Interview With Author Penny Reid

Friends Without Benefits: An Unrequited Romance




Fiction Vixen is pleased to welcome author Penny Reid. Her latest book, Friends Without Benefits: An Unrequited Romance was recently released. You can download it free until October 10 and after, 10% of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to charity. Penny will discuss this more in her interview below.

Check out Jen’s review.



I met Penny Reid at a recent book convention and found her to be a pretty funny gal.  I had heard so much about her first book Neanderthal Seeks Human that when I found out she had a new book coming out, Friends Without Benefits, I grabbed it for review and asked Penny if she would talk with FV.  She graciously agreed.

Penny Reid and FV Jen

So Penny, as you can see from this picture here, you are tall and I am not.  What’s it like to be tall?  Lol

It’s a bit lonely at the top. Also, I get the impression people think I’m looking down on them. I find making new friends is a lot easier if I’m sitting in a chair.

In your books, your heroines are knitters.  They have a for real knitting club.  I love this idea.  Is that something you do because you seemed to be pretty knowledgeable about it?

I have, quite literally, about one hundred knitting groups around the world. You see, I’ve traveled quite a bit for work (my day job). As a rule, where ever I go, I try to look up a knitting group in the area. An example: every time I travel to London I sit in on the ‘Stitch London’ knitting group. Over the past 4 years or so of doing this (crashing knitting group meetups) I’ve realized a few things:

1) Knitters/Crocheters are an inclusive (not exclusive/exclusionary) community. I have been welcomed in groups from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand to Birmingham, Alabama.

2) The knitting group is a sacred, safe place. It’s women supporting, loving, helping (and telling dirty jokes to) other women (i.e. like Vegas, what happens in the knitting group stays in the knitting group).

3) Knitters drink lots of wine.

In Friends Without Benefits the plot is focused on our hero having been in love with the heroine for years.  Unrequited love on the part of the hero is definitely my favorite trope.  Talk to us about Nico and how he is a sexy beast.

Ah… Nico. *sigh* I just… I just love him. If I had to pick one thing about Nico that I love the most it wouldn’t be his twinkly, gypsy eyes; it wouldn’t be the fact that he makes apple fritters while looking smoking hot and being nearly naked; it wouldn’t even be that he is freaking hilarious. It would be his emotional fearlessness. Nico is constantly putting his heart in jeopardy and he doesn’t flinch. He loves Elizabeth with a ferocious single-mindedness and, to me, that’s sexy as all helk (helk = hell + heck)

On a more serious note, in your forward you talk about several foundations you will be donating 10% of the profits from your book to.  They are foundations supporting research for pediatric rare diseases.  Tell us a little more about this, please?

YES! And I promise I won’t go Sally Struthers or Bono on everyone; I won’t take it to frown-town.

I’m trying to (very) gently raise awareness of pediatric rare diseases and rare diseases research because I’ve worked in the field for the last 8 years and knowledge is power. I guarantee, every single person reading this blog knows at least one person touched by a rare disease. The main problem with rare diseases is that- since they’re rare- they’re often misdiagnosed, Research foundations (like the PCD Foundation, which is my October foundation of the month) make a HUGE difference. First, they help people get an accurate diagnosis. Second, they raise awareness of the disease and help community physicians learn about the disease (and how to spot it/diagnose it). Third, they fund research into prevention and treatment (and hopefully a cure) for the disease.

10% of sales from Friends Without Benefits will go to a different rare disease research foundation every month. I’ll also be highlighting the foundation on my blog, facebook page, and twitter. If I can reach/help one person who has been struggling with an illness, who has been misdiagnosed repeatedly, then I’ll consider this campaign to be a success.

What do readers have to look forward to from Ms. Penny Reid?

Right this minute I’m working on the sequel to Neanderthal Seeks Human (aptly entitled, Neanderthal Marries Human). I’m also working on the third book in the series (Sandra’s book) which has a working title of Love Hacked. I’m hoping both will be released in Spring 2014 before my author signings in Atlanta, New York, and Cleveland. After that, I have four more ladies in the knitting group and all of them need a love story. :-)

Thanks for chatting with us and thanks for the delightful read.

You’re quite welcome. Thank you for having me. I hope that, despite the difference in our stature, we can find a way to be friends. Perhaps I will carry a stool with me at all times; or you could invest in platform shoes. Remember, height is only a number!


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  1. Amanda says

    I think readers everywhere will be excited to hear about Neanderthal Marries Human. I have just started Friends Without Benefits and I am so enjoying it.

    I want to say that you are so right about rare diseases. I have cousins who died from a rare genetic disease (DRPLA) that came through their fathers family. They first got the symptoms in their early tens and died in their late thirties. Anyway because its rare nothing is really done, we just had to watch them and other members of the family slowly get worse.

  2. says

    Yesssss I was hoping you’d say that about the rest of the knitting group ladies. (And you make knitting sound like way too much fun.)

  3. Laura says

    Great interview! If you are reading this and haven’t read her books yet I highly recommend you do!

  4. says

    At 6 foot I too make more friends sitting down. I liked That Janie was tall and still wore heals. I ADORED Nico. I think a sense of humor is essential and the fact he was a former underwear modle didn’t hurt but mostly I liked the twinkle in his eyes.

  5. Rusiko says

    Love this lady, she’s a truly gifted writer. Her first book was fantastic and I can’t wait to read Friends Without Benefits.