Romance readers around the world were sad to note the passing of Betty Neels in June 2001. Her career spanned thirty years, and she continued to write into her ninetieth year. To her millions of fans, Betty epitomized the romance writer, and yet she began writing almost by accident. She had retired from nursing, but her inquiring mind still sought stimulation. Her new career was born when she heard a lady in her local library bemoaning the lack of good romance novels. Betty’s first book, Sister Peters in Amsterdam, was published in 1969, and she eventually completed 134 books. Her novels offer reassuring warmth that was very much a part of her own personality. She was a wonderful writer, and she will be greatly missed. Her spirit and genuine talent will live on in all her stories.
Betty Neels on Writing and Reading
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Being able to put my imagination into words.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE LOCALE OR SETTING FOR YOUR NOVELS? WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT YOUR FAVOURITE ?
Holland or the English countryside, because I know them both well.
WHAT ARE YOUR FIVE ALL-TIME FAVOURITE BOOKS?
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson
Vanity Fair by W.M. Thackeray
John Donne’s poems
Anything by Charles Dickens
Betty Neels on Romance
DESCRIBE THE ULTIMATE ROMANTIC MEAL.
Can there be one? Surely if two people in love are sharing a meal, bread and water would be just fine.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ROMANTIC MOVIE?
Perhaps Brief Encounter, which I doubt anyone remembers.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ROMANTIC SONG OR COMPOSITION?
WHAT IS THE MOST ROMANTIC GESTURE OR GIFT YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
A ring set with stones that spelled Dearest.
WHERE IS THE MOST ROMANTIC PLACE YOU'VE EVER TRAVELLED?
The Scottish highlands.
All About Me
BESIDE WRITING, WHAT OTHER TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?
Drawing and painting.
WHO IS SOMEONE YOU ADMIRE AND WHY?
Winston Churchill. He gave freedom to so many.
SHARE ONE OF YOUR FAVOURTIE INDULGENCES WITH US.
A bottle of Croft’s Original Sherry.
WHAT QUALITY DO YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A MAN?
Kindness. Self-control. Resourcefulness.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO, BUT NEVER HAD THE COURAGE TO TRY?
Drive a car.
IF YOU WERENT A WRITER WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A member of the nursing profession, having been that for many years. I loved it.
WHAT QUOTE DO YOU LIVE BY? WHO SAID IT?
"Do as you would be done by." Can’t remember who said it.