Craig romance writer on USA Today bestsellers list

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Carrie Hertzog/courtesy

Jan Bonthu is a Craig author who made it big by publishing several erotic romance novels.

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Author Jan Bonthu said "The Billionaire's Obsession" has sold more than 1 million copies.

— Romance novels always have been what Jan Bonthu could turn to in a crisis. She worked in The Memorial Hospital as a respiratory therapist for five years, so she liked authors who could write happy endings for their characters.

“When you work in the medical field, all you see is reality,” she said. “Romance was my escape. I wanted something that would take me out of reality.”

Now, Bonthu is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author under the name J.S. Scott.

“I started out on Amazon. It was an experiment,” she said. “I put out romantic short stories. They started selling. I branched out and started writing longer books.”

The book series that was her big break, "The Billionaire’s Obsession," is an erotic romance about a rich computer geek who rescues a nursing student from destitution.

“It’s kind of a love-conquers-all sort of story,” Bonthu said. “You can have a tough life and good things could still happen. I think (readers) relate to that.”

Last week was her fifteenth week in a row on the USA Today's bestseller’s list. When it first happened, she said she couldn’t believe it.

“I’m making more on my e-books than most authors do on their print only,” she said. “It’s bizarre. It’s crazy.”

Bonthu said she and her husband had gone from just making it to not knowing what to do with an abundance of income.

“We were just barely getting by,” she said. “We didn’t have debt, just crappy cars. We had an old police car off of auction.”

Now she said she could pay for a new car up front.

This is far from her experiences going to school and scraping by.

“When I went to school, I kind of lived on that edge,” she said. “I got to thinking, what if something were to happen. One little disaster, and it’d be over.”

That provided inspiration for Bonthu’s books and also is the reason she said readers can relate to her character.

“I think of Kara (my lead) as a fairly strong character. She had a fairly tough hand dealt to her, but she still managed to go to nursing school,” she said.

Her readers appreciate seeing that sort of character, she said.

“Strangely enough, I have a lot of nurse readers,” she said.

Bonthu said she was hesitant about revealing her new career as an erotic romance author to Craig at first.

“It’s a conservative community,” she said.

But after she hit the bestsellers list, she said she didn’t care. And anyway, she said, people around town have been really supportive.

“I’m very blessed,” Bonthu said.

Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794 or efenner@CraigDailyPress.com.

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