Contemporary Author Superstars Chat - 2014 RT Convention

Wouldn't you love to go on a date with your book boyfriend? We don't blame you, and neither do the creators of your favorite fictional heartthrobs. During Thursday's Contemporary Author Chat, RT reviewer Audrey Goodson Kingo sat down with Susan Mallery, Kristen Ashley and Rachel Gibson and talked romance and writing.

Audrey Kingo, far right, leads contemporary authors in a discussion

Naturally, authors and panel attendees alike were eager to discuss all things romance, be it a steamy scene oozing with passion, or even an off day when the authors can't exactly figure out how the hero and heroine's lips should meet. The workshop dug into the minds of these successful women, whose careers focus on love and passion, exposing fans to the layers of their creative processes.

For Kristen Ashley, her writing took off when she penned letters to loved ones in lieu of buying Christmas presents during her post-college years, when she was "living on beer and tortilla chips."

Susan Mallery received many laughs when discussing her writing journey: from the years she struggled for a publishing house's approval, to her fan girl moment meeting a pro-football player — who bears a striking resemblance to the sexy athletes readers meet in her Fool's Gold trilogy.

The writers touched on many topics: how the quintessential small-town setting plays into their work, what benefits come with being a hybrid author, how readers' opinions affect future works and more — and some even revealed a few surprising tidbits, like when Rachel Gibson told the room, "I don't read contemps because I can just see [a] writer's hand in it." 

Regardless of how their stories came to be, or which author prefers a particular writing style over another, these three women share one common belief.

"I want [readers] to be happy," said Susan Mallery. "That's the most important part of my day."

Consider these contemporary readers happy.

For more on the exciting happenings, at the 2014 RT Convention in New Orleans, click here!