFTER: THE AUDIOBOOK MUSICAL has an e-book companion containing the story and all of the lyrics, and there may be plans for a sequel: “I thought we had hit most of the tropes, but now I realize we may have only just begun,” Stephanie says.

Book Info:
Audiobook, $6.95; 2 hours 37 minutes; ISBN: 978-1089023753
E-book, $2.99; 104 pages
Publication date: August 2019
Published by Stephanie Bentley


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